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Design Recipes: Benches, ottomans provide form and function


Looking for a way to add both form and function to a space? Consider a bench or ottoman. Not only do these smaller scale furniture pieces provide functionality, in many cases they can be the best fit and furniture solution in size and scale. Need ideas on the best way to incorporate benches and ottomans into your home? Here are some top tips!

Do’s

1. Do consider ottomans in entry areas. They can serve as an alternative to a case good such as a console while still helping to convey a point of entry.

2. Do use benches or ottomans as additional seating in social areas such as living and family rooms.

3. Do use benches and ottomans as a way to infuse color and texture into a room.

4. Do use ottomans and benches in areas in which small-scale furniture selections are appropriate.

5. Do use benches and ottomans to make a design statement.

Don'ts

1. Don’t ignore opportunities to use benches and ottomans as a finishing touch in a space such as at the foot of a bed.

2. Don’t use ottomans and benches in overly large rooms. They may appear too small in large spaces.

3. Don’t use ottomans and benches in ways that don’t provide function. Avoid using them in a purely decorative way. Function is best.

4. Don’t ignore opportunities to use benches and ottomans in unexpected ways such as a coffee table.

5. Don’t forget that ottomans and benches are modular and versatile and can be used in pairs or groupings if needed.

Cathy Hobbs, based in New York City, is an Emmy Award-winning television host and a nationally known interior design and home staging expert with offices in New York City, Boston and Washington, D.C. Contact her at info@cathyhobbs.com or visit her website at cathyhobbs.com.