Poufs and ottomans: great inspiration guide

Poufs and ottomans: great inspiration guide

Poufs and ottomans: great inspiration guide


  • Pouf is an interesting piece of furniture

  • Ottoman models from current collections

    • Elegant contemporary

    • Northern character

    • Minimalism

    • As beautiful as possible

    • Art object

    • Ethnic

    • Stay out of the house

    • An unexpected decision

Pouf is an interesting piece of furniture

Today an ottoman is more than a piece of furniture. Not a single full-fledged furniture set can do without it, but the functional significance of the pouf is gradually fading into the background: first of all, it is a beautiful accent that allows you to adapt the interior to rapidly changing design trends.

Architect Terry Dwan created the Betty pouf for RIVA 1920. This is a rarity for the brand: the product is not made of wood and covered with smooth leather.  Source: riva1920.it

The word pouf has French roots, but today it no longer has an unambiguous translation: it is something soft, and a “rattle”, and even “giggle.” There are so different ottomans that you can compile an encyclopedia of shapes and designs: there are large and miniature, frame and frameless models, on wheels and without, with built-in storage systems or simply ottoman shelves. An ottoman is convenience, decor, and also an object that allows the designer to show imagination. And as soon as the pros realized this, the market was flooded with octahedrons, dodecahedrons and other unpronounceable geometric shapes. All this is to decorate the interior.

This unusual pouf from GAN is made of thick felt.  Source: gan-rugs.com

Of course, there are universal forms. A simple ottoman-“pillow”, dressed in new colors, textures and materials every season – a proven move, which is used by even the most famous brands. This is also convenient for textile manufacturers: an uncomplicated configuration allows you to reveal the beauty of a fabric, to demonstrate the complexity of a pattern or embroidery.

Missoni textiles are always recognizable by stripes, zigzags and a rich palette.  Source: elledecoration.ru

The same fate is with the hit models: it happens that the customer likes the pouf so much that the factory has been producing it for decades, changing only the upholstery. This was the case with Patricia Urquiola’s ottomans for Moroso or recently released by Normann Copenhagen.

The Circus pouf from Normann Copenhagen has got ash upholstery in 2020.  Source: normann-copenhagen.com

A long-loved shape is a pouf with a capitonné decor, better known as “buttons”: the quilted model looks stylish and tactilely pleasant. Such ottomans are good in interiors built on the principle of selective eclecticism: they refer to both the English classics and the American transitional style, familiar to us from Hollywood films.

The George pouf from Cantori will become a companion for interiors of almost any style.  Source: fgall.ru

There are real legends among the ottomans. Few people know that the Sacco soft ottoman chair, or beanbag, was invented back in the late 1960s (there is still debate about who its author was). Today Sacco is regularly cited and released in all possible colors and materials; it is used both in private houses and in HoReCa spaces. A more practical piece of furniture is perhaps difficult to find.

The famous Sacco was created back in 1967.  Source: zanotta.it.

Often, ottomans adjoin furniture collections and echo the color scheme of the headset, but this is not a guide to their operation: you can select models from different series and play on contrasts.

The Okome furniture collection for Alias ​​was designed by Nendo.  It consists of many pouf modules.  Source: alias.com

It is convenient to adjust the pouf in the interior to the changing color trends, because such an accent is easy to integrate into the space, supporting it with several details in a similar palette. An ottoman is used in all rooms, but it takes on a different load in them. If in the living room such an element is more of a decorative function, then in the nursery, hallway or on the terrace, they will most likely sit on it. Therefore, for such areas, it is necessary to separately take into account the wear resistance of the model.

The minimalistic ottoman Chubby Low was made for Slide Design by Marcel Wanders.  Source: slidedesign.it

Ottoman models from current collections

Let’s dwell on the most popular trends and evaluate models of ottomans from current collections.

This year, the De Gournay brand has released a high-profile collaboration with India Mahdavi.  The ottoman in the photo is made in the chinoiserie style.  Source: arisdesign.com

Elegant contemporary

It implies the use of modern laconic forms and actual colors – emerald, indigo, dusty rose, gray, black. Low puffs-cubes, parallelepipeds and spheres in recent years have been clothed in strict leather, cotton and velor.

The Onda square ottoman by Poliform in soft leather upholstery was created back in 2003, but still accompanies the collections of the famous brand.  Source: poliform.it

Poliform quilted pouf Gant in genuine leather.  Source: poliform.it

The legs of the bases (if the model has them) are thinned to the limit, while remaining absolutely reliable.

The Elephant ottoman collection from the Nadadora design studio.  Source: archiscene.net

In contemporary models, we will not find unnecessary decorative details (for example, in the form of embroidery): the emphasis is on the material and geometry as such.

COR's Nenou lounge poufs feature trendy colors.  Source: cor.de

Northern character

Ottomans from Scandinavian companies today, in essence, continue the direction of contemporary – their forms are simple, without unnecessary pretentiousness, but the color scheme is different. There are more pastel colors here, and you can often see felt from the materials – this is a tribute to tradition.

Padded wool Zyl ottomans.  Designed by Glismand & Rüdiger.  Source: boila.com

The pouf, designed by Cecile Manz for Fritz Hansen, has become one of the brand's bestsellers.  Source: fritzhansen.com


Minimalistic ottomans are objects of laconic contours in a neutral color: white, gray or black. These models are quite versatile and are suitable not only for ascetic studios. They will be appreciated by adherents of wabi-sabi, contemporary and even French bohemian chic.

Ottomans in minimalist interiors, as a rule, carry out a functional load.  The gray low pouf fits perfectly into the space, decorated with modular furniture.  Source: roomlook.ru

As beautiful as possible

Maximalism is not a style, but rather a direction that emerged at the junction of several popular styles. In such interiors, you can find elements of glamor, neoclassicism or boho. In other words, fringe, sequins, tassels, embroidery, fur – all the most trendy and sometimes provocative will be appropriate here.

An unusual collection of furniture from Masquespacio is suitable for a variety of interior styles.  Source: masquespacio.com

Ottomans, which are suitable for maximalist interiors, are a true decoration from the world of design: round, square, even conical objects made of velvet and velor in juicy shades on brass bases, voluminous pillows decorated with silk fringe – many companies have such models.

Ottomans by Lorenza Bozolli became a real hit at Fuorisalone 2019. Source: fuorisalone.it

Art object

Since the ottoman is a compact thing, it is convenient to experiment with it, and every year designers offer literally cosmic interpretations of this uncomplicated object. Futuristic contours, smooth gradients, unexpected materials: ottomans on interplanetary liners would be just like that. Also, designers love modular rulers, when several ottomans, or even armchairs, merge into a single abstract composition.

Designed by Tokujin Yoshioka, the Brook collection of ottomans with unusual geometry has become almost a classic if the word is applied to the avant-garde Moroso brand.  Source: moroso.it

The pouf from the latest DADA Maison collection accentuates the brand's commitment to everything unusual.  Source: maisondada.com

Another popular design option is an ottoman, referring to a specific era in contemporary art. Such options are popular with European and Asian authors. The result is the impression that the object has just left the art gallery.

Creativando's Cubolibre is a reference to the pop art tradition.  Source: shop.creativando.nu


Ethnic style is hard to imagine without low furniture objects, and therefore ottomans in such interiors will always find a place. Compact embroidered cushions covered with leather, or rattan wicker frame seats – in the ethnics ottomans can be used instead of full-fledged armchairs.

The Chinese duo Neri & Hu shocked the interior design world with their collection for Gan.  And there were ottomans in it too.  Source: gan-rugs.com

IKEA’s greatest hit is likely to continue its life on the market in the coming decades. The oval frame model, covered with banana leaves, is found even in the houses of connoisseurs of high design – it is so successful, ergonomic and simply beautiful.

The design of the IKEA Alseda pouf is based on a round frame covered with banana leaves.  Source: apartmenttherapy.com

In general, an ethnic ottoman, regardless of its cultural orientation, will bring a note of exoticism into the interior. India, Africa, the Far East – interspersed with this style will look spectacular in many interior scenarios. Thus, ethnics are appreciated both in colonial-style spaces and in boho interiors.

Moroccan leather ottomans do not give up their positions in interiors for more than a decade.  Source: lovemoroccanrugs.com.au

Stay out of the house

There are also ottomans for outdoor spaces: terraces and balconies. As a rule, products on frame bases covered with leather, rattan or thin synthetic tape are used outside apartments. The most important characteristic here is weather resistance.

B&B Italia's outdoor Hybrid collection includes stylish ottomans in textured upholstery.  Among the authors of the collection is Philipp Starck.  Source: bebitalia.com

An unexpected decision

There are also ottomans made of wood. Of course, they do not differ in softness, but they are very functional and decorative.

In fact, these

The difference between these models and coffee tables is small, but if a factory renowned for working with wood insists on such a definition (as, for example, in the case of wooden “poufs” from Rotsen Furniture made of mango wood), you have to accept it. Moreover, on the design market there are ottomans made of glass and plastic, on which you will not fall from a running start after a working day, like in a Sacco bag. But what a spectacular reception.

The Piero outdoor poufs from Frontier Polymers made of polymer alloy are not the softest seat option.  But they are resistant to the vagaries of the weather.  Source: archiexpo.com

Campanone by Paolo Grasselli is both a cocktail table and a pouf.  Made of plastic and equipped with LED backlighting.  Source: archiexpo.com

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About Leona Smith 115 Articles
Hello! My name is Silke and this is my travel blog. I want to show you fascinating places off the beaten track, give you a gentle introduction to history and culture, and help you get around Berlin. After 13 years in Sydney and Andalusia, I now live in Berlin, Germany. I am a travel writer, translator and book author. Read more about me here.

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