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The term loveseat, or love seat, is commonly used to refer to many forms of both indoor and outdoor seating for two people. Sometimes called companion seats or Jack and Jill seats, simple two person benches and sofas are often described as loveseats. But many people consider S-shaped two person sofas, that enable lovers to sit facing each other, as the traditional form of loveseat.
History of the Loveseat
Originating in the lat 17th century, loveseats weren’t called loveseats. They were actually larger sized seating firstly designed to accommodate the huge, layered dresses with masses of petticoats, underskirts and supporting hoops, worn by fashionable ladies of the time. Early designs weren’t particularly comfortable and didn’t have the upholstery used in today’s two person indoor sofas. They were simple wooden seats or settles that were big enough for the voluminous dresses of the age. They were not originally designed for lovers to privately share intimacies.
As trends changed in the 18th and 19th centuries so did the use and appreciation of the humble loveseat. Women were wearing slimmer, more lightweight gowns which meant that they weren’t filling the space available for them in various loveseats. It was discovered that this allowed lovers to sit more closely together and exchange intimacies in private, without being overheard. In an age when people followed strict social protocols requiring prudence and decency, this style of two person seating enabled courting couples to sit closely together, share intimate conversations but maintain required levels of decorum and modesty. The term ‘loveseat’ was borne out of this period when this seating design became widely appreciated and popular.
During the Victorian period the small, two person sofa was only likely to be found in the homes of the wealthier middle and upper classes. But the industrial revolution resulted in these smaller sofa becoming increasing popular in working class homes as they didn’t take up much room and their association with the upper classes made people feel like they were going up in the world. Two person sofas of the time were made primarily in the ‘Chippendale’ style which was very popular in the third quarter of the 18th century. This was the first style of furniture to be named after a cabinet maker and not a monarch. Chippendale designs used three main styles: Gothic, Rococo and Chinese. Chippendale cleverly blended these styles that were highly popular at the time and there are many fine examples of antique Chippendale two seater sofas and loveseats available today – at a price.
The next big development for the loveseat didn’t happen until the 1940s when the small, two person sofa design was revitalised and glamourised. Stylish, romantic loveseats were used in hallways, side rooms and importantly, ladies boudoirs where they were often used in advertising of the time.
The two person sofa quickly became a highly practical piece of furniture in the late 20th century, commonly used in smaller homes, flats and young person’s accommodation. Romantic, glamourous designs gave way to practical, often minimalist designs using basic materials and without much embellishment. But the 21st century has seen something of a rebirth in the popularity of loveseats and smaller, two person sofas which are now recognised and appreciated for their practicality and versatility as well as affordability. A compact loveseat can provide useful seating in a bedroom or maybe in a conservatory where it’s great to sit and chat with a partner or lover, or to simply relax in comfort.
Garden loveseats or outdoor loveseats have become a popular variation on the indoor, two person sofa style of loveseat. The loveseat’s ability to allow two people to share intimacies in a respectable manner inevitably led to the popularity of the outdoor or patio loveseat. Two sweethearts could sit together, within sight of their chaperons, and get to know more about each other. They could share intimate conversations without fear of being overheard and possibly even sneak a little physical intimacy, a touch or maybe a kiss, without fear of causing offence.
Today’s garden loveseats retain the facility to support private, intimate interaction between two people, but there are now a huge range of styles and designs to suit every possible scenario.
Garden love seats can be used in almost any size of garden or outdoor space. Even if you only have a balcony or a small yard you can find a loveseat design that will fit in. And your new outdoor loveseat will quickly become the most popular spot in your garden as spring turns into summer and we’re all spending as much time as possible outdoors.
Choosing a Garden Love Seat
If you’re thinking that a garden love seat is what you need here are a few pointers that will help you make the right choice.
Start by thinking about how you anticipate using the seat. Is it somewhere for you and your partner to sit together, perhaps share a glass of wine while having a nice chat? If so, make sure that your partner approves of your choice before placing your order. Also, you might want to consider various loveseat designs that incorporate neat little tables, ideal for your wine and nibbles.
Whatever you do, don’t overlook the need to consider exactly where you want your love seat to be situated. Perhaps you already have a shady corner that’s crying out for a comfortable seat? Or maybe you have some space on your patio where you thing a loveseat will fit in. Be sure to measure your space and make certain that the model and design you choose will comforably fit in.
Next, consider your comfort. Many outdoor loveseats and companion seats are made from wood without any upholstery or padding. These are great for withstanding British summer weather, but you will most likely want some nice cushions to make the seat more comfortable – so bear this in mind.
Also, give some thought to whether your needs would be met by an S-shaped loveseat or companion seat. This style of loveseat looks great, but can be impractical in many settings.
By taking a little time to consider exactly what you want from your loveseat, how it will be used and who it will be used with, you can be certain that your new piece of garden furniture will provide many years of pleasure.
Garden Love Seats – Ideal for Couples