Katy Elliott

A daily design journal about new england life, home decorating resources, and renovating a 257-year-old house in Marblehead, MA.

Small Scale Sofas

Posted on | March 24, 2011 | 26 Comments

I have this really small room off my den that serves no purpose. We don’t have hallways in the house but large throughways that round the center chimney and lead into larger rooms. So my plan is to make this room a library. I’ve toyed with different bookcase configurations but have now decided to gut this ugly beadboard cabinet (also below and not original) and use the cavity as a bookcase instead. I’m hoping to squeeze in a sofa on the wall. I don’t have much room to play with so it needs to be small. I thought about a wing chair but having it on a angle would disrupt the main traffic lane through the room.

Above Lauren McGrath’s apartment featured in Traditional Home. The Odette Sofette from Mitchell Gold is classic, tiny and pretty darn cute in stripes. I found the sofa in linen on sale at Hammertown in the Hudson Valley (new york) for around $1,000. The two photos below are from their website.

I’m a little nervous about this sofa because it barely fits. It won’t fit exactly between the wall and the window but overlap into the window frame. Maybe this is a good thing? I want to hang some beautiful floral drapes on the window. But then the drapes will have to be tucked behind the sofa. Am I getting way too specific? This is serious people! Ok I’m joking…

I love the way large pieces look in tiny rooms but their is a point when a piece can be too big and just look ridiculous. The Odette has great arms that look like terrific snuggling spots for reading books but maybe it’s the arms that make it look too heavy? So what about this loveseat from Lee Industries? It’s an inch wider but the lines are a little gentler. But then again I don’t know about that cushion?

Below a photo of the cabinet mid-gut. We started stripping it and then realized it was stupid and decided to just get rid of it. I have to pack up all the stuff in the closet before Greg goes crazy on it.

It seems a lot of us our looking for small sofas. Here are a few I’ve spotted recently that could work in my home or yours:
Wisteria’s French Settee with Slipcover Options
John Derian’s Dromedary Sofa
West Elm’s Elton Settee
Crate & Barrel’s Suffolk Settee
Ballard Design’s Parker Settee

Related Posts:
Bookshelves Around Door
Priming Walls and Molding in Den
Linda Rosen Antiques

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26 Responses to “Small Scale Sofas”

  1. Ashley
    March 24th, 2011 @ 4:55 pm

    Both options are lovely, Katy, but to interject my opinion I think I prefer the Lee Industries sofa for the reasons that you mentioned.

    I think the cushion actually adds coziness to the piece and seems like it would be a fun place to retreat to with knitting or a good book.


  2. Deborah
    March 24th, 2011 @ 5:07 pm

    Katy, what fun to be settee seeking. Of those you mentioned


  3. Jane Flanagan
    March 24th, 2011 @ 5:17 pm

    I’ve loved the Odette for a long time, though I haven’t sat in it. I have to say, I had a big wake up call this week when I had my shortlist of chairs I loved and I walked into a store and found 3 of 4 to be really uncomfortable. So… I’m not making any more shortlists based on online looks!

    That said, maybe a chair-and-a-half would work better than a sofette? Montauk have some huge, down-filled chairs that would be divine for curling up in). I’m not sure about the tucking drape thing – I think it would drive me bonkers!!


  4. Katy Elliott
    March 24th, 2011 @ 5:43 pm

    Thanks Jane. I have checked out the Odette at Mitchell Gold and loved it. I haven’t seen the Lee version in real life.

    The tucking drape thing could be really bad or it could break up the room from filling to compartmentalized. I think if the sofa has graceful lines the weird overlap won’t seem so obtrusive. And it’s only 2 inches. It won’t overlap to the glass.

    I think I might have better luck searching for a vintage piece. I saw a sofa last summer that would have totally fit for $100. Ug.

    Be on the lookout everyone!!


  5. Jill
    March 24th, 2011 @ 6:01 pm

    Katy could you just center the settee in front of the window or would that affect the traffic flow too much?


  6. Katy Elliott
    March 24th, 2011 @ 6:03 pm

    Hmm I didn’t think about that. That could work. Thanks Jill for the suggestion.


  7. Natalie
    March 24th, 2011 @ 7:36 pm

    I think option #1 is your best bet! And by the way, that peacock feather pillow in the inspiration pic is too cute!

    Have a lovely evening :)


  8. patty
    March 24th, 2011 @ 9:53 pm

    I have 5 upholstered pieces (one used, the others bought new, though carefully over time) from Mitchell Gold Bob Williams, and a giant sectional from Lee Industries.

    The MBBW pieces are the most comfortable pieces of furniture I own. I’m soon replacing the Lee sectional in my living room with a MGBW sectional (the Lee pieces will live on in the playroom for generations to come).

    To me, nothing in the price point screams comfort louder than MGBW. The Lee sectional is really not comfy in comparison.

    I hope that helps. Of course, that’s just one woman’s rear end talking ;)


  9. mopar
    March 25th, 2011 @ 12:14 am

    I like the looks of the Mitchell Gold couch. I wish I could see the whole room. Maybe try a big chair or whatever you have at home in the spot to see what fits (try to imagine it).


  10. Patsy
    March 25th, 2011 @ 10:34 am

    I love Jill’s idea – center the sofa on the window!

    You could have the window treatments extend equally on either side of the window and have a small side table to hold your mug of tea.


  11. Jane Fordyce
    March 25th, 2011 @ 11:57 am

    I like a chaise for reading. It might overlap under the window in a good way…. perhaps one of these.


    comes in right arm also


    would be good with cushions/pillows against the wood


  12. Carrie @ Hazardous Design
    March 25th, 2011 @ 1:16 pm

    Hi Katy! Long time lurker, first time commenter. Just wanted to say how much I am enjoying your blog. My husband and I are also renovating an old New England home. Your remodel is putting ours to shame! Congratulations on your progress :)


  13. Katy Elliott
    March 25th, 2011 @ 1:28 pm


    No way! I just checked out your blog. Those doors look great! You guys are doing an amazing job.


  14. Katy Elliott
    March 25th, 2011 @ 2:46 pm

    This chair is cute but only available in the UK, I think. http://www.howelondon.com/products/DEN.html#


  15. nanne
    March 25th, 2011 @ 5:25 pm

    i love settees! we have one that was my husband’s grandmother’s ….we recovered and i actually move it around occasionally…it fits everywhere.

    have you thought about two small scale chairs?

    restoration hardware has some nice ones…the professor’s chair & the josephine.

    your house is really coming along…look forward to more pics!

    nanne in indiana by way of alabama


  16. mary
    March 26th, 2011 @ 9:45 am

    Eeek. I love, love both pieces! Bookmarking this post for a potential future purchase. I look forward to seeing what you end up with…

    P.S. The rug came, and it’s fabulous! :)


  17. Steve
    March 26th, 2011 @ 10:08 am

    Love the one with the ticking in the first photo. I also like the idea of centering the settee in the space but keeping it off the window wall a bit (if there’s room) so curtains could function. And maybe a little gooseneck light behind it would provide great light for reading. Small spaces are also great places to use wallpaper. What a great little retreat!


  18. Katy Elliott
    March 26th, 2011 @ 10:13 am


    I think Jill recommendation was a great solution. I’m just still on the fence about the sofas. Would like to find something a tad smaller but with similar lines.

    I don’t plan on purchasing anything till this summer/fall. I would like to decide on a style so I can be on the look out at consignments stores, craigslist etc.

    This summer my main goal for these two rooms after paint, and getting the floors stripped is rugs!


  19. Katy Elliott
    March 26th, 2011 @ 10:48 am


    Thanks! So glad you got that rug. Stunning.


  20. Katy Elliott
    March 26th, 2011 @ 10:52 am

    Jane Fordyce and Nanne!

    Nice finds Jane. I’m indifferent to chaises. Don’t know why, just not my thing.

    I like your idea Nanne. This room is right next to a den (I kept from the photos) which will have a sofa and two chairs. Trying to keep it simple. But two chairs would be a great idea for a small space like this.

    Thanks everyone for all your great tips, seriously helps! It breaks me of tunnel vision and imagining the room only one way!


  21. nancy
    March 27th, 2011 @ 9:20 am

    Thanks for the small scale sofa posts. I am renovating an 1890’s Queen Anne in Haverhill, MA. My main parlor is octagonal in shape with almost no wall space. So I am in search of scale seating.

    I found a few more made by Lee and Old hickory tannery.



  22. laurie carey
    March 28th, 2011 @ 7:46 am

    Have you tried Cisco brothers furniture, they make a lovely settee which I own and there furniture is very comfortable and well made. Love your blog.



  23. Katy Elliott
    March 28th, 2011 @ 1:30 pm


    I was on their site over the weekend. I was afraid their stuff would be too pricey for me. But I found this piece that looks like it has serious potential in this space or somewhere else in the house: http://ciscobrothers.com/seating/chairs/uncle-jim-double-chair


  24. Tokyo Jinja
    April 1st, 2011 @ 3:52 am

    A few comments – I have a pair of the Odette chairs and I love them. They are comfy and their great lines make them look like they cost more than they did. That being said, they are big and curvy and might overwhelm your space. I also have a small Cisco made John Derian sofa that I adore. It is based on an original Sheraton design, but made much more comfortable. The arms and the back are very thin, while the seat is deep, so it maximizes seating in a small area. And the look is just right for your home.


  25. janet gordon
    August 9th, 2011 @ 5:52 pm

    The simple, very spare lines of this small room are calling out for a sack back windsor chair or if you want something a bit more luxe perhaps a small wing chair from Seraph – with possibly a small table, simple table – either gate leg or a pembroke and another straight wooden chair (hitchcock style?) – good lighting of course – maybe an ivory milk glass shaded student lamp on the table, and your bookshelves – nothing more except perhaps a good canvas print of a ship’s portrait?


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