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Evolution of the Sofa

Fe Evolution OF THE SÕFA Orkney Islands Neolithic: 3100-2500 BC The Stone Box Stone box beds were built around the fireplace and may have been furnished with woven mats and furs for sleeping. Possibly also used to signify a seat of honour. The Chair 1500 BC The chair already existed in Egyptian society from around 3000 BC, but this reinvention featured fitting padding. Chairs equalled status, with only the Pharaohs and nobles enjoying the privilege of armchairs and footrests. Ancient Egypt 400-476 AD 7 The custom of reclining at meals is lost and the sofa goes into tibernation. 600 BC-500 AD The Kine Ancient Greece An upholstered recliner - a design that would later be borrowed by the Romans. Reclining was a sign of status so upholstered benches were unheard of. 300 BC-500 AD Ancient Rome The Kinai The Klinai was the next logical step, popular among Greeks in the seventh century BC before spreading to their colonies in southern Italy and eventually being adopted by the Etruscans. 500 AD - 1000 AD Northern Europe The Longhouse Primitive and backless, the longhouse bore no resemblance to sofas of the present day. It was simply a raised bench, piled with mats, blankets and furs for comfort. The Settle 900 AD onwards the beginnings of the modern sofa can be seen in this wooden bench. It featured a high back, armrests and no padding, although cushions and blankets could be added. Europe 1500-1600's Chairs with soft fitted cushions are invented around now. But they do not yet seat several people, at once. 1680-1750 France The Canapé Ereated for Louis XIV, it revolutionised home furnishing. Padded seating was rare before 1660, but within a century became widely available, at least for the British and French upper classes. The Camelback Besigned by Thomas Chippendale, the Camelback - so named for its arched back - was the first to be fully upholstered. It is still available today, although 1754-1800 uncommon. Britain Late 18th century The Chesterfield Britain This heavy, rounded, leather-upholstered sofa, commissioned by the Earl of Chesterfield, is more recognisable with both traditional and modern versions of the design still common today. 1792-1848 Europe The Empire The Empire style combines classical and medieval motifs with a conservative design. It became hugely popular, spawning such sub-movements as neo-classical, Gothic and Baroque. 1850 - Box Springs invented. These, along with the soon-to-come sewing machine, render sofas more durable and comfortable and mass production more practical 1880-1914 Britain CArt Nouveau This modern take on William Morris' style featured sinuous lines and odd symmetries, often taking deliberately suggestive shapes. Common motifs included flowers, leaves, limbs and the female body. 1925-39 France, America CArt Deco Simple, clean shapes with a streamlined look embodied the Art Deco style, whilst non-traditional and experimental materials and colours were often used. Contemporary 1960s onwards During the Postmodern era, bright colours, patterns and organic shapes were favoured. Sofas had clean lines and were functional, although oddities of design were often seen. Sofas also tended to be more padded and luxurious. Less ostentatious with colour and materials and more easily mass-producad. Perfect safas for war time Form follows function. No unnecessary adomments. 1990's onwards Shabby Chic Sider designš are imitated and combined with newer designs and materials. Whilst the familiar, traditional sofa structure has remained, modern twists (i.e. bulging, overstuffed cushions) are also now prevalent. So, what does the future hold for the humble sofa? Much of sofa design throughout the ages has been dictated by lifestyle, and, of course, necessity, but also taste, fashion and artistic endeavour. Despite huge societal changes over the past few hundred years, sofas have, however, remained essentially the same. We may not know what the next sofa trend will be, but one thing is for sure, sofas will always hold an essential place in our lives as somewhere to sit, put our feet up and relax. SOFA WORKSHOP individual sofas, for individuals Sources:, http//, http://www.digita, http:/, http:/, hrtp://, http://www.octavia.r ehtm, http://www.regia es om/, ktp://dia, http://www.b, festyle/welsh-homes/modern-history-sofa-design-1882028

Evolution of the Sofa

shared by RenderPositive on Jul 16
Our handy infographic ‘The Evolution of the Sofa’ details the design journey and provides a fascinating insight into how sofa design concepts have evolved over the years.


Sofa Workshop


Jessica Draws


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