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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Who Needs Arms Anyway?

The Chloey Sofa from Drexel.
Did you know that when you lose the arms on a sofa
you often gain between 14 and  24 inches in a room?
And that is huge!
This is 84W x 40D x 39H named Chloey Sofa from Drexel Heritage
This is just 'okay' in my opinion.

This is 'Juliet' from Lexington.
This is really sharp.
The back contours around on the sides, I like that.

This also the Juliet from Lexington. about 83" Long and it is high in back...about 38."

This is a Liz Clayborne Sofa from Lexington.

This is my pick, and it is from Century. I love love love a 'bench seat'.
A bench seat is one single cushion rather than 2 ( or sometimes 3).
Did you know why they ( the furniture industry ) came up the brilliant idea of 3 cushions on a sofa where there would normally would be 1 ( a bench seat cushion ) or 2?
The smaller the cushions, the smaller the fabric you need.
Now they can utilize all the fabric that would normally be scrap.
I explain that to people all they time... and do you know what people say in the defense of the 3 cushion sofa?
" If I don't get a 3 cushion sofa I will have less seating, and besides how will people know where to sit?"
" And no one wants to sit on the crack "
HUH??? How will they KNOW  WHERE TO SIT ?
I say to them with a straight face;
" Well, you sit on a crack everyday and it doesn't seem you bother you, 
does it ?"
I do really.......I say that ( to some ).
They are caught off guard and 'crack' up.
Then I try again to emphasize how much more attractive and costly sofas look with only 1 or 2 cushions.
If they insist on a 3 cushion sofa.....I write it off to the fact that most furniture stores mainly buy and sell 3 cushion sofas. The masses tastes have been tainted by the propaganda put out and into furniture markets.

This is called the Apartment sofa. It is only 36" deep, and this piece is part of a sectional.
But the sectional has NO ARMS. It has a corner piece, but that is it.
Very do-able if you are working with a small space,
and you want to add seating.

This is actually part of a sectional, from Century *Elegance Collection
* I just don't get why people (average peeps) insist on arms.
You can get all the same effect by using the right kind of pillows
next to you and under your arms/elbows.
I promise. This is true.

Armless sofas come in all styles.
You just have to look and dig.
Most furniture sales people are unaware of the armless
pieces in collection. So, you have to ask them to research it.

I would love this sofa.
I think it is exquisitely upholstered.

The armless Leigh Made to Measure is available in lengths 
from 28 to 120 inches. 
The Leigh Ottoman is available from 18 to 60 inches in length

You can always find an armless sofa in a sectional.
Well, not always, but it is more common than not.
(8 out 10 sectionals will have an armless love seat or sofa)
You can order just the armless love seat
or the armless sofa once you have it.
You sometimes can specify how many cushions you want if it is a better upholstery house.
*the price of the sofa will be based on the fabric grade
This is what the armless sofa will look like on the diagram
( most likely it will have different dimensions )
of the pieces that you can order to make a sectional.
Ask your salesman, they can show you.
It is there in all the catalogs that offer sectional sofas..
That is how THEY order it.
You will be presented with something like this below.
(less the silly green dots)

Here is the critical part,
make sure that you order it as
 a ' FREE STANDING ' piece.
This means that the sides will not have
the metal male and female parts on the sides of the armless sofa
that are used to attach the pieces of the sectional together
so that they do not come apart.
You definitely do not want that.
And get it in writing on your order.
*It also means that where extra fabric is needed on the sides,
(which are now the ends of your armless sofa)
the factory will take extra care in the finishing process.

*Well, this is the 3rd attempt at this post
it absolutely evaporated twice while loading and typing the original.
I am sorry if this is not a FABULOUS post.
It was hard to 'get into it' again.
Do you know what I mean?

Would you, 
could you ...
use an armless sofa ?

Renee Finberg 'TELLS ALL' in her BLOG.....

Interior Design, Palm Beach, Boca Raton,Ft.Lauderdale,Design Service, Window Treatments, TurnKey Interior Design Service,Paint selection, Floor-Plans,Online Interior Design,
Design Center of The Americas, D.C.O.T.A,.armless sofas and armless love seats


  1. LOVE the first photo!!! LOVE armless chairs!

  2. HERE IT COMES !!! my comment,
    I like the top if only it had arms.Colors a nice.
    If I have to look at that and Have no comfort I will not care if I lose 2 feet of space.
    Some how it looks like someone dropped off a car seat in the living room.
    Quess Who

  3. great blog renee! informative and hysterical "you sit on a crack everyday". i can think of some clients i would love to say that to with a straight face.......

  4. debra

    ha ha ha ha
    the older ones always laugh!!!

  5. I feel your pain on the blogging issues. I couldn't get rid of an underline the other day and just left it so I wouldn't have to start over.
    Now..on the arms...I like my arms! I like bench seats too...I sit on a crack everyday and don't need one on my sofa!.

  6. renae
    you go girl!!!!
    tell me how you really feel!!

    xxx :)

  7. You crack me up!

    I love, love, love armless sofas...

    I just did an armless settee for a client and it looked fabulous... it had a tight seat (mine used to be tighter)...

    One of my posts that I was working on the other day vanished when I hit the publish button and I kept using the back button until I could resurrect it...finally got it back.

  8. I never really thought about the arms before. This would have been a huge help in my last home! Luckily I now have room for a sectional (just can't afford it right now) When the time comes to buy- I'll keep this in mind! Thanks!

  9. I like long as I'm not pulling my feet up and curling up...then I LONG for nice long arms!

    Crack joke cracked me up!

  10. Hey Renee
    I can always count on you to 'crack me up'.. haha sorry.. i laughed out loud when i read that.. i want to go shopping and meet great people like you.. shopping would be all the more enjoyable!!

    Well I like arms.. i find them useful.. for lulling!! But if it were a settee and not the flopping down kind.. then i agree the armless look is more sytlish...!!

    Now i just find people nuts!! Why would people not know where to sit??? haha it's a worry!! Have a great weekend.. xx Julie

  11. julie

    we would have fun shopping,
    i am sure of it.

    you would not believe some of the weird stuff people say.
    i have heard that particular line ;
    "how will people know where to sit without 3 cushions?" more than a few times just this year. must be something in the water in boca raton (florida)


  12. A brilliant idea for rooms where not a lot of lounging goes on.
    For me, though, I need arms.I need to be able to put my feet up, spread out and 'slob' and arms are an important part of that.
    I can take or leave a crack!! They don't feature in the overall enjoyment unless George Clooney's happened to be involved !! haha. XXXX

  13. So most people love the crack! Hilarious. But where would I put my head on an armless sofa while watching TV or reading!

  14. An armless sofa or chair is a truly beautiful thing, but not as comfy as those with arms. My dog would fall off the end when he rolls onto his back and I would have have nothing to prop my head up while napping, reading or watching tv.

  15. Renee, the public so funny with the "where would we sit" typical. When I had my store, they would always ask..."now how would I use that" or "how would I arrange it" on and vision. Don't need arms at all!

  16. I don't know what your thinking because this post was great, and very helpful to boot. I really am nuts for the Hickory Leigh. I love so many but that one, stops the clock it's so perfect. I had considered purchasing an armless sofa to use with a rectangular dining table. I was going to cut down the legs of the table to make the height work appropriately. Crazy?? We have this huge kitchen eating area that it would be nice to lounge as well as eat a meal.
    Hoping your going to have a decent weekend. Me, I'm sitting on my two cushioned sofa & watching episode after episode of Californication &
    the Tudors. Call me wild, I know!
    Thinking of you x

  17. Debbie @ dumwit
    there is a cocktail table by hooker that is round.
    it is 42 " or 48" and it is gorgeous....
    it has this great industrial thing under it that raises the table and lowers the table to dining height or anywhere in between.

    xxx good idea?

  18. Renee -I'm WILD about armless sofas and chairs! My favorite in your group is the Leigh by Hickory Chair. I love that the back cushions are upholstered with that tape border. Beautiful. I worked for a highly respected furniture manufacturer for about 8 years, and they always frowned on bench seats. The reason: the casing on the seat will often twist and move out of place, leading people to believe that the seat wasn't upholstered well. So, most of their sofas are two seaters, with the occasional 3 thrown in the mix. GREAT POST! Thanks for all of the helpful information!

  19. i love these armless sofas, i could use one in my little home..funny joke btw!.
    have a great sunny weekend dear friend...

  20. Scott,
    well, alas....finally an armless sofa lover!

    here is my secret revealed;

    my real secret about armless sofas is that i was in a long term relationship,
    (with a narcissist, and that's a whole other post)
    so i did a 2 piece sectional , with bench seats, armless - with a corner, and only it was only 35 deep for him.
    it was positioned in the room facing the flat screen.
    and in this room, if you had leaned on the arms at the ends, you would not be facing the tv screen anyway.

    i did the armless sectional because i have always loved them,
    (and there was no space in this room).
    but here is the deal.....i lived on this sofa when i was at the narcissist's home.
    i never needed an arm, i had a gorgeous leather ottoman in front of the sectional,
    and the right kind of pillows to support my arms.
    So, NO MATTER WHERE YOU sat on the sofa
    your arms would be supported if you wished.

    thank you for your comment :)

  21. thank you guys for you comments.

    if you should want an armless sectional to save space in a room, you can.
    almost every sectional configuration has armless pieces.

    and you should get a corner piece (square)for the corner instead of a wedge or a curved corner.
    a corner piece takes up less space and you can sit back and lean back on a corner where you can not comfortably do that on a curved corner.
    you will be leaning back and your upper body will have to be angled or twisted, and that's not great for 'the long haul'of a movie or a book.

    it is not comfortable.
    but don't take my word for it.
    go to any furniture showroom, they are all showing wedge/or curved corners, and try to LAY DOWN against it with your leggs laying down on one side of the sections of the sofa.


  22. Love the comment about the 3-seater. It's the problem with silicone. It so increases the dimensions of the boobs while shrinking the brain!

  23. I'm not a lover of armless chairs. Maybe I'm too old, but I want a place to rest my, well, arms. This was brought home to me the first time I sat in a Barcelona chair (I was only 20 something even then and didn't like it). Also, old folks need support to get off the sofa.

    That said, I love the look of some of those. And if I still have one chair with arms, why, I'd use the armless sofas everywhere because they look terrific!

  24. Such fun! and good practical advice. Arms are nice but armless too. You show some very handsome examples. Super!



Thanks for participating!!

About Renée Finberg

I have been in this business since the age of 22.

I love what I do and cannot imagine my life without Design.

Design Challenges are great.

And because of those challenges

I have imported fine antique pieces from Paris,

Designed and Manufactured Furniture,

Created Fantastic Window Treatments,

And solved all kinds of spatial & architectural issues

With my unique style.

If I can't find it, I create it.

My rooms would make excellent movie sets.

I am a visual, tactile and audio sensitive individual.

Creating is what I live for, not math, not spelling, not science.

Just Great Design.

Just imagine how it would be if each of us,

If only for a few hours of everyday,We could be in a space that is our very own.A place that is exactly the way we want it to be

Surrounded by all the things we wanted to see,

The atmosphere we wanted feel, smell and the sound we wanted to listen to.

Private Paradise



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