Each person has a personal comfort zone. By this, I mean a set amount of inches of space between one person and another while having a friendly conversation. For most people, I feel it is the distance of an outstretched arm.
When you go to the movies or the theater, the arms of the chairs physically and psychologically define your space and the space of the stranger sitting next to you. The chair’s arms give you a comfort zone.
When selecting furniture for a living room, family room or great room, a person should try to figure out what is the maximal number of people who can really sit comfortably in that space for a holiday party or special occasion.
When you think about it, a three cushion sofa only sits two people. People who have just met like to have a bit of distance between themselves and the next person while sitting, it’s a personal comfort issue. A three cushion sofa will sit three people only if they are related or close friends; those people have already developed an intimacy with each other.
The loveseat is one piece of furniture, I feel, that should never have been invented. A love seat will only sit a husband and wife, mother or father and child, boyfriend and girlfriend, or two people who are intimate with each other. Otherwise consider it a large chair for one. Two people just meeting / newly introduced to each other at a party will not feel comfortable sitting next to each other on a loveseat.
A much more practical alternative to a loveseat is a pair of club chairs, wing chairs, or slipper/occasional chairs positioned next to each other a few inches apart.(The slipper chair is an armless version of a club chair). The two chairs next to each other will take up about the same amount of floor space as a loveseat, and together they will provide the needed separation two people just introduced need. The pair of chairs can also be separated and easily moved around the room as needed, to make seating groupings for larger numbers of people.
So when it comes to buying a suite of living room, great room or family room furniture, opt out on the loveseat, and instead buy two additional arm / upholstered chairs; your guests will thank you for it, because you psychologically provided then with comfort zones.
My advice to you now is to start looking through better interior decorating magazines. Notice that very few professional interior decorators use love seats in the rooms they design. If the trained professionals and famous of the design world don’t use them, why should you.
Companion Posts …
Arrange Living Room furniture so Sofas talk to Chairs, like the Pros do 9-7-2012,
Arranging furniture TWELVE different ways in the same Room 9-15-2012,
Arranging furniture around a Fireplace in the corner of a room 9-29-2012′
Arranging Furniture in a 12 foot wide by 24 foot long Living Room 2-5-2014,
It’s Easy to arrange furniture in a Square Living Room 11-29-2013,
Arranging Furniture in a 15 foot wide by 25 foot long Bedroom 1-24-2016,
Interior Decorating is ALL about Equal Balance 2-27-2011,
Pick (Use) Four Colors when Decorating a Room 3-7-2011