Decorating & Design

Full Curves Ahead

I’ve recently noticed a return to curvy silhouettes, the kind popular in the era of Marilyn Monroe and Lana Turner, when a little va va voom was all the rage. In particular, our seats are taking on a rounder, softer shape. I’m not talking overstuffed and oversized. On the contrary, these sofas and chairs are trim and tailored, recalling mid-20th century tastes.

Hallmarks include button tufting and simple tapered wood legs, which give even larger pieces a light, leggy look. Chelsea Textiles recently expanded its mid-century furniture collection to include this three-seat sofa, upholstered in vintage-esque pale green.

Cheeky Brit firm Deadgood added the more streamlined Loved Up Double (left) to its catalogue this year, which has a high back and deep wings that cocoon whoever is lucky enough to recline in its embrace. Its signature love button detailing also shakes up the usual linear pattern of tufting and is sweetly playful. And trendsetting Anthropologie nails the look with its shapely Soren Chair (right), which is handcrafted in the U.S. and comes in orange and yellow, as well as laid-back beige.

A few blog posts back, I wrote about today’s growing fan base for modern furniture by Danish architect Finn Juhl. His cosy Poet Sofa, first introduced in 1941, checks all the boxes for mid-century chic without looking one bit dated — a nifty trick.

Smallpond’s DA6 settee by Earnest Race for Race Furniture gives the Poet Sofa a run for most authentic reproduction. It originally debuted in Britain in 1946 as part of a series of easy chairs and settees for the modern home, and offered a radical alternative to the bulky style of traditional armchairs. Today, its mandate is much the same.

For more mid-century pieces, see our Iconic Furniture From A-Z photo gallery.

Photo credits:
1. Sofa Three Seat with Buttons, Chelsea Textiles
2a. Loved Up Double, Deadgood
2b. Soren Chair, Anthropologie
3. Poet Sofa, Design Within Reach
4. DA6 by Earnest Race for Race Furniture, Smallpond