15 Settees Perfect For Your Small Space

Skip the sofa section and consider its cousin, the settee, instead.

Photography by Barnard & Meyer

Small sofas are having a moment, and designers Penny Drue Baird and Kerry Joyce find that their cousin, the settee, doesn't just make a statement, it can easily become the most versatile seat in the house.

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PDB: This Neoclassical-inspired settee feels very one-of-a-kind and rather old-world. I could see it in a Victorian-style home in Atlanta or Charleston.

KJ: This one is a bit eccentric, so it needs to be used in the right mix. There are some living room pieces that function well for parties, and this could be one. I can imagine people perching on the seat, or leaning over the open back.


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KJ: This is a simple piece, but it definitely has style to it—for instance, the dowel detailing on the flared arm. I could see it in a man's office or a tailored bedroom.

PDB: It's a classic midcentury design that has a sporty feel. It would be nice with other wood pieces in the same color tone. But the cushions feel a little skimpy.


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PDB: This settee is very deep, so it's nearly as comfortable as a sofa. The top reads a little heavy to me, a bit high—I would add throw pillows in a contrasting fabric.

KJ: For the price, you can't beat it. The turned leg and nailhead detail are nice additions, lending this one a traditional English feeling.


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KJ: The lines are clean and beautiful, and the single long cushion adds a modern touch. Because the side silhouette is quite pretty, I can see a pair facing each other.

PDB: That back cushion offers a nice degree of comfort. This is a versatile piece that could work almost anywhere—a living room, a bedroom, a hallway, or a library.


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KJ: Holly Hunt always does wonderful pieces of excellent quality. The walnut finish is handsome, and the back and side profiles are attractive. It's comfortable, too.

PDB: This would look equally cool pulled up to a dining table or used as additional seating. The leather seat is slightly cantilevered—a thoughtful design element.


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PDB: This settee has everything. I love the stitching, and the play of the two different shades of leather, which adds a layer of interest. It would sit beautifully surrounded by rich brown woodwork.

KJ: The leather is going to age really well—it will still be handsome even after the upholstery gets a little beat up. It would be terrific for a small apartment, or in a home office.


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PDB: Everything old is new again. This iconic piece is from 1958, yet it still feels absolutely modern. It's fun and will add charisma to a room.

KJ: This is very sculptural—it's perfect for a smaller room. The back has a wonderful hand-sewn detail where the two pieces of fabric come together.


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KJ: The steel legs of this settee have a particularly feminine flair. It's sleek but still pretty. Ideal for a foyer, or as a breakfast table banquette—its depth is perfect.

PDB: It has a very tailored, minimalist look. Although the back is not very forgiving, there's a surprising amount of seating because the arms take up so little space.


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KJ: The shape of this is very pretty. It has real charm—lovely in a little girl's bedroom or a garden room. But I would switch out the cushion for something a bit softer.

PDB: Yes, you wouldn't want to sit on this for any length of time. But it has a rustic, summery appeal, and I could see it in a country house or sunroom.


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PDB: This piece is cool. It has its own funky flavor, and the fact that it can be used indoors or out is a . I see it on a Palm Beach loggia, though in a different fabric.

KJ: I visualize it in a sunroom, upholstered in a romantic fabric. Its best feature is the interesting trellis back, so you should avoid putting it against a wall.


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