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For the Love of Granny Sofas

One of the items I love to search UsedRegina for is a granny sofa. That’s what I call them. Really they’re French Provincial or Louis style, or English Victorian, or Swedish Gustavian sofas or settees… but I group them all under the moniker “granny sofa”, because they look like something you’d find in an old granny’s house.

They’re often curvy, decoratively carved, relatively small, sometimes have button tufting, and I think they’re fabulous. And though they may stir up images of old lady decor they can look fresh, cool, and modern if handled correctly.

If you’re really gutsy, and have the right look in your home, you could embrace the velvet, the wood, and the tufting and go all-out glamourous:

But most of us aren’t that gutsy, nor do we have the soaring ceilings and decadent crown moldings of an old Victorian home to pull this look off. So I think there are two other ways these sofas can be redone to work in a home. One is to neutralize it with solid, pale colours like this one upholstered in a white denim:

It still looks pretty, and has a ton of personality – but it’s a bit more subtle.

The other approach is to juxtapose the sofa’s old-fashioned lines with a really modern fabric – whether it’s a punchy colour or a geometric or whimsical pattern.

Here the vivid blue upholstery pops against the painted wood, and paired with the chartreuse walls it looks modern and fun.

Here’s a round up of some “Granny Sofas” from around the country!  (You can click on the pictures to find the listing.)

And how about this curvy set from UsedGatineau?

To me this sofa on UsedCalgary looks like one big fancy hug.

a channel-back sofa on UsedOttawa

If you’re the fabulous Hollywood movie star type, this chaise on UsedNanaimo is right up your alley!

And here are a few more inspiration pictures so you can envision how you might use one of these great pieces in your home!

Photograph by Monic Richard for Style at Home Magazine

From Crown & Crumpet Tea Salon in San Fransisco

Design by Graham Moss via GlamLamb

Design by Jen Ramos, via Style at Home

Design by Stacey Smithers, Photograph by Donna Griffith for House & Home Magazine

Photograph by Ted Yardwood for House & Home

Granny sofas and settees are usually on the small side – so they don’t necessarily have to live in the living room – they could make a great entry bench, sit at the foot of a bed, look beautiful in a nursery, or even pull up to a dining table!

If you’re recovering a piece like this either try to neutralize it – in a beige linen, a white denim, or a grey colour, or try to modernize it, using a pattern that wouldn’t be too typical of the furniture style (i.e. stay away from classic floral or chintz, and opt for an ikat, trellis patterns, or a bold modern colour.)  If the upholstery is in good shape, and you like the look, you may just want to paint out the wood to update the piece.And if a sofa is a little much for you, you can always search for a curvy chair that would be cheaper, easier to recover, and look great just about anywhere.P.S. – If you’re on the hunt for something like this try using search terms like “French Provincial”, French Provencal”, “Victorian”, “Gustavian”, “Swedish”, “Antique sofa, couch, or love seat”, “Settee”, etc.

I'm the wife of one amazing man, a mom of two wonderful little kiddos, and I love interior design, painting, pottery, diy-ing (is that a verb?) running, watching football, singing, the outdoors, ...and so many other things about this wonderful life I've been given!

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