Monday, August 18, 2014

Decorating With Camelback Sofas

The camel-back sofa is one of those 18th-century styles that remain popular to this day. This classic and refined sofa, named for its graceful arched back, was a Thomas Chippendale original and was fashionable from the 18th century to the mid 19th century. 

I bought my camelback in 1980 and it still holds court in my living room. We have grown together as my tastes have changed. I have had it reupholstered several times and am always delighted with it's graceful silhouette. To me the camel back sofa never goes out of style, but I am not a trendy person. Styles come and go but I am always delighted when this classic piece fights its way back to the forefront of fashion.

 If you have never considered a camelback sofa because you thought it to formal, think again. I'm a true believer that the right fabric can completely transform a piece and this sofa can look fresh and modern with the right choices. While this blog post features some of the camelbacks in traditional, classic rooms..... hang on till the end. The camelback isn't just a historical, period sofa anymore and hopefully the pictures below will prove it.

George III Style tapestry camelback sofa.

The camelback is an upholstered sofa or settee with an arched back that rises to a prominent point in the middle, and rises slightly again at the ends; usually has scrolled arms. Many times they were made of tapestry like this beautiful antique one.

A classic Chippendale camelback sofa graces the English home in Wiltshire belonging to Juicy Couture co-founder Gela Nash-Taylor and her husband, Duran Duran bassist John Taylor, and their family.

The leg and foot styles vary, depending on the exact period - cabriole legs are typical on Queen Anne and Chippendale  pieces, while tapered legs characterize those in the style of Hepplewhite.

I love he camelback sofa because it is beautiful from all angles. I prefer bringing a sofa out into the room and the camelback is made for this. Here it is in a traditional setting.

You can find lovely camelbacks in great condition and at affordable prices in antique and secondhand shops around the country. I recently picked up a fabulous one this way to have recovered  for a client. Pick a fabric from many of the gorgeous ones on the market and you will have the perfect focal point.

This is a picture of my camelback. I love the fact that their entire length and depth is devoted to actual seating space. With the camelback you don't have wasted loose back cushions or oversized arms.  And with the single cushion you have no annoying cracks to fall into, a pet peeve of mine. I love to curl up and read on this sofa!

via pinterest

Depending on styling, a camelback sofa can run the gamut from traditional to modern. Here it is featured in a country style with skirting instead exposed legs and stretchers.

The camelback comes with 1, 2, or 3 cushions. Word of advice.....choose the single cushion. It makes the sofa far more comfortable. Plus I think it is visually more appealing.

Many times fringe is also used to conceal the legs. The sofa is still elegant enough for any grand room,  even in it's more casual state.

You will find the camelback sofa in many colonial homes. There are certain fabrics that give it an elegant, primitive look. Checks, plaids........

via pinterest
and flamestitch patterns are good choices.
This sofa has the ability to add a touch of history to any room.
Fresh life was breathed back into the camelback sofa when pictures were taken on the evolution of designer Windsor Smith's  home.The Indian octagon coffee table and the trendy upholstery was a huge hit. You can see how versatile the sofa is when you see it used here and in the room below.

via pinterest

A more tailored version of the sofa.

Camelback sofas are perfect for the cottage style living room. They look wonderful in slipcovers as well.

Henredon Chloe Camel Back Sofa

A beautiful camelback sofa and its graceful hump would enhance any style interior space.

Karge Furniture

I believe that quality, timeless, furniture can be versatile and the camelback sofa is a piece that can be moved around your home and used in many different ways. I have a client right now that is going to reupholster her loveseat for use in her large kitchen where extra seating is needed.

Alessandra Branca

Chesterfield style leather camelback sofa.

The Camelback sofa can look fresh and modern with all the exciting new fabrics and colors to choose from.

Suzani-Upholstered Camelback Settee


Love the Boho Chic iron camelback!!

source unknown

An eclectic design is a great way to use family heirlooms, antiques and trendy new pieces in a cohesive way. The velvet camelback is perfect for this room.

If preppy eclectic is your style, consider investing in a camelback sofa. This is one sofa that can be recovered over and over as styles and color change and it will still look fabulous in you interiors.

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This blog post was published by Lisa Farmer

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