Everyone wants to be comfortable in their home. Above all the other trade furniture pieces a designer may specify, seating is what our clients will interact with the most and be most critical of when it comes to seat height, seat depth, level of firmness, and durability. Considering the manufacturers and vendors you rely on for these pieces is essential.
In a living room, everyone gravitates to the sofa. Deciding on this piece's style and comfort level early on will help inform the rest of your scheme. Whether you're suggesting a modern sectional with performance fabric or a more classic 84" to 88" sofa contemporized with a single-cushioned seat determines what type and quantity of lounge and accent chairs you'll need for your project. Maybe you're going modern with brass-capped legs, or perhaps you'll suggest a fully upholstered base that frees the room of too many legs.
We'd never advocate for a loveseat that matches the sofa, but sometimes a settee can add interest to a room. This piece doesn't always need to be fully upholstered either. It could be made of vintage cane or custom-turned white oak. While a chaise isn't right for every client, some people practically live in them or will enjoy them as part of a sectional.
Once you and your client have selected these more significant pieces, hunting for lounge and accent chairs together is great fun. One or two need to be ergonomic, like a nice leather club chair with nail head trim or a swivel chair which people love because they make conversation so easy. Others can be more fun, though, sometimes selected for their aesthetic interest rather than comfort. You might choose a Swedish Gustavian armchair with ivory and gold leaf or a similarly classic Klismos-inspired design. Maybe a more organic Scandinavian modern chair with whitewashed ash arms and nude top-grain leather is more your client's speed. Even an armless piece with seventies-inspired stripes might be good.
Stools are great for seating too. No one expects they'll be comfortable, but many often are. People of all sizes enjoy sitting on a stool while talking with friends at a party. The best thing about stools is how versatile they are. Though some have saddle seats, many have flat tops and double as drinks tables, of which you can never have too many.
While we often think of ottomans as primarily for kicking up your feet, these are also flexible as additional table surfaces. Contemporary favorites are frequently done in boucle or performance velvet. Round ottomans are especially fun, as they are easier to circulate around and encourage more people to sit. Metal frame leg ottomans can be lovely, and there are many tufted ottomans.
Finally, you may consider bench seating, especially in an entry where a slim profile is needed or at the foot of a bed. A few even offer storage, which is handy in either location. At Daniel House, we also have a few ready-made banquettes in our bench category, which can heighten and individualize a dining experience. Having a banquette custom-built is costly compared to these practical options.