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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Pssst...It's called a tight seat.

No, not the kind you get by going to the gym. I'm talking about the upholstery term for a chair or sofa on which the seat fabric is attached directly to the frame and does not have a removable seat cushion.

While loose cushions were typical in mid-century pieces, I found some beautiful examples of classic MCM chairs and sofas with fixed seat cushions. My sofa has loose cushions, but I'm considering changing it to a tight seat and back when I have it recovered. Let me have some feedback on that. Which style do you prefer?

Hans Wegner sofa
Vladimir Kagan Fireside chair
Isamu Noguchi sofa
Terence Conran Steinbeck chair
Harvey Probber gondola sofa
Adrian Pearsall swivel chairs


  1. I have to side with practicality on this issue. Loose cushions mean you can flip a cushion if you happen to get a small stain or heaven forbid a hole that isn't a big enough deal to force new upholstery. That said, those are some pretty sweet examples above and I can see the attraction.

  2. Being able to rotate and flip the cushions will prevent the dreaded "butt divot" in your favorite spot on the sofa. I'm going to have to replace my tight sofa because of the divot. I have learned my lesson, and will find a sofa with removable seat cushions.

  3. Those are some great pieces...I love the fireside chair!!

  4. I lean towards the tight seat, and when we replace our sofa that's most likely what we'll get. I feel like loose cushions tend to slump over time, giving the piece a tired look that I hate.

  5. I love the tight seat look with some throw pillows.

  6. I love the look of the tight seat however, I'm not sure they have the lounging quality that I prefer in a loose pillow sofa. I need to be able to sink into my sofa. Chairs are another story. I think a tight seat works well for side chairs. I wouldn't turn down any of the above examples though...gorgeous selection.

  7. Personally, I'm a huge fan of the tight seat. If you can get a tight seat with some tufting, too, then it's sublime. I think the tufting helps some of the sagging issues. I know then you are veering closer to a Chesterfield, but our horrifically made but awesome looking Urban Outfitters ouch is a tight seat with tufting on the back and seat and it looks very mod. Personally, I have a weird phobia about the space underneath couch cushions, which is almost always DISGUSTING. I love that tight cushions lessen that.

  8. could get the first one home..right away :)

  9. Everyone has made some great points. Another that may influence my decision is how much cheaper it will be to recover my 4-cushion sofa if I do a tight seat and back.