Our Sofa Style Guide

Choose the right sofa for your style

European-inspired sofa styles from Ballard Designs

With so many sofa styles out there, how can you possibly decide which one makes the most sense in your space? The options can be overwhelming, so we sat down and did the hard work for you.

Continental Lines

It’s not secret we love European-inspired furnishings, and if you love styles taken straight from the Continent, then you’ll love the sofas above.

Spencer Collection — He’s our classic Charles of London style with a tight back, those iconic rolled arms with pleats, and an exposed leg with brass casters. Spencer also comes in leather, a chaise, and chairs! See the full collection.

Eton CollectionEton is a bit more relaxed than our Spencer Sofa because of its loose back cushions. But it still has that classic English roll arm and a turned wood leg. We also offer Eton in a slipcovered option for easy cleaning!

Sofia Collection — Sofia’s elegant styling is decidely French with her Cabriole legs and Louis XV scrolled and fluted arms. A bench cushion is super comfortable for lounging and always looks polished, as does Sofia’s wraparound back.

Emerson Collection — Like Spencer and Eton, our Emerson Sofa is inspired by those stylish Brits! Emerson is your gentleman’s Chesterfield sofa with deep, button tufting, a wraparound back, bun feet, and nailhead trim. To create that classic library feel, this is your guy!

Classic sofa styles from Ballard Designs

Classic Sofa Styles

Sofas are an investment, so it only makes sense that you might gravitate towards a more classic style. These four options are appropriate for any room in any home. In the right fabric, they can be in a very formal space, or choose a washable slipcover and use it for your family room or den!

Davenport Collection — Our Davenport Collection is a favorite for several reasons. It’s rolled arm has a lower profile than most roll arm sofas (like our Baldwin) so it feels a little more open and airy. Davenport also has a split cushions rather than three seat cushions for a slightly cleaner look.

Baldwin Collection — Our Baldwin Collection has something for everyone! Choose a sofa, apartment sofa, chairs, and sectionals! Baldwin’s classic rolled arms are super soft — great for kicking your feet up or supporting your head while you nap. His tailored skirt has a clean box pleat, and cushions are super soft without ever loosing their shape. Choose between upholstered or slipcovered options depending on your needs.

Mason Collection — Inspired by the classic Lawson sofa, Mason is an all-American style you’ll always love. It was designed for serious comfort with it’s stock ar and loose cushions. Plus, it brings a gentlemanly flair with nailhead trim and turned wood legs.

Candace CollectionCandace is a picture of elegance. She’s at home in either a formal living room or a comfortable den because we’ve complimented her graceful curves with super comfortable cushions. This is a sofa you want to sit on and look at!

Contemporary sofa styles from Ballard Designs

Contemporary and Clean

If you love a clean, transitional room, something that blends the traditional and contemporary, these sofa styles are for you. They take classic proportions and clean them up for a look that is polished and oh-so-chic.

Larkin CollectionLarkin is sleek, sophisticated, and ready for social hour! Sloped arms and a straight skirt have a certain polish, but her bench cushion is meant for lounging too.

Cameron Collection — Just like our Candace Sofa, Cameron is a bit more contemporary because of her exposed legs. With a graceful sloping arm and clean tapered legs, Cameron is decidedly transitional.

Griffin Collection — For a more gentlemanly sofa, we took those contemporary elements (like a tapered leg and a sloped arm) and accented with nailhead trim and brass caster. It brings that touch of library-style you love in our Emerson or Mason sofas but with more sleekness.

Manchester Collection — Slightly different than our other sofas with a sloped arm, the Manchester has a subtle scroll where it meets the base. We love this little flourish and the way it feels special, while still being sleek and sophisticated.

Tate Collection — We love our Tate Twin Sleeper so much we turned it into a sofa! Tate has outswept arms, nailhead trim, and loose, layered cushions. He has a sturdier frame than our Griffin or Manchester, but with the same handsome, clean style.

Relaxed sofa styles that are perfect for family rooms or dens


Looking for something that’s simple comfortable? These two sofas are where you’re going to curl up with a book or take a nap. In fact, we dare you to not start dozing off!

Vintage Vogue Collection — Simply put, our Vintage Vogue sofa is so comfortable you’ll never want to get up! We attribute that to it’s deep, plush cushions, loose back, and generous rolled arms.

Graham Collection — Looking for serious comfort but with a sleeker silhouette? That’s our Graham Collection, which comes either upholstered or slipcovered. A track arm and square shape is relaxed but polished, an ideal combination!

Find help on our blog choosing fabrics and picking the right upholstered furniture piece. Or browse all of our seating collections.

How to Decorate Team

We enjoy spending days interacting with How to Decorate readers. From answering Design Dilemmas to writing How To articles and working with guest designers, our passion is to provide informative and accurate resources to help people solve their design problems.


  1. Reply

    Sara Gaarde

    November 19, 2015

    No other catalog does this, but I have an idea for Ballard that would set you apart. How about developing a seating size category system for sofas and upholstered chairs? Some families, like ours, have smaller adults in the household. Other families have tall folks in the household. Everyone is interested in the combination of seat height and depth. So for example, a “1” category could be the smallest seating areas, a “2” the medium seating areas, and a “3” the deepest and largest seating areas. Would be so helpful and no one else does this. Kind of like how many catalogs have a fit system for women’s jeans and trousers, tying their merchandise to body size and shape. I think that such a system would give shoppers more confidence to order these large furniture items online. I realize that I can go through each sofa you offer, for example, and check the specifications for each. Then I can compare one sofa to another, etc., etc. But that’s quite a bit of work for the shopper. A sizing category system for these large furniture items would make my shopping easier and make me more confident ordering from you that I’ll get furniture that will be comfortable for my family.