Need Comfy Small Scale Furniture

kimkitchyJanuary 6, 2012

So, we are nearing the end of our upstairs (1/2 story) remodel and we have a sitting area in a space created by a new shed dormer. The space in front of the window, where the main seating would go, is about 7 1/2 feet long. There is also room for a small chair to one side. What I really want is some very comfy furniture, but it has to be small in scale because our stairway (circa 1913) is so narrow and has a tight corner at the bottom. The stairs are no more than 37 inches wide.

Has anyone found a good source for very comfortable small scale furniture? I'm thinking either sofa, or chairs with ottomans...



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I can recommend the sofas I have in my house. I have Ethan Allen in my living room and Rowe in my basement and tv room.
When you say small scale, Pottery Barn comes to mind. They have a series of small scale furniture. I love the way it looks but I have never sat on one. I would check them out.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2012 at 11:22AM
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I was thinking Ikea for small scale furniture. They have a lot of furniture just right for little apartments and small spaces.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2012 at 2:52PM
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I saw somthing on HGTV about 'condo sized' furniture, but they didn't specify the store. Sounds like smaller furniture is in demand, so hopefully you'll find some nice pieces :)

    Bookmark   January 6, 2012 at 3:11PM
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My husband had the same dilemma when trying to furnish his rather small office - he wanted to fit a sofa in there along with a desk. We ordered a small-size loveseat and chair online from

    Bookmark   January 6, 2012 at 3:54PM
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Thanks for the ideas... please keep them coming!
graninroad was new to me - neat web-store!

    Bookmark   January 6, 2012 at 4:26PM
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West Elm.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2012 at 11:27PM
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I had exactly the same issue in my former 1923 house, a 1 1/2 story bungalow. We created one big room upstairs; it became our TV room and spare bedroom although the headroom wasn't good for tall people. The door to the upstairs was far too narrow for most furniture, so we bought a full sized futon and a futon chair that came unassembled and assembled them upstairs. They worked great as lounge chairs (very comfortable!) and extra beds for guests. I'm sorry that this photo doesn't quite show you what I'd like to show you but it is all I have. You can see the edge of the full sized futon to the right.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2012 at 4:45PM
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Oh marita, that is a cute space! How tall was the ceiling? We had a similar space in another house and it was used as bedroom for our girls. But it was only about 5 1/2 feet in the very center.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2012 at 4:54PM
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I was hoping to see some photos! I was thinking today how nice it would be to have a small, if not tiny, upholstered chair in the pantry in front of the window. I sat there today watching the birdfeeders, but the old table chair was a hard sit. I hope you find a good source for small scale furniture kimkitchy, I'll keep checking this post. Did you try a search for boudoir chairs? I meant to but keep forgetting. Sometimes they are smaller in scale, perhaps need to find vintage?

    Bookmark   January 13, 2012 at 5:30PM
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Thanks marti. As I recall the ceiling height down the very center of the room was 7 feet or so. It was quite comfortable for me (5' 7") although I was always bumping my head on the room sides. The only other solution was to raise the roof and for various reasons we couldn't do that. Lots of people in bungalow neighborhoods have this dilemma. We added two skylights, as you can see in the photo, which considerably brightened the space. In another corner of the room was a comfortable wicker chair from Pier One. That one did fit through the door. My sense is that much of their furniture is small scale.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2012 at 5:49PM
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We had two skylights too, about that size, and operable. We didn't have any gables so no place to put any other windows.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2012 at 11:16PM
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Another great line for smaller homes is Younger furniture. They are made in NC, and I've read good reviews on RetroRenovation. We were ready to order when we won a vintage sofa at an estate auction.

They are moderate-priced, not low-end but not high either. For example, the sofa we were ready to order was in the $1200-1300 range. Love the little sectional, but it does not work in our space.

Here is a link that might be useful: Younger Furniture

    Bookmark   January 14, 2012 at 1:43PM
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I'm glad someone mentioned GrandinRoad, although they are expensive. I also shredded my catalogs this week, but I think another one was Crate & Barrel. The only one I'm not shredding is the IKEA, because they have so many great ideas which I can adapt to my small house.

One chair I really like is upholstered and it is a swivel rocker. LaZBoy used to make them, I had two in the river house that Katrina destroyed, and then LaZBoy quit making anything that small. But I got two similar ones from JCPenney, which took FOREVER to be delivered. I mean MONTHS.
So I'll never order from JCP again. Also take a look at Target online.

I do not recall where IDie2Live got her chair for the tiny front porch (neighborhoodwatch country), but that one is small scale and comfy looking.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2012 at 6:23PM
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I have been looking at Ikea too, and Ikea Hacks. There are so many great ideas there for small homes.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2012 at 7:02PM
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Hi Kimkitchy....I think I remember you from back when I used to post a lot on the kitchen forum. :)

I'm a huge Ikea fan. We live in a tiny Victorian cottage and the white slipcovered Ektorp sofa and chairs are in our living room. I'm currently tackling the semi-finished area of our basement and am getting an Ikea daybed for down there. I've been there every week for the past few weeks haha and I can't get over how clever they are. And great news is if you get tired of it, it's not a huge investment. Our living room furniture was supposed to be temporary but it's staying!

    Bookmark   January 16, 2012 at 10:17PM
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Wow! I had not been back to the small homes forum for about a week, and now there are several more posts! THANKS.
gsciencechick, I LIKE the Younger stuff and they have a dealer in Grand Junction, CO, so I could see/sit on items in person. :-)
Marita40, thanks for showing me your former home's 1/2 story space. Very cute. We may need to go with something like a futon, but I'm still hoping I can fit some more traditional furniture up there. Ours has quite a bit more head room... but those darn narrow stairs!
Schoolhouse, I'll try to get on and post some photos of our remodel soon. It is not 100% complete yet, but close!
"Hi!" kpaquette... yes, I used to hang out in "kitchens" a lot. Too busy at work these days to post much... Am going to Denver next week on business but may try to make time for a trip to IKEA. It is the first one in CO and "all the rage" I guess... and I live in the boondocks. Do they ship?

Again, thanks to all for the responses... any more ideas?

    Bookmark   January 17, 2012 at 4:22PM
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kimkitchy, I am SO glad you posted this question. I think some of the chairs I saw will work for me too.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2012 at 7:00PM
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Check out the Candice Olson Collection at Norwalk Furniture. Other dealers can be web searched at her website.

She once mentioned on her show that she had designed a number of scaled-down pieces for smaller rooms.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 7:32PM
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Have you thought about Lazy-boy recliners or sofas? The backs come off (couple of metal clips).

I just measured my favorite rocker/recliner. It is only 27 inches high from the ground to the top of the arms. With the back off, if you tip it on its front it should make it up the stairs easily.

It's the only furniture that I can get into my dollhouse!

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 9:52PM
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Two more places to check out. IKEA has a new catalog out about storage, and they also are really pushing compact dual purpose furniture.

Then there is mmmmm, some other place, it just flew out of my head as I was typing IKEA. Drats.

Oh yeah, try APARTMENT THERAPY. At least for ideas to furnish small spaces.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2012 at 4:54PM
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Thanks for the additional resource ideas! Road_home, I had checked out La-z-boy a couple of years ago and I was told by a dealer that the backs don't come off any more... I wonder. Are yours fairly new? I've looked at the apartment therapy site before, but didn't know it had a "retail" arm... I'll check out Candace Olsen, too. More later... Kim

    Bookmark   January 24, 2012 at 7:00PM
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I bet the backs come off still, just not with a single lever the way they used to. I bought a recliner last year and it did not come assembled. It was super easy though. The back just fit into a couple of slots and then lock into place.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2012 at 8:52PM
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Flex steel makes a smaller sized chair with ottoman if you like traditional style. It is called flemington.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2012 at 4:09PM
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Update. Went shopping the end of last week in the big city. Found lots of options. Paid my first visit to an IKEA... whoa! Visited a La-z-boy gallery and the backs do still come off most of their recliners (just not the super big ones, like the Buchanan). So, that's an option. Bassett furniture has quite a few smaller chairs and sofas, and they have a whole "small scale furniture collection" (unfortunately, it only comes in a dark stain for the wood which is not what I'm after). Also visited Ethan Allen, Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrel, and Stickley Audi (oohh-ahh...). Too bad DH was not along for the trip so I could figure out what he would like/hate. We've got time, so I guess we may have to go back. It definitely gave me a feel for what is out there. Collected literature, pictures, dimensions, etc.

Thanks for the help. I'll probably post more later...

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 5:17PM
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Sounds like you covered a lot of ground. Which did you like best?

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 5:31PM
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Which did I like best? Stickley... Someday I'm going to own at least one Stickley something.
But, I also found the chairs at La-z-boy very comfortable and I like Bassett too for mid-range price and good quality. Some of Ethan Allen's designs I really liked, but I have to say that on some of their pieces I found the quality of the construction lacking. At IKEA there were sections of the store I especially enjoyed... lighting, kitchens, home organization... and I kind of liked some of their small scale sofas/sectionals - they were fairly comfortable, just not sure how long they would last.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 11:27AM
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