Mary Carol Classic Collection: Picking the Perfect Sofa

I’ve been spending some of my time at home lately going through the archives of our Nell Hill’s history.  I find that much like Mary Carol herself, her design tips have proven to be timeless and ever-helpful.  It got me thinking…why not break out some of these “historical” posts for a second look?  While the pictures and featured favorites may be different, the design advice stands true.  With our Upholstered Furniture Sale just around the corner (you can make an appointment now to shop with a designer – just click here!) it seems like the perfect time to tackle an age old problem – how to pick the perfect sofa!  Purchasing large furniture can be nerve-wracking. Sofas are expensive and long-lasting additions to your home – you want to be confident in your choice!  Fear not! Sit back, relax and enjoy some classic MC advice!

If I had a formal library, I’d get a Chesterfield sofa in a heartbeat. Usually upholstered in leather, Chesterfields feature tufted backs, high rolled arms and tight seats.  We have a Modified Chesterfield done in the tuxedo style in our Molasses Room at the shop.  It’s mid-century shape, tight back detailing and welt-less cushions provide clean lines and a firmer sit that I adore. $5,481

MC – If you’re like me, your sofa is such an important part of your daily life that when it’s time to get a new one, it’s like adding a new member to your family. And just like family members, sofas have definite personalities. Here are some tips for picking the perfect one for your home:

For those with lots of people to fit in their living rooms, a sectional couch can be both functional and stylish.  This blue sectional currently in our Coral Ceiling Room has a deep seat made plush with down cushions and is pure comfort! $7,700

Size It Up

Interior designers like to argue about whether it’s more important for a sofa to fit the scale of your room or the contours of your body. In my opinion, you need one that does both because in the long run, you won’t be happy with a sofa that isn’t the perfect proportion for your room or for your posterior. To make sure your sofa suits the space, before you shop, measure your room and make note of the size and scale of additional furniture you will need to work around. Then, as you shop, forget your inhibitions and flop down on the sofas just like you would at home. Your body will tell you in a flash if the sofa is a fit.

This Gotham sofa features a track arm and box border back cushions.  This provides clean lines without sacrificing comfort! $2,717
This striped sofa has wide arms and a deep seats for added comfort.  $4350

Pick the Right Parts

Just like people, sofas have backs, arms, seats and legs. And if you’re like most of my customers, you will have a strong preference on each facet of your sofa’s anatomy.  First, pick a back that suits your taste and touch. If you want a formal, tailored look, check out a tight back design, where the back is upholstered and has no removable cushions. If you want a sofa that’s more comfortable and casual, you might prefer a loose-back sofa that’s covered with cushions or pillows.  Next, consider the arms. The most common style is a rolled arm that curves outward—an ideal pick for those who like to nap on the sofa. If you’re looking for a more modern look, however, you might prefer a crisp, square arm. As important as arm shape is arm height. How high do you want your sofa’s arm to come? Third, decide whether you’d like your sofa to have a cushioned, bench or tight seat. Cushioned seats consist of separate cushions that fit snugly together, and they are a great option if you want to remove the covers for laundering. A bench seat is one large cushion that spans the entire length of the sofa. Tight seats are built into the frame of the sofa and cannot be removed. They are usually firmer and more formal in appearance. Finally, look at the sofa’s legs. Do you want a straight, modern leg, or a more traditional look, like curved legs on castors? Or would you rather cover the legs with a skirt featuring kick, inverted, button and box pleats?

This wild leopard sofa is a classic styled sofa with rolled arm and bench seat.  Ut the fabric and nail head detail make it a major statement! $4,894
For smaller spaces this low profile apartment sofa is an eye-catching updated Chesterfield style.  $3,474

Picking a new sofa should be an enjoyable experience, so don’t let the options overwhelm you.  Swing by the shop or call to make a private shopping appointment and try out our favorite styles right here at the shop to narrow down your wish-list. You can also schedule a design appointment to let one of our talented designers do the “heavy-lifting” for you ( the figurative heavy lifting – our trusty delivery team will handle the actual lifting!). Since we’ve all been isolating on our old sofas for months now, we know there is no better time for a refresh.  Due to our new reduced hours and limiting the number of shoppers at one time, we are starting our sale early! Get a jump start on our Upholstered Furniture Sale, where you’ll be able to save 20% on your purchase of custom, special order, and stock upholstered furniture until July 15th.  Visit our website here to make an appointment with one of our talented designers.  Until next time – happy decorating!