This gorgeous bench exceeds my expectations! It is elegantly porportioned, just the right length and height to place in front of a couch without the feeling of blocking the couch or adding an impediment to go around. The top is level, and firm enough to support a serving tray when needed as a coffee table. It fit seven blankets and a neck pillow in its storage compartment - four of those blankets are very bulky, so the compartment is generous in size; the hinges (one on each side!) are sturdy and of the safety variety, and there are safety holes covered in porous fabric in the corners of the base for air in case a small child should decide to climb inside and test it out with the lid down. The leather is glossy but not undesirably shiny; the quality of the overall piece is very good. The tufting (which I was a little wary of) is very well done and not overblown or puffy. It is a very dark "espresso brown," which is a spot-on match for my leather couch and chair. I have been agonizing for months over which leather storage ottoman to buy, had looked at many web sites and furniture dealers, and settled on this one with a bit of hesitation. Now, I am so glad I chose this lovely bench! MUCH "bang for the buck" in this gem.