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

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