The Settee Revival

Published: August 24th, 2015

Whenever most of us think of a settee, we usually think of some terribly ornate, underutilized and uncomfortable relic sitting in a grand foyer in Downton Abbey. Well, times have changed and a settee revival is underway.  Offering enormous practicality with a sense of flair, today’s settees come in a range of styles from traditional to contemporary and even mid-century modern.

Like an elongated lounge chair with an upright back, a settee sits more shallow than a sofa but deeper than a bench. That mid-depth dimension can make the settee a perfect replacement for a pair of lounge chairs, reducing clutter and streamlining the look. Check out the effect in the room below. Note, too, the modern twist of all black upholstery and paint on the traditional form, creating a pitch-perfect counterpoint to a contemporary room.

Black Settee
Kit Republic

By virtue of their size, settees often feature a sculptural quality,too.  The effect can be dazzling, like this facing pair of settees that pop with color in a grand, traditional setting.

Modern Sette
Tamara Bickley Design

Got a smaller space? Spruce up a reading corner with a modern settee.  This one, upholstered in a variety of colors and textures, is both contemporary and cozy.

Modern Settee
Settee by One Kings Lane


Get the idea? Now check out some of my favorites:

Donghia: Giselle Settee


Otium Sofa
Orange Skin: Otium Sofa


Haute Living: Nest Sofa by Mooi
Haute Living: Nest Sofa by Mooi


Lastly, this settee, made from a bathtub, belongs to a certain Ms. Holly Golightly. Makes you want to curl up in it like… well, “Cat!”