Should sofas be placed against the wall?

When arranging a living room, it’s often best to place the sofa first. Where will you put it? For years homeowners and renters have been setting up their sofas against the wall. It seems like such a natural spot! But there are designers who say that sofas should “float” and that placing one against the wall is a rookie mistake. So what’s the best arrangement? Well, that might depend on your preference and space.

Keep these considerations in mind when choosing the perfect spot for your sofa.

The room’s size

Photo credit: Pinterest

Photo credit: Pinterest

If you have a large, spacious living room, placing your sofa in the middle can keep the room from looking bare. A small living room, on the other hand, might appear larger with the sofa placed against the wall.

Your home’s layout

Photo Credit: Hemingway and Hepburn

Photo Credit: Hemingway and Hepburn

With open-floor layouts, it’s important that each room is clearly defined with furniture. If you don’t have walls separating rooms, float your sofa to create one. You can also use your sofa to create a clear walking path and direct traffic.

Living room activities

Photo credit: Apartment Therapy

Photo credit: Apartment Therapy

Sofas can also be used to define areas within the living room. If you want to use one half of your room for movie watching and the other half as a game room for the kids, use your sofa to divide the two areas.

Wall decor

Photo credit: Home-Dzine

Photo credit: Home-Dzine

A long unadorned wall can cause a room to look incomplete. If your wall needs that something extra to keep it from looking bare, push your sofa against it. You can also float the sofa just a little bit off the wall for a similar effect.

Other living room furniture

Photo Credit: Cote de Texas

Photo Credit: Cote de Texas

Sometimes a sofa can look great both off and against the wall; if this is the case in your space, then its placement is a matter of personal preference. What is important, however, is that you don’t push all of your furniture against the wall. People often do this, not realizing that it looks uninviting to guests and makes conversing rather difficult.

What about you? Do you think sofas should be placed against the wall? Write a comment and let us know!

By Wendy Weinert

A quick guide to sofa styles

I recently discovered that the terms “sofa” and “couch,” according to their original definitions, actually described two different pieces of furniture. Although very interesting, knowing the difference between a sofa and couch might not help you when buying furniture, as most people now use the two words interchangeably. What’s important to know instead are sofa styles. Here’s a quick guide that will help you when shopping online.

Camel back: These sofas have a “humped” back, which makes them easy to recognize. Camel-back sofas are usually found in traditional or contemporary homes due to their curved lines.

Inverted camel back

Lawson-style: If your top priority is comfort, a Lawson-style sofa might be your best choice. These sofas are unique because the back cushions are not attached to the frame.

Lawson Style Sofa

Chesterfield: Chesterfield sofas have a sophisticated style due to their tufted design and rolled arms. You’ll find them better suited for more formal environments, such as traditional homes.

Chesterfield Sofa

English: Also known as the “club sofa,” the English sofa has low, rolled arms that are hardly noticeable, which makes it great for casual homes.

English

Mid-century modern: If you’ve ever watched Mad Men, you’ve seen a Mid-century modern sofa. These sofas feature clean lines and simple forms.

Mid-century modern sofa

Settee: A settee looks more like a wide chair than it does a sofa. Although not the most comfortable choice, settees are beautifully elegant and fit in great with antique-style rooms.Settee

 

Chaise lounge: Go glam with a chaise lounge. These sofas either have one arm or none at all, and they are designed to allow people to relax and recline in style.

Chaise Lounge

Loveseat: Built just for two, a loveseat is a great choice for those who have small spaces or just need additional seating. Loveseats can come in various sofa styles, but are made smaller.

Loveseat

Sleeper sofa: If you don’t have a guest room but have company over often, a sleeper sofa might be worth considering. These sofas can be pulled out into a bed whenever you have overnight guests.

Sleeper

Sectional: Sectionals come in either L-shaped or U-shaped forms, and they are designed to provide you with more seating. They come in separate pieces, allowing you to rearrange based on your living room’s layout.

Sectional

By Wendy Weinert

Sofas, couches, davenports – What’s the difference?

I’m sure many of you grew up like I did thinking that sofas, couches and davenports were all the same thing. I’ve always thought they were synonyms you could use interchangeably and that certain regions in the U.S. preferred one word over the other, much like soda vs. pop. You can imagine my surprise, though, when I discovered that the words sofa, couch and davenport in fact have three separate meanings.

Couches

Fainting couch

Photo credit: South Shore Decorating Blog

Although invented prior to this time, couches became very popular in the Victorian era when they were referred to as a “fainting couch.” Couches during the Victorian period were usually armless and most often used by women wearing corsets who needed a resting place to catch their breath.

Sofas

Emerald Home Furnishings Grey Carleton Nail Head Sofa Sofa is said to have come from the Arabic term “suffah.” Originally, the word was used to describe a bench with arms and cushions. It was designed just for sitting, while the couch was created for both sitting and lying.

Davenports

Davenport

Photo credit: Spanish Hills

The word davenport actually describes a specific type of sofa, made by the manufacturing company A. H. Davenport and Company. Davenports were similar to futons, as they could be converted into a bed. Today it’s hard to tell the difference between a couch, sofa and davenport. While doing research, I came across numerous definitions and opinions that often contradicted each other. For example, some agree that sofas are more formal than couches and are mostly used for special occasions. Others say size matters and that sofas are typically larger than couches. The word davenport is often used to describe any sleeper-sofa, regardless of the manufacturing company. Additionally, many have decided that their former definitions no longer hold true and the three terms can be used interchangeably. What about you? Do you use the words couch, sofa and davenport to describe different pieces of furniture, or do you use one word over the others due to your upbringing? Tell us your story! By Wendy Weinert

Add a hint of glam to your space with these simple decorating ideas

Add a hint of glam to your space with these simple decorating ideas

You might not be a celebrity or have the money to buy your own yacht, but that doesn’t mean you can’t lead a glamorous lifestyle. Glam is making a comeback in interior decorating, mimicking the style of old Hollywood and giving everyone the chance to feel like movie stars. Although this time around, the trend of adding shimmer and shine to one’s home is in no way over the top. Add a hint of glam to your space and live in luxury every day with these five practical decorating ideas.

Add a hint of glam to your space

Photo credit: Mix and Chic

1. Decorate with dramatic colors

Colors that evoke a feeling of glamour are often dramatic. Deep purples, blues and reds are all colors that can be used to decorate a luxurious space, but you can also depend on neutrals such as black or deep grey.

Add a hint of glam to your space

Photo credit: This is Glamorous

2. Find rich fabrics

The combination of the right colors and fabrics is an easy way to incorporate glamour into your space. When selecting furniture, find pieces that feature dramatic colors and materials like suede or velvet. These soft fabrics look rich and feel incredible.

Add a hint of glam to your space

3. Place a chandelier in an unexpected place

People expect to see chandeliers in rooms like the dining room or the foyer. When you hang a chandelier in an untraditional space like the bathroom or bedroom, you’ll surprise guests and create a glamorous look for your space.

Add a hint of glam to your space with these simple decorating ideas

4. Lounge on a chaise

A chaise lounge is a sophisticated alternative to the typical sofa or chair and will make your living room seem far from ordinary. On a Saturday afternoon, you’ll feel like an old movie star relaxing on your elegant chaise.

5. Incorporate metallic tones

Metals like silver, gold or brass are perfect for glamorous spaces. You can choose one metal to incorporate throughout the room, or add a modern twist by mixing metals instead.

You might never be Hollywood’s next leading actress or actor, but you can still live a glamorous life. These simple solutions are easy to incorporate into modern homes and will help you create a luxurious space that is also practical.

By Wendy Weinert

Mad about ‘Mad Men’s’ midcentury modern design: how to bring the look to your own home

Mad about 'Mad Men’s' midcentury modern design: how to bring the look to your own home

Dapper suits, cocktails and advertising – who’s ready for “Mad Men” to start up again?  The seventh and final season of AMC’s award-winning series, which starts on Sunday, April 13, will bring back everyone’s favorite characters, dramas and, of course, that incredible midcentury modern style.

Mad about 'Mad Men’s' midcentury modern design: how to bring the look to your own home

Mad Men set

As its name suggests, midcentury modern was first popular from the early 1950s to about 1970 and, when the look went out of style, only hardcore design enthusiasts remained appreciative fans. But that’s all changed now. Ever since “Mad Men” first started in 2007, viewers have been fawning over the show’s sophisticated set and, thankfully, characteristics of the midcentury modern style have now made their way back into people’s homes.

Interested in bringing a little of that “Mad Men” style into your own home? Here are some general rules to keep in mind.

Mad about 'Mad Men’s' midcentury modern design: how to bring the look to your own home

Photo credit: Modern Constructs

Less is more

This style does not encourage over-accessorizing or ornate detailing. Look for furniture pieces that feature clean lines and simple forms and choose your accent décor carefully. While less is more in midcentury modern, don’t be fooled into thinking that the look is boring. This style is all about making an impact with fewer pieces.

Mad about 'Mad Men’s' midcentury modern design: how to bring the look to your own home

Make a statement with light fixtures

Like I said before, it’s important that you make every piece count and this style especially loves to make a statement with light fixtures. Look for pendants or chandeliers with clean, geometric lines that help dramatize your space and bring it to life.

Mad about 'Mad Men’s' midcentury modern design: how to bring the look to your own home

Contrast neutrals with bright colors

Natural, earthy hues are a staple in midcentury modern design, but it’s essential that the look is completed with a few strong colors in each room. Add pops of color to your space with bold wall art, throw pillows or curtains.

You don’t have to get your midcentury modern fix just by watching “Mad Men.” The best part about midcentury modern furniture is that you can pair pieces with other common styles to create a look that shows influences of the past, but still fits in with this decade.

By Wendy Weinert