How Far Should an Ottoman Be from a Chair?

BY |

A large ottoman in my living room is probably one of the greatest decisions I have ever made. Aside from serving as my footrest and serving as my coffee table, it gave my living room a whole new feel and look.

That being said, how far should an ottoman be from a chair? 

An ottoman is supposed to be 12 inches away from the chair. This interspace allows the feet to comfortably reach the ottoman when used as a footrest. It also facilitates ease of movement around the chair. 

To save you lots of headaches when making an ottoman purchase. In this article, I have explored in detail the things you should consider when purchasing an ottoman.

The appropriate height, how to match it up with your furniture, how to position it accordingly, and how to choose one that best fits your style. 

Multiple ottoman options can make the task of choosing an ottoman daunting. I understand that. However, when I had the right information, I was able to make a better decision. I believe this information will help you in your quest for an ottoman. 

 In my outline of factors to consider before purchasing an ottoman, I’ve focused not only on the purpose of an ottoman but also on the color, shape, material, and size of the ottoman.

What is the appropriate size of an ottoman? 


According to Frank de Biasi, a New York-based interior designer, an ottoman is supposed to be at least 1 inch lower than its complimenting couch or chair.  The suitable height of an ottoman should be between 15.5 -22 inches.

An ottoman should preferably be the same height as the couch when serving as a footstool. 

Having a footrest that is too high or too low will result in you straining and being uncomfortable. It is recommended for you to test out ottomans of different heights to determine the height that suits your needs best.   

An ottoman meant for the foot of the bed should be lower than the bed by 2-3 inches. 

How do I choose an ottoman that best suits my style? 

Ottomans come in numerous design styles, the latest styles ranging from contemporary classics to traditional classics. Depending on your style, you have a variety of options to pick from.

Features like curved legs and tufting give your ottoman a regal look, speak the language of class and make solid statements. Did I mention that they cannot go unnoticed? 

A vibrant velvet or leather surface is an excellent option. I reckon the secret is to keep them as free from spills and dirt as possible, can’t pull off bright colors?

Then stick to dark shades. This is a win-win for you as you get to achieve style without sacrificing class. 

On the other hand, traditional ottomans exhibit a unique sense of style, they are conspicuous, and they stand out strikingly. 

 When styling your ottoman, both the living room and the ottoman should have one thing in common. The room will look less chaotic. It could be the color, style, material, or height. The choice is entirely yours. 

What is the right way to position an ottoman? 

The placement of your ottoman is entirely dependent on how you intend to use it. Positioning it accordingly changes the atmosphere in your living room drastically.

You can place an ottoman anywhere you like – besides your television or even by the corner of your living room, whatever suits your preference. But, when it comes to utilizing an ottoman in the bedroom, it works best near the foot of the bed. 

 In case you are using it as your footstool, consider having it next to the chairs for easy accessibility. 

Employing your ottoman as a decorative piece? Place it between two chairs and center it between two seats. It will draw attention as anticipated. 

What should you consider when buying an ottoman? 

1. Purpose 

This is the most crucial aspect when choosing an ottoman. The primary use of ottomans is as footrests. However, this multifaceted furniture can serve multiple purposes. 

They can make substitutes for coffee tables, add a tray to it, and you have a coffee table. 

Moreover, extra seating can be made from them, especially if there is limited space and an extra chair cannot be accommodated when hosting guests. Your coffee table can double up as a seat.

There are a set of ottomans made with removable lids. They are used for storage purposes. They whip spaces into shape in the most stylish ways. As well as living rooms, they can also be used in bedrooms to house bulky items, such as blankets, duvets, and extra bedsheets. Some ottomans can be converted into beds.

Running low on space, or you hosted more guests than you had anticipated? Then an ottoman is your go-to solution. 

2. Material 

Ottomans are prone to wear and tear because of their constant use depending on different households. Therefore, choosing the best durable material is crucial. Spills and stains can be more common in households with young kids and pets. 

Ottomans made of microfiber and acrylic covering are the best picks for you if your family consists of kids and pets. It is in your best interest as they are insusceptible to stains and are equally easy to clean.

You can also go for dark color shades as opposed to bright ones. Opt for those with tribal prints instead of plain ones. 

If you do not have kids or pets, you have a wider range to choose from.

3. Size 

When working with limited space, every inch has to count. Consequently, the size of an ottoman bought entirely depends on the space available. It should not be too big that it makes the room look clustered. 

The ottoman should not hinder people from maneuvering their way around the living room comfortably. The size of an ottoman can also depend on the number of things you plan to store inside it. 

Do you want to store more items in your ottoman? Then you should consider buying a larger one. 

4. Color 

Color plays an important role when you are choosing your furniture, and an ottoman is not an exemption.

Does the ottoman have to be the same color as your couch?

Well, you can choose to play around with colors; one rule of thumb is that they should complement each other. Choosing to contrast colors prevents you from having a clashing room.

Warm colors such as orange and yellow bring life to a room, while cool tones such as purple make their environs serene. 

5. Shape 

Ottomans come in various shapes; rectangular, circular, square, and cubic are the most common ones. There is more to ottomans’ shapes than just that. The function of an ottoman mainly influences the shape of the one bought.

Rectangular ottomans are better suited for the bedrooms. Circular, cube, and square ottomans are ideal for the living rooms as they are centerpieces to bring out their decorative function.

Leave a Comment