Pretty Pouffes – Our Ottoman Obsession


Ottoman. Pouffe. Divan. Call it what you will… this versatile furniture piece deserves your love. Though small in size, it’s packed with punch, serving as additional seating, a footstool, storage, or even a side or coffee table.

ottoman defined

Ottomans break all the rules. P’raps this is something to do with their feisty cultural heritage. The ottoman dates back to 1299, a product of the Ottoman Empire led by the handsome Osman I from North Western Anatolia (see below)…

Knitted ottomans add texture and colour pops; button-detailing creates a glam look. Images sourced L to R: and


The ottoman was the principal piece of furniture in the family home, kept piled high with cushions for the ultimate cosy comfort. Ottomans were fashioned from heavy, textured fabrics woven from wool, silk, etc, typically exhibiting broad horizontal ribs for durability.

There was initially a little more of it to love. When it was imported into Europe in the late 18th century, the ottoman was large enough to wrap around three walls (!) of a room. It was only in the mid-19th century that it transformed into its more modern cylindrical/octagonal/cubic shapes.

Images sourced L to R: and

Ottomans are an easy win. From uber-glam to comfy-as, contemporary to tribal-inspired, they add colour and character to your interiors. And they’re at home in living, family, bed, even bathrooms (!) and outdoors.

Whether you opt for a structured style with button-tucks, something tactile (think faux-fur) or one of those sturdy outdoor types, ottomans can add a sculptural or decorative element to your room as well as increasing its function. They give you somewhere to rest your tea-tray, or your feet, or even unexpected guests! Being prone to last-minute entertaining as we are, this handy chameleon is dear to our hearts.

Plump, sleek, small to sizeable and more, here are just a few of our faves:

The handsome Osman I from North Western Anatolia and Persian and Iran-inspired style. From L to R: Otanes Handmade Square Ottoman by Rug Culture and Atusa Handmade Round Ottoman by Rug Culture.

Find your tribe

Punctuate your space with a pop of pattern that throws back to colourful past cultures…

From L to R: Aminah Tufted Pouffe by j.elliot HOME, Scarlett Tufted Pouffe by j.elliot HOME and Orianna Woollen Pouffe by j.elliot HOME, available online at Zanui

Keep it calm

Add without overstating – unassuming neutral hues allow you to increase your functionality without crowding the view.

The upholstered look. From L to R: Emil Petrol Ottoman by Zanui, Kennedy Cross Ottoman by GlobeWest and Larsen Light Grey Ottoman by Zanui.

Cover up

Opt for an upholstered bench-style ottoman for a more sophisticated addition. Indulge in Art-Deco-inspired, button-tuck or svelte silhouettes for a hint of Great Gatsby glam.

From L to R: Cancun Round Ottoman by FAB Rugs, Laguna Ottoman by FAB Rugs and Moorish Cube Stool by Decor Direct, available online at Zanui.

Go Troppo

Inspire a touch of mischief in your indoor/outdoor zones with an outdoor ottoman in a playful contemporary design.

From L to R: Bondi Outdoor/Indoor Ottoman by Furniture Runway, Haven Outdoor/Indoor Ottoman by Furniture Runway and Bells Beach Outdoor/Indoor Ottoman by Furniture Runway, available online at Zanui.

Add sex

Instil some sex appeal with a textured piece. Tufted wool or knitted outers offer roguish good looks whilst goat-hide and teak combos have rustic sensual style.

From kooky to elegant, this quirky furniture item has your back – well… to be more concise, it has your butt. 😉

Kay is a feature, blog and copywriter. She collects empty jam jars, academic degrees and tawdry dreams in the hopes of turning them into something useful someday. Her work has been published in ACP magazines, ABC fiction, Overland, Brittle Star, Seizure, trade publications and online forums. Her creative writing has won several awards.