Ottoman Makeover – Thinking Outside the Box

My client just downsized into a tony townhouse in Nashville and moved a good deal of the furnishings from her former, much larger home. This ottoman/coffee table was the perfect size for her living room in the previous home.  In the smaller space, it dominated the entire room (and not in a good way).  It is a custom piece, and not inexpensive.  What to do?


As it was, the skirt made it feel larger and heavier than the space could handle. I knew that if you could see the floor beneath, it wouldn’t feel as large.

skirted ottoman


So we took a peek beneath.  Thankfully, the legs were wooden and nicely stained.



I learned a trick while staging hundreds of homes for sale over the last ten years:  unbroken floor space always makes a room appear larger. That’s why I recommend leggy furniture in small spaces and prefer to skip bedskirts – even that little bit of extra floor space you can see without it makes the space feel open and bigger. There were about two thousand staples that had to be removed, but the end result was worth it:

ottoman makeover


Do you have furniture that’s not working for you?  Don’t just get rid of the piece – think outside of the box.  It might save you enough money to buy a new rug instead – which is what we did here!

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  1. Sherry

    What a great save and what a difference.

  2. Susanne

    Love the leggy look! I have always voted for furniture with visible legs, but I had never thought of avoiding bedskirts for the same reason! Thank you for the insight, Kristie!

    • Paula Van Hoogen

      I abandoned bed skirts 10 years ago for that reason and…. the bed making ease that it gives me and….
      no vacuum cleaner catching the fabric in it’s mouth! Check out Fitted Box Spring covers. They’re the bomb!

  3. Paula Van Hoogen

    Kristie, you are one smart cookie!!!!
    Great thinking 🙂

  4. jodi


  5. Sherry

    PERFECT! Turned out so pretty :>

  6. Jean from Georgia

    What a shame the old design did not work in her new space, it was such a pretty ottoman. Yes, the open space under the new look Is pretty, too.

  7. Jayme

    AMAZING! Wow! That ottoman has great legs-glad it finally got to show them off! 🙂 I so much prefer clean lines than lots of fabric-just gives such a fresh look! Great thinking outside that box!

    • Kristie Barnett

      Thanks, Jayme – I was so happy to see those legs under all that fabric 🙂

  8. MarySue

    It’s better in every way!

  9. Mary CC from CA

    You did your magic again Kristie. A beautiful example well done !

  10. angela@spinachtiger

    I like legs showing on all upholstery. It’s so much fresher and more modern. This was a great change.


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