I love settees!!! A settee is a small or medium sized sofa for 2 or more people, with a back and usually with arms. Settees date back to the 17th century Europe, which shows that well designed pieces or archetypes never go out of style!! I think that settees are appropriate in many settings (foreshadow to future blog....), but my favorite use is at a dining table.
I first became enthralled with the settee when I first moved into my house; I have a kitchen with a breakfast nook that is also open to a dining room. I didn't want to enter the kitchen and see a table with chairs looking onto a table with chairs. I thought a settee would be a perfect solution for this space; as luck would have it, the day I moved in there was an estate sale in my neighborhood and they had 2 settees available!! I fell in love with one, it had wood arms and legs and a simple straight lined upholstered back. It was from the 1950's and the price was good, but alas, sigh, it had a big stain on the seat. I was planning on having it reupholstered anyway, but the owner had several cats and I was afraid it was a urine stain and I would never be able to get rid of the smell; I could get new stuffing, but was worried about the wood and the springs being sprayed also. On to settee number 2 - it had a wing back and was quite charming. I bought it , took it home and it sat in my basement for 2 years until I found a Mitchell Gold settee that sits in my breakfast nook now. Settee number 2 ended up at Goodwill and I hope it found a good home!!
There are several reasons I like settees in dining areas: First of all, I love the look of them, I like the soft upholstered surface in a kitchen area, I like the unexpected element of it at a table, I like that they add a pop of color or pattern to a space, I like that they are comfortable and people can lounge when watching you cook, I like that they remind me of dining in a restaraunt (in my own home) and I like the fact that they encourage people to linger after a meal and have a glass of wine or coffee. In short, I am a big fan of the settee!!
Below are a few photos I found of settees in dining areas (including mine). Enjoy!!