Beyond the Sofa: Modern Seating Alternatives

BY NANCY MATTIA ON SEPTEMBER 19TH, 2017

blog-image Tufted corduroy floor cushions from Urban Outfitters. Urban Outfitters

If folding chairs aren’t cutting it when guests come over, it may be time to invest in some additional furniture. If space or budget is tight and you don’t want to squeeze in another sofa or armchair, there are other functional, as well as decorative, options. Check out this trio of alternative seating.

1. Beanbag

Comfy and casual, beanbags are a fun solution to more seating. While its freeform shape defines its look and personality, some varieties have more structure than the traditional kind, conforming to the body and providing back support. Other models resemble an armchair (without losing its bean-bagginess). You can find beanbags with built-in carry handles and side pockets to store your phone while you relax and just about any material you can think of – microsuede, canvas, polyester, vinyl, velvet and even fake fur. But how to avoid the dorm-room look when you want to add a beanbag to a room? “Get one that has more structure but still reclines back,” suggests Ashley Darryl of Ashley Darryl Interiors in New York City. “Also a sophisticated fabric would help convey an adult mood.”

2. Floor cushions and pillows

Why would you choose a cushion over a pillow or vice versa? “It really depends on what kind of room it’s going in,” Darryl says. “I like to put the pillows in a more relaxed private space versus the cushions in a space that’s a bit more public.” Tailored floor cushions look better in a family room, for example, while a slouchy floor pillow works well in a child’s bedroom. The size should be in proportion to the size of the space – no petite pillows for a plus-size room! “I love stacking floor cushions in a corner as part of the decor as well!”

3. Poufs

Similar to an ottoman but with more cushiony appeal and less of a “serious furniture” vibe, a pouf is a soft backless stool that can be placed near a coffee table or moved to another spot to provide extra seating when friends and family drop by; it can also be used in front of a large chair as a footrest in the living room or bedroom. Poufs are comfortable, come in a wide variety of materials, patterns, colors, and shapes (though most look like square or round cubes) and can easily be coordinated with a room’s existing décor.

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