Sofa Styles

A sofa with a dog sitting on it

Sofa Style

The style of a sofa is generally determined by three things: the arms, the back, and the legs or skirt. Certain arms and backs connote modern or traditional styles, but the way a sofa is upholstered and trimmed can also great influence its appeal. In addition to a glossary of terms describing backs, arms, seats, and legs, we’ve compiled some of the most classic and well-known styles.

A sofa with a rounded arm

English or Club

This sofa has a slightly rounded arm set back from the front of the seat, often with a tight seat and slightly rolled back, no skirt, and low, turned legs on castors.

A tuxedo sofa


In the tuxedo sofa, the arms are as high as the back. It usually has fairly clean lines with straight or slightly flared arms. Some people find a lower arm more comfortable for resting, but with the right pillows, the tuxedo can be very cozy.

A camelback sofa


A more traditional, formal style made by Thomas Chippendale in the 18th century, the camelback sofa has a tight, serpentine back, high rolled arms, often a tight seat, and sometimes exposed legs and stretchers.

A knole sofa


Based on an early to mid-17th-century sofa made for Knole, a house in Kent, England, and a classic of English country houses, this sofa has a straight, high back and angled arms that can be adjusted to open out or stand up straight (once useful for keeping out drafts). The back and arms traditionally connect with finials wrapped in cords.

A cabriole sofa


The back of this 18th-century Louis XV–style sofa curves into the arms in a continuous line. It usually has wood trim and carved wood legs that may be curved. This example is a more clean-lined take on the classic form, which would have more downswept, curvy arms.

A lawson sofa


The Lawson has a low, squarish back, with arms that are lower than the back. The form can have square or rolled arms.

A chesterfield sofa


The Chesterfield conjures visions of English libraries or men’s clubs, with its tufted back, high rolled arms, and sometimes tufted seat. It is often upholstered in leather.

A midcentury modern sofa

Midcentury Modern

These sofas have straight, squared lines and a very streamlined form, with low, often squared legs.

A sectional sofa


This modular seating is configured from components that include armless sofas, as well as end and corner units, ottomans, and sometimes even recliners, sleep sofas, or chaises. Its style is usually clean-lined and modern.

A bridgewater sofa


A Bridgewater sofa has low, set-back arms and an elegant profile. It is usually skirted and sometimes has a softly rolled back.

Watch the video for how to shop for a sofa:


Archipelago, Designtex, pebbles, Sta-Kleen fabric, stain-resistant upholstery, textile, Tide Pool, upholstery

As I’m always eager to extract every ounce of meaning from the given name of a product—especially if it’s evocative in the least—the new Archipelago fabric by Designtex sent me off to my virtual glossary,

Diva Pendant

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Northern Light’s Diva Pendant Lamp Evokes the Golden Age of Scandinavian Design

Now that said “Golden Age” has ever come to an end, but designers Natedal and Egset have a professed a definitive objective of “paying their respect to the proud Norwegian heritage of wood lamination craftsmanship, and at the same time challenging or reinventing how this material can be used.”

Diva Pendant Lamp. Designed by Peter Natedal & Thomas Kalvatn Egset. Manufactured by Northern Lighting.

The unique shape of Diva is achieved through a rather simple trick: 32 subtly-bent laminated strips are set one just below the next, thereby achieving a dynamic and fluid aesthetic that’s palpably feminine and beautifully strange.

Diva Pendant Lamp. Designed by Peter Natedal & Thomas Kalvatn Egset. Manufactured by Northern Lighting.
That last descriptor is nothing but complimentary, as “strange,” in the best sense, implies unprecedented artistic achievement—the kind of formal innovation that shocks us from complacency and into an appreciation of something heretofore unseen.

About the Manufacturer: Oslo’s Northern Lighting has tapped into the singular atmospheric quality of Scandinavia’s rarefied latitudes to create a lighting line “inspired by the unique Nordic nature, culture and society and the very special natural light.” Peopled by “fiery souls who are fascinated by the mood-creating possibilities of light,” Northern Lighting offers a diverse and distinctive collection, including work by the iconic interior architect Gerhard Berg and the accomplished artist Anu Moser.

Organize and Unclutter

Trish Beaudet multipurpose master bedroom

What do you love about these rooms? Uncluttered and Organized should be your answer.
Everyone has lofty ambitions of home organization, but not many can accomplish it. We all say that one day we will get organized, and then before you know it ten years has gone by and everything is still a mess. And what happens if all of the sudden you decide to move? How will you approach this situation now that the clock is ticking? Bring on the migraines.
People who manage to stay organized have never experienced this sense of panic, and they are lucky. But how do they do it? What is their secret? Well, a select few are just naturally good at keeping things in order, but most require the helping hand of a self-storage facility. Renting a self-storage unit is by far the best way to keep your home clutter-free.
It always seems as though there is never enough room to put all your belongings, probably due to the fact that people don’t have the heart to throw away items that were once precious to them even if they serve no purpose now. Even if you are living in a mess, you still can’t find it in you to throw anything out. That being the case, most people’s best scenario is a clutter-less home with an overstuffed garage.
Instead of spreading the mess of a renovation all over your house, or in your garage, rent a small unit from one of your local self-storage companies. Keep all of the things you can't get everyday use of out of the way until you have found a purpose for them. Placing your unused items in cheap storage units can help cut down on the visual chaos of a messy house, and it also gives you an opportunity to take a mental break from the stress.
Listed below are a few tips for achieving home AND garage organization, the divide and conquer way.
  • Step One. Before you can conquer, you must divide. This means separating the “keepables” from the “unkeepables” and using a judicious eye to identify belongings that should be given or thrown away.
  • Step Two. Conquer. Identify what you need and segregate what you don’t need. These are the items you’ll be putting into storage.
  • Step Three. Pack things logically. Don’t just throw everything into a box. By packing things in an organized manner and labeling boxes, you’ll make it much easier to find something.
Putting the home you're living in in order can be one of the most stressful things you do as an adult. However, you can minimize the chaos and relieve some of the tension in your home by taking advantage of cheap storage units.

This article was written by Matt Schexnayder. Matt is on the SpareFoot marketing team and writes for the SpareFoot blog. SpareFoot is the largest online marketplace for self-storage with more than 5,000 self-storage facilities listed nationwide. SpareFoot offers consumers the most complete comparison shopping experience in the storage industry and has been a big part of the national moving and storage industry for over 3 years.

Matt Schexnayder has been our guest blogger today, thank you Matt for a great article!

Illusory Structure

The Illusory Structure of Secto's Octo Pendant Lamp

Globe Lights Made of Wood

Koho has made a name for an uncanny ability to manipulate wooden laminates into alluring, enticing, and versatile shades. As with most of Secto Design’s lamps, Octo is constructed from PEFC-certified Finnish Birch joined at apex and terminus with perfect rings of aircraft plywood. Finish choices include natural, white-laminated, and black-laminated birch—each owing their origins to Koho’s home turf (which means you’re always getting a Finnish finish). The lamps can accommodate different bulb types, but Secto recommends tubular energy-saving varieties that give off a “warm, white light.”

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The Illusory Structure of Secto's Octo Pendant Lamp

The Illusory Structure of Secto's Octo Pendant Lamp

The guidance in this regard should be well heeded—not only because there’s a potential safety concern (bulbs must leave a minimum of 15mm space between the shade, nor can mirrored or halogen styles be used), but also because the quality of light goes a long way toward establishing the desired effect. Quantifying this may be difficult, but there’s something decidedly Scandinavian about the aimed-for aesthetic. That may be a bit of a cliché in design circles, so I’ll just say that the soft glow of Octo in a white-walled, pine-floored room will make you yearn for the Finnish winter.

Modern Textiles

Mid Century Textile

Hi. I’m Joanna, a writer for Design Shuffle, a site full of interior design inspiration. They feature interior designers' work and feed design enthusiasts' addiction to great interior design. Today I’m sharing my love for mid-century textiles and would like to thank Serenity in Design for the chance to guest post!
With post-war depression passing and a brightened outlook prevailing, designers turned their sights to fun, abstract design and bold, bright colors never seen before in the home. The mid-century modern aesthetic would find its way into the textile industry, through break-out textile designers such as Lucienne Day, Sylvia Chamlers and Marian Mahler. Each created fabrics with personality and character. Prints were abstract and fun, with the “atomic age” a common theme. Day on her designs shares, “I wanted the work I was doing to be seen by people and be used by people. They had been starved of interesting things for their homes in the war years, either textiles or furniture.”
Today, mid-century modern has seen a revival of sorts and can be found in modern designs for modern homes. Take a look at some of the vintage prints that caught my eye. Which is your favorite? Mine is the “Dancing Leaves.”

Mid Century Textile

Sylvia Chamlers, Marian Mahler and Lucienne Day's masterpieces all grace a mid-century modern sideboard. All the fabrics can be found to buy through an internet search for “mid-century modern fabrics.”

Mid Century Textile

Lucienne and her husband/design partner, Robin Day, designed this black motif on silkscreen. The book, Robin and Lucienne Day: Pioneers in Modern Design, can be found on

Mid Century Textile

Modern textile “Vases” by Lucienne Day printed on barkcloth (a popular roughly texturized, yet soft, fabric popular in the 1940s through 1960s.)

Mid Century Textile

Tribal folk art African "savage tribes" textile designs created in the 1940s. This fabric is available through and would be so perfect in some of today's interior designs with a global vibe.

Mid Century Textile

“Dancing Leaves” on barkcloth from the 1950s is so lovely. Rumor has it the designer was Salvador Dali, but there is no hard evidence to prove this as the fabric selvage doesn’t include the artist’s name. This pattern would look charming in a bedroom design.
Mid Century Textile

Lucienne Day, Robert Stewart and Sylvia Chalmers are all represented in the collage above. Visit for complete collections from these designers.

Mid Century Textile

A remnant of a true vintage fabric created for J.C. Penney called the Modern Masters series. This particular piece is titled “Boat Races.” Don't you wish you could include this one in some of your decorating ideas, like in your living room or den design? Images 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8
If you'd like even more design inspiration, take a look at Design Shuffle where you can explore numerous interior design styles and browse through the portfolios of Chicago interior designers and more!
Taylor Wilson

Entertaining/Valentines Day or Anyday

Chocolate-Covered Strawberries Recipe

I love Christina Ferrare, this is one of her chocolate dipped strawberry recipe's, she can be found on the the OWN website. Most of her recipes are easy to make with minimal ingredients.

Servings: Makes 24 strawberries


Chocolate-Covered Strawberries Recipe

  • 24 large fresh strawberries
  • 9 ounces semisweet dark chocolate
  • 1/2 cup cream (or half and half)


Wash the strawberries, pat dry thoroughly with paper towels and set aside.

Strawberries should be at room temperature and completely dry. Melt the 9 ounces of broken semisweet dark chocolate pieces and 1/2 cup of cream into a steel bowl that is over boiling water. Stir until chocolate is fully melted. Remove from heat so that the chocolate cools slightly, but it should not set. Boiling water may cause steam droplets to get into chocolate, which can result in "seizing," or when the chocolate becomes stiff and grainy.

To dip strawberries in chocolate, grasp the stem or green leaves of the strawberry, dip into the chocolate and swirl in chocolate to partially cover. Give the strawberry a little shake as you withdraw it from the chocolate. This will fill in all the cracks and leave a nice even line of chocolate at the base.

When the strawberry is completely withdrawn from the chocolate, swirl it in a quick, clockwise motion to let the excess chocolate drip off. Place each strawberry on parchment paper. Repeat with the rest of the strawberries.

Either place strawberries into refrigerator or set aside to allow the chocolate to harden, about 30 minutes. Transfer fruit onto a serving platter to serve.

Sea Bass and Cucumber Salsa Recipe
For that romantic Valentine's day dinner, you will want to try this sea bass recipe. Yum!!
Servings: Serves 2


Sea Bass

  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup mirin
  • 3 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. dry white wine
  • 2 sea bass fillets (3 ounces each)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic , smashed
  • 1 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds for garnish

Cucumber Salsa

  • 1 cucumber , peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp. low-sodium soy sauce (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
  • 2 scallions , chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. cilantro , chopped


Make the cucumber salsa first in a glass bowl combine, cucumber, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, scallions and cilantro and mix well. Cover and set aside. You can make the salsa the day before and store it in the refrigerator.

In a medium saucepan over low heat, stir together the soy sauce, mirin, sugar and wine. Stir frequently until the sugar is completely dissolved. About 3 minutes. You can leave in the pan.

Dredge sea bass in the flour. Set aside.

Heat a skillet on medium-high heat until hot. Add the olive oil until hot but not smoking. Sauté the sea bass for 2 1/2 minutes on each side until browned. Reduce the heat to medium then pour in the sauce mixture and cover with a lid. Lower heat to medium and cook until the fish is cooked through about 5 to 6 minutes.

Plate onto a platter and pour the pan juices over the top of the fish. Serve immediately with the salsa on the side, and garnish with toasted sesame seeds.



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I totally love, love this tile!!!!!
Known for their premium Porcelain Stone tiles, the environmentally-conscious company we know as Crossville is setting a new bar for competition in metal tiles. New to their 2011 line up, the Mixology Collection of metal tiles defies the odds using recycled content.

Mixology Collection. Designed by Crossville.

Just like porcelain or ceramic tiles, the metal tiles of the Mixology Collection can be cut and installed. The Mixology line comes in seven different field tile designs and in your choice of two different sizes: 4” x 4” and 6” x 6”. Besides that, the ten trim options and two random mosaics are available in four finishes: Bronze, Bronze Variegated, Iron Nickel, and Iron Nickel Variegated. Mix and match the finishes for an interesting effect that can be used for wet and dry applications.
Mixology Collection. Designed by Crossville.

Go for the patina of an old piece of metal through the latest fashion in tile by Crossville to compliment your next interior project.

About the Manufacturer: Crossville, Inc. manufactures and distributes premium Porcelain Stone® tile throughout the United States. Backed by world-class logistics, comprehensive technical support programs, and attentive customer service, Crossville’s beautifully designed, environmentally conscious products truly set the industry standard for the domestic tile industry. The brand continues its history of innovation with the introductions of glass, metal, natural stone, and decorative products to enhance its high performance Porcelain Stone® lines.

Entertaining/Easy Appetisers

Herbed Cheese Log

On a 12- by 15-in. piece of plastic wrap, mix 1 tbsp. each minced fresh chives, cilantro, and basil leaves.

Roll a 5 1/2- to 6-oz. log of fresh goat cheese in herb mixture to coat evenly. Set on a small serving dish and drizzle with 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil.
Serve with toasted baguette slices.
Makes: 8 servings
Time: 10 minutes

Spicy Sesame-Nut Mix
In a small bowl, whisk 1 large egg white until frothy; whisk in 2 tbsp. honey, 1 tbsp. sesame seeds, 4 tsp. dried rubbed sage, 3/4 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. cayenne, and 1/2 tsp. salt.

Add 1¾ cups each salted peanuts and pecan halves and 1 cup pine nuts; stir. Divide the mixture between 2 large parchment-lined or nonstick baking pans and spread evenly.

Bake at 300°, stirring often, until nuts are golden and fragrant, 20 to 25 minutes. To prevent sticking, turn mixture often as it cools.
Makes: 6 cups
Time: 35 minutes

Deviled Eggs with or Without Bacon

In a medium frying pan over medium-high heat, cook 2 strips coarsely chopped bacon until crisp and brown. Drain on paper towels; crumble when cool.

Set aside 1 tbsp. bacon fat. Shell 6 hard-cooked eggs and halve lengthwise. Put yolks in a small bowl and, with a fork, mash in reserved bacon fat, 1/4 cup sour cream, and 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard. Add hot sauce and salt to taste.

Divide yolk mixture evenly among egg whites. Top with bacon and flat-leaf parsley leaves just before serving.

Makes: 12
Time: 30 minutes

Soft Tacos with Chiles and Cheese (Rajas con Queso)

Broil 3 fresh poblano chiles, turning to char and blister on all sides. Let cool. Discard stems and seeds; cut chiles into thin strips.

Cook 1 sliced white onion in 1 tbsp. butter over medium heat until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in chile strips and top with jack cheese slices.
Cover and cook over low heat until cheese melts, about 2 minutes. Scoop chile mixture into 6 small warm corn or flour tortillas.

Makes: 6
Time: 20 minutes via

Last month, I began posting my, "Entertaining Articles", look for them periodically each month. You can type Appetisers or Food in the search bar at the top left of my blog to find all of the articles and recipes. Also take a look at my cookware collection.

I'm ready for some football!!!!!!!!!!!!