Is It A Sofa Or A Couch?

Is It A Sofa Or A Couch?

Sofa and couch, couch and sofa. These two words seem almost interchangeable, don’t they?

What if we said they aren’t? We thought we’d bring a fun punch of delight for the everyday interior design lover for this week’s blog.

What’s the first thing you do after arriving home from work? The commute perhaps was long and exhausting as you were cramped in your car between hundreds of other commuters during the dead of summer… a time when all you wish for is to sip on cool margaritas with friends under the glazed sun. In reality, the moment you get home is when you tear off all your rigid work clothes in exchange for comforting sweats and an old t-shirt. For some, it can take about an hour of silence or the numb sound of television until you regain the energy to trek through the rest of the night before you go to sleep and repeat it all again… Repeat the early morning wake-up, the extra large mug of coffee and the quick pace out the door so that you get to work on time. Getting home from work is what Brad Roemer calls the moment where you then melt into the comfort of your sofa… or couch?

Historical Terminology

So what exactly is the difference between sofas and couches? When you think historically, the difference is very evident between these two furniture terms. Couch comes from the French verb “coucher”, which means to sleep or to lie down. On the other hand, sofa originates from the Arabic word “suffah”, which translates to a stiff, wooden bench that is covered up with wonderfully woven blankets and cushions. This option is most definitely not the type of seating arrangement you want after a gruelling day on the job.

The True Difference Between the Sofa and the Couch

Our team at Brad Roemer interior design subset loves to tackle on this debate first-hand, thus inspiring the crux of this blog post. Some designers on the team believe that a sofa is the Upper East Side of New York, whereas the term couch is essentially the Bronx. The latter is casual and easy-going, depicting the image of a comfortable furniture piece that kids love to jump on after camp or cuddle with their dog during the morning cartoons, whereas the former is an esteemed item that is polished and has been imported all the way from Italy. It’s the furniture piece reserved for extended family members and guests, and apart from those moments only receives the love of your eyeballs.

What Do You Call It?

In terms of aesthetics, what do you believe differentiates these two beloved furniture pieces? Some interior designers over on believe that this should not be debated altogether, lest we bring up the entire pop or soda phenomenon. It’s simply a preference of word choice. Others will state that the structure and quality drives the terminology you should use. Decide for yourself and comment below how you decide what your furniture is called! Let’s stop this office debate for once and for all.

3 Responses so far.

  1. If it looks sophisticated, call it a sofa. If it looks rugged, call it a couch. For me both of them mean the same.

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