Whether you’re furniture-hunting for a studio apartment or looking to fill an empty corner in a larger living room, a love seat or small sofa can fulfill the Goldilocksian ideal of the just-right size. Of course, as with any kind of furniture, there are more options than you could ever scroll through online, so to hear about some standout love seats, we questioned interior designers (and the home-fashion director of Bloomingdale’s) on their favorites. Below, everything from a striking geometric number to a small, timeless camel leather couch.
If you’re looking for something that will fit in well with mid-century furniture, consider this CB2 love seat, which comes recommended by Decorist designer Paris Scott. “I LOVE this love seat; it’s modern, sleek, and inviting,” she says. “Its elegant profile has deep seats and slightly tilted back cushions, making it a great piece for lounging.” Its narrow legs give this love seat a small footprint, making it work well in smaller spaces, and it is available in a wide range of upholsteries, from various velvets to more casual knit weaves.
A similarly minimalist option comes recommended by Heather Goerzen, who works in creative and design at Havenly. “When trying to achieve a Scandinavian simplicity, I tend toward clean lines, soft gray tones, and a solid wood frame,” Goerzen says. She told us the Nord mixes well with mid-century and contemporary pieces alike.
For something a bit cozier, try this apartment sofa from Crate & Barrel’s collaboration with designer Leanne Ford, whom Goerzen calls a “design genius.” Goerzen tells us she loves this small sofa because it’s somehow both “relaxed and refined” (we agree that those armrest pillows look especially appealing to flop onto). “It has a certain plushness,” she says. And it’s a style you probably won’t get sick of anytime soon: “I’m partial to the white and oyster tones for a more neutral and timeless aesthetic,” says Goerzen.
For a similar but slightly smaller option, I highly recommend Crate & Barrel’s Willow chair-and-a-half, which I bought earlier this month for my studio apartment. At 53 inches wide, it’s smaller than your typical love seat or apartment sofa but still has the same cozy, slipcovered vibe as the Leanne Ford model. The design reminds me a little bit of a dreamy (but much more expensive) Rachel Ashwell sofa.
If you want something a bit more formal, consider this elegant Keely chair-and-a-half, which was the other small piece I considered when looking for apartment seating. Ultimately I chose the Willow because it’s a little more laid-back, but the Keely was also extremely comfortable when I sat on it in the store and it has a slightly deeper seat, making it great for curling up — not to mention its lovely chenille upholstery, which gives it a slight, appealing air of formality.
Scott suggests a love seat with a sloped profile, which she says will bring “a soft, feminine, almost dainty silhouette” into the room. Her favorite is this one from Bed Bath & Beyond, which unfortunately is sold out, but this gray linen option has similarly curved arms.
Another curved-arm option is this West Elm parlor sofa, which, at 60 inches long, is one of the larger options on this list. But thanks to its sleek profile, it still has a more delicate effect than your typical couch. “With sloped arms and a curvaceous form, this love seat is true to its name and evokes a traditional, parlorlike quality and cues sophisticated entertaining,” says Goerzen. “It comes in a range of tones — everything from crisp white to blush velvet and rich navy — to suit a variety of styles and palettes.”
“I love this love seat because the combination of the plush fabric and the curved silhouette feels very luxurious,” says Decorist designer Kara Solito. She prefers it in the “nectarine” shade (“Warm colors and jewel tones are very popular right now,” she says), which is unfortunately sold out at the moment. It is available in a particularly warm shade of beige, however, which we think would go well with just about any color scheme.
Goerzen told us about a similarly mod-inspired love seat that, despite its neutral shade, will add some texture to your room. “It feels simultaneously vintage and timeless,” she says. “The ivory hue makes it an easy complement to any palette, while the bouclé-like fabric adds texture and dimension.” Goerzen suggests pairing this love seat with “more modern, streamlined furniture for a nice contrast.”
A leather love seat could be an easy way to add some warmth to a room, and Solito suggests this tan option from Bed Bath & Beyond. She’s a fan of the piece for its deep seats and oversize cushions, which, she says, make it “the perfect ‘nestle-into-it’ couch.” And the camel color means it won’t soon go out of style: “The neutral hue of the leather is timeless,” says Solito.
For something a bit more angular, consider this petite District Eight sofa, which Decorist designer Rushika Patel describes as “an absolute designer’s delight.” It’s easy to see why: “It comes in four absolutely delicious colors that work in both neutral interiors as well as Pop-y or maximalist interiors — talk about versatility,” she says. At just 45 inches wide, it will fit into even the tightest corners (though with its MoMA-worthy shape, it may be something you want to position as a focal point in your room). “It is perfect for literally any space,” says Patel.
Another statement piece comes recommended by Kelley Carter, home-fashion director at Bloomingdale’s. “What’s great about the Mitchell Gold Bob Williams Mona Sofette is that it has a beautiful geometric pattern,” she says. “Patterns are often reserved for the smaller items, but I say go big!” The graphic pattern “brings energy into the room,” according to Carter.