Downton Abbey and English Sofas

So we hopped on the Downton Abbey bandwagon….and admittedly enjoyed the ride!  We just finished viewing Season 2 and can’t wait for the next season to start. I don’t know about you but I can’t tolerate watching TV series on TV anymore. Who wants to suffer through commercials and have to wait another week for further developments in the storyline?  Nope, not us!  We’re all about downloading/NetFlix in this household.  There is nothing better than settling in on a Friday night to watch 2-3 episodes back-to-back. Or maybe more like 3-4, or 5…

One more ramble before I move on. Is it just me or are there so many parallels between Downton Abbey and Gone With the Wind?  I mean, Come on! After almost every episode I drew comparisons. <Update> I decided to Google it and ha! I am not crazy. If you’re interested, you can read comparisons here, here, and here.

Anyway, to the point of today’s post – the English roll arm sofa.

Lee Industries


Ever since I spied this style sofa in the homes of Director Sofia Coppola and Designer Lauren Liess, I have grown increasingly fond of this sofa.

House & Garden and Pure Style Home

The tight back is awesome for a family with a toddler and dog (both of whom perpetually squish our current sofa cushions), it’s deep and can accommodate lots of throw cushions, and the low arms are perfect for napping.

Jenna Lyons via Domino and Ann Mashburn via Atlanta Homes

Now I’d LOVE to be daring enough to upholster one of these sofas in periwinkle, mossy green, sunny yellow, or hot pink, but when I do take the plunge I really can’t justify spending the big bucks on a colour I may tire of in a year.  So I will probably go with a durable charcoal grey cotton velvet, similar to this (but punch it up with some colourful pillows):

Hazardous Design

I am 95% certain I will purchase an English roll arm sofa from Lee Industries but the 5% of uncertainty comes from the size of our entryway door frame. The widest part of the sofa is 34″ and our doorway is 32″. After many diagrams and calculations, my better half has concluded he is “fairly certain” the sofa can make it into the house.  Is “fairly certain” enough to take the leap and order a custom sofa?

Abigail Ahern

Kristen Marie Photography via Apartment Therapy

While I sit on the fence, I’ve been waiting to see an English roll arm sofa on Downton Abbey. And pouring over photos on the web, praying that our home can one day be graced by one of these lovely sofas.

Lonng Mag

Who thinks I should take the plunge?


7 thoughts on “Downton Abbey and English Sofas

  1. Andrew

    You might also enjoy the show “Missing” starring Ashley Judd. It’s similar to Alias but without the Rambaldi nonsense. :)

  2. Dayna Post author

    Ooooh! Very appealing! The Rambaldi stuff sure got repetitive….I stuck through it ’till the end though. I will definitely try out Missing next!

  3. Sarah

    I’m with Doug- it will fit! Have you considered how deep the sofa is? If the sofa is tipped, it should go right through the doorway. (there will be lots of in person expert advice starting on Friday too)

  4. Donna

    Is it 34″ with or without squishing the upholstery to squeeze it through? What about the back door? With our moves, our experience has been that doorways in houses are made to accommodate most furniture and vice versa. It’s beautiful!

  5. Lindsey

    I love those massive, deep, comfy English couches. They are super inviting. And I also love Downton so that makes this post even better! Thanks for sharing.

  6. Pingback: [around the house] living room beginnings | inspiration for decor

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