Often spotted in iconic designer spaces, the English roll arm sofa — also known as the William Birch sofa — is well-loved for many reasons. With its sophisticated silhouette and ability to complement both traditional and modern spaces, the English roll arm has timeless appeal — and it’s practical, too. Nicknamed the English sleeper sofa, its deeper-than-average cushions make it the ideal spot for a catnap. Take a look through these inviting living rooms and you’ll find it hard not to notice the sofa steals the show, every single time.
Castors are commonly found on the turned legs of William Birch sofas. Here, brass castors bring vintage charm to this oatmeal-colored piece.
Photographer: Virginia Macdonald
Source: House & Home May 2017
Designer: Morgan Michener and Stacey Smithers
With plenty of color and pattern at play in editor-in-chief Beth Hitchcock’s living room, the deep seat and rich charcoal velvet of her English roll arm sofa is the perfect vehicle for vibrant pillows — and an afternoon nap.
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Photographer: Michael Graydon
Source: House & Home November 2013
Designer: Stacey Smithers & Sarah Hartill
The curvaceous lines of this dove grey English roll arm sofa softens the graphic elements in designer Cameron MacNeil’s living room.
Tour the rest of Cameron’s home on H&H TV.
Photographer: Alex Lukey
Source: House & Home June 2016
Designer: Cameron MacNeil
Inspired by both Jenna Lyons’ and Alison Cayne’s Brooklyn brownstones,
The Everygirl co-founder Alaina Kaczmarski knew she had to have an English roll arm sofa for her Chicago greystone — and we can see why. Just like her home’s incredible bones, this sofa is sure to stand the test of time.
Designer: Alaina Kaczmarski
H&H alum Suzanne Dimma chose an ivory English roll arm sofa with two seat cushions for her living room. The versatility of the piece ties together the room’s mix of vintage and modern.
Photographer: Angus Fergusson
Source: House & Home August 2013 issue
Designer: Suzanne Dimma
In stylist Emily Henderson’s modern English Tudor living room, a William Birch sofa feels appropriate. “It’s the perfect combination of comfort and formality,” she says.
Photographer: Tessa Neustadt
The sleek profile of this English roll arm sofa seems like a natural fit in this living room, bridging the heritage feel of the floral wallpaper with the modern, Scandi-style furniture.
Photographer: Chris Tubbs
Source: House & Home December 2014
Classic meets contemporary in this formal living room by Studio McGee. The blue velvet fabric really lets the English roll arm sofa shine.
H&H interiors director Meg Crossley’s charming living room, a beige William Birch sofa and chairs create a cozy, inviting feel.
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Photographer: Jason Stickley
Designer: Meg Crossley
Two William Birch sofas flank the fireplace in this grand living room, bringing symmetry to the space and offering the perfect spot for snuggling up during movie nights.
Designer to the stars
Mark D. Sikes is known for his classic decorating style, so English roll arm sofas are often spotted in his designs. Here, symmetrical blue sofas with white piping bring a custom look to the space.
This creamy white English roll arm sofa has a tight back for a more contemporary profile. The feminine silhouette anchors the mismatched elements in this room.
In this grey tone-on-tone living room, the William Birch takes on a more masculine look. An oversized pillow emphasizes the piece’s low profile.
Photographer: Zeke Ruelas
Designer: Brady Tolbert