There are so many occasions when moments in interiors parallel moments in fashion. Think about denim, for instance. You might have a pair that’s dark and dressy and you may have a pair with trendy details. But when push comes to shove, it’s that simple clean pair that can take you from a casual Friday meeting to weekend dinner with heels that keeps you slipping back into them time and time again.
I feel the same way about sofa forms. There’s the sleek, tailored sofa that breaths Coco Chanel refinement into a room or a large-scale silhouette that begs for everyone to pile on and watch a movie on a rainy day. But one style, in particular, proves the most classic and versatile for me. That’s the English arm sofa.
As designers, we work in many styles according to architecture, client preference, and design scheme. However, in my own homes, I gravitate towards the forms that are historically proven to stand the test of time. A handsome, milk chocolate-colored velvet sofa, for instance, is steeped in tradition and softens the overall vibe in front of the built-in credenza wet bar. It’s a memorable experience (and a chic one, too) when we mix a fun cocktail for our guests who perch blissfully on this beauty.
Layered like an English country house, a living room with a window seat and spool chair welcomes a handsome leather sofa in caramel to the seating mix. This piece makes sure that there is a super cozy spot to bask in the crackle and warmth of the fire.
Finally, a sky-blue sofa piped in navy contrasting welt anchors the family room of our Catskills cottage. Balancing a painted beadboard ceiling, the solid, but two-toned presentation plays host to a bevy of other blue-and-white textiles, ceramics, and trim applications.
There are so many sofa styles to select from, and I can make a case for many depending on the setting. However, it’s the rolled-arm form that has become a clear classic in my interiors. It’s not only comfortable but also has a lovely silhouette from the front, side, and back and can accommodate many design styles.
As I prepare to scheme our newest projects in the studio, I will consider the versatility and elegance of an English arm sofa for big rooms and smaller ones as well.