As you try to envision your ideal living room space, it can be hard to picture what kind of sofa you want with all the types of sofa design styles. To help you out, we’ve compiled a sofa style guide that defines the sofas on our list so you can understand what differentiates them from each other. Are you ready to learn what the difference is between a scooped arm and a chesterfield? Let’s go!
Let’s start with one of the most distinctive sofa designs: the camelback. Camelback sofas have an arched back that creates an elegant, curved design. Just like its namesake, camelback sofas can have one or two arches (or humps). The arms of the camelback curve up to the back, forming one, continuous line. If you’re looking for an elegant, Victorian sofa style, the camelback may be the right one for you.
Chesterfield sofas have a distinguishing look. Often made in leather, chesterfields feature deep button tufting with nail-head trim to create a sophisticated look. The rolled arms and back are the same height, emphasizing the formal feel. This sofa is the sort of piece you’d expect to see in an old manor house library.
The tuxedo is the sleeker cousin to the chesterfield. Like the chesterfield, the arms and back are the same height, but the tuxedo sofa is clean-lined and geometric. Tuxedo sofas can be upholstered in any type of fabric, and the squared arms and back are often tufted. If you’re looking to elevate the tone of your room, the tuxedo is a great option.
With clean lines, a rectangular shape, and solid wood or metal legs, Mid-Century Modern sofas are making a comeback. The only embellishment on the sofa is likely tufting on the back and seat cushions, but that isn’t a given. This simple sofa style is perfect if you’re looking for a comfortable yet sleek option that matches various design styles.
Lawson Sofa Styles
Lawson sofas are the quintessential definition of a comfortable sofa. The simple silhouette allows the soft, padded cushions to be the focus of this sofa. And the back is made of pillows that are separate from the frame, making the sofa even cozier. Add some throw pillows to the Lawson, and you have a sofa that’s perfect for sprawling out with a book or cuddling up for a nap.
Rolled Arm Sofa
Rolled arm sofas are characterized by their rounded arms, which gives the sofa a softer look. The sofa often has plump seat and back cushions, and the arms are padded as well. If you’re looking for an all-around cozy-looking and comfortable sofa, a rolled arm sofa could be the one for you.
Shop the Style: [Link to Willow Sofa]
English Roll Arm Sofa
The English roll arm is a variation of the traditional rolled arm sofa that emerged in Britain in the early 1900s. This empire sofa style is typically more compact than a rolled arm sofa. The arms on this sofa are also lower. In fact, on some English roll arm sofas, the arms are so low that they practically disappear.
Track Arm Sofa
The defining characteristic of a track arm sofa is the arms. The arms are flat, straight, and square, kind of like a railroad track. Sleek, clean lines are characteristic of the sofa, which makes it great if you are looking for a more straightforward sofa. Track arm sofas also pair well with throw pillows and blankets so you can spruce it up a bit and make it match your style even more.
Shop the Style: [Link to Archer or Lynwood Sofa]
Scooped Arm Sofa
Scooped arm sofas are similar to track arm sofas, but the arms are slightly different. Like track arm sofas, scooped arm sofas have clean lines and a rectangular shape. However, the arms on scooped arm sofas start flat and then scoop upward to match the height of the sofa back. The scoop adds a bit of a softer and more elegant look than a track arm.
Shop the Style: [Link to Jensen Sofa]
Sofas also come in many different structural designs. Enter the sectional sofa. Sectionals are modular sofas that come in separate pieces so you can configure them however you’d like, though typical sectional configurations are L- or U-shaped. Sectionals are known to be big, comfortable sofas that can fit a lot of people. If you’re thinking of buying a sectional, just remember, look at your floor plan to see if a sectional can fit in your space.
Futon Sofa Styles
Another type of sofa that has a different frame design is the futon. Futons are a sofa/bed combination where the sofa's back folds down to create a large sleeping surface. It is perfect if you’d like to have a bed for guests but don’t necessarily want to buy another bed.
Shop the Style: [Link to Gilman Folding Futon]
While a love seat may not be traditionally defined as a sofa, it’s still important to know what it is. Simply put, a love seat is like a sofa, but it’s smaller. They are specifically designed to fit two people, whereas a sofa can fit three or more. Love seats can come in as many different styles as sofas, which makes them a fun addition to any room. If you don’t think a sofa is quite what you’re looking for, a love seat may be an ideal option.
A settee is similar to a love seat, but it isn’t usually as comfortable. Settees are traditionally designed for two and have tall, straight backs with shallower seating. They are great for small spaces such as the foot of a bed, alongside a dining table, or in an entryway.
Now that you’ve learned these sofa design styles, you can visualize a sofa in your space that you’ll come to love as you create memories at home. And you can explain the differences between tuxedos and track arms.
If you’d like more inspiration as you plan out your space, check out our sofas and futons.