When we think of a lazy, relaxed day, most of us often picture a day with good food, a movie marathon and pyjamas on the sofa. A Couch Potato, Couch Surfing, a Couch Baby – A sofa or a couch has always been associated with the idea of comfort and relaxation. Whether it is for binge-watching Netflix, taking a mid-day nap or lazing around, a sofa is everyone’s go-to. The earliest forms of the sofa included a simple wooden bench with a cloth on top. 

Furniture designers have spent decades studying anthropometry and exploring designs to get closer to the perfect vessel for comfort. These are ten such sofa designs that have taken comfort and style to the next level.

1. Mid-Century Sofas

Characterized by bold colours, clean geometric lines, stylish curves, ergonomic excellence and a timeless look, mid-century sofas give a sleek and classic look to any living room. These sofas are usually centered and occupy a major part and most of the attention in the room.

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Mid-Century Sofa_©www.wakefit.coguidesstylish-modern-sofa-designs-in-india

These sofas go well with most interior styles and create a sophisticated edge to any living space. This style of sofa design became popular in the mid 20th century around the time of the Industrial Revolution. Alvar Aalto was one of the prominent designers who designed these iconic sofas. 

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Florence Knoll Sofa_©curatedinterior.comiconic-mid-century-modern-sofa-designs
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Cloud 90 Fabric Sofa_©www.architecturaldigest.comstorykardiel-mid-century-modern-sofa-furniture-style

2. Sectional Sofas

These L-shaped sofas are perfect to fit into a corner of the room or even placed around a coffee table. In addition to looking classy, these sofas are also very flexible and can be customized and oriented to one’s preferences. L-shaped sectional sofas are a perfect lounging option for a large number of people.

 

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The sectional sofa perfectly hugs the coffee table and blends in with the room’s classy aesthetic_©Joshua McHugh
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The sofa subtly divides the room into lounge and living and dining sections. Sectional sofas can be personalised to a great extent. They are available in all shapes and sizes, to fit almost every design requirement_©Eric Piasecki
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Unique sectional sofa_©2013 The Conde Nast Publications

3. Serpentine Sofa

This sofa designed by American Furniture designer Vladimir Kagan is characterized by smooth, flawless curves and it facilitates multiple orientations of sitting, sleeping and lounging. 

Neck strain while talking to someone sitting next to you? Not anymore! Carefully designed curves facilitate ease of conversation as the people sitting on the sofa subtly face each other.

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Serpentine Sofa_©Vladimir Kagan- www.vogue.comarticleinterior-designers-on-the-most-iconic-furniture-of-all-time

4. Chaise Sofa

Chaise sofas (or long chairs) are a great addition to your living space for when you want to curl up with a good book. These chairs are ideal for lounging without having to take up space with bulky lounge chairs. 

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Chaise Chair_©www.nobroker.inblogsofa-set-designs

Chaise chairs can also be customized and attached to sectional sofas, and they can also be adjusted to increase back comfort. 

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Sectional Sofa with Chaise_©www.home-designing.combuy-sectional-sofa-for-sale-online

5. Camelback Sofas

Originally from the 18th century, camelback sofas have evolved into a modern classic with plain, decluttered fabric covering. They get their name from the shape of the back-rest that resembles the back of a camel – Low at the ends with a slight hump at the center.

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©www.nobroker.inblogsofa-set-designs

Older, more vintage versions of the camelback sofa can be found in antique stores.

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Country style camelback sofa with cushion cladding and skirting_©eyefordesignlfd.blogspot.com201408decorating-with-camelback-sofas.html
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Tapestry Camelback Sofa_©eyefordesignlfd.blogspot.com201408decorating-with-camelback-sofas.html

6. Loveseat Sofa

These sofas are known to have been a vessel for many dates in the US particularly due to their smaller size. They are just big enough to fit two people and hence provide cozy and intimate seating.

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Retro Loveseat Sofa_©www.housebeautiful.comukdecorateg26774482loveseats
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Midcentury Loveseat Sofa_©www.housebeautiful.comukdecorateg26774482loveseats

7. Modern Architectural Sofa

The 20th century was the time of modernism, minimalism and industrialisation. The design ideas of that period reflected these ideas. Various furniture designers and even architects came up with minimalist furniture designs that showcased the use of industrial materials like sleek metal rods and possessed a modernistic look.

Le Corbusier was one of such architects who designed stellar furniture items that are now prized collectables. His LC3 Furniture collection was the epitome of modern architectural furniture and was characterized by clean geometric lines, solid, block colours and a minimalist approach in both – visual aesthetic and material use.

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Le Corbusier LC3 Collection_©www.livingindesign.comjournal10-iconic-sofas-throughout-history

The Pebble Sofa by Danish Design Studio Bau Design is a modern piece of furniture with an inbuilt coffee table. Inspired by rocks, this sofa is characterized by modern principles of minimalism, geometry and solid colours.

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The Pebble Sofa_©www.contemporist.compebble-sofa

8. Neo-Classical Sofa

The very definition of luxury, the neoclassical sofa has been a traditional design style since the 19th century. They are inspired by the antique photo frames which were popular in the early 19th century. Most of these sofas have neutral ivory and cream tones – colours associated with luxury and riches.

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Pompadour Sofa_©www.livingindesign.comjournal10-iconic-sofas-throughout-history
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Modern Neoclassical Sofa_©globus-china.comblogprice-overview-of-neoclassical-furniture-in-china

Paired with the right colour scheme and lighting, these sofas can bring out the right amount of luxurious aesthetic without compromising on comfort.

9. Knole Sofa

Known to be made around the 1640s, the Knole Sofa is said to be the backbone of modern sofas. With their high arms and back, these sofas allow for their users to sit facing each other or side-by-side. Knole Sofas offer a plethora of customizations based on their arm height, fabric, colours and finishes (ornamentation and carvings, to name a few).

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Classic Knole Sofa_©www.nobroker.inblogsofa-set-designs
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Modern Knole Sofa_©www.invaluable.comauction-lotmodern-upholstered-knole-sofa-retailed-by-george

10. Bridgewater Sofas

With low arms and a high backrest, Bridgewater sofas give a casual and comfortable appeal to any living space. They are one of the simplest and most elegant sofas that feature a skirt and rolled back look. 

Bridgewater Sofa_©www.nobroker.inblogsofa-set-designs

References: 

  1.  “10 Best Sofa Set Designs to Modernise Your Living Room.” The NoBroker Times, 27 Mar. 2021, www.nobroker.in/blog/sofa-set-designs/. Accessed 18 Feb. 2022.
  2. “10 Iconic Sofa’s throughout History | Living in Design.” Livingindesign.com, 2021, www.livingindesign.com/journal/10-iconic-sofas-throughout-history. Accessed 18 Feb. 2022.
  3. Egan, Colleen. “21 Sectional Sofas That Make the Room.” Architectural Digest, Architectural Digest, 25 Sept. 2015, www.architecturaldigest.com/gallery/sectional-sofa. Accessed 17 Feb. 2022.
  4. Erin. “The Design of the Pebble Sofa Was  Inspired by Rocks Found in Nature.” Contemporist Features Great Ideas from the World of Design, Architecture, Interior Design, Furniture, Lighting, and Art, 2 July 2019, www.contemporist.com/pebble-sofa/. Accessed 18 Feb. 2022.
  5. Farley, Siobahn. “House Layout and Renovation Tips | Soho Ideas | Soho Home.” Soho Home, 1 May 2019, www.sohohome.com/inspiration/ideas/art-design/brief-history-of-the-knole-sofa. Accessed 18 Feb. 2022.
  6. https://facebook.com/curatedinterior. “5 Iconic Mid-Century Modern Sofa Designs.” Curated Interior, 7 Oct. 2021, curatedinterior.com/iconic-mid-century-modern-sofa-designs/. Accessed 16 Feb. 2022.
  7. Kagan, Vladimir. “Vladimir Kagan, Seating, Serpentine Sofa with Arm.” Vladimirkagan.com, 2022, www.vladimirkagan.com/seating/Serpentine-Sofa-with-Arm/collection. Accessed 17 Feb. 2022.
  8. Nast, Condé. “5 Mid Century Modern Sofas to Breathe Life into Your Living Space.” Architectural Digest, Architectural Digest, 9 Nov. 2021, www.architecturaldigest.com/story/kardiel-mid-century-modern-sofa-furniture-style. Accessed 16 Feb. 2022.
  9. Staffan Bengtsson, et al. Ikea the Book : Designers, Products and Other Stuff. Stockholm, Arvinius, 2010, pp. 370–377.
  10. Wakefit. “Stylish Modern Sofa Designs in India for Living Room | Wakefit.” Wakefit, Wakefit, 22 Sept. 2021, www.wakefit.co/guides/stylish-modern-sofa-designs-in-india/. Accessed 16 Feb. 2022.
Author

Anandita is an Urban Design student at CEPT University. An amateur with a mobile-camera and a notes app, she loves exploring whatever city she gets to visit. Her keen interest in architecture, the built environment and a love for all things words has led her to delve into architectural journalism.

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