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A Decorative Couch is (More Than) What Meets the Eye

Most people don’t have the space to have furniture they don’t use. They also doesn’t consider something as big and expensive as a couch as an accent piece. While decorative couches are an accent piece, they’re one that isn’t a waste of space. Today’s couches are beautiful yet workable pieces of furniture that expand your entertaining space and elevate the room they’re in.

Why These Couches Exist

Victoria Traditional Style Rolled Arm Rest Sofa In Dark Oak, IDF-6786-SF by Furniture of America

So what is the point of having a decorative couch? Historically, decorative couches were a sign of wealth. Buying custom furniture was beyond the budget of most people, especially if it wasn’t a necessity. Having a second or third sitting area that matched the interior design was even harder to achieve. Then (and to this day), they’re also a pleasant way to take up empty space. Even a small loveseat or armchair can turn a harsh corner into a thoughtful nook. They make the room they’re in feel fuller and more inviting to gather in, letting everyone have a spot to sit in and relax a bit.

The Classic Fainting Couch

Chaise Lounge (Right) French and Victorian Inspired Modern Furniture, 657ARJ by Polrey

When I think of a classic decorative couch, I think of the fainting couch, or chaise. Made with only one arm, they allow a person to stretch out while still having the back support to remain partially upright. Many sectionals have a chaise attachment, but you can’t move it around the room or house if you wish to lounge elsewhere. If any couch is worth doubling in your home, it’s the chaise. Put them in front of your windows for an instant, ornamental window seat. Or, give your tall friend some more leg room if they’re staying over a night.

Looks are Deceiving (In a Good Way)

Most decorative couches are placed out of the way, but you can also make it the star by making it the center of the room (by Sarah Greenman)

Despite their stiff appearances, some fancy couches really are comfy. Just because it looks like it was made in Victorian times doesn’t mean it actually was! A lot of these loveseats and recliners are more amenable to everyday life and only look the part. The best way to find out if a couch you’re looking at is softer than it seems is to try it out. Unfortunately, internet shopping can make this difficult as you can’t physically touch the piece you’re interested in. It requires a larger time investment, but finding multiple reviews with pictures or video is a way around this limitation. Plus, you can see how your ideal decorative couch fits in a living room more like yours.

Balancing Style and Function

Leather Speckled Gold Pillow, TOV-C5719 by Tov Furniture

If you aren’t interested in the decorative couch price tag, you aren’t out of luck. You can turn your existing couch into a decorative piece with pillows and throws. It’s safer to buy a couch in a neutral color, so adding bold accents draw attention to the sitting piece without requiring a risky investment. Elevating the space around the couch also elevates the couch itself. The more fanciful the living room a plain couch is in, the more that couch becomes a grounding point for comfortable yet high class living. And for more abstract designs, pillows also can help visually mark it as a couch in the first place.

The Care and Keeping Of

Plato Aqua Velvet Sofa, cdf-L6212 by Contemporary Design Furniture

Thankfully, we as a society are past the point of preserving a couch with plastic liners. Even the most transparent ones made the couch more opaque, less attractive, and less comfortable to sit on (if you were allowed to sit on them at all). That said, decorative couches still require a more delicate touch than other kinds. Velvet is a common choice for decorative furniture because it’s heavenly soft. It also falls apart fast if you sit on it regularly. The lifespan of a decorative couch depends partially on how often you use it and partially on the material you choose. Many workhorse fabrics now come in shades with a more fanciful appeal if you only need the couch to look the part. That said, refurbishing fabric is cheaper and more environmentally friendly than buying a new couch if you love a more finicky fabric.

Decorative couches aren’t a practical option for families with a weekly movie night, but they do have their benefits. If you’re hoping to class up an empty room or have some pretty seating for occasional guests, consider adding a decorative couch to your home.