When anyone tries to decorate their interiors, the room that garners the most attraction during any renovation or remodelling project is your living room. If all your rooms were girls, then all your rooms are mere maid-of honours while the living room is the bride with a beautiful wedding dress (the sofa), perfectly made-up face (the walls), lips painted red in berry and beetroot extracts (the accent wall), cheekbones highlighted with rouge (wall-paintings), eyes rimmed with kohl for a rather beautiful shape (add-on furniture units), and perhaps with a Japanese folding fan (other show pieces) to combat the heat all this heavy make-up and dresses generate. What we mean is that the attention your living room hoards for itself is nothing short of one that a bride munches upon her wedding day.
And what every bride makes the most fuss about when it comes to wedding is her wedding dress. If that isn’t perfect nothing will appear perfect. And no matter how much Buddha said, “The greatest wisdom is seeing through the appearances “, Friedrich Schiller pegged the human nature on-point when he said, “Appearances rule the world”.
So, we see every renovation project has the majority of its budget set aside for the furniture units, with the furniture units of the living room, i.e., the sofas, the side-tables, the centre table, the add-on seating solutions, like may be a wing-back chair or a lounge chair or pouffes, rocking the priority charts with understated ease.
But enough chit-chat, let us talk about the most important one of them all, the dominant of all the furniture units- the sofa. The sofa, often called the couch or the davenport, marks the migration of humans from the ‘pack and shift’ style of living that was reminiscent of the early nomadic times. This bold piece of furniture is complete with a back-rest and an arm-rest structure. These are now the symbolic representation of having settled down in life. Though sofa sets are now a common yet prominent feature of most homes, they still remain the insignia of luxury in our lives.
Ergo, there are things that we need to reflect upon while buying a sofa set.

Dissecting Trait 1: The Material
Sofas are generally found in two major styles of manufacturing- either we see a wooden sofa or a fabric upholstered sofa. The wooden sofas are generally made of hardwoods like Sheesham, Teak and Mango. There’s a direct proportionality between the quality of the wood used and the life of your sofa set. The stronger the timber used, the better the life of your sofa.
Even the fabric upholstered sofa set designs have a wooden frame that holds the upholstery in place and provides the necessary strength to your couch. The idea of upholstery dates back to the Eighteenth-Century BCE, when those genius Egyptians upholstered the tombs of their pharaohs for comfort and appointed fabric materials for the job, preserved for over a millennium. Now naturally, your couch upholstery is not made by the hands of Egyptians, so it probably won’t survive more than a century, and it will last even that long, provided you take good care of your sofa in a manner that beats the care-taking routine of a person with OCD. Point being, not every fabric can be used to upholster your sofa. The fabric has to be stain-resistant, wrinkle-resistant, be durable and has to have reduced fading levels. The range of fabrics that is used as sofa coverings is vast and varied- depending upon the qualities you seek. However, a number of fabrics can be classified as common materials used to upholster sofas. These include leather, faux leather, vinyl, microfiber, textured cotton, cotton polyester, and sometimes nylon.

Dissecting Trait 2: The Design
The designs of the sofas have become rich and diversified as the technology gets better. Finer things in life are appreciated and so are the latticed filigree, floral and geometrical designs in the framework of the wooden sofa. The intricate designs derived from Baroque architectural styles of an ostentatious and opulent France under the reign of Louis XVI, never cease to amaze us. Rococo designs, or their toned down counterpart- the Neoclassical designs, influenced from the Etruscan period, which find themselves to be derived from the streamlined Greek architecture, makes us gasp with awe. The designs are many, varying from mediocre to exceptional. Cultural inspirations and influences of the kings of yore are still seen in the carvings of the sofa sets.
When it comes to fabric upholstered sofas, the chesterfields, the tufting, the colour, print and weave of the fabric are what we focus on. The design in the wooden frame of the sofa- the roll-arm, the magazine holder, the storage boxes under the seat are the designs that steal the show.

Dissecting Trait 3: The Size
Sofa set designs are often found in three major sizes. From one seater to three seater, or the bargain between these two- the two seater sofas are commonly seen around the houses. Depending upon the availability of space and the utility of the design, any particular sofa set design is chosen.

Dissecting Trait 4: Evolution
An age-old piece of furniture that has kept itself compatible with the trysts of times and the ever-changing, whimsical sometimes, demands of the society can only do this if the design is modified as per the demand of its users. Sofa sets that we see today are not just beautiful pieces of furniture that are there in your living room to just sit and look pretty. These have evolved and grown to become sofa-cum-beds. These extendable sofas are just the first insight into the true potential of the sofa sets. They have many multi-utilitarian aspects to them, what with their side-pockets, and storage boxes under the seat.

So we see, the brides of today are not happy just being the most beautiful person in a party. They handle all the arrangements and rule the world like the queens they are. Sofa sets, the queen (or, should we say king?) of the interiors of your living room have endured major transformations to still be the most in-demand furniture unit of all-times and continue to be more awesome than they already are.

Author's Bio: 

The author of this article is a Physics Major with a love for art-history. She believes our past not just shapes our future, it is the guideline which dictates what to do and what not to. Her wonder and amazement at the architectural styles of the past have led her to explore things like the history of sofa set designs. Through Wooden Street, she shares her findings in a conversational, easy to comprehend and digest, manner.