As you look for couches, you come across an English roll arm that seems to have a “cool vintage” vibe to it. However, is an English roll arm something you’ll want to replace in six months?
With trends constantly shifting in home decor, it’s only natural to wonder if the existing furniture in your living room is still fashionable. I’m here to help you understand if rolled arms are truly outdated and what factors to consider.
Are English Roll Arm Sofas Out of Style?
English roll arm sofas are not considered out of style in 2023. This classic sofa has remained popular for over a century thanks to its versatile design and comfortable deep seat. The tightly curved rolled arms and back provide a timeless look in any room.
While styles and fabrics may come and go, the overall rolled arm form retains its enduring appeal. This sofa works in traditional, contemporary, and eclectic rooms when upholstered in on-trend fabrics. Focusing on quality construction over trends ensures an English roll arm remains a sound furniture investment for years of everyday use.
Using English Roll Arm Couches in Interior Design
The English roll-arm sofa lends beautifully to various interior design room aesthetics. Whichever you choose, the flexibility of the English roll arm makes it a staple piece.
- A more traditional take features classic fabrics like damask or leather.
- For contemporary spaces, bold, solid colors or geometric patterns update the look.
- Plush cushions and curved arms are ideal for cozy library or lounge spaces.
- In living rooms, choose a medium tone like navy and add some toss pillows.
- Floral chintz is perfect for country or formal rooms.
- Pair slim, rolled arms with turned legs for a modern twist.
Qualities of an English Roll Arm Couch
With its plush, deep seat, gently curved rolled arms, and timeless silhouette, the English roll arm provides unparalleled comfort and versatility to suit various interiors. Here are some of the main qualities and features of an English roll arm sofa.
A tight back sofa features a sleek silhouette with less than a slight angle. This provides a broader floor space, making it an excellent choice for a small apartment.
While you can find this sofa made traditionally, today’s versions usually have spring backs filled with a medium or firm foam of between one and three inches of cushioning.
If the English roll arm uses a traditional design, it has T cushions. This means you can’t flip the seat cushions over. Instead, you have to flip and reverse them to make your cushions last longer.
Upholstery and Fabric Options
Unless you purchase from a department store, you will get to choose items like your upholstery, color, and legs and choose throw pillows to go with them. Some furniture designers offer up to 1,000 fabric options when you combine the fabric with color and decide whether you prefer prints or patterns.
- Linen, leather, upholstery fabric, and velvet top the list of the most common coverings. You can also find them in a cotton-linen blend. These may include solid colors, prints, plaids, abstract designs, houndstooth, or other options.
- You can sometimes get an indoor sofa covered with outdoor upholstery, such as Sunbrella. This helps it hold up in sunny rooms and avoid fading. I also like to apply Scotchgard on furniture fabric to repel dirt and stains.
- Depending on their upholstery, color, and design features, this type of couch may seem English, casual, American country home, Mid-Century, or contemporary. For example, when upholstered in floral chintz, it screams American country home or English.
- The same sofa in deep, dark chocolate leather stamps itself as Mid-Century, while in black linen, you have a contemporary piece. You can categorize these types, as some interior designers and writers have done.
While the showroom model might come in plaid, the designer may also offer florals, solids, stripes, houndstooth, or abstract prints. Ask what upholstery options you have before deciding to nix a sofa choice you otherwise like, especially if you found an English roll arm you especially like otherwise.
English Roll Arm Sofa Styles
A variation on the standard sofa developed in the 1800s and popularized by furniture designer George Smith, most interior designers recommend this sofa. It’s their favorite due to its versatility, comfort, and sturdiness. Designers typically use this couch in their own homes.
Fans of the original style offered by George Smith in the 1800s can celebrate. You can own the same design from the same company with its cushioned back, curved sides and arms, and cozy down cushions. The firm remains in business and still crafts the original English roll arm sofa hundreds of years later.
Many companies make these sofas, yet only a few stick to the conventional design. You can find them from major brands, including Alana, Serta, Soma Hawthorne, Winston, Noemi, Morren, Eton, and, of course, its original purveyor, George Smith.
The more modern version provides a looser look and feel. It uses a loose cushion back.
You will also find that a modern design has much chunkier arms. It may have turned legs, caster legs, or straight legs.
The Pleated Modern
This version of the English roll arm has the same features as the modern, although it adds straight sides and arms plus pleated arm sleeves. It features a tight back with a slight slope. Its low, curved arms mold the curve of the human arm.
Its curved bottom frame shows, as do its turned legs. On the oldest variation of these couches, designers use a “T” seat cushion to create a visual effect of the sofa seeming smaller than it is. They also have straighter sides and arms, so the arms do not cradle a human’s limb the way the original does.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are English Roll Arm Sofas Comfortable?
Yes, an English roll arm sofa is very comfortable. Their deep seat, plush cushions, and gently curved arms create a cozy, enveloping place to lounge. The rolled arms also support your arms and shoulders as you relax on the sofa.
What Are Rolled Arms in Interior Design?
In interior design, rolled arms are the defining feature of the English roll arm. The arms curve gently inward to create a rounded profile that flows into the back of the sofa. This distinguishes the English roll arm from track arms or straight arms.
What Furniture Matches an English Roll Arm Sofa?
To match a rolled arm, look for other furnishings with curved silhouettes and cabriole or Queen Anne-inspired legs, like a coffee table, chair, or cabinet. Tufted ottomans, wingback chairs, and chaises complement the traditional vibe.
What Is the Best Material for an English Roll Arm?
For both beauty and durability, top-grain leather is often considered the best material for rolled arm sofas. Other excellent options include durable, family-friendly microfiber or soft, cozy chenille. Sturdy cotton, linen, or treated polyester fabric blends also suit this furniture.
While some minor elements like leg shapes or fabric options go in and out of popularity, the classic English roll arm remains a timeless choice in 2023. Focus on quality construction and your aesthetic preferences, rather than chasing fleeting trends, to get many years of enjoyment from this comfortable, versatile sofa.