There are many reasons why you might be on the hunt for couch alternatives. Contrary to popular belief a sofa doesn’t have to be an essential in your living room, nor must they exclusively be the only seating option available in your sitting room.
For some the best sofa, (however gorgeous it is) might be too big. And for others, adding another settee is just too simplistic. So we’ve been on the lookout for some stylish seats for your scheme.
Whatever your style or budget, we’ve searched some of the best retail outlets to find furniture to fit (physically and aesthetically) in your front room. Many sofa alternatives look and function in a similar way to a sofa, and perform different roles when butts are not bound to these chairs.
1. Buy a bean bag chair as a couch alternative
Put aside your college misconceptions about bean bag chairs and make this sofa alternative look chic. While we love this faux fur shag version from Urban Outfitters. There are tons of couch alternatives that come in at less if you’re on the hunt for a bargain. Some even come with removable covers which not only makes washing easier, but means you can switch out different designs to decorate your living room with. For example, if you’re after ideas for a mid-century modern living room – a bean-filled bag with a tan leather case will work a treat.
Give this couch alternative a proper place in your living room by styling it in a cozy corner with framed wall art and a houseplant – et voila: instant reading nook idea.
2. Take a seat on a bench
If a settee feels super formal, a bench is where it’s at for a relaxed way to rest tired feet. This tassel tufted natural & cream bench from Oliver Bonas is the perfect boho living room idea if you’re a free-spirited gal or guy. Complete with wooden legs, an on-trend geometric design, and tactile tassel details, this seventies-inspired sofa alternative will
If boho is a no-no, simply switch up the material to suit. Boucle is a cozy textile that works in minimalist modern living room ideas and jewel-toned velvets look dreamy in dark and dramatic living room designs.
3. Turn a daybed into a seat
Who needs a bed and a sofa when you can have both at the same time? A daybed is a perfect idea for a small living room that doubles up as a guest bed or as the main sleep solution in a studio apartment.
While the initial cost of the Carved Lovella Daybed from Anthropologie is a bit of an investment, you can chop and change the twin mattress inserts for a different look each season.
4. Hang with an egg chair
Hanging chairs are a couch alternative that can add height, texture, and dimension to your living room. If your egg chair doesn’t have a cushioned insert, add pillows and throws to make this seat feel more comfortable. You could even make your backyard cushions work a bit harder indoors when it’s grey outside.
Make these suspended swings a real feature in your lounge by making sure your living room ceiling ideas really shine. Alternatively, if you’ve got low ceilings you don’t want to draw attention to, style alongside the best indoor plants for a cozy jungle-inspired scheme.
5. Use your coffee table ottoman
Ottomans are certainly worth their weight in gold in the lounge. Bang for buck, they’re one of the best piece of living room furniture to own no matter what size your lounge space.
This boucle-bound couch alternative is the perfect piece of multi-functional furniture from Anthropologie. When you’re not using it as a seat, it makes an ideal coffee table ottoman for displaying any cute coffee table decor ideas you have.
6. Laze on a chaise
Add a luxurious feel to your front room with a chaise longue chair. This piece of furniture will add an expensive vibe to your lounge and will allow a lucky soul to recline 180 degrees or fully stretch out.
Go for a sultry velvet pile for an Art Deco-inspired aesthetic, choose a quilted Chesterfield style to add instant a Regencycore vibe, or add the element of surprise by selecting a chaise with secret storage compartments like the Gordana armless foam chaise lounge with storage from Wayfair. Especially useful if you want a coffee table with storage, but don’t want a piece of furniture in the center of the room.
7. Pick up a pouf
Adding a pouf to a living room is a playful idea that’ll pay dividends by playing different roles in your lounge from one day to the next. As well as a sofa alternative, it can also act as a footstool, coffee table, and place to store your magazines.
When buying this bouffant seat, choose a style that’ll make a statement. This orange velvet ball from Homesense plays to the retro strengths of the scheme and compliments the warm hues of brown, mustard and red throughout.
8. Bring a outdoor cushion inside (or pile ’em high)
Unless you live in an area with a 100% guarantee of sunshine (lucky you), most retailers recommend that you take your outdoor cushions inside (or at least away from the elements) when it’s pouring with rain.
But rather than storing them away until the sun comes out again – use them as a low-level sofa alternative. While grandma will probably want something ‘proper’ with a fully-supportive backrest and arms, this pillowy purchase will gain the approval of young kids and teens.
Scatter them around the room for impromptu seats in a living room play area and when you’re done, stack them high in the corner of the room.
9. Add an oriental touch with a futon
This piece of might look like one of the best velvet sofas you’ve seen before, but this multi-functional futon far more than that. This 3-in-1 Ajka Twin 74.8” Wide Velvet Convertible Sofa from Wayfair, can be styled like a conventional sofa, pulls away as two separate accent chairs, and is slumber party-friendly as a sleeper sofa too.
Style tip: Though a contemporary piece of furniture, we love how things have been kept classic with the wall paneling. You too can copy this style with our DIY board and batten tutorial.
10. Cozy up on a loveseat
Yes, it’s technically a type of small sofa, hence we’ve kept it until last. But it goes to show that bigger isn’t always better when it comes to couches, especially if you want to make a small living room look bigger.
If you’re adamant that the aforementioned couch alternatives won’t work for you, then have your cake and eat it with this half-way house approach.
11. Bring your outdoor furniture inside
Even the most expensive outdoor lounge chairs aren’t invincible when it comes to the elements. So if its raining outside, why not bring them in as a sofa alternative. In the summer months, sitting on a leather sofa can be super uncomfortable (read: clammy) so these airy couch alternatives allow your skin to breathe.
If your living room is next to the garden, create an outdoor living room feel by opening the doors to ventilate the space and allow a cool but gentle breeze to circulate in your space. Make the space feeling uber relaxing with a lightweight living room window treatment idea like voile curtains to maximize on the airy aesthetic you’re trying to achieve.
12. Make use of lofty ceilings with a hammock
Make holiday memories a permanent feature in your home with a hammock swing suspended from a ceiling. Blurring urban with exotic, this would look great as an apartment living room idea surrounded by the best indoor plants for that balmy Bali vibe.
Alternatively, for a more permanent feature, you could use a porch swing, but be sure to securely install it, otherwise you risk damaging your ceilings.
What can you use instead of sofas?
‘Chairs are much easier to move around than are large sofas when you need a flexible seating arrangement,’ says Anna Jacoby, founder of Anna Jacoby interiors.
‘Let’s say you often have gatherings at your house and need to be able to move or expand the seating area easily, or clear the floorspace.’
‘Chairs should coordinate in terms of color and style, but they don’t necessarily have to match. If you’re not sure what to do, though, go for matching chairs. Or perhaps two different chairs, but in the same fabric. If you choose two different chairs, make sure they are the same height and width, give or take an inch or two. You don’t want two of the chairs to dwarf the other two.’