History Of The Loveseat

Valentine’s Day is traditionally the romantic highlight of the calendar, so we thought we’d mark the occasion with a little romantic diversion of our own.  Not much furniture sets the heart afluttering, but mention a loveseat and images of intimate moments, tender caresses and period dramas are sure to come to mind.

What Do We Mean By A Loveseat, Anyway?

Originally a loveseat was simply a mini sofa, usually designed for just two people.

When Was The Loveseat First Invented?

Loveseats have a lengthy pedigree and date back to the late 1600s.  They really gained in popularity in the 1700s, under the reigns of Queen Anne, and Louis XV of France, when it was used for a small sofa designed for courting couples.  People started to refer specifically to a loveseat  to mean courting couches in the 19th century.  It was in the Victorian era that what we think of a loveseat these days, the two-seat-S-shape, became popular; these seats are known variously as siamoise, confidante or tete-a-tete.

They allowed a couple could face each other over a shared armrest – so that two people could talk intimately but not touch each other.

A Practical, Not Romantic Beginning

The origin of the loveseat is far more mundane.  Early examples were not designed with romance in mind, but just to give ladies the opportunity to sit down and spread out their large gowns.  High born women in the 17th and 18th centuries wore elaborate styles involving panniers and later hooped crinolines.


The last time loveseats were really in vogue for interiors was in the 1970s when people wanted a matching suite of lounge furniture; a sofa, chairs and smaller, loveseat all done out in the same fabric.

In The Garden

While love seats have largely fallen out of favour when it comes to interior design, they do have their place in the sun outdoors.  Never let it be said that metal garden furniture is at the cutting edge of design!  They are ideal for small intimate spaces, usually combining a table section for drinks and snacks, with two seats.  Take a look at any metal garden furniture supplier and they are likely to offer various styles of companion seating.

Arguably the most popular variation is two garden chairs joined in the centre by a table.  The table section might well have a hole for a parasol too.  You can even get wooden benches with a pop up table in the middle for drinks and snacks – but that’s not what a purist would term a proper loveseat.  You are not limited to wooden garden furniture either; these days love seats are available for rattan patio furniture ranges as well as cast aluminium and mixed media.  So if romance is in the air, why not consider a companion seat instead of a bunch of red roses this year?



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