Find the Perfect Sofa Shape for You

When shopping for a sofa, you should always think about the fabric, quality, and the size. But here's something you might not think about: the shape of your sofa. Before researching sofas, it's important to know what to search for - and what style you like or will work with your room. There are so many different sofa shapes, and variations of those shapes, as well as styles of cushions, legs, arms, and more. We explore some of these differences so you'll know what to look for when shopping for your dream sofa. 

Sofa Shapes

There are a couple of classic sofa shapes that are standard throughout the world. These include the Bridgewater, Camelback, Chesterfield, English, Lawson, and Tuxedo. These names might not mean anything to you now, but they soon will! These six sofa shapes originated throughout different times (and countries) becoming classics that keep on being reinvented with different variations and fabrics. 

Chippendale Camelback: The Camelback sofa is a more traditional sofa, with a curved back and tight-back cushions. The arms are usually rolled, at a higher height and the sofa features exposed legs. These sofas tend to have uniquely round backs, often arching (hence the name, Camelback). The Camelback is meant to be a statement piece in a parlor so it's often never placed against the wall, but instead in the center of a room.

Camelback Sofa

Chesterfield: The Chesterfield sofa originated during the early 1700s, believed to have been commissioned by trendsetter-at-the-time Lord Phillip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield. He wanted a sofa with a lot of tufting (which at the time showed off wealth as the tufting process required more fabric), quilted leather upholstery, rolled arms, ornate wooden legs, and low-seat base. As Lord Stanhope aged, so did his Chesterfield pieces, thus showing off the distinctive look of the aged Chesterfield sofa. If this is your sofa, you should explore the Marquette Beige or the Marquette Chocolate.

Chesterfield Sofa

English: The English sofa is also an English classic, with a low and deep seat, loose-back cushions (usually three), rolled arms with pleats, and differentiating front and back legs. The back legs are usually a sloped, tapered leg while the front leg is a tad more ornate, and some times feature a wheel. The English sofa tends to be a bit lower and with very deep seats, allowing for the perfect lazy Sunday afternoon lounging. If this is your sofa, then you'll love the Fairchild Cream or Fairchild Bark.

English Rolled Arms

Lawson: The Lawson sofa tends to be a more traditional sofa with rolled arms, loose cushions, and either traditional legs or a skirt. The sofa tends to have a thicker, bulkier shape than other more delicately-shaped sofas. The Lawson sofa was originally commissioned for a wealthy Boston financier named Thomas W. Lawson in the late 1800s. He enjoyed furniture that was more comfortable and layered with pillows. We love our version of the Lawson sofa: the Englewood.

Lawson Sofa

Tuxedo: A tuxedo sofa is a much more contemporary shape, usually connected to Art Deco style and the look of early 1920s club houses. It was invented in the 1920s, with its name originating from the same place as the tuxedo - Tuxedo Park in New York. Similar to the Chesterfield, the Tuxedo's arms are the same height as the back of the sofa, and therefore the back cushions are either tight-back, or loose cushions that rise above the back of the sofa. The Darcy Violet is a great example of a more elegant Tuxedo sofa shape.

Tuxedo Sofa

Arms

There are two different shapes to arms: square or rolled arms. Most of the time, rolled arms tend to be more traditional, while square arms tend to be more modern or casual. With square and rolled arms, the height of the arm itself can vary on the type of sofa. For example, a Chesterfield has rolled arms that are high (at the same height as the back of the sofa), whereas an English sofa has arms that are much lower, closer to the base of the sofa. The lower the arm, the more casual a sofa tends to be. A lower arm is also great for a smaller space, where it can make the space seem much larger than it actually is. 

Legs

The legs of a sofa can really define its history -- whether it's mid-century modern from the 1960s or from the days of Marie Antoinette. Cone legs tend to be more common with the mid-century modern style -- a thinner and sleeker leg holding up the weight of the sofa. Whereas a thicker, tapered leg tends to align with a more classic sofa such as the English. And more ornate legs, with spindles tend to be tied in with Chesterfield sofas, a much much older style. More formal and traditional sofas do not have legs, but rather a skirt which shows off luxury and conceals the legs. Notice the more traditional look of the Preston sofa's legs with the more contemporary look of the Concord sofa's legs. 

Cushions

There are two different types of cushions -- tight-back and loose-back cushions. A tight-back cushion tends to be more formal, lining up to the counter of the back of the sofa, Although it can tend to be less comfortable as it has less cushioning than a loose-back cushioned sofa. A loose-back sofa tends to have cushions that are either not attached, or attached at the base. For example, the Darcy sofa has a tight-back cushion with tufting, whereas the Highline sofa has loose cushions with tufting.

 

Sources: Elizabeth Reich, Insignia Homes, Marcye Philbrook.

Home Design Trends in 2014

The New Year is almost here. And we’re excited to look forward to the trends and styles of 2014. Two thousand and thirteen brought us trends such as gold and brass accents, emerald green, and Aztec and ikat prints. We have wrapped up the 2014 trends – which ones are your favorite?

Art Deco

Nothing quite glams up a room like a touch of art deco. You'll be seeing a lot more of the art deco look in 2014, from rich coffee tables to glossy nightstands, these pieces will take your space to the next level. We love the luxurious look of the Hanson Console Chest in black with silver details.

Art Deco

Industrial Chic

For more down-to-earth and contemporary spaces, the industrial chic trend is emerging more so than ever. This look originates from old factories, warehouses, and farmhouses and uses reclaimed wood, recycled wood, exposed brick, pipework, and unique and aging metals. In the past year or so, the look has been popping up in trendy restaurants, and now it's coming to your home. Lighter and happy colors, such as mint greens, work well with industrial chic pieces, like our Columbia Cocktail Table.

Industrial Chic

Geometric Lines

There’s a new furniture trend here, and it will bring something completely new to your space. Furniture pieces with geometric lines are a great way to break up your space and introduce the unexpected. This style brings a “wow” statement to any room. Like the Volare Collection, with sharp geometric lines and cutting-edge design.

Geometric Lines

Preppy Pieces

Preppy is in, like never before. Preppy fabrics and prints are now making their way onto unexpected furniture lines and styles. Modern pieces mix with bold colors and patterns, like the Dempsey Accent Chair's checkered print on a modern chrome chair. These preppy pieces go great with hunter green, burnt orange, navy, and fresh pink.

Preppy Modern

Midcentury Modern

Say hello again to the clean and fun styles of the 1950s with midcentury modern pieces. With simple lines and organic forms mixed with fun colors and patterns, these midcentury pieces will blend in nicely with other styles in your home. We love the lines of the Arden 2-Piece Sectional with it’s tweed-like fabric, tapered wood legs, and funky pillow prints.

Midcentury Modern

What trends are you looking forward to? 

Image Sources: Tiffany Eastman InteriorsChris A. DorseyYanic Simard, Garrison Hullinger Interior Design, and Flegel's Construction Co., Inc

Talking Tufted Furniture

Tufted furniture – it’s a classic furniture style that has never quite gone away. Tufting happens during the upholstery process when layers of fabric are pulled inward (often with a button) to create the tuft, giving off a “buttoned-up” look. Tufted furniture originated in historic France and England (around the 1300s-1400s) and was one of the ways upper classmen would show off their money as tufting requires more fabric than other upholstery methods. Back then, these fabrics were usually rich velvets or silks but today tufted furniture comes in a variety of different fabrics with bright colors and fun patterns to combine old and new styles. You’ll often find the tufted look on the Chesterfield sofa, Barcelona chair, and classic chaise lounges and ottomans.

Tufted Furniture

Tufted furniture has the ability to upgrade any room with a more upscale look, for both traditional and contemporary rooms alike. The Brittney ottoman is a more traditional approach to tufting, with a neutral velvet and classic wooden legs. Whereas the Casino IV chair shows how even modern mid-century can be glammed up with bonded leather and metal legs. Almost every design style has its own version of tufted furniture – whether you love shabby chic, modern, and glam.

One of the key benefits to tufted furniture is its longevity. Since this furniture type is tightly upholstered with reinforcement every couple of inches (the tufts), it has less fabric sagging over time. So you can have an elegant look that lasts. We love these tufted rooms!  

Products and images (from left to right): Kim Scodro Interiors with the Montage Ottoman,  Martha O’Hara Interiors with the Classic Accent Chair, J. Scott Interiors with the Marilyn BedNiki Papadopoulos with Casino III Chair, and Distinctive Mantel Designs with the Brittney Ottoman.

The Fall 2013 Pantone Color Trends in Furniture

As we pass through August, the fall 2013 Pantone colors are beginning to trend in home decor and furniture. With colors such as Emerald, Mykonos Blue, Linden Green, Acai, Samba, Koi, Deep Lichen Green, Vivacious, Carafe, and Beaujolais, they're offering up bold statements in modern, traditional, and contemporary rooms alike. Whether you're planning on trying these colors on your walls, or you're opting for a subtle accent piece, these colors are sure to transform your space for the coming months. 

The rich Emerald green continues to update any look with increased elegance and luxury while Linden Green lightens and brightens darker fall shades -- we love how it does just this in the Concord accent chair. And the contrasting Samba red provides an expressive and dramatic look -- perfect for a smaller accent piece such as the Celebration ottoman. We find that Turbulence and Carafe offer an alternative to the cold blacks and grays of fall, adding a bit of warmth to a more sophisticated room, like the clean lines of the Solace gray sofa. And of course we can't forget the bright and dazzling Koi, which is perfect for adding in a color pop to a lighter and more neutral room, for example, with the Drake bar stool. Will you be bringing any of these colors into your home? 

Linden Green PantoneTurbulence PantoneAcai PantoneDeep Lichen GreenEmerald PantoneVivacious PantoneCarafe PantoneKoi Pantone

Products (left to right): Madison Accent Chair, Jordan Full Corner BedCelebration Ottoman, Oasis Accent ChairSolace Gray SofaDrake Bar Stool, Alcove Sage Chair, Radiance II Sofa, Palmer III 92" Sofa, and Radiance Cube Ottoman.

How Do I Figure Out My Design Style?

Figuring out your design style is a tricky thing. Are you contemporary? Eclectic? Retro? A mix? And what do those terms mean when talking about a room? For example, many of us say our style is "contemporary" but the definition varies so much for each individual. If you're in the process of refurnishing your home or buying furniture for a new home, it's very important to understand your style and how everything will work together to create the look you're going for. 

Get Googling, Pinning, our Houzzing

Before tackling the shopping process, start searching for rooms instead of terms. Look on Google Images, Pinterest, or Houzz and get lost in the different spaces. When you see something you like, save them all in a board, folder, or ideabook. If you're unsure what to search for, try searching for catch-all keywords that will show a variety of different styles such as "bedroom" or "fireplace design". By searching in this way, you'll find a variety of different design solutions and styles to help you visually identify your look. 

Make a List

A week later, take a look at what images you've saved with a fresh eye. Write down trends you notice from picture to picture. For example, have you noticed that seven of the rooms have starburst mirrors? Or, that all the rooms have fabric sofas instead of leather? You'll notice themes throughout your these images that will help you understand what you like. You'll notice that your "themes" list is morphing into a shopping list such as: circular mirrors, microfiber sofa, moroccan tile rug, and slipper chairs.

Find Your Interior Design Style

Here are some things to look for throughout photos: 

     
  • What types of wall art and decor are in the rooms? Are there kinds that I like or don't like?
  • Are there mostly fabric sofas? Or leather sectionals?
  • What kinds of coffee tables do the rooms feature? Do they have clean lines or have room for storage?
  • Are there colors I'm gravitating towards? Or do the colors vary?
  • Are there consistent materials throughout the photos? 

Start Shopping

Start the shopping process with the list you just made. As you do this, pin or save what products you like. That way, you can look at everything holistically and make sure everything ties into the style you want. Shopping online is a great way to make sure your keeping to your style and plan. Check out the example Pinterest board we created to get the look from one of the rooms above!

Image Sources: Paul Moon DesignHouzz Traditional RoomsErika Bonnell, Inc.Paul Moon DesignMichael Abrams LimitedJane Lockhart Interior Design

5 Sofas Under $500

A new sofa refreshes the look of your living room -- it can also completely change the style of the room. If you're in the market for a new sofa and want to update your living room, you don't need to spend a ton of money to get the style and quality you're looking for. We've pulled together five of our favorite sofas that you can bring home for less than $500.

Casino Leather Sofa

Get the on-trend look of furniture design’s modern masterpieces with the Casino leather sofa. With a nod to mid-century style, this piece has an architecturally-inspired silhouette with wide track arms and box-style seat and back cushions, covered in classic white bonded leather. Tufted details on the seat add a graceful touch and keep the look from being too modern, while cantilevered chrome legs add sculptural flair. Attached seat cushions and velcro-adhered back cushions ensure the look is always crisp and clean. And this sofa is just $449.

Casino Leather Sofa

Colette Sofa

Give your living room a fashionable touch with the crisply tailored Colette sofa. Sloping rolled arms, classic box seat cushions and knife-edge back cushions all feature finely constructed welted detailing. The heathered gray herringbone upholstery provides a dignified background for the fashion-forward fabrics on the accent pillows. Neither too masculaine nor too feminine, this comfortable sofa will showcase your good taste! And it's just $499.

Colette Sofa

Griffin Sofa

Sink into dreamy comfort with the Griffin sofa. Deep seat cushions and back pillows are covered in chestnut-hued, plush textured chenille, contrasting with warm chocolate faux leather on the base and arms. A wide woven accent fabric in delicious tones of cinnamon and cafe au lait complete the lush and inviting color palette. Flared arms, four toss pillows, tapered legs and welted detailing round out the enticing effect. And it's only $399.

Griffin Sofa

Palmer 92" Sofa

The Palmer 92" sofa offers an enviable combination for your home — it's the perfect blend of long-lasting comfort and fashion! The style is casually contemporary, but with features that stand the test of time: easygoing roll arms, welted seat cushions and simply angled wood feet. Premium foam cores and sinuous seat springs work overtime to keep you relaxed, while the red finish exudes a certain visual energy. The accent pillows sport classic stripes and French script for a perfect dose of effortless decorating appeal. And it's available in other options, for just $499.

Palmer Sofa

Stoked Sofa

There's something exciting about the Stoked sofa, whose inviting style and contemporary look will add energy to any well-designed space. Featuring deep seating and a scatter back design, this collection boasts welted track arms and slightly tapered wedge feet for a clean and fashionable aesthetic. One coordinating fabric with a bold circle pattern and a second in rich brown corduroy add to the modern appeal. The loose, reversible back pillows allow you to customize the look and your seating comfort. And it's yours for $399.

cream sofa