Better with Age: The Allure of Antique Sofas

There were two sofas in our living room when I was a kid. One was a squishy velvet 1970s couch and the other was a Victorian sofa, with tightly packed and unforgiving seat cushions and a firm upright back. Guess which one the kids fought over? Still, with a little tweaking (maybe even re-stuffing), antique and vintage sofas can actually be quite comfortable (maybe not for TV lounging but certainly for conversation).

Cozy or not, with the right upholstery, antique sofas can evoke a sense of drama, formality or even whimsy in any room. Here are some examples of how an antique sofa can make the difference between a nice room and a stunning one. Neither stodgy nor fussy, these sofas look terrific in all kinds of rooms, from modern to traditional.

FIRST ROW
1. Brabourne Farm: Reupholstered in a modern black with graphic pillows, this romantic 19th century sofa doesn't look a bit stodgy or old-fashioned. And what a stunning table.
2. Lonny: This room is just magnificent. A perfect combination of disparate styles, shapes and colors.
3. ...etc: It helps to have a mile-high ceiling and epic windows, but this sofa is pure theatre. Is it comfortable? Who cares.
4. Things That Inspire: This antique sofa looks Swedish or possibly French. The room is impeccably formal but romantic. A lovely vignette overall.
5. Belle Maison 23: With the gold and the zebra print and the chartreuse, this room is very contemporary. But the sweeping curves of the vintage sofa fit in just perfectly.

SECOND ROW
6. Little Green Notebook: This old sofa is updated with a refreshing blue graphic fabric. The sconce, mirror, table and inky blue pillow create a delightful room that is both eclectic and unified.
7. Recipe for Style: Opposites Living Room: This couch is so out there, so dramatic, so theatrical. I want it. Now.
8. Citified: A funky velvet vintage sofa works so well with the painting. I might not have been brave enough to try this combo but it really works.
9. Brabourne Farm: This delicate sofa is a lovely match with the modern light fixture, Moroccan pouf and trompe l'oeil wallpaper.
10. Lace and Tea: Shabby chic and romantic.

Images: As credited above.