The retro sofa, or settee, is the focal point for a retro look. If you want an overall retro style, you need to find a fab sofa to set it off. You can either go for a settee and matching chairs, or just a sofa and find other chairs to go with it.
Getting a retro style sofa used to be so difficult. You could buy an original, but then it probably needed recovering. Finding someone to do the job sympathetically was hard. Now you can find some great sofas to buy new in retro style. This our pick of the best available.
Heals Hepburn Sofa
The Hepburn Sofa from Heals is inspired by the contemporary look of the late fifties and early sixties. If you like the Mad Men TV series, then this is just the sort of period style furniture to go for.
The look is rectangular, low and long. Just the kind of thing to relax and stretch out on. It lends itself to spacious rooms. I love those 50s style tapering black legs. There is a resemblance to the Knoll Sofa, by Florence Knoll, 1954. However, this settee is more relaxed and less upright and better suited to the lounge rather than the boardroom.
The buttoned back and seat cushions are very evocative of the late fifties and early sixties. This style was very popular throughout the 60s in the UK.
The finish is leather. This sofa is not cheap, but I've not seen anything so stylish for a long time.
For more information, go to Hepburn Sofa from Heals.
Heals Mistral Sofa
The Mistal Sofa, also evokes the 50s. The look picks up the early contemporary style of light woods with splayed legs. However, the square boxy shape comes more from the later 50s and early 60s. Just like the Hepburn Sofa, the Mistral Sofa would look great in a fifties or sixties style room.
Choose contrasting wallpaper and curtains for the classic fifties' contemporary look, or go wild with Art Nouveau inspired wallpaper for a late sixties psychedelic feel.
The Mistral Sofa is available in olive, emerald, cocoa, mushroom or puce.
For more information see Mistral Sofa from Heals.
Homebase Vienna Sofa
If you have a tighter budget, I've found this terrific sofa from Homebase for less than £400, which proves retro doesn't have to be expensive. It looks very similar to the 50s inspired design from Heals, above.
The Vienna Sofa is available in a range of colours, including green, left. I particularly like the brown which would look great in an early 70s style interior; think 'Life on Mars'. Browns were very much in vogue and the chunkier style was popular then. However, it will work just as well in a more up to date retro look.
For more information see Vienna 3 Seater Sofa - Pistachio
Habitat Ella Sofa
Also check out this fifties' inspired Ella Sofa from Habitat. The Ella Sofa, in this two tone grey colour combination, perfectly captures the look and feel of a typical late fifties' contemporary sofa. I love the rounded lines and the tapering legs.
The Ella sofa is also available in black/brown, a lighter grey, as well as in black, blue or brown leather. However, it looks most retro in the two tone grey.
To find out more go to Habitat Ella Sofa
Habitat Forum Sofa by Robin Day
Habitat also stock the classic Forum Sofa designed by Robin Day in 1964. It is a 60s boxy design which exposes part of the construction of the sofa. The exposed wooden panels are part of the frame. Forum still looks great and is the definitive retro sofa. For more information read our original review in Modern retro furniture.
Forum is available in black, white, brown or cream leather. The wooden panels can be ash or walnut. For more information go to Day's Forum at Habitat.
Orla Kiely Lusk Sofa
This Orla Kiely Sofa has wonderful organic lines, which were a hallmark of modern furniture in the fifties, and remained fashionable into the sixties. It evokes the look of Danish design in this era.
The pumpkin colour is a great retro shade which could set off an orange rug or wallpaper for a great sixties or seventies look. Combine this sofa with a genuine mid-century teak coffee table or an Orla Kiely coffee table.
The Lusk Sofa is also available in moss or henna colours.
Orla Kiely's designs are amongst some of the best modern incarnations of the mid century style. For more information go to Orla Kiely Lusk Sofa at Heals..
Add your comments on retro sofas
Retro furniture, fashion and collectables