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The differences between a settee and a sofa.

Posted by Joshua Robbins

The differences between a settee and a sofa.

Furniture shopping can be tough; between hundreds of showrooms, thousands of designers, and just as many sales people, you can find yourself in a world of misinformation and shady dealing. You hear words like a buffet/sideboard, highboy or chiffonier, and armoire and wardrobe and that can send you running for the door. Remember the good old college days, where all that mattered were a roof, bed, and microwave? I do. Unfortunately, we can’t go back to the go old days; that is the price of evolution. However, we can have a better understanding of what is being discussed in home décor and how it can be used.

I am going to throw a fancy word at you know; settee. What? What is a settee? Well, some people say that a settee is just a fancy word for the loveseat. They will even further their argument by saying there is literally no difference. Unfortunately, this isn’t true and we can’t discard the word mentally as fancy sales jargon. Although the differences are minor, the least we can do is inform you of the differences.

Loveseat definition

Merriam-Webster defines the love seat as a double chair, sofa, or settee for two people. It was first used in 1846. Wait, what? I thought the settee and loveseat were two different things? Just bear with me; I promise this issue will be sorted by the end of this entry.

I see the loveseat as a small couch, which it is. I can take my argument even further by saying the love seat is also a chair that seats two people. Essentially, a loveseat is anything that seats two people or couple (hence the term loveseat). It can come in any style, but all loveseats come with distinguishing sections for each person to sit in. The love is also small enough to clearly indelicate that it only holds two adult people. You can purchase the love seat separately, or more commonly, as part of a living room set. A love seat- MAY feature upholstered arms, backless or lower backs, and higher armrests; this just really depends on the model.

Settee definition

Merriam-Webster defines the settee as a long seat with a back; this is the first definition. This word was first used in 1716. The second definition: that the settee is a medium size sofa with back and arms, implying that it is not small but larger than two seat loveseat. I have to agree with them here. When you look at a Settee, it is literally a bench with a back. If you consider a bench with a back a sofa, which I can, then you should see a settee as a medium size sofa—which I do. This is where it gets a little gray again; the settee always features a back and sometime arms. Much like a sofa, the settee can come in all styles of design, purchased separately, or purchase it as a part of a living room set.

The differences

obviously, there are the academic definitions that probably hurt issue versus helping it. My take away from the definitions is that they pretty much in the Settee are larger than the loveseat, which is true. The black and white of the matter is that the loveseat is built to hold two adult persons only, no, more. The settee is built to hold two or more people (typically 3). The settee always features a back, while some loveseats are backless and feature lower backs. Finally, while loveseat can always be purchased as an individual item, the settee maybe part of a sectional with can have many other pieces that can be added or moved as desired.

What should you buy?

I would choose a settee or a loveseat for your home based on how much space you have and more importantly, what you are using that space for. Others things I would consider is the design; does the design align with your home décor? Both items come in intricate to very plain designs, everyday use designs. Another thing to consider is practicality. The love seat can only sleep one large child while the settee which can change to a sleeper sofa and be used as an extra bed when you have guests or even frequent visitors.

In the end that choice is yours. Do your homework; investigate your living space and others you admire and look for similarities as well as difference. Find what you like and discard the rest. Eventually, you will have either a loveseat or settee defining your perfect living space.