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Ottomans & Pouffes

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Ottomans & Pouffes

In a modern world where soft furnishings are purchased as much for decoration as they are practical use, understanding the difference between an ottoman and a pouffe – and the distinct uses for each – is key to building a truly modern home, both in terms of style and function.

The key differences between an Ottoman and a Pouffe

While both items resemble a similar shape and can provide an individual seat lined with comfortable padding and available in an assortment of different finishes and materials, Ottomans tend to encompass inside storage with the lid removable – meaning that they are built with more of a solid structure, often boasting stable wooden legs which sit them a little off the ground. The clean build of an ottoman can be used as both a seat and a table as well as a concealed storage box, with the rigid lines helping it to sit perfectly in a modern home which relies on straight lines. The padded seat on top is what takes the ottoman from a clever storage box to a comfortable seat. A pouffe, meanwhile, is derived from the French word for something which is “puffed out” – referring to the soft structure of the pouffe and the way that it is made from fabric which has been puffed out with a suitable stuffing – essentially a large cushion. Pouffe’s are popular seats, but they tend to sit lower down without the addition of wooden legs, and so also make excellent footstools. The biggest difference is that a pouffe does not have any storage space – if it were to include some form of internal storage, it would be classed as an Ottoman.

Dressing your home with an ottoman

Ottomans, thanks to their more structured finish, tend to be found in both traditional and modern homes – with the more traditional styles opting for leather coverings or rich coloured velvets, while a more modern design calls for neutral colours and fabric finishes. Ottomans tend to be fairly large and as such are perfect additions to the end of a bed or in a large living space, with their elegant design and wooden legs counting them as focal pieces of furniture to pull together a design theme. For the best selection of Ottoman’s, consider both modern pieces in popular furniture and homeware retailers, and also the more traditional designs featured by independent crafters and second hand antique stores. And with so many businesses now offering re-covering services to breathe new life into old furniture, getting an old ottoman covered with a fabric to suit your home has never been easier.

Dressing your home with a pouffe

We love pouffes because they are comfortable and welcoming, adding a certain warmth to your room in a move away from structured furniture and towards more of a bohemian finish. Where ottoman’s stand out and create focal features, pouffes are more likely to blend into the surrounding room and should be selected by the way they compliment existing furniture rather than trying to stand out among it. Pouffe’s come in all different shapes and sizes, though they do tend to be smaller than ottomans. For the best selection available on the market right now, head to homeware and furnishing retailers which specialise in soft furnished items. You may also find that a lot of children’s retailers also offer pouffes, as the soft stools are perfect for children’s bedrooms to provide a comfortable and safe place for them to sit.

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