You have been spending more time at home than usual and it has come to your attention that perhaps now is the time to update your sofa – something that you like better or is more comfortable. Or perhaps the one that you are currently using is just plain worn out. With so many options out there in the market to choose from, it can be confusing to know which one is right for you. I am going to give you some tips that should make it easier for you to decide, along with sketches of each type.
Types of Sofas
The Chesterfield sofa is a classic if you want to have a gentlemen’s club or library feel for your room. It is tufted, giving it a quilted effect, with rolled arms that are the same height as the back. It is low slung. There are other versions based on this traditional styling that have rolled arms that are lower than the back. Chesterfield sofas are traditionally upholstered in leather but can be found in fabric and prints. Prints alter the gentlemen’s club vibe and, depending on the print, can give this sofa an almost bohemian feel.
The Lawson sofa says American Casual with its low square back and arms that are lower than the back. The arms may be either rolled or square and, if the sofa has a skirt, it lends itself to a more feminine traditional look. Without a skirt the sofa skews more masculine. This is a cozy, comfortable sofa suitable for either a casual family room or a living room. Depending on the upholstery fabric this sofa is a good fit for any interior from country to transitional.
The English Roll Arm
This sofa epitomizes British country house style with its tight seamed back, soft, loose seat cushions, and saddle arms. Typically the back has a rolled or scroll top giving it a very attractive look from any angle. This sofa is perfect for lounging and napping, but the tight back keep it from looking messy and is suitable for any room. Though generally not skirted, variations can be found with skirts and, sometimes, back cushions. This sofa will complement just about any décor style.
This sofa dates back to the 1920’s and has a sleek, glamourous, low slung silhouette. It is characterized by high, straight arms that are in line with the back, tufting on the back and arms, and exposed legs. This sofa may be too formal for a family room.
Foam core cushions with feather wraps are a good choice since they give a balance between structure and softness. All down cushions need to be plumped and can become lumpy, and all foam cushions will not give the comfort factor as they tend to feel stiff.
If you want a fabric that feels soft, looks luxe and will hold up well, you won’t go wrong with cotton velvet. If you have children and pets to consider, there are many fabrics that are indoor/outdoor and that cause liquids to bead up and that resist stains or can be wiped off. Many of these fabrics are soft and comfortable for indoor use.
Below are some general guidelines regarding seat depth, but nothing beats testing different sofas to find the one that is right for you and your family since everyone’s height and leg lengths are different. It is important to consider if there are cushions on the back since they will take up some of the overall depth.
18” looks modern but will not be cozy
22” is still sleek but more suitable to sitting comfortably
24” is a minimum comfortable depth for one person to recline
33” is sink into comfort ideal for lounging comfortably