When it comes time to spring for a new sofa, many people wonder what the insiders know. After all, much of what makes a quality sofa is hidden on the inside. We can all easily appreciate elements of the look—the shape, tailoring, and fabric match — but the questions of comfort and durability are harder to discern.
What insiders really know is that upholstery is the best way to judge the quality and integrity of an entire brand! Precisely because you can’t see everything, because you have to trust the name on the label, because so many well-known makers cut corners – and only great companies make great upholstery. For more than 100 years, Baker has been a great company, designing iconic upholstery to the highest standards of quality. (Visit our website to learn more about this Baker Standard.)
Here are seven of these distinct designs, each made to last a lifetime or more.
Chic and Inviting: Cove Sofa
Barbara Barry designed the Cove Sofa for her latest collection with a favorite activity in mind: cozying up with a great book. The arms of this piece wrap around to the front, while the seat extends slightly past them — creating a perfect nook in which to curl up. But comfort doesn’t mean clunky — this silhouette is sleek and chic.
Classic Camelback: Archetype Sofa
Long a favorite among our customers, the Archetype blends the traditional lines of a camelback with the modern shape of the butterknife arm. These features allow fabric to dictate the look of the piece. A more traditional fabric will make this design at home among 18th-century antiques; switch to a contemporary fabric, and the piece is just at home in a modern loft space. It’s this chameleon ability, along with its urban-friendly scale, that makes the Archetype so universally admired.
Modern Tuxedo: Wren Tufted Sofa
The tuxedo arm (a style in which the arm of the sofa is as high as the back), tight upholstered frame, and tapered legs of the Wren Tufted Sofa from The Bill Sofield Collection instantly exude modernism — but the tufted button detail adds a subtle surprise of traditional visual interest. The welt detail decorates the entirety of the frame, including the back — which makes this sofa perfect for floating in a room. To add even more interest, choose a contrasting fabric for the welt trim.
Tailored Refinement: Neue Sofa
Laura Kirar channeled Danish mid-century furniture designer Kaare Klint when she created this modern sofa, and sought to achieve a “genderless” design. Perhaps that’s why this elegant piece is one of our most popular — it appeals equally to both men and women. The neatly tailored frame, which rests on an Asian-inspired base, is accented with a surprise button detail where the arms join the back. (Loveseat option pictured below.)
Sculptural Elegance: Villa Sofa
If you’re looking for a sofa to be the centerpiece of the room, the Villa Sofa from the Thomas Pheasant Collection is the one. The unique design does not include arms, but rather a beautiful scroll detail that slopes down from the top and forms the base. Our designers love to place this sofa majestically in front of a fireplace, and also in pairs, facing each other. The lumbar pillows provide a contrasting fabric opportunity.
Glamorous Curves: Mayfair Sofa
Michael S Smith adapted the Mayfair Sofa for the Architectural Digest Greenroom at the 83rd Academy Awards — a glamorous sofa for a glamorous setting. This shapely and utterly comfortable design diverges from the more rectilinear forms to which many of us are accustomed. Its curvy arms provide a sense of motion, while the nailhead trim that outlines the frame adds a sense of structure. The Mayfair is also unique in that it is upholstered all the way to the floor — perfect for someone who can’t decide between a skirt or exposed legs. Order the sofa without the nailhead for a more casual look. (Also available in extended length, or with a skirt.)
Superbly Scrolled: Port Eliot Sofa
This graceful design from The Stately Homes Collection, with its slender scrolling legs on casters, resembles a ballerina on point. Poetry in motion, the Port Eliot is a study in lightly scaled sculpture, and demonstrates that even the most traditional frames can be high-style. The carved rosette details and tightly wrapped arms are testaments to the skill of our craftsmen. Show off the sofa by floating it in a living room, or keep it all to yourself in the master bedroom.
Of course, our upholstery collection offers a great breadth of styles beyond these seven. Browse these and other sofa designs on our website.