In addition to having a comfy place to kick up your feet, a storage ottoman affords the extra convenience of a concealed space to house magazines, board games or anything else that would otherwise create clutter in your living room or den. If you have a regular ottoman, you can easily convert it to a storage unit. Here's what you need to know.
The first step to converting a regular ottoman into a storage ottoman is to remove the fabric from the ottoman. If you would like to reuse this fabric, carefully pull out any staples that connect the fabric to the wood. Be sure to determine if there is enough of the old fabric to wrap around the new top as well as to finish the bottom. If you are going to completely reupholster the storage ottoman, rip out the existing fabric and remove all staples. This will allow you easier access to the main ottoman.
The most important step in this entire process is removing the top to create a hinged door. For some ottomans, this may involve heavy-duty cutting. But in most cases the top is just nailed to the sides in which case you can simply pry off the top. First, remove any nails or staples that attach the top to the sides. Then, pry between them until you can lift the top off. If the sides are weak, this is the time to add small supports with dowels.
Using screws, attach the hinges to the box and then to the door. Usually, two hinge joints is enough to allow for easy opening and closing. Two hinges will also help stabilize the ottoman. If possible, use hinge joints that can be installed on the inside of the ottoman so they won't be visible on the outside.
Take care to replace the door properly to maintain the stability of the unit. Because people will be putting their feet on the ottoman it needs to be level. An uneven door, even if placed on a level ottoman, can eventually ruin the ottoman itself. Simply grab a level to make sure that your ottoman hinges are level, and that your door fits snugly where the top used to be.
5–Add New Upholstery
Finally, you need to upholster the ottoman. You will want to reupholster the whole unit not just the top. Be sure to use fabric on the inside as well to finish the look while keeping your stored goods safer and cleaner. You may even use a different fabric on the inside for a more interesting storage ottoman.