Sofa styles range from simple to complex. To understand how important sofas are, look at it like this: the sofa is to the living room what the refrigerator is to the kitchen. Regardless of your sofa style, the furniture piece can transform a living room.
As a furniture piece, the sofa anchors the living space. The reason why is because of its size. Another factor is the sofa’s appearance. A sofa can overtake a room’s decor and become the focal point.
Here, we’ll look at the top sofa brands and show you why each one is great.
Most Popular Sofa Styles
With each sofa style highlighted on this list, you’ll discover how they provide luxurious comfort in a unique way.
This example features a green Chesterfield leather sofa from Abbyson Living. The sofa has curved, high arms that hint at a roll design for its interior, yet maintains straight lines from its exterior. The style was the most common found in Britain’s country manors and feels tailor made for taller people.
Chesterfield sofas carry an air of distinction. As a famous brand, the sofa emerged in the 18th century. However, furniture historians have noted how the iconic sofa has obscure origins.
It is believed the Earl of Chesterfield commissioned the original sofa design as he wanted a chair that would help him sit upright. Today, the classic sofa possesses a few of its original qualities.
The back and rounded arms are the same height. The back is also deeply tufted with buttons. However, the arms were first rolled and the sofa had nailheads. Modern interpretations have inspired new sofa designs on top of the sofa’s original design.
These types of sofas were upholstered in leather. Now, the sofas are also made with fabric.
The Cabriole is the grande dame of sofa styles. Known for its exposed wood and elegant legs, the cabriole offers a distinctive silhouette. The arched back is one continuous piece, showcasing an elegant curved line. In this example, the sofa includes jewels in the tufts for added flair.
Upholstered with a luxury material like velvet yields a different feeling than if it were upholstered in a muted, textural neutral. The main aura of elegance derives from its shape and lithe legs, meaning it will always lend a refined air to a room.
Another distinct feature of this sofa is how the entire top of is equal in height.
This sofa lives up to its name as the design features a hump or two. It also has comfortable cushions that make it a popular sofa style. The traditional design was all the rage in the 18th century. Today, the sofa is considered more formal, especially when upholstered in classic fabric.
A more casual textile choice would make it appropriate for a family room that doesn’t need a great deal of formality. The camelback sofa has some elements that characterize the style. The legs are exposed while the sofa is without a back cushion and has square or rolled arms.
Mid Century Modern Sofa
No other style has dominated the 20th century than mid century modern. With the surge in popularity of the Mid Century Modern design genre, this sofa style is a hot item. Whether true vintage pieces, reproductions or new designs that incorporate mid century modern elements, these are versatile sofas.
Art Deco Era
Most often used in a minimalist or mid-century design scheme, they are wonderful for adding a retro feel to a room. The distinguishing elements include the exposed legs and linear structure. Most mid-century sofas — but not all of them — will have tufting on the back.
Sectional sofas are a modern invention. They have evolved beyond the 80s from their overstuffed and tufted designs. Modern sectional sofas emerged in the 50’s when iconic American designers, like Charles and Ray Eames, were redefining the shape and style of furniture.
Typically used in homes with spacious room or open floor plan, they are often large configurations that seat plenty of guests. In smaller rooms, they can be useful for seating in an area that has an odd corner or other space limitation.
Combining corner units, end units, and reclining sections based on space and individual preference makes this sofa style versatile. Sectional sofas also come in a wide variety of styles, from ultra modern or super luxe.
English Rolled Arm Sofa
If you want a new couch with a low profile, this example features an English rolled arm style. Large, soft cushions at the back as well as for the seats. Low arms are ideal for lying down. Meanwhile, the exposed legs keep the sofa from feeling too heavy or imposing.
Throw some large pillows on this couch and you’ll be fine. Other distinguishing characteristics include low exposed legs, soft, generous cushions, a tight back and recessed arms. Even though it is considered a classic style, it is also a perfect addition to a contemporary room thanks to its comfortable and versatile look.
While the back of this sofa hints at the Chesterfield, with its rows of tufting, a tuxedo sofa has cleaner, more angular lines. It is said to have been the bellwether of more modern designs in the 1920s.
You can identify a tuxedo sofa by its arms that are the same height as the back. The tufting on the back of the sofa and its rectangular silhouette are also classic characteristics.
Another trail of the tuxedo sofa is the trim. Cushions add comfort to its high arm style. Also, while the sofa above from Upcountry is upholstered in leather, this popular style is often done in textiles of all kinds, including the very trendy velvet.
Lawson Style Sofa
The Lawson style sofa has a more uniform appearance. It’s the quintessential American style sofa. It’s comfortable and simple: The box shape is generous and has three back cushions and three seat cushions.
Separate Back Cushions
The classic Lawson also has A taller back and box-shaped cushions which have welts at the edges, as do the back pillows. Ideal for snuggling and napping, this sofa style was designed for Thomas Lawson, an American copper magnate at the turn of the century. He wanted a sofa that was very different from the fussy Victorian styles that were common at that time.
Versions of the Lawson style couch incorporate wood or metal in the arms. In this example, the textile vibes with the upholstery. The shape is so versatile that it can be glamorous, luxurious, industrial, casual or formal depending on your fabric choice.
The Bridgewater is a sofa style that is mainly casual and definitely comfortable. This style is the darling of many a designer because it can be used to create a casual, friendly space. Bridgewater sofas are versatile, depending on the upholstery you choose.
Done in a neutral fabric, this style of sofa doesn’t compete with other elements in the room that may be more dramatic, such as artwork or other large features. More formal fabric will yield a more stately style of sofa.
The sofas have low arms and high backs, adding to their casual look. Most have a tailored skirt that hides the legs and loose cushions for the seat and back.
Settee Or Two Seaters
Need a sofa for a guest room? Look no further. Settees are not the main seating feature in a room. They have a slight, elegant silhouette than full sofas. Used as secondary seating for two people, a settee has a high, straight back, a shallow seat, and wooden legs.
They’re upholstered and have attached seat cushions. Settees are best used in a formal living room or parlor because they aren’t the best piece of furniture for a lived-in family room.
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Sofa Styles Conclusion
If it wasn’t for the sofa, the living room wouldn’t exist. With the different types of sofas and sofa styles, it would be almost impossible not to find a sofa to fit with your living room decor.
The first rule of a sofa is you want to sit comfortably on it. Unlike other furniture, the sofa is meant to be a major source of comfort. However, here’s where choosing the right sofa can get complicated.
You’ll need to decide if you want your sofa to have removable cushions, for example. Will your sofa be in a room dominated by a color, and if so, what color?