Ottomans are armless, upholstered seats or benches. They are available with a solid base or with decorative legs. Ottomans are most often used as a footstool, but they have other uses as well. Some ottomans are made hollow to provide room for storage, a feature that is particularly useful in small homes and apartments, where storage room are always welcome. Ottomans are available individually, as a component of sectional seating, or as part of an easy chair, sofa or loveseat set.
There are a few different names for footstools including pouffes, ottomans, hassocks and one you might not have heard of, crickets. Crickets were a small footstool no more than a foot high and provided a footrest for adults and seating for children in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. Many examples can be seen in portraits of the time with people posing with one foot on a low footstool. Fender footstools were much longer than a normal footstool and very low to the ground. They were designed to sit in front of an open fireplace and provided a footrest to help warm a number of peoples feet. There were also compartments for ceramic bottles which were filled with hot water to aid in the warming of toes.
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