Some of us find ourselves baffled when we are asked, “What kind of sofa do you need?” We do know the colour, the size, the shape we want, but our not-so-well-informed status on the subject inhibits us from actually asking for the sofa by name because we don’t want to look silly by saying the wrong thing. What’s a Chesterfield? Or a chaise longue, exactly? Where to put which sofa?
Well, sit back on that cosy couch and let us tell you all about sofa types.
See the rising sections on the back of the sofa? Yes, exactly like the hump of a camel. A high curve in the middle section of the backrest, with lower sections on either side, is distinctive of classic camelback sofas, and make them a great choice for fans of period spaces. This classic piece of furniture works well with modern elements, too. This sofa is a tweak on the usual pattern, as there are three high-rising sections. In this living room, the conventional design of bowed legs on the sofa gives a traditional feel, while the bold indigo-striped upholstery and fuchsia cushions add a modern, eclectic tone.
Chesterfields are the easiest to spot. Deep button tufting and rolled arms are the hallmarks of this classic style. Earlier tufting was limited to leather but now many other fabrics, such as velvet, are used for upholstery as well. Though Chesterfields adorned formal lobbies of luxury hotels at one time, they now frequently find pride of place in many homes too. Need seating for your library? This is the answer!
This is the most versatile sofa in terms of the options for the fabric you can use to upholster it. These are usually preferred as sectional sofas. Lawsons are recognisable for their boxy looks with the arm height much lower than that of its back. The original Lawson design has three attached back pillows over three seats. Here the Lawson brings a pop of colour into the room, contrasting with the other neutral pieces.
English roll arm
As its name suggests, rounded arms define this sofa style. Fashioned by the use of extra padding, they sit low and have a neat and elegant look. A versatile piece, the English roll arm sofa can be customised by the use of different fabrics and leg styles. Here the sofa is skirted, further enhancing its vintage appeal.
Tuxedo is a box-shaped sofa that is geometric, neat at the edges and has arms and back of the same height. Its uniform sides and back are precisely proportioned and exquisitely detailed. The crisp angles and unfussy design give out a smart and formal vibe.
This sofa is as French as it gets; chaise longue translates to “long chair”. Chaises may have one, two or no arms, and are usually meant for reclining. They have a seat lengthened to support outstretched legs and may sometimes have an adjustable back.This chaise longue is of classic design, with a straight seat and slightly rolled back, but nowadays the seat can be contoured to make it even more tempting for stretching out on a lazy day.
This is a piece of furniture you are likely to find in most Indian homes. And if not exactly a diwan, then a variation of it. They usually have a low wooden frame or are placed directly on the ground with a tufted mattress, which forms the seat. Pushed up against a wall, with bolster pillows and cushions adorning it, a diwan can be used as a seat by day, and a bed by night. Also, sometimes they can be designed to accommodate built-in box storage. Multi-functional, isn’t it? No wonder we love it.
A daybed is more like a hybrid between a diwan and sofa. But unlike a diwan, it has a back, so you can position it anywhere in the room and not just against the wall. These too can be used as beds; not just for lounging and reclining but also for sleeping when you have an extra guest in your house.
Loveseats are designed to accommodate two people and typically have two cushioned seats. They are intimate; their small size and straight backs allow them to fit in any corner or space, and they can be so much more comfortable than two separate single chairs. And to top it all, they can be used in most spaces (even bedrooms) as additional seating. You can upholster them in any bright-coloured fabric and voila! you have a perfect place to kick back and relax at the end of the day.