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What Is A Footstool And Why You Should Get One

Written by Nicholas Crusie — March 04, 2021

What Is A Footstool And Why You Should Get One

A place to rest your feet is essential when trying to reach peak comfort when lounging at home, but the right footstool can be so much more. 

The footstool, also known as a pouf or an ottoman, offers a number of different things. This multifunctional piece of furniture can be used as seating, an end table, or as a fun decorative piece. You can also turn any chair into a recliner just by adding a footstool. The possibilities are endless!

The value of a really nice footstool should not be overlooked when selecting furniture for any space. 

History Of The Footstool

So, where did this versatile piece of furniture even come from? The history of the footstool dates back to ancient Egypt. It was a common piece of furniture in Egyptian homes because it could easily be moved from room to room, contributing to its usefulness. 

In Egyptian history, stools were made in different styles and from a variety of different materials. They were made of wood, wicker, or leather.  This footstool love and admiration transformed into other comforting pieces—the pouf, the hassock, and tuffet.

The Ottoman Empire renamed the footstool the ottoman. They padded and upholstered the ottoman to make it more comfortable for sitting. By the late 18th century, the ottoman made its way to Europe from Turkey, where its shape and size changed. 

Once a large piece of furniture that went around three walls of a room, it evolved into a small corner piece. Eventually, this smaller footstool moved to the middle of the room, as we see it most often today.

All this to say, if it was an important piece for the Egyptians and the Ottoman Empire, it should certainly be considered when designing a room, redecorating, or gifting someone in your life.  

Our footstools make the perfect addition to any room and come in a variety of different colors and fabrics. 

Functionality And Aesthetics

The first thing you should think about is whether you need a footstool purely for aesthetic purposes, functionality, or both. Most furniture pieces can offer both decor and functionality, but they are uniquely different. 

For example, an inadequately decorated space can be fairly large, but it may not provide you with the space required to do what you want. In contrast, a tiny studio can be transformed into a room with enough space for everything one might need to do.

Aesthetics are all about beauty and appearance. Many people work hard to achieve a good aesthetic in many areas of their life, and this is especially true at home. When looking to create aesthetic appeal, you need to find a theme pleasing to the eye that fits your own personal style.

Interior designers look to add ambiance through different textures, colors, and symmetry. This aesthetic quality goes hand in hand with the purpose and function of each room or space. The look and feel of a bedroom can boost relaxation, while the home office can help you stay focused and productive while also enhancing creative thinking. No matter where you are in your home, a footstool can be a useful piece.

Another thing to consider when thinking about functionality is the durability of the furniture, especially for a footstool that may get dirty. If you have children, you may want to consider a footstool with a cover that can easily be removed to be washed and dried.

Here are a few things to remember when thinking about functionality versus aesthetics:

Functionality

  • Used Often
  • Sustainably Made
  • Correct Size for Space

 

Aesthetics

  • Shape
  • Color
  • Style

When decorating a smaller room, a pouf-style footstool can be the perfect solution. A pouf is soft and round and can be bought in a variety of different fabrics and colors. It gives you a place to rest your feet while also adding a fun decorative element. 

You can even buy a few poufs for different rooms or place them strategically in the same room. Much like decorative pillows, a footstool can be a good opportunity to add a pop of color in an otherwise monotone space. It can also be a good opportunity to play with different patterns since they are small and won’t be too overwhelming in a space. 

The right furniture and colors can take a cold, drab room and make it warm and inviting. 

Selecting The Right Footstool

You should consider a few things when choosing the right footstool for your space. If your couch or chair didn’t come with a footstool, you're going to be on the hunt. But what should you be looking for?

This might seem like a pretty straightforward decision to some, but it can be harder than you think to pick the perfect footstool. If you've chosen wrong, you can tell right away.

You need a footstool that is the right size, height, shape, and adds dimension to the room. Considering these things will make all the difference when you kick your feet up to relax. 

Our footstools are all custom-made with added stuffing for extra support. 

We have a few simple tips and tricks to keep in mind when choosing the right footstool for your space. 

Is Your Footstool The Right Height?

If you have never purchased a footstool before, you might be thinking that they are all the same height. And while footstools don't vary greatly, an inch or two makes all the difference. 

A footstool that is too high or too low can affect the comfort level of your lounging experience. If it is a little too high, your back could start hurting. If it is too short, you might not feel like you're getting the desired level of support.

Get out that ruler, because you want to try to find a footstool that is about an inch shorter than your couch or chair. You should measure your seat height from the top of the cushion to the floor, then simply subtract an inch from that measurement to get the perfect height for a footstool. 

The average couch seat height measurement is about 18," and our footstools are 17," the perfect height. 

Is Your Footstool The Right Size?

When you go to buy a footstool that you are going to place in front of a couch or chair, it is important to find the right balance between the two pieces. 

If you place a very large footstool in front of a small chair, it can look strange and take up too much room. On the flip side, if you place a small footstool in front of a large couch, not only will it look odd, but if multiple people are sitting on the couch, not everyone will be able to put their feet up. 

If you have a smaller space but need a longer footstool, consider buying multiple small square footstools and placing three in front of the couch. The footstools won't overwhelm the space, and they can easily be moved if space is temporarily needed for something else.

Is Your Footstool The Right Shape?

Another thing to consider when looking to buy the perfect footstool is the right shape. 

You may have noticed the variety of shapes out there, and you can play with different ones in your space to make it more appealing. Think of the shape as an opportunity to create a focal point in the room by putting different shapes together. 

These are some shapes to consider:

  • Square
  • Rectangular 
  • Round 

These footstool shapes come in many sizes, colors, and styles. You could purchase a small square footstool to go with your round chair to make the perfect place to curl up and read or watch your favorite show. 

Is Your Footstool Adding Dimension?

Every interior designer thinks about dimension when creating a space. However, you don't need to hire someone to add a thoughtful dimension to your room—a footstool can help you add just that.

Think about using the size, style, color, and fabric as an opportunity to create dimension in a space. If you have a matching couch and chair, a matching footstool might look boring, and the room could fall flat. 

Choosing a footstool with a different fabric and color than the larger furniture pieces in the room could be the spice of life the space needs. Never be afraid to mix and match to make a space more interesting and visually appealing. Using different shapes at the right angles can add interest to an otherwise lifeless space. 

A room with the right dimension gives us that "feels right" comfortable vibe that anyone would be happy to spend hours in.

In Summary 

Never underestimate the power of a perfectly selected footstool in a space. The opportunities are endless with this multifunctional piece of furniture that does more than just offer a place to rest your feet.

At CordaRoy’s, our footstools can be added to any room, match the aesthetic, and add dimension and comfort to your space. 

So if you are looking to purchase a functional piece of furniture that dates back to ancient Egypt, look no further. 

Sources:

How the Ancient Egyptians Put Their Feet Up: Furnishings in Ancient Egypt | TourEgypt  

The Importance of Interior Design | Homey Improvements 

Why is interior design important 16 Reasons Why Its Important | Interiors Info