The word ‘sofa’ is derived from the Arabic word ‘soffa’, which was a raised floor covered with carpet and cushions for comfortable seating. More commonly used in Europe was the word settee, and since then, ‘couch’ (from the French word ‘coucher” meaning ‘to lay in place), ‘divan’ (from the Persian ‘devan’), and canapé. The canapè is widely thought to be introduced into the French courts in the early 1700’s and was the first examples of what we know as a traditional sofas.
Daybeds differ slightly to sofas and were intended for lounging, frequently with a curved back and one arm. Like sofas, day beds have many different names such as ‘Chaise Longue’ from the French meaning ‘long chair’ and Duchesse Brissee (broken duchesse) denoting a two or three piece suite which can be used either separately as chairs and a stool, or pushed together to form a long day bed.
We have been fortunate to find beautiful examples of both antique sofas and days beds, with vastly different characteristics and styles. Some are more simplistic and practical, whilst others are ornate and decorative. We have recently found a rare pair of gilt two seater sofas, which are just commencing their restoration journey, and we are very excited to see the end result.
Some examples of our recent restorations can be found in the below gallery. For more information on our antique sofas and day beds, please enquire.
The extensive gilding has been revealed with a clean, and the new upholstery is all ready for a beautiful fabric top cover
This 19th century French sofa was overlooked for a long time - restored and recovered in this fabulous fabric it was an instant hit.
Unless it's 'shabby chic' that you're after, it's necessary to see through the old decoration to how a piece can be re-invigorated.
Making 19th century furniture work for a modern world is necessary. This client requested that we carve in a back rail and deep button this day bed to make a beautiful sofa that could be used on a daily basis.