Many people have one criterion when it comes to choosing a sofa. They sit on the sofa and if it’s comfortable, they’ll take it. But it might interest you to know that sofas have a rich design history, and it might help you to identify the sofa style and even quality by looking at the details on the sofa. Sofa style is broken down into arms, back, and the legs/skirt. Certain parts and the way they’re done influence the appeal along with the trim.
The camelback was designed by Thomas Chippendale in the 18th century. The camelback has a formal and traditional feel because of its rounded back, high arms, and tight seat. Choose this style for a formal room, or a living room that incorporates antiques to emphasize the era.
Tuxedo sofas feature clean angular lines with low arms. The arms are slightly flared and are as high as the back. Some like a lower armrest, but the tuxedo is still comfortable. Choose the tuxedo style for a room that is more minimal and looks best with another clean-lined piece.
3. English / Club
The club sofa has slightly round arms and backs. The seat is tight and rolled back without a skirt. The couch has low turned legs with casters. This couch has a formal feel and would also work well in a small space because of the space shown underneath.
The Knole is designed after the 17-century sofa that was made for Knole, a classic English country house. It has a high back and angled arms. It’s unique and most sofas aren’t designed in this form. If you want a unique and eye-catching sofa, this is the one to choose.
Like the Knole, the Cabriole is a dramatic throwback. Its back is an 18th century Louis XV style in one line. It has wood trim and wood legs. Its design is simple but eye-catching.
The Chesterfield is that classic leather couch you imagine out of an old-fashioned psychiatrist’s office. They have tufted backs and high rolled arms. The Chesterfield doesn’t have to be leather, but it often is. If you want to add an intellectual and elegant feel to your space, this is the couch for you.
7. Midcentury Modern
This is a classic couch with square lines, low and often square legs. These sofas are best for larger spaces though the legs to offer a sense of space.
The Bridgewater has low arms and a straight back, though it’s not particularly angular. This is the class couch with a skirt. If you’re a traditionalist, this is the couch for you.
Last, but not least, we can’t forget about the sectional, a couch that combines two ends and a corner unit. The style can range from clean-lined and modern to more traditional and curvaceous. If you have a large family or a big living space, this is a great option.
Now that you have a brief background on sofa designs, you can make a more educated decision on the sofa that best fits your style and space. Consider what the primary function will be and allow the style to follow the function and your personal taste.
Editor’s Note: Rose Singer writes for interior design blogs and suggests when buying furniture.