Guide to Couch Styles and Shapes

A Guide to Couch Styles and Shapes via A Detailed Palette

A really great friend of mine is in the process of moving to a new apartment, and she has asked me to help with a few of the design choices, which I am of course ecstatic about. One of the big design choices currently being discussed and decided upon is the couch.

As someone who currently cannot fit a couch into her tiny apartment, I understand how big of a deal a couch purchase is. It's basically like shopping for a best friend who will literally always support you as you watch Netflix, eat popcorn, take naps, and snuggle up to read. It's an important choice that must be carefully deliberated. So in effort to make this decision easier for my friend and for all of you out there who now find yourselves searching for the perfect couch, here's a quick breakdown of what you need to know about couches. 

Measurements

You're going to need to measure your door frame. Take note of what it is. Usually, door frames are about 36" wide, but know that sometimes, they can run small, like in my own apartment's case. You'll mostly find smaller door frames in older homes or older apartment buildings. The door frame will have to be larger than the height of your couch so as to ensure that you'll be able to fit it inside. Keep in mind that if you're buying a sectional, you'll have to account for the return as well if it isn't removable.

Types and Shapes

Sectional – These are larger than your usual couch and come in a variety of configurations, although they are typically shaped like an "L" or even a "U". These are definitely a popular choice, and it isn't difficult to see why... and they are definitely my personal favorite. They provide quite a lot of comfort, as you literally have a place to put your feet up. Sectionals are also typically more in terms of price when compared to your standard couch. Many of these sectionals  Right return & Left return Reversible/movable return.

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Knole Sofa – The arms as tall as the back, but they tend to flair outward. This sofa has a rather oxey appearance. Typically has embellishments in the form of rolled, oblong pillows at each end. These definitely give off more of a traditional, stately look, and they are usually quite pricey.

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Cabriole Sofa – The arms are attached and curve with the back of the sofa. Often considered to be a "French style".

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Tuxedo couch – The arms of the couch are the same height as the back. It also looks a bit box, but has straight lines and a straight-forward look.

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Bridgewater Style – This couch lends a really casual, cozy feel. Low set arms and a softly rolled back are defining features of this style.

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Camelback Design – This style features a sloping back that peaks at its highest point in the center. This look is particularly elegant and is available in both more modern and traditional options.

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Chesterfield Style - This shape features rolled over arms and rolled back. Another defining feature of the Chesterfield design is button-tufting. These couches are ideal for rooms with more traditional styles. This couch style always makes me immediately think of a lawyer's study.

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Mid Century Modern Sofas – This is another favorite. It's a rather distinct style with straight lines and clean form. These also usually have exposed, wooden legs. This style fits in really well with eclectic spaces.

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Lawson-style sofas – This is a contemporary and casual design with pillows that are not attached to the back of the couch. It gives more cushion this way and offers a greater degree of flexibility due to the fact that if you wish to remove the pillows, it's easy to do so at any time. It also has a square back and arms with a slight roll.

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Details to keep in mind:

Keep in mind that material, in addition to shape, matters. Some of the popular options include fabric, vinyl, leather, microfiber. Each material has their own distinct look and benefits. Leather, for example, is highly durable, has a smooth texture, a glossy luxurious look, but can be difficult to clean. Leather may also not be the best option for pets, especially if you have a cat.

Lastly, be sure to check out this couch giveaway on TheEverygirl if you're in need of a couch.