“Designer’s Notebook”: Have a Seat…Finding Your Perfect Sofa!

Designer Notebook by kathryn greeley north carolina interior designer and author presents finding your perfect sofa

 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)

Designer Notebook by kathryn greeley north carolina interior designer and author presents finding your perfect sofa

Photo Credit: Hickory Chair

Designer Notebook by kathryn greeley north carolina interior designer and author presents finding your perfect sofa

Photo Credit: Hickory Chair

A real favorite is the Hepburn Sofa from Hickory chair with its lovely skirt detail!

Designer Notebook by kathryn greeley north carolina interior designer and author presents finding your perfect sofa

Photo Credit: Hickory Chair

Designer Notebook by kathryn greeley north carolina interior designer and author presents finding your perfect sofa

Photo Credit: Kathryn Greeley Designs

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.

Designer Notebook by kathryn greeley north carolina interior designer and author presents finding your perfect sofa

Photo Credit: Hickory Chair

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.

Designer Notebook by kathryn greeley north carolina interior designer and author presents finding your perfect sofa

Photo Credit: Kathryn Greeley Designs

Designer Notebook by kathryn greeley north carolina interior designer and author presents finding your perfect sofa

Photo Credit: Kathryn Greeley Designs

Designer Notebook by kathryn greeley north carolina interior designer and author presents finding your perfect sofa

Photo Credit: Kathryn Greeley Designs

Designer Notebook by kathryn greeley north carolina interior designer and author presents finding your perfect sofa

Photo Credit: Hickory Chair

Designer Notebook by kathryn greeley north carolina interior designer and author presents finding your perfect sofa

Photo Credit: Hickory Chair

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.

Designer Notebook by kathryn greeley north carolina interior designer and author presents finding your perfect sofa

Designer Notebook by kathryn greeley north carolina interior designer and author presents finding your perfect sofa

Photo Credit: Hickory Chair

Designer Notebook by kathryn greeley north carolina interior designer and author presents finding your perfect sofa

Photo Credit: Hickory Chair

Designer Notebook by kathryn greeley north carolina interior designer and author presents finding your perfect sofa

Photo Credit: Hickory Chair

Designer Notebook by kathryn greeley north carolina interior designer and author presents finding your perfect sofa

Photo Credit: Hickory Chair

A sloped arm sofa is graceful and has a more delicate proportion for a more formal feel.  This style feels refined, but not “stuffy”.

Designer Notebook by kathryn greeley north carolina interior designer and author presents finding your perfect sofa

Photo Credit: Hickory Chair

Designer Notebook by kathryn greeley north carolina interior designer and author presents finding your perfect sofa

Photo Credit: Hickory Chair

And we must not forget about a traditional favorite, The Chippendale or Camel Back sofa.

Designer Notebook by kathryn greeley north carolina interior designer and author presents finding your perfect sofa

Photo Credit: Hickory Chair

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!

Designer Notebook by kathryn greeley north carolina interior designer and author presents finding your perfect sofa

Photo Credit: Hickory Chair

 Stay tuned for more about sofa selection…tight back vs loose back, to skirt or not to skirt, and cushion construction!

Designer Notebook by kathryn greeley north carolina interior designer and author presents finding your perfect sofa

This entry was posted in Inspired!, Interior Design, Style Guide, Take It From Kathryn, The Collected Room, Uncategorized, What's Inspiring Kathryn? and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to “Designer’s Notebook”: Have a Seat…Finding Your Perfect Sofa!

  1. franki says:

    SO VERY TRUE!!! It took me THREE years to find a sofa I felt comfortable with for our log cabin…finally selected a Hancock&Moore. The leather is incredibly soft and on siestas it are a delight! franki

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