Storage Ottoman

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A footstool, seat, table, and storage unit, all in one attractive li’l package

By Paul Anthony

My good half recently decided that she wanted a storage ottoman for our living room. I wasn’t aware of this particular furniture configuration until she pointed out the hundreds of versions available online. Turns out storage ottomans are all the rage these days, and for good reason. They provide a place to prop tired feet, sure, but they also offer convenient occasional seating, as well as a place to tuck couch blankets, pillows, or books out of sight but close at hand. Some can even convert into small coffee tables. Sizing typically ranges from a diminutive 15" height to a lofty 22" or so. And designs include everything from cheap collapsible units and fully upholstered pieces to wood versions that tend toward industrial and contemporary “crate-wood” styling. 

I wanted something with class and full functionality. After a bit of head scratching and pencil sketching, I came up with this version, which incorporates everything I desired. Being an approximate 17" cube, it’s a good size for both propping feet and taking a seat, while maintaining a small footprint and minimal weight for easy placement and maneuverability. The top lifts off for access to the interior, and removing the cushion creates a small table. I made the framework from walnut, veneering 1/2"-thick, shop-grade birch panels with maple on the sides and walnut on the lid. Whatever woods you choose, I recommend 1/16"-thick veneer for the lid for durability as a table top.

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