The sofa, now indispensable in every living room, represents one of the most important objects in the history of interior design. It also represents the development of our civilization and culture of living.
Origins of the word “sofa” are in the Arabic language and the word “suffah”, meaning – bench.
Bench was for a long time, main furniture in most of the houses. Furniture was strictly utilitarian, keeping your body posture rigid and mostly upright, even during downtime. Even the chairs with backs were reserved for the interior of the aristocracy. But, the need for functional and comfortable seating for more people has changed radically over the years.
The sofa was thus created as an improved version of a hard bench or a couch.
On the way to modern sofa design, we must also mention the Chaise Lounge, as well as French furniture from the end of the 17th century created in Versailles.
Chaise lounge was invented to provide comfort for one, to stretch out upon while sitting upright using a supported backrest with or without arms.
Soon, the chaise lounge grew and allowed more people to sit comfortably.
The first significant direction in sofa design is represented by the Chesterfield Sofa. They are practical, elegant, and very attractive. Even today, 200 years later, they look luxurious and modern.
The origins of this sofa are somewhat of a mystery. Many believe that the design originates from the 4th Earl of Chesterfield – Lord Phillip Stanhope.
Pompadour Sofa is a fantastic example of neoclassical design. It is inspired by the ancient period and brings clear lines and a reduced, prestigious design. This sofa became an overnight best-seller in Europe.
The modular sofa became fashionable during the sixties, and Strips Sofa designed by Cini Boeri in 1968 started the living room revolution. The modular sofa is often crafted with wood and steel, then upholstered in various plush materials. This sofa can transform into a sofa bed. This piece won the famous Compasso d’Oro Award in 1979. The modular concept has remained popular and applicable to this day.
The Togo Sofa by French designer Michel Ducaroy was designed in 1973. He said that the legendary sofa was designed one morning when he was brushing his teeth. Alumunium toothpaste tube folded back on itself, and he realized that sofa could look just like that.
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Togo Sofa is still produced and sold by Ligne Roset.
Swiss designer Ubald Klug was inspired by a terraced landscape when he designed a sofa called Terrazza.
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It is composed of seven layers of cushions. Many famous artists loved it, and Mick Jagger was famously photographed lounging atop a Terrazza. It is still produced by de Sede.
Lips Sofa is designed by Italian designer Franco Audrito of Studio 65 in 1970. The famous lip shape was possible to produce because of foam innovation made by Gufram.
Audrito called the sofa Marilyn, and today it is sold as – Bocca.
And finally, there is Serpentine Sofa by Vladimir Kagan, a legendary Russian who defected to the United States where he became one of the most respected furniture designers.
The sofa was made for an American couple, big art collectors, and it had to fit into their environment, full of paintings. The serpentine sofa is available today via Holly Hunt.