Shopping for Settees

What to do when you want more than the single seat offered by chair, but you haven’t got room for a sofa? Consider a settee.

Unlike a deep sofa that you sink into, a settee is usually lighter and leggier. That means it can squeeze into any number of spaces.

“A settee is essentially a sofa that’s scaled very small,” said Suzanne Kasler, an interior designer based in Atlanta, whose latest book, “Edited Style,” will be published next month. “It’s much more petite.”

Ms. Kasler has designed settees for Hickory Chair and puts them in foyers, bedrooms, dining areas and the tightest corners of living rooms.

“You can put a little table with it,” she said of the settee, “and it will give life to a part of the room you might not think could fit a whole seating area.”

And while most settees are fairly small, they offer the opportunity to make a big design statement, if you choose one with a graphic fabric or sculptural lines.

“A lot of times, I’ll use it as a creative accent,” Ms. Kasler said. “It’s often one of my favorite special pieces.”

  • Will a settee be comfortable? “Some settees sit like a sofa,” with deep, squishy cushions, Ms. Kasler said, while others feel more like a padded bench. The best choice depends on where the piece will be used and your personal preference.

  • Should it have arms? Ms. Kasler prefers armless models, which provide maximum flexibility in tight spaces, but arms can add comfort.

  • Do you need to add throw pillows? “Yes, pillows are always great,” Ms. Kasler said, even when the settee is much smaller than a traditional sofa.

Mingle Sofa

Sheepskin upholstered settee by Flemming Lassen

$10,549 at Menu Design Shop:

Bloke Sofa

Small-scale sofa with wraparound back

$2,795 at Blu Dot: 844-425-8368 or

Fenn Black Cord and Leather Settee

Paper-cord-wrapped metal settee with removable leather cushions by Nicholas Obeid

About $1,800 at CB2: 800-606-6252 or

Sawni Settee

Gray-washed ash-wood frame settee with linen upholstery

$2,098 at Lulu and Georgia:

Fenwick Settee

Settee upholstered in triangle-print Nomadic Fossil fabric

About $2,600 at Arhaus: 866-427-4287 or

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