By scale, I mean, not over-sized, like most of the sofas on the market today that are made for new construction home interiors. Today’s oversized furniture can be very comfy, especially if you are tall. But postwar furniture was modestly sized — “long and low” — to fit the lower ceilings, the more defined architectural spaces, and in many cases, the long narrow living room-dining room combinations. By lines, I mean fitted backs, the availability of skirts, rolled arms, and backs that were kind of split in two with piping – as in both the 1954 (above) and 2007 models (below).
The manufacturer I’ve found so far that has several possible choices is Lee. This is an “apartment sofa”, it looks pretty good – 34″ high, seat 24″ deep. But the online dimensions do make me question whether it angles back too far. That said – the basic lines of this sofa will never “go out of style.”
The advantage of buying new, and from a major manufacturer, is that you get, well…. new, and easy. With a gazillion fabric choices. My husband, as an example, has a real aversion to smelly old sofas. Unless I rip the guts out and totally reupholster, he won’t let me bring ’em in the house. So, cost for new is probably pretty similar to buying vintage then having to reupholster. The downside to new, is that everyone says that the old sofas were made better, with harder wood. And, the exact lines on vintage sofas are often that much nicer, that much more perfect – as in the vintage ’54 Simmons. And if you find get mint with vintage upholstery – oh my.
In either case, though — it’s good now to have more choices.