FURNITURE

Settee or Loveseat

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Settee or Loveseat

Settee

A settee by definition is a long and broad seating apparatus heavily upholstered with thick layers of foam or fiber and covered with a textile fabric all around. A settee is possibly the most common kind of seating contraption in every home and in some instances, offices.

Its framework is largely made out of wood but can they can also sport a metallic frame. Different variations of the settee are available and they may go by other more common names such as sofa or couch.

The name settee is actually quite rarely used today but it was the common name accorded this large seating apparatus particularly in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries.

Loveseat

A loveseat is a small stature upholstered seating option that is made to fit only two people. The name ‘loveseat’ was used to imply that the chair is made specifically for couples. 

Like the settee, the loveseat also features a multitude of designs and many variations of the loveseat exist but what does not change is the seating allowance which strictly accommodates only two adults.

The term loveseat is also decidedly rare even in the furniture business and most people simply regard it as a smaller couch or ‘two-seater’

Differences Between a Settee and a Loveseat

Size

The most significant difference is the size of the two. While a loveseat only seats two adults, a settee is designed large enough to accommodate more than two adults. Some settees will comfortably fit up to five adults. 

Larger settees such as those made to accommodate seven to ten adults are normally referred to as sofa sets, the term couch also seemingly relegated to the more modestly sized three-seater.

Conservatively, it is safe to say a love seat is a small settee.

Design

Both a settee and a loveseat can be designed of identical materials with the only difference being their seating capacity. This is usually the case if a settee and a loveseat are part of a single set of chairs or seats. 

In this scenario what you will have is a couch set comprising, for example, a ‘two-seater couch’, a ‘three-seater couch’, and a ‘one-seater single chair’, essentially a loveseat, a settee, and a single chair.

Single loveseats that do not form part of a set can be made of varying designs and shapes but a settee is fairly limited in design. The fact that it must bear the weight of three or more adults, as well as the compact padding, means that it must be a dense construction that seats low or close to the ground.

This limits the extent to which construction of the frame, in particular, can be fabricated for beauty.

The loveseat has fewer restrictions and some of them feature elaborate design work in the ‘legs’ of the seat. 

There are myriad possible designs that you can find in the legwork of a loveseat including spider legs, square legs, fluted, spiraled, tapered, saber legs, reeded legs, hairpin legs, cabriole, trumpet legs among others.

This freedom of design cannot be attempted with a settee since most if not all of these designs can barely hold the weight of an empty settee let alone one that is occupied.

The back and armrests of a loveseat can also exhibit delicately crafted design work that may or may not include the thick foam and fiber padding that is a hallmark of the settee.

Purpose 

In modern times, seats are designed for maximum comfort to accommodate sitting for long hours to watch our beloved televisions, use our laptops for some form of entertainment and glue our eyes to our phones as we wade endlessly through the internet.

For this reason, the settee is a much more common feature in our homes compared to the loveseat. Even with a decadent comfortable loveseat, most people enjoy lounging on the couch with their entire physical frames atop the couch for extra comfort.

A loveseat no matter how comfortable will force you to bend your legs which will not be a comfortable position for long. A loveseat is only suitable for this use if a child is using it since they may be able to stretch comfortably on the loveseat.

The extra-large seven to ten-seater settees are a crowd favorite since apart from accommodating so many people in one unit, lying down is very comfortable and they double up as beds should you be inclined to fall asleep as you watch your favorite shows.

The main purpose behind the loveseat was to encourage conversation between two people whether lovers or not. The loveseat gave the occupants close proximity to one another as well as the privacy of not being joined by intruders.

In a time before digital entertainment, the conversation was indispensable as a means of entertainment, engagement and as a source of the information, we get today from servers and folders. Today a loveseat would not be acquired for this purpose.

Space

Naturally, the bigger the space that you have the bigger the settee you can place in your space. A loveseat would conversely suit your space better if it is considerably smaller and a settee would overwhelm the room. 

If you do not have much room for seats then the decadent comforts offered by large settees and sofas will not be available to you but a well-made loveseat should provide decent seating space for your apartment.

In particularly large homes and living rooms, loveseats can serve as decor to occupy spaces that would otherwise look too bare and in many cases, they can be placed by large windows and beneath large paintings. 

These loveseats are ornately designed and stunningly attractive but almost never get utilized as seating options since the main living area has sofa sets that are used for this purpose.

Conclusion

Whether to have a loveseat or a settee is really a question of what you are looking to do with the seat. Both have value and utility aesthetically and functionally. 

A combination of both if you can accommodate them also provides uniquely beautiful and practical seating arrangements.

Tom Martins

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