The Modern Evolution of the Sofa

In choosing the perfect sofa, take inspiration from these master craftsmen whose influence can still be found in living rooms around the globe.

Thomas Chippendale

Thomas Chippendale was a mid-18th-century cabinet-maker and interior designer whose innovations spanned several styles including neoclassical, Gothic, and rococo. He is known for his book of elaborate furniture designs that include complicated arches and ribbons. Chairs and sofas inspired by the Chippendale patterns have exposed bases and legs that curve down to the floor and may be carved. The pieces are typically constructed with dark-stained mahogany or other highly esteemed types of wood. They are upholstered with fine fabrics.

Robert Adams

Robert Adams was a Scottish architect who, along with his brother James, developed neoclassical interior designs in the mid-to-late 18th century. Their focus was elaborate architecture and furniture pieces that were designed together and echoed the same structural and ornamental themes. Adams’ furniture is characterized by light pieces with simplified classical designs like carved columns and medallion embellishments.

John Henry Belter

John Henry Belter was originally a cabinet-maker from Germany who brought his knowledge of wood carving to other furnishings. His unique method of laminating thin layers of wood together and ornately carving them defined a generation of woodworkers in the mid-1800s. His trademark Victorian sofas have curvy, S-shaped backs whose exposed wood features elaborate designs of flowers, curlicues, fruit, and birds.

Gustav Stickley

Gustav Stickley opened his first furniture company in 1883. Within two decades, he became a leader in the American Craftsman movement, which itself took inspiration from the British Arts and Crafts Furniture trend. His simple designs, with straight lines and straight-forward joints, placed an equal emphasis on form and function. Stickley-inspired sofas have plenty of simple, exposed woodwork with clear stains and finishes that let the natural beauty of the wood show through.

George Hepplewhite

Hepplewhite is another mid-18th-century English cabinet-maker with an interior design book to his name. However, unlike the other craftsmen mentioned here, no known pieces of his work still exist today. In fact, there is very little historical evidence to suggest that he ever produced couches and chairs for sale. Still, the design hallmarks of his work, featuring elegant curling arms and backs with contrasting straight legs, are elements that regularly appear on household items today. One of his unique sofa designs features a curving, non-upholstered wooden back featuring inverted arches with narrow rungs between them and delicately-patterned upholstery on the seat.

Knoll Associates

Designs have continued to evolve in the twentieth century and beyond. Hans Knoll originally started the company in 1938, but upon his death, his wife Florence continued to design and manufacture modern furniture. Their sofas feature exposed cast-aluminum legs and monochromatic upholstery, occasionally with tufting. Modern sofa designs may incorporate unembellished wood, well-defined geometric shapes, and even hard polymer elements.

Thanks to the global marketplace, furniture customers have a wider-than-ever range of choices. From antique pieces crafted by the masters to mass-produced couches to customizable sectionals, and finally, customer-designed 3-D printed furniture, the sofa has come a long way in the intervening centuries.

Five Simple Ways to Make Your Bedroom Furniture Cat-Friendly

Getting a new furry friend can often be overwhelming, but trying to figure out what kind of food and toys to buy is often just the beginning. The most prudent new owners will make sure that the household environment is safe for the new pet. Surprisingly, some seemingly innocuous articles of bedroom furniture can mean struggles and danger for cats of any age. Fortunately, there are many easy ways to make the space ideal for a cat.

Strings and Fringe

It’s no secret that kittens love string, and many of them have been trained to associate dangling strings with playtime. Because of this, it may be easy for cats to believe that many common bedroom accessories are just more of their toys. Keep an eye out for fringe on clothing, chair linings, or anything else that may dangle from the ceiling, windows, or other bedroom fixtures.

Hidden Litter

A litter box can be an eyesore that detracts from any room, and so many owners choose to hide their box in a hallway or bathroom. To keep litter boxes further out of the way, owners can try to incorporate them among the bedroom furniture. There are many ways to disguise the box within hampers, dressers, or drawers, but make sure that the cat still has access to the room around the clock.

Claw Caps

Having cats declawed is sometimes viewed as inhumane, and the procedure can lead to behavioral problems. On the other hand, trimming feline nails is complicated and can result in permanent nerve damage. So how is it possible to protect bedroom furniture despite this? It’s now possible to purchase small, plastic caps that clip onto your cat’s claws. The caps leave them healthy and inhibit them from doing damage to their surroundings and their caretakers.

Scratching Posts

In a similar vein, a remarkably easy way to reduce damage to possessions is by buying a scratching post. Encouraging your pet to scratch one item (and only one item) can significantly reduce how much they tear up other objects with their claws. This may require a bit of training so that they understand what is okay (and what isn’t okay) to scratch, but having a post can also reduce a cat’s stress and anxiety.

Blankets

Depending on the colors of the animal fur and the bedroom furniture, it can be frustrating to see that every bedroom fixture is regularly dusted with hairs. An easy fix to this is to find a cozy blanket that the feline can cuddle up and claim, keeping their shedding contained to one area.

Cats are often marvelous additions to any home and are relatively low-maintenance pets. A few simple changes can go a long way toward keeping them happy and safe and keeping household decorations from being damaged.

Five Tips for Buying a New Mattress

Mattresses are long-term and often expensive investments, and it is wise to take plenty of time when deciding on a new one. Make sure you’re getting the right set, especially since it’s such a costly household item. Here are five tips to make the process much easier.

(1) Try It Out

This may seem obvious, but it’s important to lie down on the mattress and make sure that it works for you, especially if the bed will be used by a couple. There are many variables when it comes to comfort. If one person enjoys a firmer set and another a softer set, it will be imperative that the store allows customers to test each option in order to find the exact right balance. Investing in a mattress that allows each side to change its firmness and incline may be a good compromise.

(2) Think About Your Bedding

New mattresses are often deeper than older versions; some pillow-top options can be up to 14 inches deep. An upgrade may mean purchasing all new bedding, specifically deep fitting sheets. Also, many comforters may not cover the entire side of the bed if the set is over 14 inches. This could require one to go up in size. For example, purchasing a king size duvet for a deep queen size mattress would look better than a queen duvet that happens to be too short.

(3) Budget Wisely

A purchase like this one is an important investment. Prices can vary widely, and some even reach thousands of dollars. Make sure that you choose the best set that is within your budget. Your bed is something you will use every single day, and it definitely has an impact on your physical health and rest. Keeping this in mind, it’s smart to save money for quality bedding.

(4) Decide on a Material

There are so many options when getting a new bed, from memory foam to latex to waterbeds. There are even hybrid options, such as latex and memory foam together. Waterbeds are definitely not for everyone, and they often don’t provide enough support. Some materials, like memory foam, are hotter than others and wear differently through the years. This is why it’s crucial to go through all options before making the purchase.

(5) Get a Good Warranty

Warranties vary widely from store to store, as well as between manufacturers. Since this is an item that can sometimes wear quickly, it’s a good idea to get a warranty that is good for five years or longer. Also, be sure to ask exactly what is covered by the warranty. Some warranties only cover replacements under certain circumstances.