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Style Trends

Why The Chunky Low Sofa Has Our Attention

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We are loving that the chunk is back. The cycle of trends has led us from the sleek and square of midcentury design into what is decidedly the opposite. While 70’s interior design has been back for a long time (possibly even before this huge 70’s fashion trend), we are finally seeing furniture that feels modern instead of retro, and forward with just some flashback elements. Before you light your 1960’s Paul McCobb chair on fire don’t fear, beautiful furniture is always on trend no matter what style it is. But if you are someone who has been dying to dump yourself in a big, low, and chunky sofa then you, and your butt, are in luck.

Low Leather Sofa
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Think really low, square sofas with low backs, super deep cushions with short-ish legs, and a really heavy thick bottom cushions or frame. These are not for everyone. My in-law’s, for example, don’t like how deep our family room sofa is, and they put a pillow behind their backs to make it more comfortable for them. These sofas are decidedly for people who want to curl up, while chatting and sit with all legs/feet on the sofa. Brian loves this, but I could see how a lot of grown men wouldn’t be down with going criss cross apple sauce on a strangers living room sofa, so instead they feel the need to sit uncomfortably on the edge.

Low Blue Velvet Sofa
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I myself, can handle, and even have come to prefer such deepness. It’s like hugging your big Italian grandma when you are a kid – it just feels safe and trustworthy.

There are a couple details worth calling out. First off, we welcome back the knife cut cushions, not instead of, but in addition to the boxed cushions.

Charcoal Grey Slip Cover Couch 1
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There are some arms so squared off and chunky that they act as the sofas own side table. Such is the case with our sofa arms, and many a water glass has been rested on said arms.

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There is also less piping and welting, more curving over what is typically seamed, which takes away some of the detailing that normally gives sofas a tailored look. The curving instead adds to this relaxed “I don’t even wear a belt” sort of attitude.

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The types of fabrics seem to be all over the place – linens, velvets, and leathers are all welcome, with patterns taking a back seat (yes, pun intended). You could go for a really subtle tone on tone that looks more like a texture, but anything bold or graphic should be feared with such large real estate to cover. It can be done, but be careful.

Low Red Velvet Chunky Sofa
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Emily Henderson White Low Chunky Sofa
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Make sure to mix this sofa with some mid-century, modern, or traditional elements so it doesn’t look generic and style-less.

These sofas don’t want too many pillows – they are already adding a lot of softness, looseness, and texture to a room, so be careful to about throwing on too many eclectic pillows, or it could easily look messy and haphazard.

Also, if you are going to go for some legs on your chunky new friend then make them super square or round, and stay away from tapered or turned legs. Again the simpler the better.

Low Modern Yellow Sofa
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These sofas can go bad if they aren’t good, so to help you with your trigger pulling we’ve rounded up 54 chunky low sofas of different price-points, and even different styles and colors. Almost all of these come in a plethora of fabrics and finishes so you should be able to find just the right piece for your home.

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1. Linen Amersfort Sofa | 2. Cloud Track Sofa | 3. Dante Italian Leather Sofa | 4. Marenco Sofa | 5. Aviator Velvet Sofa | 6. Sitka Gray Sofa | 7. Anderson Sofa | 8. Prostoria Cloud Sofa | 9. Essex Sofa | 10. New Standard Sofa | 11. Velvet Kettleby Sofa | 12. Urban Sofa | 13. Jackson One Arm Sofa | 14. Interior Define Gray Sofa | 15. Norsborg Sofa | 16. Johnny Sofa | 17. Muuto Pink Sofa | 18.  Blvd Sofa | 19. Neo Sofa | 20. Urbn Liam Sofa | 21. Jaxon Maxine Sofa | 22. Interior Define Ainsley Sofa | 23. Sackville Nova Sofa | 24. Togo Sofa, (similar found here) | 25. Fold Sofa | 26. Harding Sofa | 27. Pacific Heights Sofa | 28. Aida Sofa | 29. Uno Sectional Sofa | 30. Piazza Sofa | 31. Melo Sofa | 32. Bobby Sofa | 33. Liam Sofa | 34. Prostoria Sofa | 35. Fulham Upholstered Sofa | 36. Sessan Sofa | 37. Cube Modular Sofa | 38. Cleon Sofa | 39. Walton Sofa | 40. Palau Sofa | 41. Kivik Sofa | 42. The Family Sofa | 43. Old Hickory Leather Sofa | 44. Anderson 3-Piece Sofa | 45. Bienal Jasmine Sofa | 46. Relax 2-Piece Sofa | 47. Uno Single Arm Sofa | 48. Reid Sofa | 49. Grant Sofa | 50. Bolton Sofa | 51. Hilear Modular Sofa | 52. Allen Sofa | 53. Highlands Sofa | 54. Belgian Linen Tassa Sofa

Craving more roundups? What do you want to see next?

 

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  1. Hi Emily! talking about resting your glass on your sofa, this is the one we ended up with (but in a different colour) because my husband likes to eat on the sofa and I didn’t want him putting his plate/glass etc on the material haha http://www.kingliving.com.au/sofas-modulars-and-armchairs/jasper/#DRKbydIsXsUVcQZ7.97
    I have it in a fairly smallish living room and it also saves on needing a coffee table for the moment! (especially as I have a one year old starting to bump into things). Would be interested to know your thoughts…. 🙂

    1. I love this sofa! We don’t have a lot of space for side tables and I desperately want a sectional. Is it comfortable? Are you in the States? Thanks!!!

      1. Yea, that’s awesome. I wish more sofas came with a tiny shelf on the back so you could put wine/coffee away from littles. The amount of lurching forward to get it out of hands (and mouths) is way too much. xx

  2. We have a chunky low sectional and I love it. It goes really well with the danish teak furniture in the room. The more chunky shape/modern lines help to keep the space from looking like a 60’s movie set.

    We have this one from EQ3, but ours has an extra chair section to make it 12ft long

    http://tinyurl.com/hw8pdux

  3. You being able to break down this post in an interesting and entertaining way is why you are one of my favorite blogs to read. And this is coming from a stay at home mom of soon to be four in the Midwest. I have no practical or social need for this knowledge but now I do and I’m happier for it.

  4. Love chunky sofas and doing all I can to resist the urge to buy a new couch, which I definitely don’t need…!

    Wanted to add that the IKEA Nockeby sofa is a decent chunky-style sofa for a great price – and it’s really comfortable.

    Also: about a year ago, I bought the Dante leather sofa (#3 above) and it arrived with some damage to the wood, so I had to send it back to Overstock – who were really great to work with and have terrific customer service. But I mention this only because it has a really unique shape and is clearly a statement piece. I wish I could have kept it.

  5. Ditto all the kind words about this blog. It’s so educational! Question about these lovely low sofas: does having one affect what height the other seating in the room needs to be? I have a few rattan chairs and a Barcelona chair in my living room.

    1. That is an interesting question! I’d think it’d be awkward to have conversations if others are deep in deep couch city, and others perched higher up?

  6. I love the look of these. I would never have one. I have been following Katie Bowman and pretty much everything about 70’s furniture is bad for backs. It feels comfortable until it isn’t. I can see some of these working if you have the discipline to change your position often. Otherwise it is just more slump which most of us get too much of already at work.

    I do think that this looks would be really good for rooms with low ceilings. It would make the ceiling feel higher.

  7. I’m not really a fan of these style sofas. Most of them look too plain or generic to me. I think it’s because they lose a lot of those details, like you said. Still a great post.

  8. love the roundups! would love to see an office chair round up. so many options (wheels vs no wheels, upolstered vs not) and was wondering what is trending right now!

  9. I’ve love the RH cloud sofa, and am probably getting. Would love to see some side/end tables. I just have no clue what it is I want.

  10. Hmm, well….. I am no longer 20 and am short besides. I would not be able to get up out of any of these – especially if the cushions are very soft.

    I enjoyed the post though.

  11. So glad you put the prices right on the graphic! In the past, it’s been a real bummer to get all excited about a piece, then click through on the link and find out it’s way out of my price range.

  12. We have a sofa that’s very chunky (but not that low) and hate it, BUT it’s also plain beige and a microfiber. It just feels too…. flopsy? Boring? However, that sofa in red is AMAZING. I would love it! Comfortable but still a statement piece!

  13. I’m actually a fan of the Kivek sofa from ikea. It is a low and chunky sofa and I love the Isunda Grey uppholstery. We have littles too who love to snuggle and it’s nice that you can take off the covers and wash them! Great post Emily!

  14. I have been trying to get my husband on the low deep sofa idea like this and he’s solidly against it. I sent this link on to further my case! He’s not loving my judgment since I bought a sofa from Joybird and it turned out to be complete dreck…

    1. I second the call for a round up of bookcases; built ins and freestanding.

      Also, btw are they timber vertical blinds in the photo with the red sofa?? I have just moved in to a late 1980’s townhouse that has faded apricot-coloured vertical binds on every window. I know they are hideously out of fashion and I am gradually replacing them but boy they are practical and do the job! I wondered if they will ever be on trend again?… now I know.

  15. Emily!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have been googling “low modern sofa” “low modular sofa” “fat low sofa” for a week now, going how the f@#* am I going to find one! Many thanks for all the options.

  16. Oh my goodness, while browsing my local classifieds (in Utah) I found the chair version of your comfy 70’s couch. There are two, one for each of your littles. They would be perfect in your home! I don’t know if they are leather or vinyl, but they look like cool, comfy, 70’s deliciousness. I tagged you insta, because I felt you should see them somehow 🙂 Here is a link, if you want to check them out.

  17. I love my low chunky tufty time sofa. Ive loved that “look” since i was a youngster and fell fortunate that I have been able to afford one. I dislike the idea of promoting “trends” since the idea of a “trend” implies disposability. Lets face it, Sofas are EXPENSIVE. It feels irresponsible to promote “trends” in home design. Rather the idea of promoting self expression. People should be presented the options about what fits their lifestyle and we should encourage their homes to represent what best suits them. Not just what’s “HOT” for the moment.

  18. Whoa! That navy Aviator sofa has my heart. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it also has lucite legs! So yummy. But unfortunately it’s now, out of stock. 🙁

    1. “Well the best types of couch for a house is really subjective and it depends on what quality of material you desire,
      how much space it takes up in the room, and other things such as ease of cleaning and aesthetic appeal.

  19. I’m petite/short stature — interested in buying sofa that is conftable, I can seat and touch the floor and on legs that I could clean underneath with moving the sofa — NO LEATHER,
    Thanks …. Rose

  20. Think really low, square sofas with low backs, super deep cushions with short-ish legs, and a really heavy thick bottom cushions or frame. These are not for everyone. My in-law’s, for example, don’t like how deep our family room sofa is, and they put a pillow behind their backs to make it more comfortable for them