Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Sourcing: Sofas

Extrasoft sofa by Piero Lissoni for Living Divani.  Image from http://www.livingdivani.it/

I recently wondered what the difference was between a sofa and a couch.  To me it seems that the terms are used interchangeably, but I assume that at one point there must have been a difference.  I figured that couch must relate somehow to coucher in French, but I had no clue about sofa.  Looking up the etymology of each word I found the following (from http://www.etymonline.com):

sofa Look up sofa at Dictionary.com
1620s, "raised section of a floor, covered with carpets and cushions," from Turk. sofa, from Arabic suffah "bench." Meaning "long stuffed seat for reclining" is recorded from 1717.

couch (n.) Look up couch at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., from O.Fr. couche (12c.) "a bed, lair," from coucher "to lie down," from L. collocare (see couch (v.)). Traditionally, a couch has the head end only raised, and only half a back; a sofa has both ends raised and a full back; a settee is like a sofa but may be without arms; an ottoman has neither back nor arms, nor has a divan, the distinctive feature of which is that it goes against a wall. Couch potato first recorded 1979.

Pretty interesting to see how these words have evolved to the present day, where they essentially mean the same thing.  Whatever you want to call it, there's no denying that the sofa makes or breaks a living room.  Having a comfy place to curl up and watch a movie or read a book is vital for a comfortable home.  I love the Extrasoft by Piero Lissoni (above).  All of the blocks are separate pieces and can be moved around and reconfigured any way you like.

More comfy and stylish sofas after the jump...

All images from the manufacturer websites.

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