From a makeshift pallet circa god-knows-when BC, to what we now call sofa, couch and sometimes even chesterfield (depending on your age and continent of origin), reclining on soft seating has been an integral part of domestic habits.
The sofa is the most beloved (next to the bed) piece of furniture in the house. No matter how nice, you can’t love a table, or a chair as you can love a sofa. It’s there for you to burrow into for movie night, it’s there for you in times of romance and strife (like, "go sleep on the couch"), it’s there for playtime, for social time and for relaxation.
In an ode to the home’s most devoted piece of furniture, we’ve put together our top five favourite sofa styles. Which is the best fit for your home?
Photo: Montauk Sofa
Square, cleaned-lined, lower to the ground, and ample in surface area, the contemporary sectional offers unparalleled versatility, making it a lasting favourite.
The Work Horse
Photo: IKEA’s Ektorp Sofa
I’ve had this couch… Haven’t we all had this couch? Almost every soft furnishings manufacturer has made a version of this tireless down-filled soldier, but lets just come clean; the IKEA "Ektorp" is unbeatable in price and endless availability. It’s $499! Not only that, but being one of their biggest record-sellers, you know you’ll never run out of those removable skins — available in every colour and style — even thought they’re machine washable and quite long-lasting. This sofa deserves much respect.
I’m sure many of you will chalk this one up to "another one of Elana’s crazy picks," but humour me for a moment. You may not be as madly in love with this (totally unattainable) "La Michetta" modular sofa from Meritalia, but the concept — you must admit — is ingenious.
Many furniture designers and manufacturers have gotten on the train, and what’s more, you can easily have something like this made. Custom made sofas, BTW, is a growing market and you’d be surprised how cost-effective and flexible the experience can be.
Anyhow, this collection of soft wafer-like blocks of sofa parts can be rearranged in any configuration your heart desires, offering you maximum flexibility.
Doesn’t this inspire you? Think of the fabrics options! (Also, check out the Missoni Home version on Apartment Therapy.)
The Tuffted Sophisticate
Photo: French Dressing
In leather, velvet, silk, linen or damask, this voluted picture of grace is certainly not for the haphazardly free spirit. But it is, undisputedly, a beautiful specimen. Great for decor inspired by any decade from the 20s through to the early 50s — especially restrained Hollywood glam — this is for those whose ‘sitting rooms’ are separate and apart from their ‘living rooms.’ And there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, you’re lucky to have the space.
Photo: French Dressing
Another long-standing favourite, the romantic sofa is great for throwing into an eclectic mix of modern and ornate finds, for livingroom focal point/drama, and most importantly, for the crafty dreamer/DIY-er in you. The version pictured above is admittedly a fair-level antique, but honestly, the 50s and 70s left us sooooo many versions of these in some atrocious fabrics, that they’re just sitting around in vintage and consignment shops all across the country, waiting for you to re-skin them. I swear I saw one very similar at my local Value Village… And they invariably turn out so pretty!
Which is your favourite?