Seating 101: Choosing Between Sofa Styles

A seating area with a gray couch and orange chairs.

A sofa is a sofa is a sofa, right?

Absolutely not! This attitude can lead to over-paying, clashing furniture, and confusion. We are proud to present “Seating 101”, a guide to the most popular sofa styles from which you can learn not only the names of the sofa but the origin, approximate price range, and style it best befits.

A seating arrangement with a black leather sofa in a dark room for Seating 101.
Chesterfield Sofa (archiexpo)

Does this beauty look familiar? It should, Chesterfield Sofas are extremely popular at the moment. Arhaus, for example, creates high quality Chesterfield Sofas. They are known for their leather upholstery and tufting. It is a very traditional style sofa and would best fit into a room of traditional, transitional, or Rustic styles. The first ever Chesterfield Sofa was made for the 4th Earl of Chesterfield somewhere between 1694 and 1773. The price range for this sofa varies with quality (as anything does), but if you want a high quality sofa be prepared to pay anywhere between $1,000 and upwards of $3,000.

A white couch for seating in a living room.
Lawson Sofa (homestratosphere)

This understated sofa style is usually left nameless as it is what many people think of as a “regular sofa”. However the Lawson Sofa is a ‘turn-of-the-century’ Edwardian sofa designed by a financier. He was a man of simple tastes and wanted his home to say as much, therefore he commissioned a designer to craft a sofa without the curves and intricate ornamentation that filled the surrounding homes. It is extremely versatile and can be used in transitional homes and contemporary homes. However steer clear of these in ultra-modern or ultra traditional rooms, as they can stick out like a sore thumb for being too plush or too plain. Because of their simple lines, Lawson sofas are typically the template for low-quality discount furniture stores in which case you could acquire one for as low as $50. However, a decent quality Lawson sofa would set you back about $700.

Embellish your home decor with the optical art
A seating arrangement featuring a beige couch.
Mid-Century Modern Sofa (occupyworcester)

Mid-Century Modern
As Mad Men rose in popularity, we saw an equal rise in Mid-Century Modern interiors. In the 1950’s clean lines, tufting, rich colors, and tweed took American homes by storm. The mid-century modern sofa styles neatly encompass all of those features. Obviously this style is ideal for mid-century modern, modern, or eclectic style rooms. These delightful blasts from the past can cost anywhere from $600 to $2,000.

A white couch with blue pillows, providing comfortable seating in a living room.
Cabriole Sofa (freshome)

This stunning sofa originated in France circa the Louis XV period. It is distinguished by its carved wooden legs and trim, the low back, and the overall gentle curving of the piece. The very distinct legs are another great tell when identifying a Cabriole, the carved foot and extremely loose S-curve. This obviously fits in a traditional, French interior but can fit in certain eclectic interiors. A genuine Cabriole sofa is priced at around $1,000 to $8,000.

A tufted seating.
Tuxedo Sofa (designbykelsey)

The tuxedo sofa is a straight, boxy sofa with high backs and arms that originated in the 1920’s. There is a slight amount of padding on the inner lining, with tufting that adds a bit of interest. This style of seating can be used in nearly any style room. The average tuxedo sofa will cost around $2,000.

A seating arrangement featuring a beige couch.
Camelback Sofa (eyefordesign)

Thomas Chippendale created this sofa with elegantly sloping silhouette. It, obviously, gets it’s name from the hump in the middle of the back which smooths down to meet with the curving arms. This 18th century is a classic and it (and influences of it) can be seen nearly everywhere today. It is still surprisingly popular considering the ‘modern’ and ‘eclectic’ trends of today’s interiors. An authentic camelback would cost you at the least $1,500 and $10,000 near the top-end.

Decorating with bamboo for new and fresh home
An ornate yellow sofa for seating.
English Regency sofa (streetsofsalem)

English Regency Sofa
The Regency era, 1811 to 1820, is well represented in its namesake sofa. The colors tend to be pearlescent or vibrant yellows or sky blues. The wooden framework is exposed and ornamented. The curves are soft and swooping. A modern remake of a regency sofa can be around $2,000 to $3,000 while a genuine antique can be anywhere from $4,000 to $28,000.

How To Choose The Best Sofa Style

There are many types of seating from chairs to sofas depending on its intended purpose. And choosing the best sofa style should take into account different considerations, such as the following:

  • Your Living Room’s Décor: Choose a sofa style that complements your living room’s décor for a cohesive interior look. Your sofa is a focal point in your living room, so ensure that you invest on a good quality sofa that matches your home’s ambiance.
  • Seating Capacity: If you’re buying a sofa for your entertainment room, you might want as many family members to fit in it. When shopping online, read the listing and determine the seating capacity that can be indicated by its weight capacity. 
  • Material: Sofas come in different types of materials, including fabric and leather, such as Italian leather sofas. Leather is an easy-to-clean material. On the other hand, fabric needs to be cleaned and vacuumed regularly. Investing on a leather sofa is a smart idea because it’s durable and doesn’t require extra attention, only occasional dusting and rub down.
  • Your Budget: Highly detailed sofas with plenty of embellishments generally cost more than simple sofa designs. Well-known furniture brands also cost more than unnamed sofas. 
Tips for Buying Furniture Hardware Accessories

Of course, there are many more sofa styles to choose from however these examples dip into the most popular styles and trends of today’s interiors. With this knowledge you can make informed decisions when choosing the perfect seating style for your home.

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