Here I am with a new gossip session about furniture styles. Still having sofas as target, and today’s sofa could not be more suitable for this series. The tete-a-tete is also known as gossip couch.
Though developed in the early 19th century in France out of cushioned french sofas, it was very popular in the Victorian period, thus many surviving pieces feature a more ornate style the the one in the picture above. As the french name is stating, it was a seating situation meant for an intimate conversation. Well, sometimes “intimate conversation” is the pseudonym for gossip.
The sinuous shape forms two seats facing in opposite direction but still very close to see out of the corner of the eye the person seating next and having that intimate conversation with. The antique versions are generally upholstered and cushioned using the spring coil technique, a fresh invention of the early 19th century. Therefore it is not only practical but also very comfortable.
I’ve noticed that it used quite often in contemporary interiors, and it has been interpreted and reinterpreted in – sometimes – very ingenious ways. Even Salvador Dali designed one among the other furniture pieces he created (#fabulous), the Vis-a-Vis sofa.
Recently we found it in the lobby of a restaurant in Ibiza so we jumped all in (apparently it can fit also more people than two :)) for some Instagrams (yes, I admit, I am guilty of being infected with the virus) and some beautiful modern version can be seen in the lobby of hotel Marriott in Bucharest.