I’m Courtney Lake, the designer behind the lifestyle and decor blog, Courtney Out Loud. A graduate of Stanford University, I worked in high-tech marketing and events before launching my successful interior design business, Courtney Lake Interiors. My work has been featured on The Nate Berkus Show, Adore Magazine, Casa Sugar, Joyus.com, and Le Rapport Minoritaire. I am thrilled Wayfair asked me to guest post for My Way Home .
On numerous occasions, I have walked into a client’s home for a consultation and they instantly start discussing the need for more furniture, in particular seating. Whether in the family room or the dining room, many of my clients feel that they are lacking in seating to which I typically respond, “Why do you need more seating?” The response is usually about accommodating guests or entertaining to which I say, “you don’t need more seating, what you need is better seating”.
Don’t take up valuable space with seating you will use only occasionally. iIstead, look to seating that fulfills the design trinity of “Stylish, Portable, and Compact”:
I love using butterfly chairs in outdoor settings. They are inexpensive, comfortable, and easily replaceable shound the elements take their toll. Most of these chairs can be stacked and fold to less than 8 inches making them ideal fior compact storage. Better still, in a pinch, they can serve as indoor seating for extra guests.
Folding chairs get a bum rap for being unsightly and uncomfortable. To avoid your next gathering looking like a PTA meeting, opt for French or bamboo bistro chairs. The natural materials bring a European flair, and an air of romance to a dining setting. In addition, they bring a casual elegance when paired with antique pieces like a rustic or even Baroque dining table. I give them extra points for their ability to be easily stored or used as a display when mounted to a wall.
If seating in your living space is an issue, then I suggest individual benches, ottomans and side tables that do double duty. When not in use, ottomans and benches can slide under an existing console table. And, I love finding small tables that can be used as a cocktail table or extra seating as the design team at Lucy Interior Designs so artfully depict in their room above.
While standard seating in a living room or family room is important, I still find that there is still the need for “informal seating” on which you just plop down and get comfortable while watching TV, playing board games, or simply chatting with friends and family. In these instances, I recommend oversized floor cushions or poufs. They are easy on the budget and a great way to inject a dose of color or pattern into a room as designer Heather O”Donnell did in the den she designed (above).
There is no reason to sacrifice space for furniture that you will only use when company is around. Regardless of your seating dilemmas, there are solutions that are design savvy, functional and storable. I promise you will be surprised at the amount of options you will uncover.
- Courtney Lake, Courtney Out Loud