Most of my design clients dread selecting a sofa! Buying a sofa is one of the biggest furniture investments, so why don’t we take a look at style options and other pros and cons of sofa buying. It is important to find the style that fits your own personal style and also fits the dimensions of your space. I just can’t say enough about finding the correct proportion for your space. A big overstuffed sofa may look great in a showroom that has 14 foot ceilings, but how will it look in a home with 8, 9, or 10 foot ceilings?!? Not to mention the need to find a sofa that suits your body while seated or reclining. Let’s start with some basic, classic styles. I highly recommend these classic styles for their long lasting appeal. No trendy sofas, unless you have a large budget and plan to replace the sofa when the trends change.
The Charles of London style…(often called the English Arm sofa)
A real favorite is the Hepburn Sofa from Hickory chair with its lovely skirt detail!
I love this style in almost any room…traditional, “refined rustic”, even contemporary or transitional.
This style has low arms and an open profile, which can make a small room feel more spacious. I love this style with a tight back, loose seat cushions and I believe that the low arm is very comfortable. The Charles of London looks great skirted, but I prefer it left un-skirted, accented by a turned leg with or without casters.
Perhaps my favorite classic style is the Chesterfield! It is so inviting in an old worn leather, but can also look so modern and chic in a white leather , a velvet, or mohair. I suppose that if I could have only one more sofa in my life, it would be a leather Chesterfield…an old one of course!
Chesterfields give somewhat of a masculine feel and are perfect for libraries, dens, and living spaces. The arms and back of a Chesterfield are basically the same height.
The timeless Lawson if often skirted, but can make a lovely design statement with a wooden foot , either traditional or transitional in style. The Lawson style usually has a loose back cushion or a “semi-attached” back. This style is great for living rooms, family rooms and has a wonderful cottage feel. The Lawson’s rolled arm is a perfect place for napping.
This style is lovely with either a straight seat cushion or a T seat cushion.
The Contemporary Tuxedo is also a classic style and really never goes out of fashion. Much like the Chesterfield, the arms are usually the same height as the back. This streamlined style is perfectly suited to a contemporary design concept. There are so many great modified tuxedo styles, often with a step back arm. Hickory Chair has some lovely ones like this image from Alexa Hampton’s space in the Hickory Chair Showroom at the High Point Market.
A sloped arm sofa is graceful and has a more delicate proportion for a more formal feel. This style feels refined, but not “stuffy”.
And we must not forget about a traditional favorite, The Chippendale or Camel Back sofa.
I am currently using two of these sofas on a design project and think they are such a nice updated option to the more traditional camel back style!
Stay tuned for more about sofa selection…tight back vs loose back, to skirt or not to skirt, and cushion construction!