During this extended quarantine, many of us have reconfigured our homes to accommodate the never-imagined hours we’ve spent inside. We’ve gotten creative—sometimes out of necessity, sometimes out of the desire not to go crazy looking at the same room day in and day out.
And our dining room tables? Well, those have become more essential and used (read: office space, extra storage, family forums, art studios) than ever before. That means you might want to rethink your seating around said table—something more comfortable and versatile, preferably.
Sure, there are banquettes and benches often found at the table. But what if you’re looking for something more flexible? Something that could double as a lounging area when you’re not entertaining?
I humbly submit the option of a good old, versatile, easy-to-find sofa.
Living Room Legend To Dining Room Diva
Sofas are an excellent option for small spaces where rooms need to do double duty. They can also work for larger rooms for extra lounging options or areas to congregate. If you opt for a sleeper sofa, this heavy-working piece of furniture can pull triple duty.
Of course, couches aren’t usually designed for a dining room table. Thus, it’s important to think through a configuration that will be practical and comfortable as well as stylish. Most importantly, measure, measure, measure. (Can you tell I learned this the hard way?)
And because ‘kitchen sofa’ isn’t a category on Lowe’s yet, here are some qualities to look for in your perfect dining room couch.
Sofas are typically lower than dining chairs, and you don’t want your guests to feel like little kids at the grown-up table. So, be sure to measure your table height and consider how that will work with the sofa you have in mind.
If it’s too low, try using casters on the legs or perhaps an extra cushion, as long as it doesn’t get too funky aesthetics- or comfort-wise.
A sofa is also set back farther than a chair, and you don’t want an ab or arm workout during dinner. (Although, that could be an interesting way to cancel out the calories you’re eating.) Moreover, you can’t easily scoot on a couch.
One possible solution is to add some pillows to the back that will bring your seat closer to the table. Just make sure that they’re firm enough to keep diners upright.
The dining room is not the place for a down-filled situation, lest we be doomed to give in to the post-meal snooze 100% of the time. For dining, you’ll want firmer cushions that encourage an attentive posture since people will be eating and working here, not watching Netflix.
(Or go ahead and watch Netflix full-lounge mode. No judgment.)
For obvious reasons, easy-to-clean fabric like leather (real or faux) or microfiber will be the best choices for seating that will be used in the presence of food. As tempting as velvet might be, just think about trying to scrub tomato sauce out of the plush material. That ought to do the trick.
You could also go full-on diner and opt for plastic seat covers, but sticking with a fabric that’s easier to clean will offer a more sleek, modern appearance.
Armrests quickly transform into diner traps when slid under a table. To avoid trapping your loved ones (or yourself) at the kitchen table, it’s best to opt for sofas without armrests.
Not to mention, armrests are also like errant collectors of food. Nobody wants to deal with that.
What To Look For?
When searching for a couch or sofa for your dining room table, you may want to search for “settee” or “loveseat,” depending on the size you need. Usually, a settee is larger than a loveseat but smaller than a couch.
A “banquette” refers to seating against a wall that’s usually built-in. You can achieve basically the same thing by pushing a high-backed loveseat or settee against a wall in front of your table.