The Ottoman Empire

Happy Thursday! I’m having a bit of a design dilemma today, so I thought I’d share it with you.

In our living room (ignore the random dog toys, rumpled couch,  and funky white balance) the hubs and I are currently using four storage ottomans  as a sort of footstool/coffee table hybrid.We got them on sale for about $10 each from Target.

They’re the perfect thing for when we have people over. They can function as ottomans or extra seating and we love having the extra storage for our Wii, blankets, dog toys, etc. The issue(s)?

  1. While we’re using green and charcoal throughout the living room, we’re not sure that the half-green-half-charcoal checkerboard is working for us.
  2. They’re suede-ish. I’m clumsy. There’s already a red wine stain on the top of one of the green ones (notice the strategically placed tray in the first picture). There’s no good way to clean them.
  3. Our kiddos (and by kiddos, I mean our cat, Fievel, and dog, Indy) like to use these as diving platforms, scratching posts, and sneaky corners to hide around. They take a beating.

That being said, we’d really like to keep them. They were inexpensive and we really need/lurve the storage and extra seating they provide.

What would you do? I need your advice! We want to have them done when our families come to our house for Thanksgiving (more on that later).

Thanks for the post idea, Danni!

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11 thoughts on “The Ottoman Empire

  1. Love the post title. Cracked me up 🙂
    I say keep ’em… you could always just use the 2 gray ones next to each other for a longer/leaner “coffee table” slash ottoman and tuck the green ones somewhere else in the room to be called up from the bench for extra seating when the time comes. Perhaps even a basket on them to corral pet toys?
    I agree with the comment above–trays on top of them are the easiest way to provide drink stability and a sleek “table top” effect.

  2. I have 1 of the green ones myself and I know what you mean. Unfortunately they’re not really high quality and already look kinda funky from the low impact my 2 cats have on just jumping on it occasionally. I have mine in my basement that is finished but not fully furnished and therefore not used a ton. Keeping an eye out for a more permanent solution in the future.

    I haven’t seen the charcoal one myself (not stocked at my Target), but if you are clumsy, I would replace the 2 green ones with 2 more charcoal. The stains will not show as well and you get the same storage. Also, I’d imagine the roughing up from the animals would be a little more concealed with the darker color. I think the solid color of all 4 together will more concretely ground that area as a solitary coffee table and give the illusion of a larger piece. You could even throw an Ikea sheepskin rug over the top and make it look more like 1 integrated piece… ooh that would be nice… 4 charcoal, white sheepskin, tray on top… yum.

    Regarding your already stained green one, check out how Pancakes and French Fries got rid of permanent marker from her sofa… it may or may not help you (just because you can’t throw yours in the washing machine) http://pancakesandfrenchfries.com/2009/09/how-to-remove-permanent-marker-ink-from-fabric/

  3. I bet you could pick a fabric that you like and just reupholster them. Would they be able to hold staples from a staple gun on the bottom and you could maybe use glue on the inside. If you’re concerned about seeing the green or charcoal through you could just wrap some batting around the cubes before putting the fabric on or if you sew at all you could buy a cheap muslin (or even a drop cloth from Walmart) and sew them together. That way you can pick any color or pattern (or no pattern even) that you want and you can switch it up later. Can’t wait to see how it turns out!

    • I like the reupholster idea. You can pick a fabric that will be easier to clean in the color you want! As for the pets, I think that’s inevitable damage. Maybe search around for pet friendly fabrics?

  4. Reupholstering is always an option…but it sounds like though the price was great that they still don’t serve your needs as well as they could. I would scour Craigslist or area garage/estate sales for something like a trunk, chest, or multi-level coffeetable. Something that will still provide storage but also have a sturdier, more solid surface to handle real-life living. Also, if storage is still an issue (hello isn’t it for all of us) I would utilize the vertical space in your living room. Maybe it’s a series of shelves, bookcase; etc. Just some thoughts. 🙂
    I’m sure whatever you end up doing will be great and will work well for your sweet little family.

    • i should just give you one of my garage sale finds (although I don’t think I can part with my trunk…maybe you can have Katie’s wicker trunk..). i like the reupholstering option myself. think of all the great different patterns out there that you could use!!

  5. You could always do that idea floating around on pinterest… take an old thrift store coffee table, paint it a fun color and reupholster the top to make it into one big ottoman! Before we got our coffee table, we used one of the leather-ette ottomans from Target. Our pup, Dudley isn’t very “destructive” though (aka he’s lazy lol), other than the occasional foam paint brush.

  6. Pingback: Design Dilemma: Passing the Bar (Again) « Little House. Big Heart.

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