Designing for Comfort... Three: Put a Few Cubes in the Great Room

Ways to make mountain rooms more comfortable for living.

Saffavieh Maison Cube
Cubes are the single most practical item you can add to your great room or living room. In fact, I use them in almost every project I work on. A cube is a little ottoman or stool that is upholstered on four sides and the top. It is usually 18-20” by 18-20” and about that tall, also.

Custom Kravet Cube in Ralph Lauren Fabric

I like to tuck cubes in between the fireplace and the coffee table where they can be used for extra seating or perching by the warm fire.  If your room simply won't accommodate lounge chairs with matching ottomans, try cubes.   They are great for pulling up to use as a foot stool, and take up much less room than ottomans.  Or try putting several together to create a coffee table (see photo above).  

Cubes are especially handy for large crowds. They can be pulled into the room and placed wherever they are the most useful for extra seating. Or, If you are serving a big buffet dinner, people can pull them up to the coffee table and use them for dinner seating.

One of the best things about cubes is that they can be slipped into most rooms without taking up significant floor space. Then you can move then around when you have a crowd.  I find that the most likely place to place them is in that often dead space between the coffee table and the fireplace. However, you can also try tucking them under the coffee table if you have 18" of clearance underneath. Alternatively, if you have a console table behind your sofa, you may be able to place two cubes side by side underneath it. You can even use a pair to flank a chest or desk against one of the walls.
Claire Ottoman from Barclay Butera
I love this cube by Barclay Butera, above and have used pairs of them in several client projects. The top flips up for extra storage…fill it up with the kids toys. Isn’t it handsome?

Custom Cube by Dragonfly Designs
The photo above shows one of a pair of cubes I had custom-made for a client. She has a huge gorgeous old turn-of-the-century stone fireplace and likes to pull the cubes up close when it's in use. Otherwise, she has placed them next to the sofa where they are often topped with a tray to hold a drink or magazine. This is a perfect example of how cubes perform dual roles.

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