Why You Need a Loveseat
When you’re choosing proportions for seating, it’s not just about maximizing room to stretch out. The size of your seating will affect your entire layout and how you’re able to arrange the rest of your furniture. Here’s how to know if a loveseat is the right fit for your design.
What Is a Loveseat?
A loveseat is bench-style seating that is bigger and more comfortable than an accent chair, but smaller and typically cheaper than a sofa. Loveseats also generally lack a back cushion, which plays up their slim profile.
A loveseat’s trim frame makes it popular for compact spaces like a loft or office, but it can also add a unique, unexpected silhouette along a dining room table or at the foot of a bed. Perfectly petite, it makes shoe removal easy in an entryway or large dressing room where you need middle-size seating.
Why Is it Called a Loveseat?
A loveseat gets its name from its size, which is just right for two people to cuddle. There’s legend that the name came from its origins: providing couples in the Victorian era an excuse to sit close together without stirring up gossip or scandal.
More commonly, the loveseat is said to have been designed for Victorian ladies to fan out their enormous dresses, making it more of a luxury seat for one. This story associated the loveseat with being a sign of wealth.
What Is the Difference Between a Loveseat and a Sofa?
The main difference between a loveseat and a sofa is simply width. Both a sofa and a loveseat can come with or without cushions and arms, so it’s truly a matter of scale. That being said, sofas are available in a wider range of shapes and sizes compared to loveseats (e.g. sectionals), so they give you more arrangement options.
A sofa’s thicker cushions take up more visual space, so if you prefer a sleeker look or you’re trying to keep your apartment from seeming cramped, a loveseat or two can be a fix. Because of their smaller size, loveseats are pretty restricted to being complementary pieces, at least in living room setups. Two matching loveseats, however, takes less time and research than finding an accent chair to pair with your sofa.
What Are the Dimensions of a Loveseat?
Loveseat dimensions range between 48-72 inches wide, though seating over 71 inches is technically verging on sofa width. Measure out space beyond the loveseat’s frame to include the possibility of an end table, ottoman, etc. When you’re pairing your loveseat with other chairs, keep your furniture arm and leg heights within four inches of each other. This keeps conversation easy and balances your pieces, so they don’t look awkward.
It’s important to find seating that fits into your lifestyle as well as your space. So if you’re frequently playing hostess, opt for a larger loveseat or consider alternative Types of Chairs. As you narrow down loveseat frames, pay attention to style. Rolled arms make afternoon naps more comfortable, but square arms provide a sleek look and the perfect resting place for your drink.
Best Material for a Loveseat
As you’re considering your loveseat’s placement, make sure to choose a material that suits the space and your lifestyle. For example, a silk or velvet loveseat will maintain its luster and beauty in places that aren’t prone to stains or moisture, as this will yellow and shrink the fabric. And in kid- or pet-friendly spaces, a durable microfiber, polyester, or performance leather will last the longest.
When you’re choosing a fabric, keep in mind that while a loveseat is smaller in size, a loud pattern or bold color will appear to take up more space making it a perfect accent to larger area. However, stick to neutral solids if your style goal is seating that doesn’t visually overpower your space. These light-colored, quiet fabrics are also timeless, so they’ll never go out of style.
When you need more help rounding out your living room setup, read our guide to Living Room Decorating Ideas. If you’re looking at loveseats for their slim profiles, check out our Top 10 Small Living Room Ideas for more solutions.
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