Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day. As homeowners and space renters alike, we share the fearful trepidation of hoping everyone is comfortable and seated during one of our many dinners, parties, and holiday gatherings to come this Christmastime. As people from all walks of life, we ask the same question: how will I seat everyone in my living room this time?
The necessity for sporadic additional seating comes with every opportunity to host family and friends, but finding the right balance between open space and lounging space is delicate; as much as you want everyone to have a place to hunker down and relax, cluttering your living room with half a dozen folding chairs circling your sofa is as crowding as it is decoratively heinous. Thankfully, our answers to this universal problem are as flexible as they are stylish.
Multi-Use and Creative Furniture
One of the best space-savers for home decor and a master of versatility is the ottoman. Some ottomans come with top-off hidden compartments to store games, blankets, pillows, and anything else you might want to put away until it’s needed again, while others simply offer its many uses. Whether you station a pair in front of a sofa or sectional to act as a movable footrest or drag them to the center of the room for some last-minute backless seating, an ottoman is every party host’s best friend. We have a handy schematic sheet of possible sizes and types for our McQueen series furniture as an ottoman, including everything from simple bench and square style ottomans to the more verbose and handy cocktail and even storage ottomans like mentioned above. What better place to sit on your tuchus and indulge in a glass of eggnog?
Similar to the ottoman is a cushioned bench piece. In our household, we often leave our cookies and milk for Santa Claus on the bench. Available in all leather types or with fashionable hide on hair like this custom Hyde Park bench, bench seating offers it all. Elegant, flat, and usable as a display, footrest, or occasional seating, a stylish and firm bench expertly ties a room together and invites the whole party to pile on and have a seat.
Sometimes, less is more. With the right design and the right attitude, a 4-person sofa can quickly turn into a 6-person array. Some sofas with wide-arm designs offer enough surface area across the arms to fit someone on either side without crowding those in the middle. Our track-arm sofas specific to our Classics Collection offer exactly that. Similarly low-profile with extra-wide arms, both The Cooper and The Hendrix boast the surface area to pile a whole family plus Grandma and Grandpa on top of it – now that would be a great family photo.
The Space-Saver (Flat Back) Chesterfield
Where a classic Chesterfield has a roll coming off the back seat of the sofa, the Space-Saver Chesterfield features a steep, flat back, allowing it to slide right up against the wall or another piece of furniture, thereby giving you the same classic look of a Chesterfield while saving you several inches of floor-space. Beyond granting the rest of your company a few more inches of breathing room, extra floor space invites the opportunity to add more complimentary seating options to your decor.
The Mentality of the Bench Seat
The human mind is very particular in that it wants what it wants based on what makes the most sense to it. Let’s imagine guests approach a Chesterfield style sofa like The Marilyn. An attractive couch with enough room for four people easily – but with only three cushions. While number of cushions has nothing to do with available seating space, the human brain associates three open spots with just three available seats. Granted, family and friends often have no trouble squeezing in to make the fit, but then one or more people are stuck sitting on one of the cracks between cushions. This is where the bench seat comes in.
A bench seat is one continuous cushion spanning the entire length of a sofa, meaning no one ever has to sit on a crack. Additionally, the bench seat manages to trick the mind. No one ever sat on the bleachers of a high school football game and thought, “These benches will only fit 3 or 5 or 7 people”. When it comes to bench seating, you fit as many as you can without a second thought. Not only is the closeness inviting, but the particular feeling of bench seating summons a new, team-like familiarity with your guests.
Of Iron & Oak’s Mid-century collection offers a stellar variety of bench-seat sofas to fit any design of home and living. The Dylan is simple and inviting with a stylish back to add a dash of elegance to the room. The Holiday is equally uncomplicated, designed to fit in wherever it goes. The Lambert is tight and clean, making a statement in whatever space it cuts out for itself. And for a more unique choice, The Hughes from our Classics Collection is bold and daring with an eclectic set of curves, making up a truly one-of-a-kind bench seat.
As a brave host of Christmas family holidays and party events, we hope we’ve shone a beacon of light upon one of your many monthly concerns. If you’re unclear on what would fit best in your home or you’d like to explore other possible options to revamp your living area, contact us! Follow us and wish us a Merry Christmas on Facebook and Instagram! And whether you prefer multi-use furniture to give your room more fill and flexibility, or are more reserved and prefer to keep open spaces without sacrificing seat availability, at of Iron & Oak we have a solution for you this Christmas.