Dream Sofas: Modern versions of traditional styles

I'm sure you're tired of looking at photos of our house's sad exterior, so let's switch gears for a moment. This morning I'm thinking about a new sofa, because as a full-time telecommuter I spend a lot of time snuggled up on ours with my laptop. As I mentioned before, our current couch is the ultimate in comfort, but aesthetically it's just a little too clunky.

I think the assumption is that log homes are required to have checked plaid couches, but that's just not our style. Because our house is so old though, my favorite sofa designs tend to be modern versions of traditional styles.

I'm seeing different variations of the Chesterfield all over the web lately, both in traditional leather and in lots of updated fabrics and prints. It's so very grown up and stodgy in a way that I love, but its lower profile gives it a more modern touch. I'm guessing that's why it has become so popular. Though I'm a fan, I'm not so sure this style is functional enough for our living room. I've never wanted any pieces of furniture that are better for looking at than actually sitting on. But if I had a den or didn't plan to have kids, one of these might be my top choice...

I'm also digging modern versions the English rollarm look lately too, because a less imposing arm could keep the living room looking more open and casual. In the right silhouette and fabric, I think this could be a perfect combination of comfort and style. These are mature but not fussy like the Chesterfields, and they are plush and inviting without being overstuffed and untidy. So I think this is my current favorite style.

I am kind of intrigued by the concept of slipcovers, which the last sofa offers in many colors. I do like lighter, neutral colored sofas (as you can maybe tell), so the washable factor is a major plus... and the casualness of a slipcover gives off a nice, country-house vibe. I've noticed though that they often look wrinkly and usually don't fit quite right. My theory is that buying a couch that comes with its own custom slipcovers (like the PB sofa) might make all the difference in the fit, but I'm not totally convinced.

Does anyone have some good insight or experience with slipcovers? I'd love to hear your thoughts! (You guys really are so smart!)


  1. ooo...i've recently decided that i really like chesterfields, but agree that they always seem to come in fabrics that are fussy or formal (leather? velvet? how about some sturdy cotton duck?!?).

    i've also read elsewhere that if you're looking at PB sofas, skip the PB markup by getting them straight from their manufacturer (rowe?). i like your style.

  2. Ooo awesome tip about the PB sofas, Katie! Thanks for sharing!

  3. This is my opinion on sofas- sofas need to have arms that are comfortable enough to lay your head on. Realistically, everyone lays down on sofas so if the arm is too high, can't lay your head on it. If the arm is too small, again can't lay your head on it. It needs to be medium and cushioned :) End soap box.

  4. I really like the last one from PB. We just bought a simple slipcovered number and I've been pleasantly surprised and how un-messy it looks. It's certainly not perfect but the slipcover fits perfectly and doesn't even really look like a slipcover.

  5. I agree with Lindsey. I'm in favor of good sofa arms...don't have to be too high, but high enough that someone can't push you over the side

  6. Linds, your soap box made me laugh because I have a similar one about throw pillows. Pillows are made for lounging and lying on... who wants to put their face against a pillow covered in beading or buttons or feathers, etc? The height of the arm of the sofa doesn't matter to me that much as long as I have a pillow for my weary head. Oh, and unless you live in a museum, throw pillows also need to have washable covers, because otherwise... gross. So that's my soap box about couch comfort! (S has a similar one about afghans if you're interested. Maybe he'll write a guest post/rant about it.)

    Flynny flynny flynny... come visit me. I am way better than your other (so-called) friends because I would never push you over the side!

  7. I have the SAME soap box about pillows AND throw blankets!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Our practicality is just beautiful.

  8. I mean blankets AND throw pillows? yeah.. that's what I meant.

  9. Linds, our practicality IS beautiful. I like to think it makes up for other times when I'm totally frivolous. :-)


Thanks for reading! I love your thoughts, feedback and suggestions. Keep 'em coming!