When you first upgrade from hand-me-downs and furniture freebies, you usually have three key items in mind for the living room: A coffee table, TV stand, and - of course - a sofa.

But one thing you’ll quickly find you’re missing out on is a side table. Or two: One for both sides of the sofa.

A trusty side table is the hidden gem of the living room. The coffee table typically takes centre stage, while the side table sits subtly in the shadows away from the limelight.

But this little afterthought has a lot to give. And there are plenty of ways to incorporate side tables or corner tables into your overall living space aesthetic.

To help, we’ve gathered 21 side table ideas for the living room. The list combines side table design ideas, as well as what decor to use on top.

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Due to the changing nature of shopping habits, customers are now not only looking for high-quality products at competitive prices, but for convenience too. When we launched Swyft our first question was: Do people want quality furniture, faster? The simple answer is yes. But, there is still doubt and superstition surrounding ready-to-assemble furniture, especially sofas.
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A comfy sofa is arguably the most important part of any living room. Giving us a soft, welcoming place to relax and unwind at the end of a busy day, the sofa is the one piece of furniture no home should be without.

As sofas are so ubiquitous, it’s all too easy to take them for granted. But have you ever stopped to think about where this beautifully designed piece of furniture comes from? And why is it that some of us sit on a sofa while others lounge on a settee or recline on a couch? To help settle the couch, settee or sofa debate for good, we decided to take a closer look at the origin of the sofa and find out exactly how it got its name.

What is a Sofa?

Before we begin discussing the differences between sofas, couches and settees, we should probably start by taking a closer look at what exactly a sofa is. The word sofa is thought to come from the Arabic soffah. Unlike modern sofas which are almost always stand-alone furnishings, a soffah was a raised part of the floor covered in cushions and carpets and generally used for sitting.

It’s thought that the word, and general design of the soffah, came to the UK via France in the 17th century. By the late 18th century, soffah had become sofa. Jane Austen mentions a ‘sofa cover’ in one of her letters, showing that it had by that time become an upholstered piece of furniture.

What is a Settee?

Today the difference between a sofa and a settee is small to non-existent. However, they started out life as very different pieces of furniture. The word settee is thought to come from the old English word setl. A setl, or settle, was a long wooden bench made from oak and often featuring an elaborately carved back.

Over the years, settee foam was added to make a soft seat and settee backs were also stuffed and upholstered. Like sofas, settee feet are often made of wood, raising the seat off of the floor. You can see the influence of early wooden settee feet in a number of our designs including the Model 01 and the Model 02.

What is a Couch?

The word couch comes from the French Coucher which means to sleep. It was originally used to describe any piece of furniture that was designed for lying on and could be applied to a bed as well as an elongated chair.

For many years, a couch was thought of as something with an upholstered middle and arms at either one or both ends. Unlike early sofas and settees, couches didn't have backs and so were better suited for use as a daybed.

What’s the Difference Between a Sofa and Settee?

These days, there’s no difference between sofa and settee and a lot of people use the words interchangeably. If you’re in the north of England, you’ll probably hear settee a little more, although it’s largely been replaced by sofa in recent years. Sofa, Settee or Couch? What’s Correct?

Although they started out life as very different things the words sofa, settee and couch are now all used to describe exactly the same piece of furniture.

Sofa is by far the most common word used to describe your living room lounger. According to some etiquette experts, sofa is the ‘proper’ term, however all three words can be correctly used to describe your favourite furnishing.

In the US, couch is the preferred term with sofa coming in a close second place. Settee is virtually never used across the pond.

Whether you use sofa, settee or couch, it’s safe to say that everyone will know exactly what you’re referring to. So, feel free to use whichever word slips off of your tongue most easily.

If you’re currently in the market for a new sofa, settee or couch, we can help, our beautiful Model 01, Model 02 and Model 03 designs take inspiration from classic and contemporary furnishings, giving you a centrepiece to be proud of. Explore our stunning collection of fabric sofas today to find out more.

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For many people, especially those who want to be in the vibrant heart of a city, living in a small space is the only option. Luckily, even the smallest of living rooms can be practical, stylish and unique if it’s designed well. Carefully chosen furnishings, eye-catching colours and a well-planned layout can allow you to make the most of your space and maximise your home’s potential.

To help you create the living room you really want, and stamp your personality on your bijou space, we’ve put together 25 of our favourite ideas for decorating and furnishing small living rooms.

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When buying a sofa, most of us focus on the colour, fabric and style of the piece. These are generally the most eye-catching elements of a sofa and are what define the look and feel of the furnishing. One thing that’s all too often overlooked is the sofa feet. An integral part of any sofa design, the feet help to support the rest of the piece and form the crucial meeting point between floor and seat.

Learning a little more about sofa feet will help you to find the perfect piece for your home and give you a new appreciation of this humble part of the sofa structure.

Wood, metal or plastic? What are sofa feet made from?

The material your sofa feet are made from will depend on its style and on the quality of the piece. Most good quality sofas have traditional wooden sofa legs. Wood is a naturally beautiful material and can be carved into almost any shape that’s required. Wood is also kind on your carpet, durable and hard-wearing.

Some sofas have rubber ends on their feet. These rubber additions are there to help prevent any damage to your carpet and to help prevent the furnishing from moving around. A great example of this is the feet of our Model 03 sofa. These turned wooden legs come with a specially designed rubber foot that uses suction to hold the sofa firmly in place. This unique feature ensures that your new sofa won’t move a millimetre once you’ve got it in the perfect position.

Showing a little sofa leg

The look of your settee feet will be more important if the design of the piece makes them clearly visible. This is especially common in beautiful mid-century modern designs like our Model 01 and Model 02 sofas.

Visible sofa legs raise the seat of the piece off of the ground and help to give sofas a lighter feel. This can be fantastic for smaller living spaces and homeowners that want to create an elegant, contemporary look.

If you opt for this style of sofa, try to ensure that the feet are made from high quality materials and are built to last. Poor quality legs will soon look tatty and bring down the appearance of the entire piece. In general, solid wood is the best choice for visible sofa legs as it’s attractive, long-lasting and classic.

Keeping your sofa feet flat to the floor

Another option is to choose a sofa that’s flat to the floor like our Model 03 designs. These types of sofas are perfect if you want your furnishing to appear grounded. Sofas that are almost flat to the floor often feel more like they’re part of the architecture of a room than a separate piece of furniture. This can be great if you’re going for a sculptural look in your living room or if you want the sofa to have a feel of permanence about it.

Sofas that are almost flat to the floor will still have small feet. These help to balance the piece and allow air to circulate more easily around your furnishing. Again, sofa feet in wood are probably the best choice, especially if they’re topped with a protective rubber end.

What colour should your wooden sofa feet be?

Even if you’ve opted for solid wood feet, you may well have a choice when it comes to colour. This is because wood comes in a variety of tones, with stains and oils available to enhance and alter natural shades.

In most cases, a dark colour is best for wooden sofa feet. This is because a deep, rich tone will hide any scuffs, dirt or other marks a lot more effectively than a lighter colour. Dark wood also works really well with most colour schemes and is good at fading into the background. This is a real bonus if you want your bright, bold fabric sofa to be the centrepiece of your room.

If you’re looking for a sofa with elegant legs and perfect poise, we can help. Find out more about our fabric sofas, and learn about the FSC certified materials that make up our sofa legs.

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