PERFECT PAIRING: THE COCKTAIL OTTOMAN, COMPLETE WITH A BAR TRAY

by Marisa Marcantonio

Often called cocktail ottomans,  the ottoman with a large tray for easy serving delivers the ideal dual-function piece. If you have a large scale square ottoman, there are great trays you can place on top, to create a surface area to hold a portable makeshift bar and all that goes along with cocktail hour. If you don't and have been searching for a go-the-distance piece that suits a family room well, here are a few varied suggestions to help you on your hunt.

From the just-launched partnership, decoupage artist John Derian has created a scallop-edge lacquer tray with The Lacquer Company, the highly specialized British brand that has worked with Rita Konig, Stephen Gambrel and Martin Brudnski on trays and small tables.  Available in pea green, vivid red and black, the substantial shiny piece is a statement maker, just the piece that can play bar and tray table, as seen above.

Photos courtesy of Oomph

With crenelated cut out details resembling a fortified castle, high sides and ample handles, the Edgartown tray from Oomph makes an impromptu bar an easy reality. Oversized with a generous surface area, the lacquer tray will look at home on a large ottoman or etagere shelf.

A tray this size can be slightly unwieldy to move around frequently, so the Chatham ottoman below makes a nice perch for it.

Covered in raffia with discreet nailhead trim, this new square ottoman, the Chatham,  from Oomph is an easy substitute when you need a space-friendly square upholstered piece to put your feet up rather than a rectangular one.  The carved bobbin leg adds an additional decorative detail with traditional flair.

Photo courtesy of Mr. and Mrs. Howard for Sherrill

A mid-century modern silhouette with an additional shelf for books, Mr. and Mrs. Howard's Un Deux Tray Ottoman has a streamlined walnut base, cut corners and upholstered top that holds a faux shagreen covered tray in a recessed section in the middle. 

Photo courtesy of Bunny Williams Home

With a built in tray, the Tray Chic Ottoman from Bunny Williams Home has the best of both worlds with a tufted edge and inset removable tray, it has versatility to be a workhorse.

Tailored and traditional, Hickory Chair's Bexley Otoman in leather with a sliding tray inside, has an x stretcher and tapered wooden leg on casters, ideal for a subdued chic look in a study.

FALL 2012 HIGH POINT MARKET ROUND UP: 15 SMALL OTTOMANS WITH BIG APPEAL

by Marisa Marcantonio

Whether it has an x-base or is fully upholstered, small benches and ottomans are a great addition to the end of a bed or in seating arrangements. Providing an extra perch or a place for a bag or throw, they serve a smart dual function role. Small pieces were aplenty at High Point Market, and here is a round up of some favorite pairs for bunching  and to use stand-alone pieces.

A pair of white Consulate x-base benches in turquoise upholstery at Century Furniture.

Slatted x-base Rockwell benches at Century that feel very Spanish in derivation.

Century's upholstered Canter Ottoman with nail head trim and tapered leg.

A diminutive low footstool at Hickory Chair.

Mr. and Mrs. Howard from Sherrill has these cut corner upholstered benches with cushioned tops and storage inside. All I could think of is that they would make the best dog beds for a pair of dogs.

Wesley Hall had an upholstered pair of curved ottomans, version 75, with skirted base.

Bernhardt's wooden base bench with leather top is very French 40s.

 Resembling highly coveted vintage finds, Drexel Heritage had the Eve Ottomans. Tufted, upholstered stunners with an arched leg merge the best of old and new. 

Thibault Furniture's Preston Ottoman with a cushion top and bamboo ridged white leg are perfect for country and coastal settings.

Ralph Lauren Home's classic x-benches with tight seat and nailheads in a blue fabric.

A pair of 69W Parsons-style upholstered and tufted x-benches from Wesley Hall have got it going on with contrast trim.

Upholstered in a graphic geometric fabric with orange trim.

Mr. Brown debuted a quatrefoil tufted ottoman with contrast trim on bobbin legs and casters that sits next to an upholstered clean-lined one with button tufting, both in natural linen.

Studio A had a metal bench with an x-base and dog head finials called The Bow Wow Bench.

 In a zippy red, Arteriors x-base upholstered Tennyson Bench with nail head border is a plush option.