Skip to main content

Your Ultimate Trend Guide for your Sofa Scout

Sofas are probably the single most important piece of furniture you'll ever own. Personally, I think that no matter what other furnishings you might buy in the near future or in the long-run or even which furnishings you already own, the sofa dictates your design scheme; it's a key feature. I think that makes it quite important. They ought to be comfy and cozy although some are not even close to that, trust me. Sofas should help you relax, unwind, rest and let's not forget socialize. If you think about it even more, you'll realize that once you own a sofa even if it's not the ideal one (i.e. you're married now with kids thus, different priorities) you stick with it for as long as you can (i.e. until it breaks down, lol here)! Therefore, I believe a sofa is a long term investment. So, if you're thinking about buying one anytime soon, then read on my trend guide and pick a beautiful, comfy yet, stylish sofa!

Sofas are somewhat of our personality display and they are most definitely theme setters. They come in many styles (classic, contemporary, modern...). Similarly they come in different sizes, heights, lines, colors, textures, fabrics... No matter what type of sofa you choose though, try to pick one that is stylish. It's so nice to come home from a long day at work and sink in a sofa that simply spells out the word STYLE. Seriously, try to picture that! Would it not make you feel good about choosing something as elegant as you?

But first thing's first: let's brush up our sofa terms. I prepared the figures below as a cheat note to avoid confusion. I omitted a few sofa styles on purpose since I don't think they are as popular anymore (i.e. daybed, futon, bridgewater, english, settee, divan etc). Some of these are classic and have been around for ages. They are many up-to-date contemporary versions of them thus, I think it would only be fair to look at them before you dismiss them.

Love seat
Any two seater falls under this term.

Chaise Longue
Also known as 'long chair'. May have one or two backs.

Camelback style sofa
Its design feature is a higher back at the center that descends to the arms that usually roll out a bit. It is also very likely that they will have exposed wood legs.

Chesterfield style sofa
Its tufted back with buttons and high rolled arms are its typical design features.

This sofa might look uncomfortable because of its high arms that are in alignment with the back. However, with some rest pillows, problem solved. 

Mid century style sofa
Mid century sofas are a huge comeback! These are "THE MODERN" furniture that reigned back in the 50's to 70's. When we refer to modern furniture we mean mid-century; anything else is contemporary!

Sectional sofa
Just like the name suggests, this type of sofa is made of sections or rather modular units i.e. arm-less sofas, chaises and ottomans. It gives you a large degree of flexibility to compose your very own ensemble of units.

Lawson style sofa
This style of sofa has separate back pillows independent of the "square-ish" frame that tend to make it a rather comfortable one. 

Cabriole style sofa
Its form is considered classic - a continuous equal height back and arms that turn inward. Contemporary versions of this style are much more comfortable than they used to be due to the added on padding.

Living room with mid century furniture
Contemporary living room with mid-century furniture via Interior Design Alchemy


This year's trends are all about style "contouring" in every sense: texture, pattern, color. 

  1. When do you know it is the right time to change your sofa? Take a close look at your interior. Think about its appeal to you. Then think about how your setting will "feel and look" down the road in the years to come. You have come a long way but, is it "really you" NOW? If your sofa along with the rest of the setting reminds you of someone else, then it is time to do something about it. The best thing to do is to invest in a sofa that looks your best! This will change your mood completely.
  2. Pick your sofa style. Now, that's not always very easy. From my experience, most people (low profile people) prefer a style that doesn't stand out thus, they choose modular sofas. The great thing about modular sofas is that they tend to blend in with the rest of the interior. They are not "stand alone" material like mid-century sofas and chaise longues. A chaise longue in particular looks great in a spacious room like a master-bedroom or outdoors by a pool. It is an elegant piece of furniture that spells confidence and luxury. A lawson style sofa, much like a modular one, is rather bulky yet, more elegant and just as comfortable.
  3. Pay attention to the design details. As you probably noticed, each sofa's identity is defined by its design features i.e. the frame line, the legs and arms. Some sofas come with these awesome stainless steel legs but with a brass finish to them, which is so trendy now! Another design element I find irresistible is the nail head finish in some sofas. It gives it a touch of sophistication. 
  4. Color to awaken your senses. Embrace it, don't be afraid of it. I love color yet, I also like white sofas. Modular and lawson style sofas look great in white! White simply upgrades their look. But not all sofa styles look good in white. A chesterfield sofa for example might not look as good in white depending on its surrounding furnishings. The trick in picking the right color is to consider the overall color scheme of your space. It's great if you go for a mix and match approach as long as there is some basic coordination.   
  5. Pattern for the bold and brave! This is the one element that can either look awesome or will turn into your worst nightmare and hence, most people will avoid choosing a patterned fabric for their sofa. However, patterned sofas are gaining ground. Unfortunately, there is no tip to guide you on this one except, "if it looks right then it is right"! You need to trust your instinct on this one. Personally I would prefer large geometric patterns. In any case, you can always choose a monochromatic sofa and add on throw pillows with huge patterns on them! That will surely spice things up.
  6. Break the rules! Go for the unexpected. What do I mean? Simple! Take a chesterfield sofa that usually comes in leather and go for a velvet one instead! Say you want a chaise longue. Most people pick one in a white shade fabric for their bedroom or velvet for their living room. I would propose to go for a chevron pattern fabric instead - gorgeous and timeless for any space! 

Lawson style sofa with nail head trim detail

Patterned sofa
Patterned sofa

Blue velvet sectional sofa
Blue velvet sectional/modular sofa

Leather sofa

Love Seat

Curved sofa in lime color
Curved sofa


Grey lawson style sofa
Go Interiors

Fabric patterned modular sofa
Modular Roche Bobois Sofa 


  1. If you do set out to buy a new sofa, then it would be wise to reconsider the whole layout. Sofas don't always look all that great up against a wall. A stand alone sofa is best admired midst the living room. 
  2. Sofas help us interact with people and socialize under our terms. The actual placement of the sofa in a room is of great importance and should not be overlooked. Think of your seating arrangement in terms of interaction; does it aid it and promote it or does it hinder it? I think it's best to let your sofa "float" in your room for a little while before you anchor it in position. Remember that great design is an evolving process that takes its time to evolve.
  3. If your living room is small and you want a modular sofa then, consider including in your setting an "airy" coffee table. It will lighten things up.
  4. Sometimes it's best to have a single wow-factor sofa with a couple of accent armchairs (now would be a good time to read an older post about accent chairs) rather than trying to have two of the same sofas. You can also have two different styles of sofas that will complement each other. Anything goes! 

Living room with different style sofas

Living room with purple velvet chaise longue

Living room with tuxedo sofas
Nicole Fuller Interiors

The great thing about any sofa, is that you can dress it up according to the season or even your latest mood. Adding pillows and throws is a great way to makeover any sofa anytime. Side tables, foliage plants and some proper lighting i.e. floor lamps can really upgrade the whole setting. So, there you have it...

Break some rules, it is fun when there are no consequences.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Follow Te Esse on Facebook Follow Te Esse on TwitterFollow Te Esse on Pinterest Follow Te Esse on InstagramFollow Te Esse on Google+