Canadian Interiors


Feature

That Was Then: The seat goes on

Sofas in style 50, 40, 30, 20 and 10 years ago


“Everything comes and goes / Marked by lovers and styles of clothes” are the opening lines of “Down to You,” a song from Joni Mitchell’s 1974 Court and Spark album. After spending the last half-year going through issues in preparation for our 50th-anniversary issue (November/December 2013) and year (2014), I would add styles of furniture and furnishings to the list.

Recently, I set a task out for myself: to find a representative sofa from the pages of CI for the years 1964, 1974, 1984, 1994 and 2004. And here they are. From Knoll in 1964, a straightforward sofa with a frame of teak. From Noxon in 1974, “two basic cubes, two basic curves, a lot of variations and almost infinite combinations.” From 1984, from Snyder Furniture, the ribbed and rounded 2000 Series. From 1994, Matthew Hoey’s non-stop-curving chaise longue (shown at ICFF in New York). And from 2004, a sleek three-seat sofa from Christopher Pillet’s People collection for Artelano. 

The sofa has gone from long and lean to boxy to curvaceous to quirky and asymmetrical, then back to long and lean again. Everything comes and goes.  cI