8 Traditional Sofa Styles Worth Considering for Your Modern Space

Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.

Remember back in college when a sofa was just a sofa? Maybe it was a hand-me-down from your parents or a bargain basement find at Urban Outfitters or perhaps it was even discovered on a curb. Now, as an adult, your palate has likely changed and you're in the market for a full-fledged, gorgeous, traditional style sofa.


Sofas have been around for centuries, and really, the styles haven't changed all that much. The basic format — arms, cushions, back — is pretty much always the same, but it's the slight design variations that determine the style. The good news is that even if your space is modern or boho, traditional sofa styles will still totally work. The key is to look for a classic silhouette in a fabric that fits the vibe of your home, like worn-in, cognac leather for a bohemian living room or a cobalt blue option for a modern or maximalist space.

No matter what your design approach you prefer, we guarantee that one of these traditional sofa styles will absolutely fit the bill.

1. Camelback

A Camelback sofa is curved just like a camel's back. With its arched profile, it's a classic traditional sofa style that still somehow manages to look modern. This beauty, belonging to Jenny Cipoletti of Margo and Me, nails the look showcasing sage green velvet upholstery for the win.

Get the look: One Kings Lane Eloise Camelback Sofa in Jade Velvet, $3,495

2. English Roll Arm

With turned legs on casters and sumptuous cushions, the English Roll Arm sofa is a trend-proof favorite when it comes to traditional sofa styles. Rendered in warm velvet, this version, in a living room designed by Shea of Studio McGee, will last for years to come.


Get the look: McGee & Co. Lucille English Roll Arm Sofa in Velvet, $4,400

3. Track Arm

A Track Arm sofa is a bit more contemporary, featuring square arms and an angular shape. The leather take on the traditional silhouette, as seen in this living room belonging to Robert and Christina of New Darlings, looks picture-perfect with its warm, buttery soft upholstery.

Get the look: West Elm Hamilton Leather Sofa, $2,399 – $3,199

4. Tuxedo

Can you get any classier than a Tuxedo sofa? As the name implies, this silhouette is all dressed up in nail-head trim and button-tufting, not to mention the very clean lines that bring to mind art deco style. This cobalt blue velvet option from Modway is the modern epitome of elegance.

Get the look: Modway Delight Navy Tufted Button Performance Velvet Sofa, $1,045.64

5. Slipcovered

This sofa is ideal for families with little ones or pets. If your living room is prone to frequent spills, look no further than a slipcovered sofa with — that's right — covers that can easily slip on and off. It was an effortless choice when Sarah of Room for Tuesday picked this sophisticated white sectional for her living room.


Get the look: Pottery Barn York Square Arm Slipcovered 3-Piece L-Shaped Sectional with Corner, $4,645 - $5,895

6. Cabriole

If you're searching for a traditional style sofa that feels a little bit fancy, then a Cabriole is perfect for you. The name originates from the French word cabrioler, and is known for its graceful curves. Take notes from this space captured by Nina from Stylizimo, and inject Parisian flair into your home with a similar curved silhouette. Upholster it in a light grayish-blue velvet for a modern touch.

Get the look: Kathy Kuo Dorine French Country Tight Back Beige Linen Limed Oak Sofa, $2,519

7. Midcentury

Midcentury furnishings have become classics since they first emerged during the 1950s. If you're going for a modern-meets-traditional space, a midcentury sofa, with its simple, rectangular shape, will fit in flawlessly. We adore it in this colorful living room belonging to Jessica Brigham.

Get the look: Article Sven Sofa, $1,299

8. Chesterfield

You probably remember seeing a Chesterfield in your dad's den growing up, except nowadays, this sofa design looks sleek and sophisticated in any space. With nailhead trim and button-tufted upholstery it's hard not to love this timeless traditional style sofa. We're especially fond of the emerald green velvet version seen in this living room belonging to Alisa from A Glass of Bovino.

Get the look: Anthropologie Lyre Chesterfield Two-Cushion Sofa, starting at $2,298


Shelby Deering is a lifestyle writer who contributes to national magazines and websites, including Country Living, Good Housekeeping, Well+Good, and more. When she's not writing, you'll find her shopping flea markets, hiking, and going for walks with her corgi.

View Work