They’re probably not the first things you notice in a room, but you might be surprised at just how many different types of sofa feet and legs there are.
What’s more, the type of feet you choose can actually transform a piece of furniture in ways you’d not imagined. So, if you’re thinking of giving a sofa a new lease of life don’t just focus on the covers and cushions. Look further down too.
In no particular order, here are the main types:
A simple square block that’s associated with modern sofas. The older style tended to be taller than the modern ones, which are often shallower to match a sofa’s clean, minimalistic lines.
Much like a block foot the square leg is simple in design and straight on all sides but narrower and taller than a traditional block foot. Again it’s found on sofas where clean design is key.
Tapered Block Foot
A tapered block narrows at the bottom. It’s a fairly common and popular type of sofa leg because its simplicity delivers modern looks for any sofa.
You can always place the whole sofa on a platform or plinth. Choose a nice wooden finish or cover with a material skirt depending on the look you’re going for. Often the platform is recessed to make it stand out.
A pared down platform base, the sled base has two single rectangular frames, like sled-runners at either end of the sofa. Often made from metal and found on modern sofas these give a technological or industrial feel to the furniture.
When your sofa leg is not going straight downwards, it’s splayed at a 90 degree angle. Usually this type of leg is round and will sit in a recessed position. Popular in the 50s, 60s and 70s. Great today for a retro feel.
Take a square leg, a lathe and a chisel and you can create a whole range of shapes and patterns in the wood. As the wood is swiftly turned the carpenter uses the chisel to create a range of decorative rings, discs and other shapes. When it comes to the patterns, less is more modern, more is less modern.
There are many styles within the cabriole leg category but each share the same characteristic – a two arched outward, then inward curve. It’s like an ‘S’ or a cat’s leg. The most famous style is probably that of Queen Anne.
The outward turning end of club foot sofa legs resemble the shape of a golf club, hence the name and are often used in conjunction with a stylish cabriole leg. Also with a variation known as a pad foot.
Monopodium or Paw Foot
Simply described as having an animal’s foot or paw as the foot of the sofa leg. Often associated with opulence, this regal foot style is found in greek, roman and egyptian furnishings.
A basic round ball that is used as a foot and is one of the earliest types of foot used in furniture crafting. Traditionally used on country furniture.
Bun, Turnip or Onion Foot
A bun foot is common in rustic pieces and features a bun (think of the hairstyle) shaped foot. An onion foot is similar except it usually has a base underneath the bun shape. The onion is largely out of fashion today. These are all variations on the ball foot.
Claw and Ball Foot
Another variation on the ball foot, the claw and ball foot features an animal claw (typically a bird) clutching a ball. Popular in the 1600s in Chippendale furniture it’s used for modern furniture where traditional style is required.
Ogee and Bracket Foot
A bracket foot has a mitred joint (the corners of a picture frame are mitred joints – cut at 45 degree angles to form a corner). The ogee is like two traditional shelf brackets joined with that 45 degree cut. Another variation is the cabriole bracket.
An arrow foot is a round leg that tapers towards the base and is separated from the leg of the furniture piece by a turned section. Popular in Hepplewhite and Sheraton designs.
A curved, splayed taper leg. An ancient world style leg that’s most commonly used for sofa back legs.
A short sofa leg with four squared off and tapering sides.
Over the years there have been many different styles of sofa leg and foot, depending on the skill of the creator and the fashions of the time. But a simple swap of a sofa leg can have dramatic changes to your furniture, and also change the whole way you see your room too. It’s worth a try.