Sofa Buying Guide, Part 2: Sofa Styles

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Sofa Buying Guide, Part 2: Sofa Styles

Sofas are easily the star of a sitting or living room. They are welcoming, comfortable, and provide the perfect spot for conversation or relaxation. Whether you use your sofa for formal entertaining or casual lounging, there are an abundance of styles and shapes suited to fit your lifestyle and decor. Consider some of the most popular and unique sofa styles in this second installment of our Sofa Buying Guide series. 

Get to Know These Sofa Styles

Sectional Sofa: The sectional sofa has been gaining popularity for its versatility and ability to seat more individuals, whether it’s a few guests or the whole family. This style has at least two pieces that can be moved around to fit your needs and are most often seen in an L or U shape. 

Sectionals, as they’re often referred to, are compatible with almost any design style since they are available in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and materials. They are perfect for large, open concepts and can act as a dividing feature between two spaces.  

Neutral living room with sectional sofa; sofa styles; MGSD
Sectional sofa; ‘Connor’ Universal Furniture

Chesterfield: The chesterfield sofa is famous for its quilted or tufted appearance, as the backing and arms are adorned with buttons. Sometimes the seating area is also quilted. The arms are the same height as the back and are rolled. The chesterfield sofa is often seen in leather, giving it a classy, sophisticated appearance but fabric upholstery can lend an ‘everyday look’ to this stately sofa.

Living room with chesterfield sofa set; sofa styles; MGSD
Chesterfield sofa; ‘Berkley’ Universal Furniture

Tuxedo: As suggested by the name, the tuxedo sofa is a classy, clean-cut sofa style. Its arms are the same height as the back and are cut straight across. It has similar features to the chesterfield, but boasts a cleaner appearance with straighter lines. This sofa style is often seen in fabric. Because it is both modern and traditional, this sofa style is equally suited for clean, modern interiors and classy traditional styles.   

English Rolled Arm: The English rolled arm sofa features short, rolled arms and a high back. Low seating, low arms, short legs, and plush cushions give this sofa a welcoming, comfortable feel. As a testament to its inviting aesthetic, this sofa style was featured prominently in the Friends sitcom; you may know it as the Central Perk sofa. Because of its clean, cozy appearance, the English rolled arm sofa is extremely versatile and can be used in almost any design style.   

Living room with neutral furnishings and English roll arm sofa; sofa styles; MGSD
English roll arm; ‘Churchill’ Universal Furniture

Knole: A sofa hybrid of the settee, the knole sofa is known for its unique adjustable arms, deep seating, and high back. These sofas typically sport exposed wooden details and may even feature braids or tassels that connect the adjustable arms to the sofa back. The Knole sofa is great for traditional styles, or as a unique furnishing for any room.   

Mid-Century Modern: Mid-century modern sofas are famous for their clean lines and functional yet comfortable seating. They often have tapered wood or metal legs and low seating. Some have a bit of tufting on the back cushions, but others are left smooth and simple. This sofa’s streamlined look works well with new, contemporary styles. 

Lawson: Designed with comfort in mind, the Lawson sofa has plushy, detached cushions that give it a comfy, casual feel. It is made up of simple, straight lines, a deep seating area, and low arms. The moveable cushions, low arms, and deep seating make this the perfect sofa for midday naps or book reading. Because of its simple design and wide range of material options, the Lawson sofa can blend into almost any design style. 

Casual living room with grey Lawson sofa; sofa styles; MGSD
Lawson sofa; ‘Riley’ Universal Furniture

Camelback: Named for its similarity to a camel’s back, the camelback sofa sports one or two arches on its back. Its curving lines and sweeping design are perfect for adding an elegant, traditional flair to a space.

Find the Right Sofa Style for Your Home

With seemingly endless sofa styles and terms, it can feel a bit overwhelming when shopping for your next favorite sitting spot. By understanding the key features of some popular sofa choices, you don’t have to feel lost in fancy design terms. 

To recap, sectional sofas are perfect for large families or open spaces. Chesterfield and tuxedo are great for adding a refined, classy feel to a room. The English rolled arm and Lawson styles are built with more comfort in mind and are perfect for casual spaces you’ll use every day. Knole and camelback styles add a bit of traditional flair to a space, while mid-century modern sofas are great for keeping a clean, functional look.

If you are looking for some guidance in sofa shopping, why not consider hiring an interior designer? Their professional input can help you traverse the sofa world and find the perfect sofa to suit your fancy.      

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