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Which Sofas Are Best for Your Home?

Everyone loves the relaxing invitation of a gorgeous sofa. Outfit your home with new sofas or find new places to put these beloved seats for a whole-home atmosphere of casual welcome. Paired with loveseats, accent tables and just the right lighting, your sofa becomes a centerpiece in your home. Each room deserves its own kind of couch, so discover all the styles you can shop for at Pottery Barn now.

What Are Sofas?

Sofas are large, upholstered pieces of furniture for sitting or lying down. Some even pull out to reveal a bed for overnight guests. Usually the focal point of a living room or entertainment den, these classic furnishings are an anchor piece. Every home needs at least one.

  • The shape of your sofa is determined by the frame, usually a combination of wood and metal. Shop for sofas that have strong joints that allow you to get comfortable.
  • The frame is cushioned and upholstered to allow for a solid back and padded arms that feel good under your elbows or neck. One of the most popular frame shapes is the Lawson-style couch, an unadorned silhouette with squared-off arms that let you lounge or nap.
  • Then, stuffed cushions with seams, piping or zippers line the interior of the frame. If you select fabric upholstery, your cushions are more likely to sink when you sit for a cozy feeling. Leather cushions stay firm a bit longer.

There are also similar seats that are shaped slightly different. A loveseat, for instance, is a smaller version of a couch. A settee is sized similarly to a loveseat but has a high back and curved arms from a continuous back rail.

Selecting Sofa Styles

Explore the different styles of sofas to determine which ones are best for your home refresh. There are a number of design details that cue guests into your sense of style. Start by looking at the couch's frame or silhouette.

  • Rolled arms are a little more traditional-looking.
  • A tufted look with ultra-high arms evokes glamour.
  • A curved back brings Art Deco appeal.

Look to the legs for more design elements. The legs hold up the sofa frame and usually have protective feet to safeguard carpets and floors.

  • Some couches include a front apron panel that hides the frame. You can lift the panel easily to stretch a vacuum hose under there.
  • Others sit atop visible legs, usually either tapered, angled or turned for a decorative aspect. Higher legs usually indicate a more formal sofa.
  • Legs are almost always made of wood, so you can select a finish that matches your floors or other furnishings exactly or decide on a complementary finish for a sofa that creates its own area within a larger floor plan.

Discover all the different formats you can shop, too. These different sofa variants allow you to customize your furnishings in each room based on size, style and use.

  • Sectional sofas are modular furnishings that include sofas, armchairs and chaise lounges to create a singular seating piece full of turns or extensions.
  • Sleeper sofas fold out quickly and easily to transform a living room, spare sitting room or home office into a guest room.
  • A loveseat is a smaller version of a couch. They usually sit two side by side instead of three and can be called apartment sofas sometimes, too.

Placing Couches in Unexpected Spots

It's a simple choice to place your couch in the living room or in front of your entertainment or media center. Most people, after all, use their sofa to watch TV and movies or even play video games--but the living room isn't the only room that deserves a couch.

Recently, the trend has been to take the couch into new spaces. For instance, a couch in the bedroom has traditionally been reserved for only the largest of suites, but modern decor allows seating next to a dresser, boudoir, shoe closet or makeup mirror.

Try one in an entryway or mudroom, as a break station in a long, deep hallway or at the far end of a dining room near a buffet to create a casual entertainment area. The word is out--sofas deserve as much space as you can create.