Many homes are graced with an ottoman. It is an item of furniture that is universally popular and offers a variety of interior design and storage solutions, all in one.
It’s easy to fall in love with comfortable large ottomans when you see how they grace a room with their presence. The name of this ubiquitous piece of furniture is steeped in history and is a reminder of a past empire.
Here is a brief history of why the Ottoman name is so famous through history.
You can literally emulate royalty with an ottoman footstool
In times past, the gesture of offering a footstool for resting your feet was a royal gesture that is believed to have existed when the Ottoman Empire was at its peak.
A plethora of comforting items of furniture followed. You might also use a pouffe, tuffet, or hassock to rest your feet, but the practice of offering this comfort originated with the ottoman footstool.
Thank the Turks for creating such a comfortable piece of furniture
The history books show that Turkish carpet weavers were tasked with making a footrest that offered maximum levels of comfort.
Wood was extremely hard to come by in desert regions, for obvious reasons. That is what led to a design where more padding was used to compensate for a lack of wood in the frame of the footstool.
Once they discovered how comfortable this was there was no turning back.
The introduction of Ottomans in Europe
It is believed that the ottoman was the primary seating option for Turks back in medieval times. It became popular because it offered comfort and also made it easy for groups to gather and bond with each other by sharing the seating.
If you look at historical depictions of these times you can often see sultans and other important leaders holding their meetings sitting on what became known as an Ottoman.
It was towards the end of the 18th century that the ottoman was introduced into European culture.
A different way of using ottomans
As with many things, the design and shape of ottomans started to change as time moved on. It also became popular to use an ottoman in the center of a room.
Previously, this item of furniture was placed against a wall. Not only did the positioning of ottomans start to change but circular or octagonal designs became popular too.
When the French invaded Egypt at the turn of the 18th century, they were fascinated by the way the locals used this very distinctive footstool. Egypt was part of the Ottoman Empire at this point. This is another theory offered as to how this item of furniture spread in popularity in the years to come.
Whatever version of history you subscribe to. When you have an ottoman in your home you will know that you are following in the footsteps of royalty and leaders each time you use one to rest your weary feet.
The ottoman is part of history and will doubtless continue to be a popular item of furniture in modern homes.