Let’s be honest, it’s been a minute since we thought about hosting indoor shindigs. But with cocktail parties, book clubs, and bridge games officially back on the table, it bears the question: does your living room’s seating situation measure up? A linchpin for any successful party, movable floor seating helps create a congenial atmosphere for your guests—both those who RSVP’d and those who out-of-the-blued it. While you can always ferry in dining room chairs to avoid seating unexpected company on the radiator, having comfy seating ideas already in place lends any get-together a more nuclear feel. 

Banish any thoughts of beanbags, though. Floor seating ideas needn’t be the blobby pillows that dominated your college dorm. These days, party seating ideas for small spaces extend from luxurious leather poufs to tactile tuffets that can hide out in your kids’ playroom when not in use. Beyond providing seating, floor seating cushions, poufs, and stools are ideal for offsetting a room’s linear lines or providing a burst of roguish color. Poufs—they truly are the magic seat! Wondering what kinds of movable seating will factor best into your space? We’ve collected ten stellar ideas to help you out. 

Red velvet sectional with cowhide ottomans and framed drawings
Design by Zoe Feldman Design / Photo by Stacy Zarin Goldberg

Ottoman Empire

For a chic den she designed for a newly married couple expecting their first child, designer Zoe Feldman forwent a traditional coffee table in lieu of a duo of soft-sided ottomans that can also function as floor seating. When you consider that as a new parent, parties are less about cocktails and canapes and more about soothing temperamental guests and sing-alongs, the swap makes even more sense. Not only are ottomans easier to move for kid-friendly entertaining than a coffee table, but they’re literally toddler-proof. If you’re sourcing party seating ideas for small spaces, consider ottomans like the ones Zoe uses.

Burl wood side table with silver lamp, blue, polka-dot stools, and blue painting
Design by Stefani Stein Inc. / Photo by Stephen Busken

Tuckable Tuffet

Another way to stealthily integrate living room floor seating without giving up square footage? Procuring ottomans that tuck under a console. For a West Coast retreat designed for primarily East Coast-dwelling clients, a condo-sized footprint encouraged Beverly Hills designer Stefani Stein to hide extra floor seating anywhere she could—including under a burlwood Parsons console table. Covered in a stain-camouflaging fabric, tuckable stools truly are the perfect party seating idea for small spaces.

Bright living room with floor-cushion sectional, leather Moroccan pouf, and large paintings
Photo by Brad Knipstein

Pouf, There It Is

Some might be tempted to say that Moroccan poufs have had their day in the sun. A decade or so ago, Moroccan poufs were notorious for overpopulating Pinterest feeds everywhere. But one look at Vintner’s Daughter founder April Gargiulo’s San Francisco den, and we’re officially back on team pouf. The ultimate union of sophistication and function, Moroccan poufs can be used as footrests, side tables, or that all-elusive extra party seating. In a word, they’re the epitome of comfy seating for small spaces. In April’s space, the pouf expands on the worldly vibe set in motion by the floor-skimming sofa, while its burnished leather finish is the perfect juxtaposition to the room’s monochrome palette.

Boho chic bedroom with canopy bed, distressed wood bench, and yarn pouf
Design by Wesley Moon / Photo by William Waldron

Haute Hassock

Having a teenager in your nest means slumber parties may eclipse cocktail parties for a time. This is all to say that your living room may not need extra seating as much as your child’s room. For a clients’ daughter’s room he designed in a West Village Penthouse, designer Wesley Moon opted to include a tactile, urchin-like hassock. Day-to-day it can be used as a place to read and draw—and let’s be honest, text—but when friends assemble in the living room it can be dragged out to provide extra seating in a pinch. Remember: floor seating ideas for the bedroom often don’t need to be as formal as they might need to be in a living room. 

Luxe living room with pedestal coffee table, wicker pods, and gold floral wallpaper
Design by Chloe Warner / Photo by Laure Joliet

Stackable Seagrass Seating

If you’ve ever tried to dine at a coffee table then you know when it comes to floor seating cushions, the less lift the better. Taking a page from a show-stopping room designer Chloe Warner of Redmond Aldrich Design designed for the Luxe Designer Showcase in L.A., stackable seagrass cushions are the perfect candidate for the task. Seagrass floor seating cushions can be stacked virtually anywhere in a room, but the negative space under a coffee table offers up an especially suitable place to park them. Similar to tucking stools under a console, it’s a strategic move that frees up floor space.

Modern living room with red sectional, framed gallery wall, and wool stools
Design by Jamie Bush + Co. / Photo by Roger Davies

Polished Perch

Floor seating ideas for the living room become especially complex when your living room is required to function as both a living room and an office. In a Houston Mid-Century home with a hybrid living room-office set-up, designer Jamie Bush of Jamie Bush + Co. opted for sculptural stools. The clincher is that the stools are tall enough to seamlessly pivot from the living room conversation pit to the executive desk behind. Jamie also took the opportunity to integrate texture into the space by selecting stools with pedestal bases that echo the chevron print in the room’s rug.

Antique wood side table with metallic vase and twin graphic ottomans
Design by Sherry Shirah Designs / Photo by Jacqueline Marque

Soulful Cylinders 

By nature, floor seating skews more modern than antique. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be expertly synced with traditional furniture. For a cozy nook she designed for a Tudor home in Dallas, designer Sherry Shirah paired an antique game table with cylindrical poufs covered in a spirited Post-Modern print. If you’re trying to team contemporary floor seating with antiques, consider opting for fully upholstered pieces that eliminate the need to match woods from the equation. Additionally, seek out prints that echo neutrals like leopards or stripes. For instance, the print above closely mirrors zebra print.

Looking out into contemporary backyard with gray sectional and cement fire pit
Design by Jamie Bush + Co. / Photo by Roger Davies

Room for Squares

Extra floor seating isn’t just an asset indoors. It can come in handy outdoors as well. For an indoor-outdoor-fluid space he designed in a Venice Beach House, designer Jamie Bush selected a casual floor seating cushion that is informal enough to move between the interior and exterior. If you tend to think of blocky poufs as too style-ambiguous for your taste, consider opting for a style like the one Jamie did, which integrates pattern, tufting, and a rough cut edge. 

Sitting room with low velvet couch and blue chairs with layered rugs
Design by Ayromloo Design / Photo by Annie Schlechter

Hot Drops

For an upstairs hangout space situated under a dormer, Jessica Ayromloo of Ayromloo Design elected to use floor seating cushions that could almost be likened to bean bags. That said, there’s nothing last season—or even last decade—about these designer bags. In situations where you might be tempted to go with an ordinary floor cushion like a bean bag chair, consider sleek models with more structure. For instance, the ones Jessica selected have more in common with Arne Jacobsen’s iconic drop chair than 1970s rec room fixtures. 

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August 19, 2021

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