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All posts by: theagency

quilted leather couch modern sofas

Test Your IQ For Modern Sofas

Eight Modern Sofas you Should Know of Before Buying

CABRIOLE SOFA

Cabriole is a term that was used to describe a carriage or a cab in the 18th Century. This sofa looks a bit like the cab seat’s structure with the trim of the back curving into arms in one seamless sweep of exposed wood. Set off by the simplicity of fitted upholstery, the wood displays a baroque styling with elaborate carvings. Lastly, there are no back cushions.

ENGLISH ROLL-ARM SOFA

This sofa was made famous by English furniture-maker George Smith, who calls it the Standard Arm Signature Sofa. A high back and low arms at the sides characterise this sofa, making the structure more relaxed and casual in appearance. Some English Roll Arm sofas wear a ‘skirt’, concealing its feet, and they have padded loose seats and back cushions. The versatility of this sofa design ensures that it will never go out of style. A less common name for the English Roll Arm sofa is the Bridgewater sofa.

THE KNOLE SOFA

The Knole sofa was specifically created in the 17th Century for the historical Knole House, an estate home in Kent, England. Thereafter, the fashion caught on, and modern reproductions still preserve the stately curvature of the original design. Also known as the ‘Knole settee’, this sofa features deep seats, with a high back and sides. Some aristocratic ladies of Tudor England took full advantage the fact that the closed-in framework that warded off the cold common in draughty old English castles. The Knole sofa usually has decorative wooden finials on the sofa back, to which the adjustable side arms are tied with braids and tassels.

THE CAMELBACK SOFA

Besides the hump, another attribute that distinguishes the Camelback sofa is its widely-flared arms that roll outwards and can be used to lean against. With a slight incline in the back, this sofa allows people to sit in a less rigid posture. The Camelback has been in existence since the 18th Century and was first made popular by the English cabinetmaker, Chippendale. There are many variations of this style in the market. Designers have added their own unique twists to the basic structure, and one Camelback is very unlikely to look like another.

THE LAWSON SOFA

The famous 20th Century financier, Thomas Lawson, commissioned the design of the Lawson sofa. Tired of Victorian frills and fusses, he ordered his furniture-maker to think of a sofa that chose simplicity and comfort over stately style. The original design has three attached back pillows above three seat cushions. The arms are lower than the back. The back is not upright but pitched at a very restful angle. Sometimes, the Lawson sofa is dressed in a skirt. The Lawson is the ideal sofa for the afternoon nap because of the positioning of its arms.

THE CHESTERFIELD SOFA

In the 17th century, the Earl of Chesterfield, Phillip Stanhope, commissioned the creation of what we now know as the Chesterfield sofa. A trendsetter during his times, Stanhope wanted his furniture man to come up with a design that allowed a gentleman to sit comfortably without wrinkling his garments. The result was a sofa design with a buttoned and quilted back, rolled arms, nailhead trim and low seat base. An ageless, timeless, male masterpiece. Phillip Stanhope’s godson was visiting him at the time of his death. From his deathbed, a very sick Stanhope called upon his butler to “give the gentleman a chair”. The butler took this last command from his master quite literally, and after Stanhope’s passing, he went against the wishes of the family and insisted that the godson go back home with the original Chesterfield.

THE TUXEDO SOFA

The sofa gets its name from the same place that men’s tuxedo evening wear did: Tuxedo Park in New York. Invented in the 1920s, the Tuxedo is one of the first sofa designs that shook off the yokes of classicism and took the first steps toward modernised home décor. The lightweight design with tightly tailored upholstery features arms that are of the same height as the back. The legs are exposed and there are no back cushions to spoil the appearance of its neat, spare silhouette.

THE MID-CENTURY MODERN SOFA

The designs trend that took over the Western world from 1940 to 1970 has re-emerged as a fashionable décor choice in the last few years, reviving the market appeal of Mid-Century modern sofas. These tufted sofas are straight with neat, squared lines and low-slung arms. The exposed metal or wooden legs are low and generally square or slightly tapered. The Mid-Century Modern sofa has become a byword for stylish urban living. If you’re looking for a style that’s smart, practical and suitable for small spaces, there are few rivals to this one.

Need more information?

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design advice leather or fabric sofa

Design Advice For Leather or Fabric Sofas

We understand that both leather or fabric sofa-shopping can be a bit overwhelming. In fact, even natural-born interior designers may need some design advice. If you’re looking to purchase a good quality sofa as a lifetime investment, you want to make sure you don’t make a ‘mistake.’ There are literally hundreds of different types, styles and upholstery coverings. One of the most frequently asked questions is, “Should I buy leather or fabric?” Unfortunately, there is no right answer. Fabric and leather sofas both have positive and negative characteristics.

Here’s some design advice to help you be more informed to better decide which sofa finish is right for you, your family and home.

Fabric Sofa’s Benefits:

Comfort:

Fabric sofas vary widely depending on the fabric, style and the support structure of the sofa. However, fabric sofas tend to be much more comfortable than leather as the fabric tends to be an overall softer, warmer finish than leather. Just like your leather car seats, leather can sometimes feel hot and sticky in summer and a bit cold in the winter. Leather sofas tend to feel firmer than fabric sofas.

Care

The wear and tear of fabric sofas most often depends upon the grade of fabric. Of course, the better fabrics will withstand years of wear, just like better leathers.

Most good quality fabric sofas are treated with a stain-resistant finish, so when spills do happen, they are easily cleaned with specialty products or a handheld steam cleaner. Also, fabric doesn’t scuff like leather can do, so it tends to better withstand pet’s claws and your kid’s shoes than leather.

Color & Pattern Choices

Leather does come in a variety of colors, but fabrics are unlimited in their color and pattern choices, so you will have a better chance of matching existing decor or getting a colour of your choice.

Budget

Fabric sofas are usually cheaper even though good quality fabric and framing are always expensive. The same sofa in leather would always cost more.

The Benefits of a Leather Sofa

Hypoallergenic:

Allergy sufferers often do better with leather sofas because leather doesn’t harbor dust mites, pet dander, and other allergens as easily as fabric does.

Appearance

A leather sofa can lend a certain distinguished classic elegance to a room that is hard to duplicate in fabric. Leather Chesterfield-style sofas are very traditional, but as a rule, leather sofas are typically more trendy than their fabric counterparts. If you like a contemporary or modern look, leather sofas tend to appear sleeker and high end in a space than fabric does.

Care

Leather is very easy to clean, usually requiring a light dusting or rubdown a couple of times a year, whereas fabric needs to be vacuumed and cleaned regularly. However, both leather and fabric are easy to clean and care for if your lifestyle is suited to the finish. Be careful not to leave your leather sofa in directly sunlight all day.

You need more information?

Please feel free to give us a call or come and visit the Klooftique showroom in Kloof Street, Cape Town.

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