I’m a big fan of multi-functional furniture, and ottomans certainly fit that description.

I think every home should have at least one.

In the world of furniture, the word ‘ottoman’ originally referred to a particular sofa style.

I kid you not.

Of course, this was back in the 18th century, and things have changed somewhat since then.

Furniture historians aren’t exactly sure why this one-time sofa morphed into a padded stool, but there you have it.

Now, you might be wondering what’s so great about an ottoman, so let me explain.

In my living room, we have a large ottoman that is roughly 4 ft x 5 ft in size.

This one piece of furniture can hold multiple stacks of books and magazines, thereby serving as a coffee table.

Yet it can just as easily fill the need for extra seating.

In addition, if the top surface is flat and sturdy, it can even hold a tray of food.

In fact, it’s big enough to accommodate all three at one time!

Better still, you can snuggle up in a chair and rest your feet on it, if you’re so inclined.

Clearly, the ottomans’ ability to combine three distinctly differently types of furniture (i.e. a table, seating, and a foot rest) into a single piece is an important consideration if you are in the market for new furnishings.

If your living room has the space to accommodate an ottoman, the 3-in-1 concept will certainly be easier on your budget.

Even if you live in a smaller space with limited options, the dual-purpose ottoman is ideal.

Just be sure to stick to a scale that is appropriate for the size of the room.

Again, I ask you.

How many other pieces of furniture can accommodate your needs this efficiently?

None that I can think of.