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Ottomans, Footstools, and Poufs

Ottomans, footstools, and poufs are pieces of furniture that provide a place to put your feet up. Ottomans are larger than traditional footstools. Poufs are the newcomer to the market and offer a softer furniture alternative than their predecessors.

What’s the difference between poufs and ottomans or footstools?

Footstools are typically hard framed pieces of furniture, usually made of wood, that are meant to be a place to prop your feet or sometimes to stand on to reach higher. Ottomans are also meant to be a place to put your feet or sit and often have storage. They are usually upholstered and feature a solid frame. Different from either of these, poufs are soft pieces of furniture that resemble oversized cushions that you can sit on or use to rest your feet. They are made from a variety of fabrics and are often tufted, especially the knitted ones. Like the others, they can serve as extra seating.

Can you use a footstool, ottoman, or pouf for storage?

Some of these types of furniture, such as ottomans and footstools, are often designed with a hinged lid that allows for storage. Some poufs are available that have this option as well. The space inside provides a solution for storage of off-season blankets, winter outerwear, art supplies, stuffed animals, toys, or other small items that you want to keep handy but out of sight. A footstool, storage ottoman, or pouf is a piece of furniture that can be used as a place to prop up your feet or also as a seat. They come in a wide selection of designs, including traditional, contemporary, industrial, Scandinavian minimalist, and bohemian, as well as many other styles.

What are footstools?

The traditional footstool is meant to be a place to put your feet up. Traditional footstools are available in a wide variety of materials, including leather, 100% linen, tapestry, brocade, and velvet. Wooden legs are often used on traditional-style footstools, and decorative features include studs, nail accents, and upholstery buttons, among others.

What shape choices are available for ottomans or poufs?

Designers offer a wide range of choices when it comes to ottomans and poufs. You can find a number of them in traditional rectangular or square shapes. Round is another common design shape. Designers are also styling them in half-moon shapes, shapes that look like twisted knots, and whimsical animal shapes. Other designs feature clean lines and geometric shapes aside from the traditional rectangle, square, or round ones.

How do you care for leather footstools, ottomans, or poufs?

Leather is a durable material, but it does require some amount of regular care, just like any material. It should be cleaned regularly to remove dirt and dust. This is best done with a slightly damp cloth. Any spills should be wiped up immediately using a soft cloth that you may dampen slightly. The furniture should be kept out of direct sunlight and away from heat registers or radiators. About twice a year, you should apply a conditioner that is meant specifically for leather fabrics. It is important to avoid using products that are not designed for leather on any type of leather furniture.

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