Have you ever seen or heard a reference to something in conversation or online or in a magazine and thought to yourself “so THAT’s what that is!” or “Really? I thought that was a ___.”
So have we, so we thought we’d start a new series to help highlight a few of these “aha!” moments. Whether you’re looking for clarification, wanting to learn a new term, or just curious about design, these posts are for you!
A Couch by any other name…
Today we’re going to kick off the series with a discussion about a popular piece of furniture we all know well. However, when you use the term “couch” or “sofa,” is that really what you’re referring to? Or is it a settee? A chaise? A divan? Or maybe even the elusive Recamier? Let’s find out.
1. The Settee
The settee can be defined as a long seat for more than one person, typically with a back and arms. The profile of the settee tends to be more upright than a sofa, but not as deep. This allows for the piece to be perfect for tight spaces where the sheer size of a full sofa may overwhelm a room. They are also great for decorating, whether filled with throw pillows or stacked with books. Looking to be even more creative? How about using one as a kid-sized couch or a stylish dog bed? So many possibilities!
2. The Chaise Longue
French for “long chair,” the Chaise Longue (no, that’s not a typo – “lounge” is très américain) can be defined as a chair for one, sometimes with one or two arms, sometimes without, and always having a back. The chaise is meant for reclining, with extended space for one’s legs, and has a unique style that can be incorporated into almost any room design. A chaise with a shorter arm (or no arm at all) is a great piece to break up a larger room, offering seating from both sides!
3. The Divan
The Divan can be defined as a long, low sofa without a back or arms, typically placed against a wall. Based on traditional Middle Eastern seating, divans tend to be upholstered with multiple pillows added along the back for extra comfort. These versatile pieces are used for both seating and sleeping, adding to their appeal as a functional design element. The modern divan is similar to a daybed, only closer to the floor.
4. The Recamier
Named after French society hostess Madame Récamier (1777–1849), the Recamier can be defined as a backless sofa with two scrolled ends, accessible from either side for sitting. Modern alternatives may not have ends, allowing for a sleeker look. As with the chaise longue, the Recamier is a great option for breaking up a large space, boasting access from both sides.
Have you incorporated any of these pieces into your design? Let us know – we’d love to hear your stories and see photos!
For more information about any of our luxury home communities in Scottsdale or the Northwest Valley, please contact:
Gold Mountain Preserve (Phoenix/Northwest Valley): Patti Strait, 602-908-8511
Bocara (North Scottsdale): Hilal Chaboun, 480-735-4652
The Villas at DC Ranch (North Scottsdale): Cammie Beckert, 602-757-0152
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