History of sofas

Blue 3 seater cozmo sofa in a warm interior

Finding a sofa style that speaks to you can be frustratingly difficult, but a look into the past might be just what you need to find the best fit for you/the perfect match.

Here’s a look at a century of sofas to inspire your search.


THE ART DECO era (1910-1930)

 The art deco movement showcased many bold geometric patterns and colours in creating the glamorous furniture of its time. This era was dramatically different from the previous styles of furniture, with sleek lines and clean frames becoming the rage. Prints and colours were influenced by ancient Egypt with gold and more colours being used throughout designs at the time. With the invention of machine tools, sofa designs were mass produced for the first time, which, along with new materials, allowed for cheaper pieces to hit the market. This made the sofa available to all classes ,establishing its status as a household essential. 


Art Deco sofa

MID-CENTURY MODERN movement (1930s-1950s)

 With the crash of Wall Street and the start of the Great Depression, glamour and ostentation became secondary to comfort and sensible fashion. Sofas became simpler, with muted tones and basic structures, making a cosy and safe place in a time of stress and unrest.

Scandinavian design was a big influence during this time. The style prioritized affordable furnishings with sleek designs and neutral tones to create a sense of warmth and minimalism. This style has become a staple influence in design until today.

mid century modern sofa



The post-modernism movement aimed to reject the styles and rules of the past, bringing loud colours and simple and honest designs into the mix. The idea of marrying comfort with art created the unique and magical designs of this period, which defied the traditions and fashion of the modern era by using loud monochrome colours and newly created synthetic materials. Like the mid-century modern period the contemporary creators valued minimalistic design with a lot of negative space in design layouts. Instead of being influenced by high art and classic design, artists and designers drew inspiration from the world around them, pop culture, magazines and fast food all played a part in the styles of this historic period of innovation.



AFTER 20+ years of new and unique designs the 90’s ushered in a time of nostalgia, with people taking a look into the past and appreciating antique designs. The term “shabby chic” was coined to indicate an “old” repurposed design often decorated with overstuffed pillows and deep, crowded sofas. structures imitated classic designs but were upgraded with current prints and materials. Replacing the minimalistic look, the Bohemian influence inspired a more cluttered and crowded  layout creating an inviting, cozy space to lounge and connect.

1990s shabby chic sofa

As we can see, design is constantly evolving, making it more difficult to find a piece that can stand the test of time while still expressing your personality as you grow and develop. Here, at Cozmo, our interchangeable toppers are the solution to a continuously changing reality. Finding and updating a style that expresses you as you are  has never been easier.

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