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What can 3-piece-suites say about you and your family?
Written By Sharon Marshall on July 29th, 2012
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What has happened to 3 piece suites?
For us 40-somethings, growing up in the UK meant 3 piece suites. There really was no other option for living room seating. Oh, I’m not saying you couldn’t purchase a sofa or armchair separately, but that was for other rooms, wasn’t it? Where I came from, you either sat on 3 piece suites in your lounge, or you sat on the floor!
Are there better seating options available?
3 piece suites offer sufficient seating for an average sized family, and there’s no pressure to get too close to anyone you’re not particularly familiar with if you’re out visiting pals, because you can always opt for an armchair and the comfortable isolation such a seating choice provides. On the other hand, you tend to get less seating per square metre with 3 piece suites and, consequently, less space to bring in emergency chairs for additional guests.
Different seating for different rooms…
In the standard terraced house that I grew up in, 3 piece suites seemed ideal. However, when we moved into a semi, and swapped a through lounge for a reasonably sized room that was more square in shape, 3 piece suites became a bit of a problem. I remember that there was always an armchair we weren’t quite sure where to situate so everyone could get a good view of the TV. Despite this, we remained loyal to 3 piece suites and persevered until one day Mum gave up and bought a standalone 2-seater sofa, which didn’t match the chairs – but it just didn’t feel like our lounge any more! So Mum reverted to 3 piece suites as soon as they moved to their present home and, admittedly, you get a lot more choice these days regarding the precise combination of items that you wish to purchase.
The need for modern options
But it seems that the traditional choice for my family of 3 piece suites is not always going to work so well in a more modern setting, where space is often at a premium. It stands to reason that two armchairs will take up more room than a standard 2-seater because there are two additional arms to accommodate. And, if you like your 3-piece suites to have plenty of padding for more luxurious relaxation, slim arms are highly unlikely!
We still love 3 piece suites!
However, 3 piece suites remain a popular choice and nowadays you can often find armchair options that mean the sofa may no longer be the optimum spot for lounging. Mum fell in love with rocker recliners and bought two of those plus a sofa. Unsurprisingly, the chairs are a hit. In fact, Mum only tends to use the sofa now – because it gives the best window view – unless you count the dog, of course, who finds the rocking movement of the chairs rather disconcerting!
Here’s a chance to see an episode from series 2 of the hilarious Keeping Up Appearances, where Hyacinth Bouquet purchases a 3 piece suite.