Decorating your home, and particularly your living room can be a stressful situation. Knowing your tastes as well as of those who live with you and getting to an understanding in the style you want is an important stage of the process, which is why reading about decoration and styles and sharing that information with your roommates is of the utmost importance. When choosing such an important piece as a sofa, it is best if all parts are in agreement.
There are dozens of different sofa models to choose from, and if you want something practical yet highly versatile and decorative, you might want to consider getting a backless sofa for your home or office.
What’s a backless sofa?
A backless sofa is a type of sofa that as it name implies doesn’t have a back. There are several types of backless sofas such as divans and recamiers. Backless sofas are usually placed against a wall and decorated with pillows and cushions to make them cozier and give more support to your back when you sit on them, but they can also be placed to “float” in a room and be separated from walls as a sort of bench or bed.
Did you know that divans are not European? They were born in the Middle East, specifically in the Ottoman Empire, where they used bent mats reclined against the walls to give more sitting space in public meeting places such as government offices. They were later brought to Europe in the 18th century, and their popularity spread throughout the world. They can be placed directly on the floor or on a low frame to give them some height.
Next, there are the recamiers. The original design of recamiers had scrolled armrests on each side and no back support, but more modern designs use straight lines instead of the original scroll shape. They are named after Madame Recamier, a French socialité who posed on a backless sofa in 1800. That portrait made the model famous throughout France, and later the rest of Europe and the world.
One benefit of backless sofas is that it can also be used as a guest bed when you are in need of sleeping accommodations. They are very useful if you receive overnight guests and have no space for a guest room.
Why choose a backless sofa?
Backless sofas are versatile and practical if you ignore the fact that in most cases they should be placed against a wall. They allow for creativity with the use of pillows and cushions, and they are practical because they can be used both as a sitting piece and as a bed.
If you are lacking in space – your living room is small, you don’t have a guest room – or you just want something original, then a backless sofa is a good option to explore. As with everything else, time has influenced the design and you can find different choices in the market to satisfy your style and needs.
How to choose a backless sofa?
The first step is knowing what you are going for in terms of style, but not being afraid of experimenting. Maybe you have a contemporary living room, but that doesn’t mean you have to stick to modern furniture. A classy, romantic looking recamier might be the perfect addition to give an edge to your space.
Another very important thing to keep in mind is size. Measure the room where you want to place the backless sofa – or any other piece of furniture, really – and sketch possible layouts so you have an idea of what to look for. It would not be wise to buy a beautiful, enormous divan if the room where you intend to place it in is tiny! Or imagine if you had to carry it all the way up the stairs to find out it doesn’t fit through the door, what a disappointment that would be!
The next thing is the material used. This is closely related to the style you want for the room and the general decoration you have going on. For a durable piece, leather upholstery is a great idea, but if you want something more informal and relaxed, choose a soft and comfortable fabric, wide enough to accommodate fluffy pillows. You should also make special considerations if you have children and/or pets.
If the backless sofa is going to be placed in a popular room and is going to see lots of use, consider getting one with a sturdy frame, whether it’s metallic or wooden, and strong, resistant fabric – such as microfiber – or leather for the upholstery. If it’s mostly going to be a decorative piece you can choose more “delicate” materials such as silk or brocade.
And the final touch: pillows and cushions. Those will give support and add to the comfort of the users. You can go in any direction with them, choosing matching or contrasting fabrics and colors to make the backless sofa stand out in your room.
Where to place a backless sofa?
Now that is a question to ponder before committing to a particular piece of furniture and especially a sofa. It can become a challenge, deciding where the backless sofa will be, but the first question you should ask yourself is: do you want the backless sofa against a wall or floating in the room? If you put it against a wall you can add several cushions and pillows to act as a backrest, but if you put it away from walls you won’t have that option, and it will act as a sort of bench. Of course, anywhere you put it it will retain its ability to become a bed as the need arises, but you should take some time to think about the final layout of the room.
We mentioned earlier a drawn sketch is a good way to imagine what your living room will look like, but if you are more visual you might want to use painters tape to translate the sketch you made on paper into your actual living room floor. Then you can see if there is enough space to move the furniture – nobody likes bumping their toes against a table chair! – and you can try several layouts before making a final decision.
You can also place your backless sofa against a windowed wall, it will be a perfect spot for a lazy afternoon of reading and tea, or just to spend time admiring your garden or your apartment view.
Our selection of the top 10 best backless sofa in 2017
A classic design built with more modern materials, this beautiful daybed consists of an alder wood frame covered with a resistant fabric made with a blend of polyurethane and acrylic in oyster color. It’s filled with polyurethane, wrapped in feather for more comfort, with a trim made of brass nailheads to highlight the elegant lines. The contrast between the dark walnut color of the legs and the pale oyster upholstery adds to the chic look. The only con? Your guests will never want to leave!
There is much to love about this lovely, streamlined daybed, starting with its strong yet dainty looking metallic frame made of brass, and the beautiful fabric decorated with a herringbone pattern in azure blue. The cushion and armrests are filled with feathers to maximize the coziness of the daybed, and the upholstery is a fabric made with a blend of rayon, polyester, and nylon for an easy to clean and durable piece of furniture. This daybed is the perfect addition to a relaxed yet modern room.
This daybed is for the most romantic, vintage-loving, history enthusiasts of the lot. A real 19th-century antique, this Louis XV daybed is the perfect addition for an elegant, timeless room. The beautifully carved walnut has resisted the pass of time with grace, as well as the olive green velvet upholstery. A historical piece that will bring memories of a time when life was slower than the modern day. One pillow roll in the same olive green velvet adds to the fanciful, nostalgic look.
Swank is the name of the game, and this stylish and functional daybed has it to spare. With a modern design that combines slanted armrests, a heavily stuffed pillow top seat and two additional cushions in a contrasting pattern, this daybed is a perfect piece for a chic and cozy room. The frame of this daybed is made of alder that has been dried in a kiln for added strength and durability; the upholstery is a mix of fabrics such as cotton, wool, nylon, acrylic, polyester and rayon and the filling is comprised of feathers and down in a 10% to 90% proportion. For an added bonus, the wooden frame is environmentally responsible as it was made under careful practices, and the whole piece uses American-made finishes and technology for a high-quality product.
A sustainable wood frame combined with upholstery made of a durable and easy to clean blend of polyester and velvet, and a cozy cushion with springs and filled with down; this backless sofa sized as an individual bed is the answer to your sitting needs, as well as the perfect bed for unexpected guests. Designed by environmentally conscious Kristin Drohan, this piece combines the best USA’s manufacturing standards for a well built and long-lasting piece of furniture. The sunny yellow upholstery will bring a dash of spring to your room.
This sitting piece will be the talk of your guests! An alder frame with tapered legs in espresso brown, combined with ivory white Belgian linen upholstery and feather and down filling are the makings of a really cushy backless sofa and daybed. This handcrafted, modernized sofa will easily match any type of decoration you have, bringing a touch of elegance to the room.
Another beautiful design by the talented Kristin Drohan, this chic chaise is made of sustainable maple wood, one of the hardest woods around, which has been made even stronger by being kiln-dried. Corner blocks reinforce the frame for added stability, and the eight-way-hand-tied springs made of recycled metal combined with the down filling give this sofa a bouncy comfort. Made in the USA with high-quality materials to ensure durability.
Handcrafted to satisfy even the most demanding of tastes, this beautiful daybed invites people to spend long afternoons sharing confidences, or just a nice, casual conversation to pass the time in easy comfort. The frame is made with kiln-dried and hardened wood in walnut color, while the upholstery is made of polyester twill in sand color, a durable and easy to clean fabric that stands well against heavy use and sunlight, and will hold the cushion’s shape for a long time. The sides of this backless sofa are tufted, which adds to the idea of comfort that this sofa provides. It also includes two bolster cushions for extra coziness.
The first thing to catch the eye is the X-shaped alder wood bracket base. Next, the luxuriously plush cushions upholstered in black velvet. This cozy and comfortable double-seater is the perfect invitation for relaxation in your home or office. The thick, polyurethane foam covered with feathers makes it a charming piece of furniture to rest after – or even during – a long day. Perfect for a modern and stylish room.
A romantic yet modern piece for your living room or bedroom, this skirted backless sofa is made of a hardwood and plywood frame, with padding of thick polyurethane foam covered with down and cotton for longstanding comfort and enjoyment, and beautiful snow white linen upholstery with steel nail heads to emphasize the delicate curves of the scalloped armrests. It includes two bolster cushions to increase the luxurious coziness provided by the cushioned seating. Made in the USA and handcrafted by expert furniture manufacturers, with all the attention to detail and materials of the highest quality to ensure a life of durability.
As you can see, there are plenty of models and materials to choose from. The most important thing is that you choose the one that suits you and your style. Make sure to visit our other articles if you need more tips or inspiration to decorate your living room.