Kick your colour phobia
Try an ottoman to brighten up middle of room
Q: I hate colour and printed upholstery. This fact is reflected in my small condo, as all my furniture is grey and nondescript, and I have white walls.
As a guy in my office purports, if you go to someone’s place and they have no books, you shouldn’t sleep with them because they have no colour and no soul. I now have a slightly more daring feeling, resulting from recent sunny days. I’m not so emboldened as to try wallpaper or a colourprint sofa, but possibly a large chair in a contemporary pattern. Suggestions welcome.
A: I nearly choked on my tea from laughing so hard when I read your bit about the books. I couldn’t tell whether you have books or not, but you can certainly express your colourful personality with a little colour in other things in your home.
An upholstered chair is a great way to add some colour to your space, but for people with colour phobia, an ottoman is even better. You can always throw a patterned pillow onto a grey armchair to add some life, but an ottoman will balance your space, giving you a nice shot of colour in the middle of the room.
There are plenty of patterned ottomans on the market (I’ve done a little shopping for you), but if you find a solid one in a style you like, you can choose any colour of fabric.
Also keep in mind that reupholstering an armchair will cost twice as much as an ottoman would, given that an ottoman would be much easier to reupholster. In fact, if you buy an ottoman that doesn’t have tufting or piping, you could reupholster it yourself.
When choosing a fabric, note that stains and spills are much less noticeable with darker textiles. An ottoman similar to the one in Julia Black’s home (as seen in the photo here) will work well in your space because the fabric’s grey background will pick up on your other grey furniture. (Because you’re colouraverse, I thought you’d appreciate that the only colours present in Julia’s den are on the two large paintings on her white walls and her broad-striped rug.)
In small living and lounging spaces where you can’t fit a sectional, an ottoman is a comfier place to put your feet up than a coffee table.
An ottoman with storage will give you a place to stow blankets, cushions or maybe your collection of soulful romance novels. And, if you entertain often, a grouping of cube ottomans can be separated during parties to give guests elegant spots on which to perch with a cocktail.
Finally, let’s talk books. With the growing popularity of e-readers, there are plenty of people who don’t have books. However, if you’re still concerned about your soul and desirability, stack a couple of coffee table books instead of a tray atop your colourful new ottoman.
Threshold Yellow White Trellis, $69.99 is at Target.ca. In small spaces, an ottoman is a comfy place to perch feet.
Salema cotton storage ottoman in Marimekko Pienet Kivet, $749 at EQ3.com.
Kelton cube ottoman, $995 at Elte.com.