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Sofa Or Couch

Sofa Or Couch

In Couched Terms What is the difference between a couch and a sofa, anyway? “The couch is the thrash-able object at the center of a well-used living room, upon whose back toddlers straddle, whose cushions teenager become permanent fixtures, and which, at the end of the day, after the children are in bed, a couple might relax with a short glass of bourbon,” explains Benjamin Parzybok, author of the novel Couch. “A sofa, on the other hand, sits under a trimly hung painting and lives in a house in which traffic passes it by. It would be white, of course, or another color begging for stain. And most people living at the house of a sofa would be forbidden to sit upon it at one time or another.” A sofa might have two seats; a couch might have three or more. But not always. The word sofa comes from an Arabic word for bench; the word couch is derived from an Old French word for recline. A sofa, as Parzybok points out, is more of a proper place to sit. “A couch used to be a piece that you lie down on — like a day bed,” says Ellen Lupton, curator of contemporary design at the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt Museum in New York. These days the terms couch and sofa are used pretty much interchangeably — in life and in the accompanying story. — Linton Weeks
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Sofa Or Couch

What is the difference between a couch and a sofa, anyway? “The couch is the thrash-able object at the center of a well-used living room, upon whose back toddlers straddle, whose cushions teenager become permanent fixtures, and which, at the end of the day, after the children are in bed, a couple might relax with a short glass of bourbon,” explains Benjamin Parzybok, author of the novel Couch. “A sofa, on the other hand, sits under a trimly hung painting and lives in a house in which traffic passes it by. It would be white, of course, or another color begging for stain. And most people living at the house of a sofa would be forbidden to sit upon it at one time or another.” A sofa might have two seats; a couch might have three or more. But not always. The word sofa comes from an Arabic word for bench; the word couch is derived from an Old French word for recline. A sofa, as Parzybok points out, is more of a proper place to sit. “A couch used to be a piece that you lie down on — like a day bed,” says Ellen Lupton, curator of contemporary design at the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt Museum in New York. These days the terms couch and sofa are used pretty much interchangeably — in life and in the accompanying story. — Linton Weeks
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Sofa Or Couch

Create a room that’s welcoming with a sofa or a sectional couch. To help you go the extra mile for comfort and style, Ashley HomeStore gives you a large selection of sofa designs to shop. From contemporary and Urbanology® to Vintage Casual® and Traditional lifestyle selections, a couch design that matches your taste can easily be found. Plus, there are sofas with function. For example, a leather reclining sofa, or a sofa bed is perfect for making guests feel at home, while designer sofas help satisfy your thirst for unique style. It doesn’t stop there. With modern sectional couches or a modular sofa, you’ll love the flexibility of different seating configurations.
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Sofa Or Couch

In the United Kingdom and Ireland, the term couch is rarely used, the terms sofa or settee being more common. A furniture set consisting of a sofa with two matching chairs. is known as a “chesterfield suite” or “living room suite.” Also in the UK, the word chesterfield meant any couch in the 1900s, but now describes a deep buttoned sofa, usually made from leather, with arms and back of the same height. The first leather chesterfield sofa, with its distinctive deep buttoned, quilted leather upholstery and lower seat base, was commissioned by Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield (1694–1773).
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Sofa Or Couch

Benjamin Parzybok, on the other hand, has a surfeit of sofas. Author of the novel Couch, the Portland resident says he is couch-sitting a whole cache of couches for other people. “At the moment there’s a perfect storm of couch storage,” he says. “There’s our main couch in the living room, a behemoth of a green thing with elephantine legs that was purchased in a secondhand shop, already well-loved and destined to continue to be well-loved for some time. One floor below are a number of other couches, belonging to brothers and neighbors whose houses are getting remodeled.”
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Sofa Or Couch

An NPR article by Linton Weeks called “The Deep-Seated Meaning Of The American Sofa” features a great quote by Benjamin Parzybok, author of the novel Couch: “The couch is the thrash-able object at the center of a well-used living room, upon whose back toddlers straddle, whose cushions teenager become permanent fixtures, and which, at the end of the day, after the children are in bed, a couple might relax with a short glass of bourbon. “A sofa, on the other hand, sits under a trimly hung painting and lives in a house in which traffic passes it by. It would be white, of course, or another color begging for stain. And most people living at the house of a sofa would be forbidden to sit upon it at one time or another.”
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Sofa Or Couch

A sofa might have two seats; a couch might have three or more. But not always. The word sofa comes from an Arabic word for bench; the word couch is derived from an Old French word for recline. A sofa, as Parzybok points out, is more of a proper place to sit.
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Sofa Or Couch

Distinction: None, really, between a couch and a sofa. The only difference is in the connotation. People tend to prefer the word couch when they’re talking about a casual, un-stuffy room. A “couch” is a place to lie down and veg out. Usually three or more cushions.
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“I rarely hear people using couch in this industry,” says Dolley Levan Frearson, owner and sofa expert at High Fashion Home. “If I do, it’s usually from people who aren’t familiar with home décor. But I didn’t know there was actually a difference — I always just thought couch was a casual term for a sofa.”
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“There’s an ounce of pretense when people correct you and say, it’s not a couch, it’s a sofa,” says Rumley. “I think that’s silly. Call it what you want, but at the end of the day, a sofa may just be a more formal idea of a couch.”
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“The couch is the thrash-able object at the center of a well-used living room, upon whose back toddlers straddle, whose cushions teenager become permanent fixtures, and which, at the end of the day, after the children are in bed, a couple might relax with a short glass of bourbon,” explains Benjamin Parzybok, author of the novel Couch. “A sofa, on the other hand, sits under a trimly hung painting and lives in a house in which traffic passes it by. It would be white, of course, or another color begging for stain. And most people living at the house of a sofa would be forbidden to sit upon it at one time or another.”

“A couch is something lay on, curl up on, and let a dog sit on,” says Rumley. “A couch is where someone crashes when they stay over. Your kids are allowed on it, and you can have chips on a couch.”
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A couch (American English), also known as a sofa, chesterfield or settee (British English) is a piece of furniture for seating three or more people in the form of a bench, with or without armrests, that is partially or entirely upholstered, and often fitted with springs and tailored cushions. Although a couch is used primarily for seating, it may be used for sleeping.
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And, of course, there are sofas that unfurl into sofa beds. Not everyone is a fan. “The unfolding of a sofa bed is a display of pettiness, as in petit bourgeois,” wrote Henry Allen in The Washington Post some 15 years ago. “Your house is too small, your relatives are too cheap to stay in a motel, and most of all, you are irredeemably middle class — always trying to turn squalid smallness into a combination of the tasteful and the grand and achieving only the nice. Rich people have spare bedrooms and ancient button-tufted things called daybeds. Poor people can’t afford sofa beds. And so the sofa bed is the totem of the lumpen middle class.”
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Distinction: Again, it’s about connotation here. Most people use sofa when they’re trying to be fancy, or trying to charge you more at the showroom. A “sofa” is more of a proper place to sit than a lie-down couch.
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Most of us do not have a pro basketball star crashing on our couch. And we don’t take forever to scout out a sofa. But we do understand in a somewhat hazy way that during many periods of life the sofa is at the epicenter. It is home base, North Star, study carrel, dining booth and royal throne rolled into one.

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