by Rupa Raman
An ottoman is a versatile piece of furniture that, when chosen and incorporated tastefully, can spruce up your living room, add function and tie various design elements together. How you coordinate an ottoman with your living room depends on factors such as your decorating taste, your living room theme, the size and style of your room, the existing furniture in your space and the personality you want the room to reflect. So, when choosing an ottoman, pick one that satisfies the criteria that matter to you the most.
Size: There are two ways to coordinate an ottoman with your living room based on its size. You could choose an ottoman that matches the scale of the rest of your furniture and your space so everything works in harmony. But if you want to create a dramatic accent for your living room, draw focus to the ottoman and use the ottoman to define your space, then choosing an oversized ottoman may be a good way to do it. But keep in mind that an ottoman that is taller than the level of seating can be less comfortable than one that matches or is lower than the height of your seating.
Colors: A well-chosen ottoman can help break up a monochromatic room, adding color and pizzazz to an otherwise monotonous setting. An ottoman featuring colors and textures that contrast those of your living room furniture adds personality to your room and becomes a great accent piece. This is one way to experiment with color in your living room if you generally prefer traditional or monochromatic themes. Look for an ottoman that picks up on the colors from the rest of your furniture yet has a distinctive appearance that lends style to your room. Of course, for a more traditional look, find a color and texture that matches your sofa or loveseat.
Style and function: This is perhaps the most important aspect in choosing an ottoman for your living room: What will you use it for? Ottomans come in a variety of styles and shapes. Some have storage underneath a flip-top cushion, which is great for concealing magazines, books or book bags; some have a tufted leather top; and some are fabric upholstered. Many ottomans can double as a coffee or end table, which is a great option if you don't have space for a larger, conventional coffee table, or as extra seating while entertaining. Narrow the choices based on function, and then go on to choose a size, structure and color that matches your needs and your room's decor.
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