The chair has captured the attention of modern designers like no other form of furniture. But be it for a rocker, a chaise longue, or a side chair, the quest for the perfect seat has often overshadowed an even more important living-room pursuit: where best to snuggle up with your sweetheart.
Caught between the experimentation—–and fetishization—–of the chair and the sofa’s unchallenged role as household centerpiece, the love seat is the middle reliever of social seating. Yet what piece of furniture is so solely devoted to amorous pursuits as to be named for them? Clearly designed with the yawn-as-you-put-your-arm-around-her move in mind, the love seat suggests a romantic spark as soon as two people simply alight. Wide enough to prevent us from having to sit on each other’s laps, but cozy enough to permit exactly that, the love seat’s name tells us what we ought to be doing when we get there. For years we poor English speakers have pursued one another on settees, divans, and fainting couches before the moniker "love seat" filled the lexical gap in the mid-19th century. And who better to tell us whom to woo and on which love seat to do it than celebrity matchmaker Patti Stanger? She helps us ascertain which of these five modern love seats—–classic and contemporary alike—–best encourages carefree canoodling, affords a supple spot for couples to cozy up with their TiVo, or maybe, just maybe, provides a generous seat to go it alone.
Aaron writes the men's style column "The Pocket Square" for the San Francisco Chronicle and has written for the New York Times, the Times Magazine, Newsweek, National Geographic and others.