Camelback Sofas and How to Style Them: Ornate camelback sofa with horse painting

Camelback Sofas and How to Style Them

Design aficionados will tell you that, if you’re looking to add both refinement and charm to your living space, camelback sofas are the answer. Top FCI interiors consultant, Benjamin Ibanez, is a great enthusiast of this furniture classic and has some tips on how to style them in contemporary design.

What are camelback sofas?

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Defined by graceful lines, outwardly curved, scrolled arms and their signature arched back featuring at least one central hump, they typically comprise tapered legs, an exposed trim and a lumbar cushion that is usually made from one continual piece.

Originally created in 18th century England by Thomas Chippendale and George Hepplewhite, camelback sofas gained immediate popularity and are still considered one of the most fashionable choices in the design world today, lending a sense of luxury and elegance to any discerning sitting area.

Why are camelback sofas so popular?

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Attractive, sophisticated and timeless, camelback sofas offer extreme comfort, unmatched durability and visual appeal, making them a unique, eye-catching focal point in your living room ensemble.

Perfect for both traditional and cutting-edge homes, they are extremely versatile and will complement many trendy interior design genres from retro and mid-century modern to maximalism and shabby chic.

Beautifully made using high-quality materials ranging from fine fabrics to top-grain leathers, Ben believes that they make an outstanding investment that are sure to last for years to come. “Whether you want to make a statement or just need something relaxing to sit on, camelback sofas are a fantastic choice,” he says.

How to choose a camelback sofa for your home

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With their deep, opulent back cushions and generous armrests, camelback sofas offer a cosy sitting experience that enables you to stretch out and relax in style. “However, most of them are usually quite large, so make sure you measure up properly before you make a final decision, especially if you have a small sitting room”, warns Ben.

Here are some guidelines to help you pick out the perfect piece:

  • Set a fixed budget and then spend all of it to ensure that you get the best quality possible.
  • Measure the dimensions of the area and then pick out one that fits your living space perfectly. It should neither overpower your other furniture pieces nor look lost or underwhelming.
  • Find a style that suits the rest of your interior.
  • The colour and pattern of your camelback sofa can make or break your room. Choose something that perfectly complements your existing décor, remembering that you will have to live with it for years to come.
  • Before you decide on your upholstery, consider your lifestyle. If you have a high-traffic environment that involves small children or pets, you will need a durable fabric that is stain resistant and easy to maintain. However, if it’s going to be used for adults only, splurge on a fine leather that will last you for decades. For more inspiration, read our informative article on how to decide between leather or fabric sofas.
  • Test out the seat cushions and ask questions about the frame, padding and springs to make sure that you are guaranteed a comfortable perch.

Styling tips for camelback sofas

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As your camelback sofa is likely to be the epicentre of your living space, it’s important to keep it trendy and enhance its features by styling it up. Here are Ben’s hottest tips:

  • Create visual interest using various hues, patterns and textures with a selection of luxury cushions. Ensure that they complement your existing colour scheme and don’t be afraid to find a variety of sizes and shapes to help build layers. “I usually pick out between four and six cushions per sofa for a more classic look”, advises Ben.
  • Plush throws add opulence to your aesthetics. They’re also perfect for those chilly evenings, so have them on hand by draping them over the back and arms of your camelback.
  • Find interesting accessories to place around your sofa like a bespoke rug by Knot & Loop, a big mirror, a gorgeous artwork, or a striking planter or vase. Make sure that whatever you choose enhances your overall aesthetics.

2 Modern camelback sofas we love

While traditional camelback sofas have a classic form, modern interpretations of them are all the rage. Here are two we think are superb:

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If you’re looking for a camelback sofa with a modern twist, the Casanova by Reflex Angelo reigns supreme. Stylistically ingenious, it is both sleek and refined and comes with a choice of fun legs in various colours. Pair it with matching armchairs for a cohesive look.

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The ultimate in opulence, Collection Alexandra’s Royal camelback sofa range is made to wow. Available as a three-seater, it is constructed from carved wood with intricate brass details and has an unusual backrest that features two ample cushions.

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