Sunday, January 13, 2013

Decorating With the Borne Settee

The Borne Settee: Circular, upholstered Victorian ottoman-type sofa, sometimes known as a conversation seat, which has three or four seat divisions and a central cone providing a backrest.

For the longest time I didn't know what these were called. In trying to find out I discovered that nobody else seemed to know either. People were asking and were calling them all kinds of names. My favorite was the round sofa thingy. It is nearly impossible to find out any information about them.I just recently stumbled upon their actual name.....a borne.

The Borne actually arose during NapolĂ©on III’s period in France (mid-1800’s). Depending on the style, three or four people could have a tete `a tete without too much familiarity. You would later see them in High Victorian homes as well. You know those Victorians, sitting there pretending to be so noble, all the while planning their trysts or absorbed in naughty conversation under the guise of unfamiliarity. Now after being be regulated to hotel lobbies, the borne is being embraced again for stylish interiors. People seem to be talking alot about them so maybe we have a new design trend in the making. I have found a few places where more contemporary versions can be purchased. If they regain popularity, just say you saw it here first. LOL

So if you really want to impress your friends,the next time you see one just casually say, "Isn't this a lovely borne?"  Enjoy!

The borne has always been  associated with old world opulance.......

but not anymore!! Even contemporary homes can now enjoy the luxury of this lovely style of sofa.

If you love mixing antiques and modern be sure and consider a borne.

They are wonderful for entryways. I would not put one this close to the door, but you get the picture.

They definitely give a room a touch of elegance.

Very pretty and feminine. I would love this in a dressing room.

You could have one custom designed to fit your particular style.

I think the sleek style of the borne and the console table look wonderful in this room. However I would lose the brown chair and green table.

A beautiful entertainment area!

The original bornes were usually tufted like this.

A more contemporary version.

This contemporary borne can be purchased from the sites below. and

Since bornes are hard to find and very expensive when you do, I included this picture for you to try as a Do It Yourself project. I know many of you have support columns in your homes. This is a clever way to add interest and conversation seating. You could make it as sleek or fancy an your decor dictates.The possibilities are endless!!

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Click here to see the previous post!

This blog post was published by
Lisa Farmer


  1. Dear Ms.Farmer ,thanks for enlightening me re the correct name for an: "in the round conversation settee"...i.e. "a borne". I've always been crazy
    about them.
    Was wondering if you know where the stunning gilded room is.. with the huge chandelier hanging above the beautiful deep violet & gold borne in the 2nd or 3rd photo in ,on your borne blog site....Sincerely yours.. Ian H-S. in London

    1. Greetings Ian, Would like to send you info and some other photos but need your email address Thanks , Lisa

  2. Hi Ms. Farmer, thanks for posting these borne sofas. They look so elegant and am crazy about them too. Do you have any idea where to order them? Do you think they'll make it with white leather instead of fabric upholstery? Thanks for your help. -connie

  3. What a Terrific site you have asembled here. Thank you. Now I Know the propper name.

  4. These are just spectacular!! There are several popular names of these...Borne Settee, Bourne Settee, Circle Settee, Circle Banquette, Round Banquette etc...Some of these are made in USA at


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