6 Sofa Trends Designers are Leaving Behind in 2023 and What They're Using Instead

If you want an in-vogue living room in 2024, these are the sofa trends designers urge you to avoid

A neutral living room with a soft grey sofa
(Image credit: Studio McGee)

A sofa can really make or break your space. As the nucleus of your living room, this furniture item should be a real investment piece with considered thought behind it so, while not the sort of item you're buying regularly, it's still worth sparing a thought to the latest sofa trends. 

We're always advocates for a timeless design that promises to serve you for years to come, but trends can't be snubbed completely. Keeping an ear to the ground to find out which sofa styles, colors, shapes, and materials are in vogue will ensure your home looks stylish and contemporary. 

This year, 2023 saw the rise of bubbly cloud-like sofas and the enduring popularity of a sinuous curved couch, but trends are nothing if not reactionary, so it looks like 2024 will have something very different in store. Until we know for sure, we asked designers which sofa trends of the last 12 months they'll be leaving behind as we begin our next circle around the sun. Here are the six interior design trends you can wave goodbye to in your rear-view. 

1. Low sofas

A modern Edwardian London house with colorful rooms and a Christmas touch

(Image credit: Mary Wadsworth)

Recent years have seen living room sofas drop lower toward the ground. These so-called floor couches or lazy sofas have a low profile and feel ultra-contemporary, and they're all about promoting a more relaxing atmosphere. Now, though, sofa trends are swinging the other way. 

'I’m hearing from my clients that they're over the very low sofas, often paired with absurdly low coffee table,' says Melanie Coddington of Coddington Design. She points out that while these sofas were intended to create a comfortable and cozy atmosphere, the opposite is true, and the impracticality of such low seating is what's driven people away. We all crave comfort, and a 17”-19” seat height is ideal for comfortably getting in and out of it,' she says. 

2. Monochrome minimalism

curved white boucle sofa in a grey living room

(Image credit: Amazon)

'Neutral colors were quite the talk in 2023 but if you ask me there has been a shift towards more adventurous color choices recently like bolder hues and patterns to add personality and interest to living spaces,' explains Raf Michalowski, interior designer at Meble Furniture. 

Minimalist and monochrome sofa designs, he says, are a thing of the past. 'Instead, there's a growing fondness for maximalist and individualistic styles, such as the reinvented Mid-Century Modern sofas,' Raf notes. 'These pieces blend modern and vintage elements, offering a unique, simplified elegance that stands out in any interior.' 

Jessica Perrin, an interior designer at Perrin Design Studio, agrees. 'The trend of monochromatic minimalism seems to be diminishing in favor of a more vibrant and textured approach,' she says. 'A single-color theme, while sleek, can render spaces sterile or uninspiring. Instead, inject life and personality into your living areas by integrating an array of colors and patterns.'

When it comes to choosing a design, she recommends opting for sofas adorned in vivid hues or intriguing patterns which can then become the centerpiece of your room. 'This shift adds warmth and character, transforming your space into a dynamic and inviting environment,' Jessica adds. 

3. Slouchy sofas

A living room with white walls, a red sofa, and a floor lamp

(Image credit: Mary Wadsworth)

Similar to the floor couch, squishy slouchy sofas have also reigned supreme in 2023. Again, they're all about the idea of creating the look and feel of ultimate comfort, a marked departure from the rigid and formal living rooms of days gone by.

As Melanie notes, however, they don't contribute to a luxurious, high-end design, something many of us prefer inside our homes. While overly formal and structured sofas are out of favor, you should still strike a balance between comfort and style. 'Slouchy, mushy, messy sofas may look comfortable, but they do nothing to elevate your living room,' she says. 'You are typically going to invest a large portion of your design budget on your sofa, so make sure it’s comfortable but somewhat structured to elevate the look of your room.' 

4. Twin sofas

A bright and airy living room with white sofas and a wicker chair

(Image credit: Lauren Pressey)

On the flipside, a uniform or symmetrical living room that incorporates twin sofas is losing appeal. This traditional decorating idea has cropped up in many homes during 2023, especially in coastal Hamptons style decor, but Raf says designers are waving them goodbye in 2024. 

'I have observed that the trend of having perfectly matching furniture sets, including sofas, is on the decline,' he says. 'Personally, I would encourage a mix-and-match approach with furniture pieces that complement each other without being too uniform. Personalization is also becoming increasingly important. Generic, one-size-fits-all styles are being replaced by customizable options that allow homeowners to express their unique tastes and preferences.' 

Through this dynamic, versatile approach, Raf explains that designers are encouraging the use of varied shapes, colors, and textures to inject life and individuality into living spaces. 'This move away from matching sets allows for a blend of different materials and patterns, infusing rooms with unique personality
and flair,' he says. 

5. Boxy shapes

Pale green sofa with colourful cushions and paper pendant

(Image credit: HAY Mags 3 Seater with Outline cushions)

At the end of 2022, we predicted structured, boxy shapes were a sofa trend to avoid, but they still had their moment this year. Now, though, designers are convinced they'll dissipate. 'The preference for sharp, angular sofa designs is giving way to softer, more fluid forms,' explains Raf. 'Modern homes are increasingly seen as sanctuaries of comfort and relaxation, leading to a preference for sofas with gentle curves and sculptural elements. These designs contribute to a serene and inviting atmosphere.' 

Jessica also agrees the era of boxy sofas seems to be waning in favor of more natural organic forms. 'These square-shaped, rigid pieces often lack the organic flow that's become a hallmark of contemporary interior design,' she says. 'In their place, consider sofas with curvilinear lines that add an elegant, seamless movement to your room. The gentle curves or rounded edges not only enhance the aesthetic but also contribute to a more welcoming, relaxed ambiance in your home.' 

6. High saturated colors

Living room with orange sofa

(Image credit: Dun Aluinn)

Sofa color trends are also a key element of design. As well as an appreciation for neutrals, 2023 saw bright, high-saturated tones enter our living rooms with bold fabrics. While we think a preference for color will follow us through into 2024, it's predicted that more subdued earthier shades are likely to take the crown. 

'Steering away from overly bright and unnatural colors in sofas is becoming more prevalent,' Jessica notes. 'These colors, often at odds with other decor elements, can detract from the welcoming essence of a home and fall out of fashion swiftly.' Instead, she suggests gravitating towards sofas in natural, earthy tones or classic
shades. 'Such colors offer adaptability with various decor styles and have a
timeless appeal, ensuring your living space remains harmonious and inviting
for years to come,' she says. 

Lilith Hudson
News Editor

Lilith Hudson is the News Editor at Livingetc, and an expert at decoding trends and reporting on them as they happen. Writing news, features, and explainers for our digital platform, she's the go-to person for all the latest micro-trends, interior hacks, and color inspiration you need in your home. Lilith discovered a love for lifestyle journalism during her BA in English and Philosophy at the University of Nottingham where she spent more time writing for her student magazine than she did studying. After graduating, she decided to take things a step further and now holds an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London, with previous experience at the Saturday Times Magazine, Evening Standard, DJ Mag, and The Simple Things Magazine. At weekends you'll find her renovating a tiny one-up, one-down annex next to her Dad's holiday cottage in the Derbyshire dales where she applies all the latest design ideas she's picked up through the week.