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The Traditional But Still Cool Sofas I Told My Friends To Buy For Their Living Rooms (Where They Also Watch TV – It’s A Challenge)

Here’s one of the best/worst things about me: I have a shopping addiction (all stylists do – it’s an occupational hazard like a bartender with alcohol) and right now I have nothing that I NEED to put in the cart (as we are mostly done decorating the farmhouse). That means my Saturday mornings are empty, and my dopamine levels are low unless I’m shopping for someone else (or say, working out or cold plunging, LOL). Lucky for me/them I have not one but two friends who recently moved and are in dire need of new living rooms that fit a particular mold: Traditional (both 1920s white homes with black shutters), but not huge meaning no sectional (living rooms weren’t big back then), that need to be comfy (because they are also the TV room) and yet they don’t want boring/suburban/generic (duh, they are rad). So I got to work and pinned all my current favorites that I felt were good contenders (most are readymade and fast to ship). There are so many others that are cool and more contemporary that didn’t make the list for a variety of reasons, but these did.

Eleanor Sofa

The bench seat (read = comfy) and the arm detail make it both cozy and comfortable. I love this sofa and it comes in a lot of different fabrics, too. It’s been on my list of “must sit on and try” since it came out. SO GOOD (and I trust Lulu and Georgia’s construction and comfort from experience).

Mardones Velvet Sofa

SO PRETTY. This is a real contender right now for one of my friends who likes a Soho House vibe. I just ordered the fabric sample in both this camel and in a dark gray velvet. That arm swoop is SO PRETTY. CB2 is just KILLING it these days.

Niven Sofa

This came up over and over and over. That bench cushion (modern) with the arm swoop (pretty, inviting, and traditional) makes this a very top contender for me. The seat depth is shallow with the second layer of cushions but deep if you take them off. And that cognac color is PERFECT.

Fabienne Sofa

We have two of these in our living room and I love them so much. They check the “traditional” and also the modern box really well. The turned legs obviously read classic, but the single bench and back are simple and modern (see a pattern here?). If only our silly dogs would stop sitting on the TOP CUSHION as if they are birds and it’s their nest. PUNKS!

Marconi 3-Seater Tufted Velvet Sofa

This sofa almost won out but the room that we are putting this in already has so much green. The leg detail on the side is SICK (the leg is exposed halfway up the sofa, sexy lady). The color and wood base are PERFECT. I haven’t sat on this and wondered if the tight upholstered seat would be too bouncy and not “sink-in-able” enough, but that green velvet is so pretty.

Giroud Sofa

Another sofa with more traditional tufting and possibly not the most comfortable tight back, but with a few pillows it would just be so pretty. I love a mixed material and the wool + tuft + wood base/arm is really pretty (and avoids the generic label quickly).

Durant Velvet Sofa

While this sofa is decidedly more contemporary, I think the simplicity lends itself to a traditional home because you can layer on the more decorative pieces (and the $1,799 price is pretty insane). I almost bought two of these for our living room but the lead time was too long. I think that arm swoop keeps it from being too boxy and chunky and it just looks soooo comfortable.

Rupert Sofa

Again, I know this sofa is more contemporary but I’ve seen it in the homes that Sara Sherman Samuel’s has designed and it just looks so comfortable and cloud-like. And remember, simple sofas are easy to layer on fun/decorative things. I think being in this rather delicious cognac velvet is what helps lend itself to a more traditional space (whereas a linen would feel colder with less texture/reflection).

Malea Velvet Sofa

This sofa is a new one that I’ve been eyeing – that slight rolled arm is so good and we all know that a double cushion, double back combo is SOOOO comfortable. I’m also super drawn to these warmer tones but unsure if this one veers to orange for me (or maybe just a really pretty rust tone?).

Bacio Leather Sofa

Neither of my friends wanted leather (it’s cold in the PNW) and those cushions admittedly look really bouncy (not cushy) but it’s such a pretty sofa! That narrow arm swoop is so good.

Westlake Sofa

I love so many of Rosa Beltran’s sofas and now they have a quick ship line! She has so many with such pretty shapes and she is a wonderful person. If you can wait, she can also customize anything at a great price and super high quality. We love so many of her designs.

Sinuous Curved Sofa

I went in person to sit on this for our own home. I LOVED sitting on it and only wished that it weren’t in bright white. I’m hoping they make it in other colors (the burnt orange velvet was a bit too extreme/shiny for me). The shape is so pretty and the curved front felt so special. It’s gorgeous. Athena’s collection for Crate & Barrel is excellent.

Crawford Slipcovered Sofa With Box-Pleated Skirt

This is another one where I LOVE the shape of the sofa, just wishing that it were in a more forgiving fabric (not cream linen). This comes in a really pretty brown, too, but that’s not right for either home. We’ll see if they make this Jake Arnold x Crate & Barrel sofa again in more “life living” colors. The shape is so pretty and the pleating is gorgeous (and such a nice reprieve from traditional skirted sofas).

Hornsby Sofa

Here we go back into the mid-century world – a little boxy but not too stuffed (what with all the cushions). Mid-century is coming back BTW as the year of the curve (or 5 years) is likely to wane. This sofa is pretty much the midcentury version of our more traditional sofa (the Fabienne). He is very handsome.

Burrard Sofa

Speaking of mid-century, I love this sofa from Article and have owned the sectional version. My whole family loved it. Basically, I know it’s super comfortable and perfect for watching TV.

Ginny’s Rivington Sofa

I love an English roll arm so much and was so delighted when Ginny (a former EHD designer for 5 years – WE LOVE GINNY) designed this sofa with Lulu and Georgia. It’s so pretty and classic and is a real contender in my friend Robyn’s living room.

Opening Image Credits: Design by Emily Henderson and ARCIFORM | Photo by Kaitlin Green

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4 months ago

best set of sofas, ever…

4 months ago

This is a great round up.
one vote for Ginny’s Belmount sofa over this one. The curved back…swoon!

4 months ago

A word of caution about Cb2 sofas: they are LOW. They are beautiful, but it’s super unpleasant to have the back of a sofa hit you square in the mid-spine. I considered the Marconi sofa for our living room too until I saw it in person … it’s only 24″ tall! A standard sofa is around 34-36″, for comparison. It would be impossible to curl up in the corner with a good book. Anyway, my soapbox = know your dimensions, lest you be stuck with an uncomfy couch.

Anne Davis
4 months ago
Reply to  Alexandra

I agree. I saw the Malea sofa on their site and went to check it out. It was so low. The measurements online were off. It said 17.5″ for the seat. No way. Maybe 15″. I didn’t measure it in the store.

4 months ago

Not sofa related but for any lucky people in LA, the Entler studio sale is tomorrow 11/18/23!

Brooke K
4 months ago

I would love to see a round up like this for leather sofas as well!

Cici Haus
4 months ago

I love all the Lulu & Georgia sofas, but they don’t have showrooms and you just can’t know if you like a sofa without trying it! and their return policy is unreasonable. I’m so sad because I’ve been in love with the Fabienne sofa for years but I just can’t risk spending $8k on sofas I hate.

4 months ago

Some of these look a little cartoony to me, but I really like the Fabienne and the Giroud.
Or maybe I just like sofas with French names!

Anne Davis
4 months ago

I’ve been looking for the right sofa for over a year. I finally found one I love and bought it only to find out the company (Mitchell Gold/Bob Williams) filed for bankruptcy. Now I have to start the search all over again.
I’ve inquired about some that you listed above. One thing that stops me from considering a sofa is a high seat height. 22″ is too high since I’m only 5’4″. I see that you have the Fabiennne which is 22″ high. What do you think of the height? Also, the Hornsby sofa at Lulu and Georgia has the wrong dimensions. I had to write to them to find out the correct ones. And again. a 22″ high seat.

4 months ago
Reply to  Anne Davis

I actually need a high seat…and wish all websites would list the actual seat height! 22″ seems actually even high for me. Hoping Emily lets us know what she thinks about the height of her sofa. Thanks for posting!

Anne Davis
4 months ago
Reply to  Mary

I have side tables that are 22″ so imagine sitting in something so high. That’s not for me. I hope Emily tells us about her sofa seats being 22″ high.

4 months ago

Some very cool sofas indeed. I automatically rule out any sofas with bulky arms. In tight rooms, they eat up floor space without adding extra seating. I have a petite sectional I love. You can skip ordering all the sections and have something wonderful that adds the chaise longue effect. Just another point of view.
Shopping withdrawal is a challenge for a stylist. I appreciate your efforts on our behalf.

4 months ago
Reply to  Patricia

Funny, bulky arms are a must for me. I just think it’s comfier when laying down, and I’d like to sit on them know and then for short conversations.

Jocelyn Batko Richgels
4 months ago

I am on the hunt for the same type of sofa for the same type of house. All of these are perfect! But I need a loveseat size of 70” or less, ideally around 65”. Why are these so hard to find? Is a custom piece from somewhere like Clad Home my only option? Their sofas are beautiful but that’s all I can find.

4 months ago

Hey, can you tell me where the throw is from on the green sofa-opening photo?

4 months ago
Reply to  Kristi

It’s the Stolzl Orchard Throw by Wallace Sewell from the Lost & Found Shop.

4 months ago

I love some of those potions, Eleanor and yours have a great form. Not bulky, shapely. However, they are too long for my modest livingroom. Any chances you could do another round up of smaller sofas around 80-86″?

4 months ago

This is such a great roundup! I’ve been eyeing the Fabienne for some time but just not sure how well the fabric — polyester velvet — will hold up to young kids (and a dog that isn’t *supposed* to get on furniture). Emily, or anyone else with the sofa, would love to hear how the material holds up and if it’s easy to clean.

4 months ago

Great googly moogly a lot of these have utilitarian arms. I don’t understand the design, a couch needs to envelope you not test your positioning skills.