HOW TO USE A POUFFE AT HOME
Furniture pieces and decorative accessories rolled into one, pouffes seem to be edging their counterparts out of the spotlight for a bit, in a rather elegant, and effortless fashion.
IS IT THE SAME THING AS AN OTTOMAN?
Many would feel so. The terms ‘pouffe’ and ‘ottoman’ are often used interchangeably, probably because the defining difference is so subtle.
Ottomans are believed to have been introduced to European styling sensibilities through Turkey, around the 18th-19th century; hence receiving their name from the ‘seat’ of the Ottoman empire. It’s also popularly agreed that ottomans as furniture styles are closer to – or evolving out of – the divan – a seating arrangement that was set up against walls, sometimes all along the length of a room.
The divan itself, as a name, has Persian roots, coming from the name for administration council congregations, where such seating was characteristic.
A pouffe – (not the hairstyle!) – from French for ‘puffed out,’ is differentiated from an ottoman for precisely that reason.
Ottomans and divans have the whole cushion and mattress approach going for them, but pouffes are pouffes because they’re simply more cushioned, and without the ottoman or divan-degree of architectural structuring to them.
Pouffes are softer. Less angular. They can be part of a set that includes other pieces of furniture. But, their ability to set styling tone and context on their own, is one of their biggest benefits.
WHERE DO I KEEP THE POUFFE SEAT THOUGH?
Well, that’s just the thing. Anywhere, anytime. It just glides into the room, and doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb either!
Still, some suggestions.
TOP SPOTS FOR POUFFES
First, here’s an interesting way to understand the impact of a pouffe. Let’s call it the find-a-pen phenomenon. What’s that, and what’s it got to do with a pouffe?
Let’s think back to all the times you may have rushed about at top speed, hoping to find a pen, when you’ve really, really needed it at that moment; and there’s one, just waiting patiently to be picked up.
The pouffe is that kind of lifesaver where furniture is concerned. It’s a busy room, and you’re looking around, reaching out for some seating to grab quickly – pouffes have got you sorted out, as handy, or improvised seating!
It’s a natural instinct to put the feet up or stretch them out during a relaxing activity, and when we want to unwind after a long day. Pouffes are great footrests for that, and it’s one of their most popular uses.
Another intuitively popular use is as decoration. Pouffes are aesthetic just as they are, and there’s much to explore or experiment with in terms of the kind of structured or deconstructed geometry, and the details of the fabric covering your pouffe.
For the ‘just-decoration’ objective, you can never go wrong with decluttered silhouettes and tonal colours. Using textured fabric is an understated way of adding dimensions, if you’d rather not go down the print and pattern route.
Nothing wrong with a motif here or there, or an-all over detail that’s not enmeshed with too many others.
However, it’s about taking a step back to assess the overall impact on versatility and utility, if that pouffe’s going to be moved from room to room. Then, there’s the issue of too many details on the upholstery fabric taking away from the simple beauty of the design itself.
Of course, you can get pouffes as part of a furniture styling set. Or, you can use them to create a visual layering effect, in terms of scale, shape, size; besides colours and textures in the upholstery fabric.
If you’re looking for something different to complete the look of a coffee table setup, a pouffe can be an easy and fun solution.
Depending on the dimensions of the pouffe, and the daily-use durability of the fabric in which it has been upholstered, a pouffe can make for a really interesting centre table, too.
If you like softer lines and silhouettes in your bedroom, or personal study, a pouffe can be the
subtle, but rather evident element of change in the landscape. What you use it for, is completely up to you. It could be entirely decorative, or it could be where you stack your books, and set up your AM-PM essentials.
Pouffes can also accompany bed benches, say, one to either side, to just ‘close’ the bed, bed bench, and side table set up. They help the bed bench balance not just the visual appeal, but also the ‘weightage’ around the room, in terms of distribution of furniture.
That said, you may like to replace the typical armchair, or the L-shape sofa arrangement, with a selection of same-shape, or small-medium-large pouffes. Again, simply to amplify the need for a soft, inviting energy, in a living space as private as the bedroom, or a WFH area.
House plants do a great job of this, actually – but pouffes can be something else, or additional, to try, when it comes to livening up corridors and lobbies.
Pouffes feel right at home in patios, balconies, or any other kind of connecting conduits that are inherently part of the architecture of your living spaces.
On reading this, maybe you’d feel like we’ve really saved the best one for last. Since barkitecture is very much a thing, we’re definitely suggesting pouffes for your pet. Go for it, and your pet’s going to be the popular one on the block!