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History of the Ottoman

Posted by on February 13th, 2012

We know and love them, the nice little fabric footstool at the end of your armchair. It’s the place where you put up your feet to rest at the end of a long day. This upholstered bench is often also used as an extra seat, or even a coffee table, but why do we call it an ottoman?

The original ottomans first got their name in the 1800’s, in Europe. Although now they look like little benches, the original ottomans were tall and round. This manner of sitting in a reclining position was associated with the East, and these little round footstools looked similar to the round hats of members of the Ottoman Empire (in modern day Turkey).

Ottomans quickly became common in Europe, and then the United States. Nowadays almost all upholstered armchairs are sold with ottomans.

With the help of this one little piece of furniture, we can really relax in style.

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