If you love watching TV or reading a good book or if you simply want to enjoy a moment of relaxation on your sofa, the footstool is the right accessory because it allows you to relax and stretch your legs, improving your state of comfort and well-being. With its modest size, the footstool has become an essential furnishing accessory for the living room: a fabric footrest next to a sofa or an armchair, with matching or contrasting upholstery, gives style and character to the living area. The footstool can be an indispensable element even if you spend a lot of time sitting at a desk for work purposes. An incorrect posture can cause minor back problems in the long run: in this sense, office footstools offer the right lumbar support by improving posture and blood circulation and keeping the back straight.
Features and dimensions of a footrest
The footrest is a multiform, very light, easily moveable complement from one room to another, with a height ranging between 30 and 50 cm. Usually it consists of a base, in most cases in metal or wood, and a padded element that can take different forms. As far as the base is concerned, the four-spoke metal footrests give a feeling of lightness and refinement while the elegant and minimal sledge footstools have an unparalleled stability. Some footstools do not have a real base but only a structure inside the padding: in these cases, we tend to talk about poufs. The padded element can take different forms: triangular, cubic, parallelepiped, round. It has an internal wooden structure. The soft padding is mainly made of polyurethane foam, polyester or similar materials and is covered with fabric or leather. The fabric can be removable and washable but also waterproof. Alternatively, some footstools have a resin or synthetic shell, others a padding with polystyrene or polyester microspheres. The wooden footstools, on the other hand, are unpadded but very resistant and durable over time.
How to choose the right footstool for your needs
A design footstool is a versatile object that can have multiple functions in addition to improving the physical well-being of those who use it. A container footstool, for example, is extremely useful if you need space to store magazines, plaids or other personal items. Upholstered footstools are essential when the number of guests in the house is greater than the capacity of your sofa: footstools can in fact become, if necessary, very useful and soft extra seats or even support surfaces. For an elegant and refined living area, the choice falls on the leather footstool with wooden or metal base. The footstool can also be found in the bedroom, perhaps next to an armchair. There is no shortage of outdoor footstools or swimming pool footstools, covered with fabrics resistant to the weather and humidity. For the little ones, choose instead the children's footstools, colorful and decorated with playful scenes and multicolor symbols.
Enhancing a living environment? With the footrest you can
The choice of an Ottoman in addition to functionality takes into account purely aesthetic aspects. Having your own living area with the sofa or armchair combined with a footstool, makes the environment more refined, elegant and refined. It is no coincidence that the most famous footstool in the history of design is always represented in combination with the armchair of its same series: we are talking about OTTOMAN, leather footrest designed by Charles Eames and the armchair LOUNGE CHAIR. This is exactly why footstools are often covered with the same fabric as the sofa and armchairs to which they are attached. The more daring use contrasting coloured fabrics or with strong geometric patterns or with floral, striped, patterned and much more motifs. If you have in mind a minimalist environment, a monochrome footstool or covered with a fabric with neutral colors is for you.
Curiosities and history of footstools
Footrests have been known for many years and have evolved throughout history. Footrests were already known in ancient Egypt: they were present in houses and temples in various forms and were used to rest the feet. They were considered a family heirloom and were passed down from one generation to the next. The footstool was reborn in the sixteenth century but was also used for different purposes: it was a comfortable seat for children or a comfortable chair and easily transportable. It was made of wood, but its design often differed according to its use and the socio-economic position of the owner. In the 18th century it was popular to have a low footstool to be placed in front of the fireplace long enough to allow all members of the family to place their feet and warm them up. Footstools made of wood or other traditional materials have always been objects of common use in everyday life from the seventeenth to the nineteenth century. In the first American houses it was very precious and occupied an important space even if the lodgings were narrow. Today the modern footstool combines tradition and innovation, decoration and functionality and is an object present in almost every home. It brings warmth and practicality together and gives your feet the right amount of rest.
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