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The Essential Guide to the Loveseat

The Essential Guide to the Loveseat
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Bigger isn’t always better. Case in point: the petite settee (aka love seat), which tucks effortlessly into less-than-spacious rooms, lends intimacy to open floor plans, and is the perfect go-to for apartment dwellers. Read on for all the reasons we love it.

Photo by Julien Fernandez/GAP Interiors

Photo by Julien Fernandez/GAP Interiors

Fabulous people use settees in all sorts of fabulous ways.

“In bedrooms, they can hold books, clothes, or even suitcases. And they make the best dog beds—dogs love being off the floor and on a cushion,” says New York City designer Howard Slatkin. “I also love a loveseat in a bathroom—it brings in a sense of comfort, helps make the room less clinical, and is such a handy place to set towels or a bathrobe.”

Photo by Joe Schmelzer

Photo by Joe Schmelzer

They’re small enough to tuck into tight entryways…

…but large enough that you can walk in the door and basically collapse on one after one of those days. Le sigh.

 

Photo © Meredith Corporation, All Rights Reserved

Photo © Meredith Corporation, All Rights Reserved

Two are twice as nice.

Lauren Geremia (the Bay Area-based design talent behind Instagram’s offices) uses them in pairs, facing each other, to encourage conversation. “To offset what some might view as a conventional arrangement, I’ll play around with settees in contemporary shapes, fabrics, and colors,” she says.

Photo by Barry Calhoun; styling by Sharie Hunter

Photo by Barry Calhoun; styling by Sharie Hunter

As far as intimate seating solutions go, they’re the clear winner.

Loveseats can fit into nooks too narrow for a full-size sofa or create a cozy seating vignette in an open floor plan when paired with a side table or a chair. Plus, in one of these two-seaters, you’ll need no excuse to scooch up close to your seatmate. Hubba hubba.

 

Photo by Lucas Allen/GMA Images

Photo by Lucas Allen/GMA Images

They might be small, but you can still pile them with pillows.

As for how many pillows to use, designers and stylists tend to stick to the visual rule that objects look best in odd numbers. And a trio of pillows just so happens to perfectly span the width of most settees.

 

Photo by John Downs/GAP Interiors

Photo by John Downs/GAP Interiors

They conjure up Marie Antoinette-inspired fantasies.

This is especially true of ornate designs with intricately carved wood, luxe upholstery, and rolled arms. Even if you don’t possess a dressing room fit for a queen, placing a fancy, feminine design in one corner of your bedroom will imbue it with just the right amount of royal.

Photo by Kimberly Genevieve

Photo by Kimberly Genevieve

Stylistically, they run the gamut.

Whether your space is all eclectic textiles and well-loved leather, sharp angles and bold color-blocking, or bead-board and shabby-chic furnishings, there’s a settee to match. You have your bench-style bamboo numbers, your mini chesterfields, your curvy skirted styles, and your sleek contemporaries. Convinced, yet?

Photo by Nicole LaMotte

Photo by Nicole LaMotte

They make the best kid-size couches!

A settee is a great piece to phase into your children’s rooms to help them transition from tot to tween. Just think: It’s as if all the best attributes of the sofa—deep seats, comfy cushions—have been shrunk down, Mini-Me style, and if the kids tire of it, you can work it into another room in your home.

 

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