Sofa shopping is a lot of fun, but I also understand that it can be very overwhelming with all of the choices out there - when it comes to sofas, there are many styles to choose from! Since the sofa is typically the largest piece of furniture in our living room, the style that you choose will define your space and set the tone for the rest of your design. I'm going to review the different types of sofas and their distinctive characteristics to assist you in making an educated decision when purchasing a new sofa for your home.
The Lawson is one of the most popular sofa styles in today's market. It typically consists of three flat cushions with a low arm style. Lawson sofas are great for casual spaces and for families with children or others who like to sprawl out and relax on comfortable furniture. This sofa is perfect for a family room or living space where the main focus is relaxation and comfort. The Morgan Sofa by American Leather Furniture (Below) is a great example of a Lawson Sofa.
Charles of London
The Charles of London sofa features rounded and billowy cushions with arms that are set back from the front of the seat. There is often no skirt, leaving the legs exposed. There is typically a folding treatment on the arms which is meant to give the sofa a soft, formal look. Charles of London style sofas are great for rooms where the goal is style and formality. The Onondago Sofa by Vanguard Furniture (Below) is great example of a Charles of London sofa. Notice the beautiful, folding treatment on the arms.
The Saddle Bag sofa can have either high or low arms and features attached, over-stuffed cushions which give an appearance of large pillows folded over the arms. The Saddle Bag sofa is great for those looking for a plush yet elegant, contemporary style. The attached cushions on either side make this sofa extremely comfortable to lounge on while maintaining a sleek, clean appearance - perfect for multi-function spaces. The Swing Sofa by Gamma International (Below) is a gorgeous Saddle Bag sofa.
The Camel-Back style sofa is characterized by the raised center area of the back. This back may can be combined with a wide range of arm and leg styles and is most commonly seen in traditional style spaces. The Dallas V259-S Sofa by Vanguard Furniture (Below) is a great example of a Camel-Back sofa.
The Chesterfeild is a classic English sofa style that features a button-tufted back and rolled arms of the same height. The Chesterfeild is often accented with a nailhead trim. Today's Chesterfields come in a variety of sizes and styles which give a space an elegant, sophisticated appeal. Chesterfeild sofas were once found throughout England in libraries, gentleman's clubs and other glamorous offices and gathering areas. This sofa is still used in luxurious designs and elegant living spaces. The Grant Sofa by American Leather (Below) is a gorgeous example of a modern Chesterfeild style sofa.
The Bridgewater style sofa is characterized by its casual and comfortable padded look. It features a high back, loose cushions and very low and set back arms. The casual look of this sofa makes it great for both traditional and modern style rooms. The Dexter Sofa by Bentley Churchill (Below) is a beautiful Bridgewater sofa.
Also known as a Slipper sofa, Armless sofas are typically contemporary in style and are characterized by the fact that they have no armrests or sides. Armless sofas provide a space with a sleek, modern look. The Chloe Sofa by Weiman Preview (Below) is a stunning example of an armless sofa.
Contemporary-Arm Tuxedo sofas are characterized by clean, straight lines and square arms which are the same height as the back. Contemporary-Arm Tuxedo sofas provide modern spaces with a sense of style and sophistication. The Lana Sofa by Precedent Furniture (Below) is a great example of a Contemporary-Arm Tuxedo style sofa.
Flair-Arm Tuxedo features high arms which are slightly angled or outwardly curved. The Flair-Arm Tuxedo style will give your living room an elegant, modern appeal. The 3113-90 Sofa by E.J. Victor (Below) is a lovely Flair-Arm Tuxedo sofa.
The French sofa is an elegant style that is identified by exposed wooden legs and a gracefully curved wooden frame along the back. French sofas are traditional in style and will give your living room a luxurious, elegant appeal. The Porter Loveseat by Johnathan Charles (Below) is a great example of a French style sofa.
The Knole style sofa is a high-backed, English style sofa which traditionally features angled sides that can be dropped down to lengthen the sofa into a bed. Wood posts, or finials, on the back and sides allow rope ties to hold the sides upright when when used for seating. This style is one of the earliest sofa styles. Although very practical, the Knole sofa was a symbol of luxury. Knole sofas are an excellent choice for formal living rooms. The Classic Acorn 90" Sofa by Pearson Furniture (Below) is a stunning Knole style sofa.
The Kidney sofa is named for its kidney-like shape. Kidney sofas are typically contemporary or retro in style and are available in a wide variety of designs. Kidney sofas can be armless or backless and are available in modular variations as well featuring several curved pieces which can be arranged as needed. Kidney sofas typically look best in casual, modern living rooms. The Hug Loveseat by Couture International (Below) is a beautiful Kidney style sofa.
Modular sofas are a type of Sectional sofa that consists of several small seating units that can be arranged into various configurations. Modular sofas are often found in contemporary style settings and since they can be arranged in different ways they are a great choice if prefer to have the versatility to re-arrange your setting later on or if you have a small or unusually shaped space. By purchasing "armless chair" sections of a sectional, you can create a modular sofa. The gorgeous, contemporary modular sectional (Below) is a great example of a modern modular sofa.
Sectional sofas are popular for their ability to seamlessly combine several types of seating into one arrangement. For example, they may combine a traditional sofa with a love seat or a chaise lounge. Sectional sofas are also available with sleeper sofa or reclining units. In smaller spaces, a Sectional sofa will maximize seating availability and fill underutilized corners. For larger spaces, a Sectional sofa will help define a space and anchor an area without making it feel overly cluttered. The Hudson Sectional by Vanguard Furniture (Below) features a sofa and chaise lounge combination.
Originally designed in the 1950's, Mid-Century Modern sofas feature a very mininmal, sleek and angular design. They are available in a wide range of upholstery and design styles and typically feature metal legs. Mid-Century Modern sofas will anchor a modern room while the minimal and functional design gives you versatility in the rest of your decor. The 019 Sofa by Kuka (Below) is a gorgeous Mid-Century Modern sofa.