How to Style your Ottoman to Match your Style

How to Style your Ottoman to Match your Style

An ottoman is the perfect intersection of function and form. It's a soft surface to kick up your feet, eat on, use as storage or turn into a design element with strategic styling. If you’re stuck in a rut on ottoman styling ideas, there are several go-to tips on keeping your ottoman functional yet current. Read on to learn ways to pick the best ottoman for your space, how to style it and how to create a springtime-friendly scene.

Choosing the Right Ottoman

Ottomans come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colours. The shape of an ottoman can add dimension and variety to a room. For example, pairing a round ottoman with an angular sectional will help visually soften the sharp lines of a room. If you have accent chairs with rounded lines, a square ottoman will make a visual statement. If you have space, size up your ottoman to maximize its functionality.

There are many different ways to choose the colour and fabric. A neutral ottoman will blend in with the room, while a bold colour or pattern will stand out and create an interesting focal point. Details, such as tufting or fringe, give it an extra visual element. Finally, an ottoman with storage offers a more functional element.

When sizing an ottoman, be sure the height is the same as your seating. This will let you comfortably rest your feet, use it as a table, and as extra seating. Also, the surface should be flat so that you can set down a tray — the most essential ottoman accessory.

Selecting an Ottoman Tray

An ottoman tray offers a host of benefits. It’s a place to set down your drink or a bowl of snacks. It’s also what you need to effectively style the ottoman and elevate it from a functional piece of furniture to a decorative element.

The best tray for your ottoman should be in relation to your ottoman’s size and shape. A tray that fills the surface of the ottoman is an excellent option if you want to keep it beautifully styled but still have room to rest a drink. A smaller tray may work better if you still want space to kick up your feet. However, the size should still be relative to the ottoman’s overall size. In addition, the shape of the tray should correspond with the ottoman’s shape. For example, a round ottoman should have a round tray and a square ottoman should have a square tray.

Wood trays are a tried and true option, known for durability, practicality and neutral tones. An tray in natural material such as rattan or seagrass is visually compelling but isn't as practical for resting a drink or lighting a candle. On the other hand, an acrylic or lacquered tray is a glamourous choice, stands up well to spills and is a beautiful surface to style.

Styling Your Ottoman

Styling your ottoman creates a focal point in your room, adds a decorative element and lets you explore your creativity. When selecting accessories to style your ottoman, remember that less is more and bigger is often better. Fewer smaller items create a more luxe look that isn’t cluttered.

Styling the tray with objects in different heights and textures will prevent the display falling flat. For example, you can stack books to help vary the height of your items, select candlesticks in different sizes or add potted topiaries for both height and texture. Grouping the items in groups of three is the most visually appealing combination. The ‘rule of three’ also applies to colours. Choosing three colours for your display results in the most well-rounded look. Small objects, such as a picture frame or decorative box, look the best resting on top of another item, such as a stack of books.

Updating your Seasonal Ottoman Decor

Styling your ottoman for the different seasons is a fun way to decorate and keep your style feeling fresh. Likewise, updating your winter decor with spring items is a refreshing way to prepare your home for the warmer weather ahead.

Rearranging furniture to allow more light to stream in will help naturally illuminate your ottoman. Updating the area rug under your ottoman to a lighter colour will also help lighten the space. A vase with seasonal branches, greenery or flowers will help breathe new life into a room, as will updating candles to a refreshing spring scent, such as a floral or citrus scent. Finally, remove any heavy or dark-coloured accessories on the ottoman tray and replace them with visually lighter items, such as crystal and acrylic or natural materials such as rattan.

An ottoman is one of the best ways to maximize the functionality of your space while making your room visually appealing. In addition to adding extra comfort, it’s also an excellent way to exercise your creative side.