I was flipping through my copy of Domesticities, a collection of house tours featured in The New York Times Magazine, and found myself pausing as usual when I got to pictures of the Houston home of John and Dominique de Menil, designed by Philip Johnson and decorated by Charles James. I love the contrast between the home's modern architecture and the antique furniture and bright colors brought in by James. I particularly like the seven-sided octagon that James designed for the living room, sitting in front of a Rothko and to the side of an antique Steinway piano.
Doesn't this look like a great place to spread out with a book from the collection visible to the left of the room? Or to sit and listen to the piano being played? The size of the ottoman is probably its most luxurious aspect; I know I certainly don't have room for a piece of furniture that size in my house, although if I did, I'm sure it would get a lot of use. It would be a great piece of furniture for kids--I can easily imagine my son using it to spread out on to read books or as a launching pad for adventures in flight.
Here are a few other large-scale ottomans on the market now if you don't want to go the custom route:
JAR Designs clover ottoman from Overstock
Graham large ottoman from Ballard Designs
Lotus Antrazit ottoman from CB2
Bevin tufted ottoman from Horchow
Oasis ottoman from Crate & Barrel
Image from Domesticities, photograph by William Abranowicz