The living room staple in furniture is the couch. Some people might say it is the sofa. Others might say it is a davenport, settee, loveseat, or a futon. What, exactly, do all of these words really mean, and why do so many people attempt to use them interchangeably? The following definitions will clarify.
A couch is usually a piece of living room furniture that seats three or four people. It is the longest version of the most popular living room furniture item that goes by many names, but only the longest version is officially a couch. Nothing else is quite as long or comes near the six to eight feet that couches are known for.
A loveseat is so named because it typically seats only two people (two people in love, where this furniture item gets its name). Most of the time, a couch is paired with a loveseat because the couch was meant to seat four parents to look at their two children in love on the loveseat (so the story goes). However, a couch may also be paired with a sofa.
A sofa is smaller than a couch, but larger than a loveseat. It typically seats up to three people, but never more than three. If you have enough room in your living room, a sofa and couch set can seat a family of six quite nicely.
A davenport is ever so slightly smaller than a couch, but definitely larger than a sofa. It regularly has lots of carved wood around the legs, arms, and top back of it, giving it a more elegant look. It was born out of a furniture factory named, of course, Davenport. The word can only be heard in use in the Midwest and in Northern New York. The company has long since been defunct, but it has not stopped people in these regions from using the word to describe any couch-like piece of living room furniture.
A settee is very much like a loveseat. Like davenport, the word settee is a regional word. You can hear someone describe a loveseat piece of furniture as a settee in the Southern states, and along the Eastern Coast. The word has almost gone out of fashion, but you may hear it once in a while.
Futons were created in Japan as a means of doubling the use of furniture. There, people who live in the cities are crammed into extremely tiny apartments with one room serving as the common area and the next room as a place to sleep. Since furniture like a couch would take up too much space, futons provide a place for people to sit and visit before converting to a bed.
Visit a dealer, like TimeSquare Furniture & Mattress, for more ideas.