Posts

sofa styles

The Ultimate Guide To Sofa Styles and Which Is Right for You

The sofa is arguably the most important piece of furniture in the living room. So it’s important to find the right one for your style and needs. But with so many different types of sofas to choose from, it can be hard to know which is right for you.

Similar to choosing between a sectional or a sofa, deciding on a sofa style comes down to comfort. But it’s also about the shape of the sofa and how it works aesthetically with the rest of your living room decor. For instance, if your living room has more traditional furnishings, a classic camelback sofa might make for a stylish option that blends right into your space versus other sofa styles. Or if your living space has a more modern and industrial vibe, a tuxedo sofa could be the perfect sleek-and-sumptuous piece you need. Either way, the sofa style you pick should play up a feeling of comfort and reflect the overall style of your room.

Already thumbed through all the types of sofas and know what you want? Check out our sofa buying guide to make sure you’re spending wisely before you purchase the piece, especially if you’re buying a sofa online. Otherwise, read on for our roundup of the most common types of sofas and why they might be perfect for your space.

sofa stylesThe Chesterfield

When it comes to sofa styles, the Chesterfield is hard to miss. It’s said to have been designed in the 18th century for “gentlemen to sit upright without wrinkling the garment.” The more modern and boxy tuxedo sofa is derived from the Chesterfield.

Shop This Look

The Perks: Chesterfields are known for their deep seating, high-rolled arms, and quilted or tufted backing, which gives them a sumptuous look and a bold silhouette. They’re typically made of leather, but contemporary takes on the piece also feature it in linen and velvet.

Good To Know: The Chesterfield generally has a large frame and is pretty substantial in size, so make sure you have the floor space to accommodate one.

It’s Perfect For… those who like more traditional types of sofas or something very masculine and timeless in style. The Chesterfield works well in a classic and formal interior, a sleek industrial space, or a pared-down rustic room.

sofa stylesThe Bridgewater Sofa

For a classic sofa that emphasizes major comfort and an elegant form, try the Bridgewater. It has origins in England and was once among the most popular types of sofas. It’s less common in homes now, but it’s still one of the most comfortable options today.

Shop This Look

The Perks: The Bridgewater has a slightly rolled back, low-set and rolled arms, and loose seat cushions that are generously padded, which gives them their signature plump look and plush comfort. They also sometimes come with a tailed skirt that hides their turned legs.

Good To Know: The Bridgewater silhouette is wide and deep, but today they come in an array of colorful upholstery fabrics that make them appear more streamlined and less bulky.

It’s Perfect For… fans of boho and glam style interiors that can use a sofa that combines traditional details with a modern edge. You can’t beat a Bridgewater sofa in a bright fabric mixed with eclectic patterns, colors, and accents in a room.

sofa stylesThe Lawson Sofa

It’s not surprising that the Lawson is one of the most popular types of sofas for family homes. Low to the ground with a boxy silhouette, it first appeared in the early 20th century as a modern and comfortable sofa design that is a derivative of the classic tuxedo sofa.

Shop This Look

The Perks: It’s one of the most versatile types of sofas because it’s easy to find it in many fabrics. The back and seat are comprised of extra-plush pillows that are separate from the frame, which means it’s a sofa designed for soft comfort and support.

Good To Know: Because it’s made up of large, soft pillows that give you a deep, sink-in kind of support., it’s a great sofa if you have kids or want something that’s snug and extra soft.

It’s Perfect For… any style interiors—traditional, modern, rustic—given its functional form and versatile fabric options. It works best in family homes, formal living spaces, and TV rooms.

sofa stylesThe Mid-Century Sofa

Out of all the sofa styles here, you’re likely most familiar with the Mid-Century sofa. Originating in the 1930s, the Mid-Century sofa has been making a strong comeback in recent years given its minimalist aesthetic and clean lines.

Shop This Look

The Perks: There aren’t many types of sofas that give you a tailored, streamlined look quite like the Mid-Century sofa. It usually has a boxy and slender silhouette, tapered legs, and tuft cushion backs that give you firm support. It’s also a sofa you can dress up however you want.

Good To Know: Aesthetics are key to the Mid-Century sofa, and sometimes it comes at the expense of comfort. But if you’re after a stylish and trendy-looking sofa more than anything, this is for you.

It’s Perfect For… modernists, minimalists, and mid-century style lovers across the board. The Mid-Century sofa is ideal in more contemporary interiors that have a rustic or glam touch.

sofa styles The Slipcovered Sofa

If you’re after the types of sofas that are durable and long-lasting, Slipcovered sofas are your best bet. It’s a sofa style that typically comes with a classic frame, rounded arms, and a fitted fabric cover that can be taken on and off for cleaning. It’s all about function and easy care.

Shop This Look

The Perks: No other types of sofas will stand up to wear, stains, and traffic like the Slipcovered sofa. Not only is the slipcover washable, but it’s removable and replaceable so you can change the cover and customize your look as needed.

Good To Know: While the cover is washable and easy-to-clean, it’s prone to get wrinkly. It’s all part of the look, but it’s something to consider if you prefer a tailored looking sofa.

It’s Perfect For… casual and relaxed rooms that aren’t overly decorated or filled with ornate accents. Think beach house living room, airy rustic family room, laid-back boho space. You get the picture.

sofa stylesThe Settee

Essentially a wide chair, the Settee is like a loveseat but much narrower. In terms of sofa styles, it definitely leans traditional and it sometimes comes with a curved frame that recalls a camelback sofa. If you’re after a beautiful traditional perch, you can’t go wrong with a Settee.

Shop This Look

The Perks: Many Settees are cabriole style, which means they feature an exposed wood frame around the edges and have ornately carved legs. These are standout details that are sure to captivate. One way to modernize a Settee is to reupholster on in a colorful or patterned fabric.

Good To Know: Compared to the other types of sofas here, the Settee is always a sophisticated choice but not necessarily the most comfortable choice. It’s designed like a dining chair so it’s not the best for extending seating or lounging.

It’s Perfect For… classic and formal rooms are the Settee’s natural habitat given its Old World appeal. It’s perfect in a foyer or hallway as a seat for putting on or taking off shoes.

sofa stylesThe Sleeper Sofa

The most compact and functional of all the types of couches available, the Sleeper sofa is what we call a workhorse piece. It does double duty as a sofa and bed, so it tops our list as the sofa that does it all.

Shop This Look

The Perks: There aren’t any other types of sofas that offer you and your guests a sleeping solution that’s neatly tucked away under the seat cushions. The beds also range from futons to pullouts, and they’re often surprisingly more comfortable than they look.

Good To Know: Unlike the Mid-Century or the Settee, the Sleeper is all about big function packed into one streamlined piece. That means it’s less about good looks and more about comfort and convenience here. There are chic modern Sleepers, but they’re pretty pricey.

It’s Perfect For… small guest rooms, mixed-used spaces like an office den, or a compact apartment living room. Sleepers are usually pretty contemporary in design, so they’ll fit right in with any transitional or modern interior.

Explore more living room design ideas!

Know the style of sofa you want? See it in your home now!

Start My Project

coffee table buying guide

How to Pick a Coffee Table Shape to Go With Your Sofa

After landing on a sofa (or a sectional), a coffee table is one of the next most important pieces of furniture in your living room. It helps tie together your seating area, and offers the practicality of a surface for placing a drink, kicking up your feet, and displaying your favorite coffee table books.

But with so many different coffee table sizes, shapes, and materials to choose from, it can be overwhelming to land on the right coffee table for your living room. So, today we’re going to help you out with a coffee table buying guide! We’ll walk you through the different coffee table shapes, show you how they work with different sofa shapes (think sectional or sofa chaise), and ultimately help you find the right coffee table for your space!

coffee table buying guide

The Basics of Choosing a Coffee Table

But before all that, you’ll want to consider a few general rules of thumb when it comes to choosing the right coffee table.

Coffee Table Height

First up: coffee table height. You want your coffee table to be no more than 2-3 inches above or below your sofa’s seat height. (Though, the closer to the same height, the better.) If it’s too tall or too short, it won’t be as practical to use and frankly just won’t look as good.

Coffee Table Length

And, in terms of length, consider the space you need to walk and navigate around your coffee table within the rest of the room. A good rule of thumb is leaving about 17 inches from each end of your coffee table to the edge of your sofa for walkability. With that, in general you’ll want your coffee table to sit on the center of your area rug, no matter what sofa style you have or what shape of coffee table you choose.

Explore more coffee table do’s and don’ts here! Ready to dig in? Read on for our ultimate guide to choosing a coffee table to go with your sofa.

coffee table buying guideBest Coffee Table Shapes for Standard Sofas

If you have a standard sofa, you have a lot of flexibility when it comes to picking a coffee table. You can safely go with just about any shape, and it’s just easier to know where to place it. (Simply center the coffee table on your sofa, and make sure it’s about two-thirds the length of your sofa.) So, really, it just comes down to preference. Below, you’ll see how different coffee table shapes work with a standard sofa.

Shop This Look

coffee table buying guide

coffee table buying guide

Rectangular Coffee Tables

A rectangular coffee table fits well with a traditional, standard-size sofa. It offers a lot of surface area—providing a surface not only for people sitting on the sofa but also on the side chair. And, the coffee table pictured is a perfect example of the right height in comparison to your sofa. We’d say that, for a standard sofa, a rectangular coffee table is your best all-around choice. This is a no-brainer shape that you really can’t go wrong with.

coffee table buying guidecoffee table buying guideSquare Coffee Tables

When it comes to a square coffee table with a traditional sofa, our stylists recommend doing two squares side-by-side rather than just one. A single square coffee table would feel small and awkward on it’s own with a long rectangular sofa—leaving your seating area feeling unbalanced. So, doubling up on the squares gives your living room a more balanced, cohesive look. Plus, with two squares, you get double the surface area! It gives you the concept of a rectangular coffee table, but with more visual intrigue.

coffee table buying guidecoffee table buying guideRound Coffee Tables

If you want to add visual interest to your living room, along with creating a bit of a statement in your space, go for a round coffee table. Just make sure it has a large enough circumference to balance out the length of your sofa! You don’t get as much surface space in comparison to a rectangular coffee table, so we recommend supplementing your seating area with some side tables for extra surface area. You could also consider doing two round tables, and either replacing them side-by-side like the squares, or staggering them, with one closer to the sofa and one further away. Staggering a set creates varied walking space around your tables and sofa and more visual interest to your set-up.

A round coffee table—whether you go for one larger table or a pair of smaller ones—is the most versatile shape and our pick for best all-around coffee table shape for any sofa style. Whether you have a standard sofa, a sectional, or a sofa with a chaise, a round coffee table will tuck into any shape, as long as the size proportions are correct. Round coffee tables are also the most kid-friendly shape, since there are no hard edges or corners.

coffee table buying guidecoffee table buying guideOval Coffee Tables

An oval-shaped coffee table is another great shape for a standard sofa. It’s obviously a bit longer than a round coffee table, so it gives you as much surface area as possible while still offering a softer, more organic shape. And choosing an oval style with a more unique base, like this one, adds some visual interest. Like a round coffee table, and oval is also great if you have kids, because of the round edges—no sharp corners here!

coffee table buying guidecoffee table buying guideAbstract/Organic Coffee Tables

An abstract or organic-shaped coffee table is great for inspiring movement in your living room, adding a functional statement to your space. There’s a sense of fluidity when you opt for a more organic shape—though, depending on the specific style you choose, it can give a totally different vibe to the space. Here, we have both a table that’s a soft triangle shape with three legs, and a more heavy, organic style, which each create completely different looks to the seating arrangement. With the second one, you’ll want to make sure you figure out the balance—since it’s such a heavy, solid piece, you wouldn’t want to pair it with a delicate or small sofa. With all coffee tables, consider the size and scale of your sofa and pair a coffee table accordingly.

Regardless, abstract and organic shapes in coffee tables work well with a regular-sized sofa, offering a more dynamic look. We love that, whatever vantage point you have in the room, you’re going to see it differently. This gives your coffee table the feeling of being an evolving object within your space that adds dimension and a sculptural quality.

coffee table buying guideBest Coffee Table Shapes for Sectionals

While all of the same shapes are available to you when you have a sofa with a chaise or a sectional, different shapes and sizes work differently within this context. While we’re just showing you how these shapes work with a sofa with a chaise, the same principles apply to a sectional with a full L-shape.

Shop This Look

coffee table buying guidecoffee table buying guideRectangle Coffee Tables

If you opt for a rectangular coffee table with a sectional or chaise, you’ll just want to make sure the length of the coffee table fits with a safe amount of space between the edge of the sofa and the chaise, without the end of the coffee table going past the other end of the sofa! A rectangular coffee table gives you more space relative to the rest of your seating arrangement though (in this case, in the foreground of the image) since the shape means it’s not protruding into the side of the seating area that’s opposite your sofa.

coffee table buying guidecoffee table buying guideSquare Coffee Tables

A single square coffee table works really well for a sofa with a chaise or a sectional. It tucks perfectly into the angle of the chaise while still giving you enough breathing room. It’s also great for those who love a more traditional take on a seating arrangement, since the lines of the coffee table align with the lines of the sofa, with edges meeting edges and the square shape echoing the angle of the sofa. This is our pick for a no-brainer coffee table shape that you really can’t go wrong with when you have a chaise or sectional.

Like the look of a square but want softer edges? An ottomoan is a great coffee table alternative, which also provides a comfortable, makeshift seat or footrest!

coffee table buying guidecoffee table buying guideRound Coffee Tables

A round coffee table with this sofa shape has a grounding element and is easier to navigate around than other shapes. It offers more room to play around with the chair placement within your living room, and overall is easier to design around since you don’t have hard lines or edges. As with a traditional sofa, you can also opt for two smaller round tables versus one larger round coffee table. This creates a more playful look that’s very flexible and forgiving. You can stagger them and even swing one around to be a side table when you want to. It breaks up the angle of the L-shape on the sofa and adds an organic element that brings some breathing room to your layout.

coffee table buying guidecoffee table buying guideOval Coffee Tables

An oval coffee table works really nicely to balance out the edge of the sofa. The table pictured is a smaller model; we’d recommend sizing up if you’re going to do an oval with this type of sofa. But just make sure you have enough room for walking on all sides of the table.

coffee table buying guidecoffee table buying guideAbstract/Organic Coffee Tables

An abstract or organic coffee table would also give you that ability to break up the angle of the L-shape of the sofa. The soft triangle table fits really nicely in this setting and adds a bit of a statement to the center of the room. This is a bigger table, but it doesn’t feel too large for the space. That’s because, since its legs lift it off the floor, there’s a sense of airiness to this look. (One of our favorite tricks to help a space feel larger.)

The more solid, geometric coffee table also works in this set-up, but it’s definitely a heavier approach. It anchors the center of the room and visually balances out the weight of the chaise versus the chair that’s diagonal from the chaise. However, since it’s a solid, heavy table, it’s not very moveable.

Explore Coffee Table Styles

Choosing the best coffee table to go with your sofa also means finding one with the right style. As evidenced by the variety of coffee tables featured in this post, there are so many styles to consider! If you’re uncertain about what style or shape of coffee table to choose, take our style quiz, or work with one of our designers to find the best furniture pieces and layout for your whole living room!

Ready to find the perfect coffee table for your space?

Start My Project

Living Room ideas

Everything you need to know about buying a sofa online

How to buy a sofa online

We live in a world where we can buy anything and everything online. From clothing to groceries, furniture is now a category we can add to the list.

But while purchasing a pair of shoes is easy, ordering a large piece of furniture via the internet can feel stressful and overwhelming. After all, you can’t just drop a sofa in the mail if it doesn’t fit or look the way you hoped.

While buying a sofa online might seem terribly risky, it can actually be a simple and easy – even great – experience! Here are five tried and true tips – gleaned from our real-life experience – to help make buying a sofa online as comfortable as lounging on one.

 

1. Shop for What Makes You Comfortable

Are you inclined to recline? Find a sofa that supports the way you like to lounge.

Would you believe us if we told you that you can determine if a sofa is comfy online? Although nothing quite compares to the real life test drive, there are key factors that can help you to gauge a sofa’s comfiness via cyberspace.

Do you want a sofa where you can sit cross-legged and enjoy all the poor-posture slouching you want? Look for an option with a greater seat depth. Do you like to lean back against your sofa’s armrest and stretch out? Be sure to pay attention to the arm height to ensure maximum comfort.

Think about how you really use your sofa and look for the factors that will make it most comfortable for you. Check out this helpful video for a break-down of all your need-to-know sofa stats.

 

2. Read the Reviews

You are not blazing this trail alone!

The next best thing to sitting on a sofa is reading reviews by other people who have sat on that sofa. Just a few of the many things you can learn from the reviews are the quality of the piece, how comfortable it is, and if it looks the same in real life as it’s pictured online. 

There’s no telling how much time, money, and energy you can save by reading product reviews.

 

3. Get Acquainted With the Return & Exchange Policies

Your last line of defense when buying furniture, online or in-store.

Before buying a sofa online, make sure you can answer the question “If I hate it, how easily can I return it?

Many furniture retailers have strict return and exchange policies, so it’s important to do your research. For big-ticket items, like a sofa, some retailers require you to ship the piece back yourself and then pour salt in the wound with a hefty restocking fee.

It’s no surprise then that many people keep furniture they don’t even like simply to avoid the hassle of returning it.

Here’s the good news – many retailers have super generous return policies so you can avoid this sofa-sized headache. Do your research first, then shop confidently.

4. But First, Swatches

Test drive the material before you commit.

Many retailers offer to send you fabric swatches for a small charge or even for free! This is a great way to test drive the fabric you’ll be lounging on, so take full advantage.

Don’t be afraid to get handsy with your swatches and see how they hold up to everyday wear and tear. Spill some wine on them to gauge how easily they stain. Wipe down the fabric to see how easy it is to clean. Even rub them on your pets to see if their fur clings to the fabric.

5. Visualize It

Make sure it looks good and fits in your space.

A customer recently told us that, prior to designing her space with Modsy, she had tried reconstructing the form of her potential new sofa out of cardboard boxes. And we totally get it! Imagining how a big piece will look and feel in your space is difficult, but it’s also one of the most important steps toward buying a piece of furniture online.

Before you buy a sofa online (or even at all) get confident by knowing how it will look and fit in your space. You can use the magical powers of Modsy to see your sofa in an exact 3D version of your actual room. Alternatively, you can always rely on a measuring tape, or even compare the dimensions of your new sofa against another piece of furniture.

Whichever method works for you, avoid having to return your new sofa (even though you thoroughly researched the return policy like a pro) because it doesn’t fit or look good with your wall color/rug/coffee table…

 

Shopping for a new sofa?

Are you in the market for a new sofa? Snag yourself a Modsy design package and try on all your favorite options in a life-like version of your living room. Not sure where to even start looking? Our designers can help recommend sofas based on your style and budget. 

Design in 3D, Shop With Confidence:

Follow the Modsy blog with Bloglovin