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Editor's Picks

Twice As Good: 15 Dual-Purpose Contemporary Ottomans

Ottoman Tables

Ideal as footrest or occasional seating, contemporary ottomans are low-profile, versatile supporting players in an interior scheme. But ottomans that go above and beyond their expected use—an ottoman that seamlessly morphs into a side table, for instance—offers twice the value. The Blu Dot Hecks Ottoman is a prime example, its clean geometric profile making a perfectly comfortable seat, but turning into a stylish side table when neatly fitted with its optional tray. The Ferm Living Velvet Ottoman, above, is so sturdy and lightweight, you'll be moving it from room to room, and from seat to table, as the need arises. And the Heller Frank Gehry Twist Cube may be the most architectural dual-purpose ottoman/table around.


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Modular Ottomans

Weather fitting into a larger seating arrangement, splitting apart into more than one seat, or used as stylish stand-alone furniture, modular ottomans are invaluable additions to the contemporary home. The Blu Dot Cleon Leather Ottoman is a case in point, its clean rectangular profile offering plenty of seating on its own, but seamlessly morphing into chaise lounge or fitting neatly into a Blu Dot Cleon sectional sofa arrangement, when needed. Ditto the GAN Rugs Bandas Pouf, above, which figures beautifully into the modular scheme of the GAN Bandas collection. The Gus* Trillium Stool and Blu Dot Sunday Large Ottoman offer a different take on modular seating by featuring a suite of modules that look equally stylish individually or as a whole.


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Statement Ottoman Seating

It might be a given that ottomans are typically used as subsidiary seating, but it's hard to overlook the statement ottoman—and the Knoll Barcelona Stool/Ottoman surely qualifies. A Mies van der Rohe classic that completes the legendary Knoll Barcelona Chair, the Barcelona Stool is, in and of itself, a design of such elegance and resonance, it needs no introduction as a singular seating option. The same goes for the Knoll Platner Ottoman, a Mid Century classic with a glamorous edge (and a price tag to match). Contemporary design hasn't neglected the statement ottoman, evidenced by the Moooi Amami Pouf and the Muuto Five Pouf, substantially sized modern ottomans with eye-catching detailing that won't fade into the background.


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