Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Replace Sofa Cushions - Design Influences of Sofa Styles and Choosing the Best For You

Today's sofa styles have design influences from furniture periods dating back to the Italian Renaissance.

A variety of these period influences include adaptations of the camel back from the 18th century, to the heavily carved wood frames of the Victorian era, and simple silhouettes of the Art Deco period in the 1920's.

Ultimately though it doesn't matter what style your sofa is or if it fits into a classification. What is important is that it fits into your lifestyle and will stand the test of time, and that it enhances the style and comfort of your room.

But with so many sofa styles how do you choose?

Decide on the style of back first. No other aspect of the sofa has a greater impact on the way it looks and feels.

There are four basic back types.

A loose cushion back, is a style that has removable and reversible back and seat cushions, giving you the option of turning them over to get the most wear.

The back cushions usually line up and matches the number of seat cushions (with the exception of the bench seat) and the casings are zipped for easy removal for cleaning and replacement of the inserts.

The comfort depends on the depth of the sofa but this back style generally appeals to a lot of people.

An attached cushion back sofa the cushions are not reversible because they are upholstered directly to the inside back of the sofa. They don't require any fluffing or rearranging, always maintaining a neat look.

A tight back sofa is contoured to the shape of the sofa. A tight back sofa feels firmer than the loose or attached cushion, because you don't have any pillows to sink into, and they are low maintenance because of it.

A camel back, a channel back, and a tufted back are examples of sofa styles that fall into this category.

A multi or scatter pillow back style back on a sofa has more loose pillows than seat cushions and the pillows are smaller and usually is a more casual look.

They generally have a soft and deeper seat and are sometimes considered more comfortable because the pillows can be adjusted to persons of varying heights.
The down side is they need constant fluffing, especially if they are stuffed with down.

If this is going to be a distraction to you, you would be wise to consider the tight back, or an attached cushion.

When you are comfortable with the selection of the back, these are other key design elements to consider making your selection of the different sofa styles available much simpler.

One, two or three seats?

How many people do you need seating for?

One seat cushion or a bench seat is a clean look, and more people are apt to sit because there is no crack between cushions. Be sure the cushion can be clipped in place to prevent it from flaring up on the ends.

Two seat cushions on an average size sofa are bigger than the conventional three seat cushions.
Technically three people can sit on a two-seat cushion sofa of average length but only two will, because no one wants to sit on the crack between the cushions.

A two-seat cushion sofa is transitional, meaning it can be happy in a traditional setting or a modern one, while the more traditional sofa styles tend to have three seat cushions.

The arms on a sofa have different designs and contribute to the appearance.

A classic example being the roll arm that has a flat panel and is often outlined with a welt or cording.
Another ageless style is the English arm which is rounded with the fabric pleated at the front into sunburst pleats. A straight or slight flare parson arms are most often used in contemporary styles.

How high or low do you want the arm to be? A tuxedo sofa has the arms at the same height as the back, though if the arms are too high it may be difficult to place things down on an end table next to it.

Do you like a skirt on your sofa or do you prefer an exposed leg?
These choices are decorative in nature and purely a personal preference.

Exposed leg styles consist of a bun foot, a tapered leg or a turned English leg with or without a castor and available in a number of different finishes.

Skirts can be of a traditional or dressmaker in length, sometimes with detailing like a box-pleat, shirred on the corners or a ruffle, or even embellished with a bullion fringe at the bottom.

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