A little over a year ago, I bought my first sofa. I'd previously dabbled in couch ownership, if you can call my $25 CraigsList loveseat a couch, but this was my first real sofa. The decision wasn't an easy one. I considered a few sink-into-the-seat leather couches—you know, the overstuffed sort that only has curves, no angles. But, ultimately, I found the look to be disconcertingly suburban. I wanted visual appeal, not just comfort.
Then I found it: a streamlined, Italian leather sofa, in a sumptuous amber-brown. Its low, square arms are contemporary, without being overly modern, and you don't disappear into the cushions. My instincts were recently validated in Southern Living, when editor Lindsay Bierman wrote, "When it comes to sofas, you'll never go wrong with these two styles: a square-armed tuxedo or the curvier, more traditional Charles of London. I'm issuing a moratorium on gigantic roll arms!"
My sofa isn't a true tuxedo—the 1920s style is characterized by arms that are the same height as the back of the sofa. (The cushions are often taller than the back.) But the overall aesthetic of my sofa is much the same: clean and contemporary. Tuxedo sofas don't overwhelm the room, as overstuffed sofas do; rather, they serve as the backdrop for color and pattern, adding a subtle element of distinction, even grace, to the room. Don't be misled by the name: Black and white isn't the extent of the tuxedo sofa palette. There's a whole rainbow of choices.
|Far East Collection Tuxedo Sofa by Baker (circa 1950s)|
|Ditte Sofa, Agave Ikat|