When the Stool Went Pouf!

The omnipresent pouf — that tiny, yet oh so comfy extra little seat that’s the handiest home accent you’ve ever purchased — was once just known as the lowly stool. So when did this little chair literally go pouf?pouf feature image

(Far right, The Shaggy Pouf, made of recycled jeans, from GO Home Ltd.)

Let’s get back to those stools. They typically came as a matching accessory to an easy chair or better yet a glider – most likely with coordinating fabric. The stool carried many aliases — the footstool, tuffet, hassock or ottoman are just a few! Ottomans were often hollow and utilized for storage. Eventually they made there way into other rooms in the home such as the living room the bedroom, gaming room, family room and guest room. Leather and bench ottomans also became an alternative to sofas.dick van dyke_ottoman

(Dick Van Dyke’s weekly run in with his ottoman. DIck and Laura in happier times with their hassock.)

The ottoman was brought to Europe from Turkey in the late 18th century. The word ottomane to refer to furniture appeared at least as early as 1729 in French.The first known recorded use in English occurs in one of Thomas Jefferson’s memorandum books from 1789: “P[ai]d. for an Ottomane of velours d’Utrecht.” In Turkey, an ottoman was the central piece of family seating and was piled with cushions. In Europe, the ottoman was first designed as a piece of fitted furniture that wrapped around three walls of a room. The ottoman evolved into a smaller version that fit into the corner of a room.

A tinier, stand alone piece of furniture that featured a cushion and fabric covering, tuffets are probably the closest of all relatives to the modern day pouf.poufs from GO Home Ltd.

(a few selections from GO Home Ltd.’s pouf collection, l-to-r: Vintage Sack Ottoman, Off White Pouf, Round Banana Stool, Furball Ottoman)mare antoinetteThe pouf is not to be confused with the hairstyle made popular during 18th-century France by the Queen of France, Marie Antoinette (1755–1793)

During the 19th century ottomans began to take on a circular or octagonal shape. Seating areas were divided in the center by arms or by a central, padded column that might hold a plant or statue. Fast forward to today’s night clubs and bottle service and the pouf rose to new heights of popularity.m decco nighclub cannes nighclub poufs

(M. Decco nightclub in Cannes and a New York City nightclub with glowing, sugarcube poufs)

About GO Home Ltd.
We Bring the World to You

For over ten years, GO Home Ltd. has traveled the world curating the most exotic, unusual and rare home artifacts to inspire their line of vintage-inspired and handcrafted, antique reproductions. We understand the importance of home and how good it feels when your environment looks beautiful, comfortable and welcoming. With a focus on a superb customer service experience and the addition of 400+ new products per year to our catalog, we hope to enliven everyone to reach a new level of inspiration and create the home of their dreams.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *