The living room sofa, perhaps because of its sheer size as compared with other home furnishings, is often the centrepiece of the room. As such, it is much more than just a piece of furniture to sit down and relax on. In many ways, the sofa can be considered a piece of functional art. For awhile, the sofa's role as art took on greater importance than its functional role, but 2012 sofa trends suggest a swing towards a better balance of form and function.
The Sofa as Art
In the frenzy to come up with something new and different, designers in the 1980s went to extremes. As a result, the most eye-catching sofas on the furniture showroom floors were the most vividly coloured ones in the most extravagantly modern designs. They were often made from synthetic fabrics and were either overstuffed or, more commonly, under-stuffed. While visually exciting, they weren't very comfortable to sit on and when they reached the living room, their proud owners realised they had to redecorate the entire room to make it match the new sofa.
More recently, interior designers
have been combining the best of the old with the best of the new and using natural fabrics and ergonomically designed furnishings. At the same time, solid, even bold colours are still in vogue, but their appearance is softened by natural materials. Natural fibres are being used instead of synthetics and leather is preferred over vinyl. The choice of natural rather than synthetic materials means that even a solid red or purple sofa can look trendy instead of garish.
Combining Comfort with Style
Minimalism is still "In", but fortunately, sofa manufacturers have now come up with sofas you can actually sit in or lie down on for extended periods of time. Instead of boxy rectangular sofas, the lines are now drawn in graceful curves.
Another emerging 2012 sofa trend is a return to classic styles with modern touches. The camelback (or Chippendale) sofa is making a comeback and don't throw away that old Chesterfield you think is just too out of date. If it's in good nick, have it reupholstered
in a trendy modern colour like cobalt blue and you'll have the latest thing at a budget price.
When choosing a sofa, getting the latest trend in sofa styles should be a secondary consideration. First choose a sofa that suits the size of your room, your lifestyle and your needs. Everything from sectionals and sofa beds to classic sofa designs are available and as long as they serve their purpose, will never go completely out of style. Choose a well-constructed sofa and you may find that periodic reupholstering may be all it needs to be perennially in style. You may even be able to find the perfect sofa at a second hand furniture
store just waiting to be turned into the trendiest sofa in town.