Have you ever wondered why an ottoman is called an “ottoman?” Does it make you think of the Ottoman Empire? Bingo! The household item known as the ottoman originated in Turkey and its surrounding nations, during the long reign of the Ottoman Empire (1299 AD to 1922 AD).
OK, so this is a blog about outdoor living. But that doesn’t mean we can’t throw a little history lesson out there now and again for context.
The ottoman came to Europe from the Ottoman Empire during the 18th century, where it has been used for centuries as the central piece of family furniture—just like our living room sofa. They probably called it something else, because calling it an “ottoman” would be like us calling our sofas “American,” but I’m not sure what that was.
Anyway, Turkish families piled lots of cushions on top of their ottomans for comfort, and kept them in the center of their living spaces. But when they reached Europe, larger designs that were fitted to three walls of a room were preferred.
Eventually, ottomans evolved into smaller furniture pieces, like those we use today. Right now, they are very trendy in the world of home design. We see them everywhere in stylish shapes, sizes and patterns, for both indoor and outdoor use. Patio ottomans are a must-have for avid outdoor entertainers; they make guests feel relaxed and at home.
Large outdoor ottomans seat two to three people, which is convenient when you’re hosting a crowd. You can also lay trays of appetizers on top of an ottoman, as long as it has firm surface. More counter space outdoors is always a plus!
If you can, add an ottoman to your outdoor living space this summer!