Are Skirted Sofas Out Of Style? (Find Out Now!)

Ryan Womeldorf
by Ryan Womeldorf

Styles come and go in a cyclical fashion. We are seeing more than a few trends, particularly from the 1980s, that are making a comeback into popularity. What was once not stylish becomes fashionable again seemingly all the time.

For couches, there is the question of whether or not skirted sofas are still “in.” Skirted sofas are kind of in a middle ground in terms of stylistic popularity. Skirted sofas are not the gaudy, frilly skirts that accompanied couches of old. They serve a very practical purpose for more than one design reason. They are favorable in spaces that feature furniture with a lot of legs, though they do present challenges for cleaning.

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What is a Skirted Sofa?

There are more than a few different styles of sofa. You can’t really universally define them as there are some qualities that set one style apart from another. The skirt is one of those qualities that help it stand out from the others.

A skirted sofa is a sofa that has a small skirt on it, which acts as a way to hide the legs of the couch or even provide a different visual aesthetic where other “leggy” pieces of furniture are involved. The skirt can have trim on it as well depending on the preferences of the owner and the rest of the room’s aesthetic.

The General Perception of Skirted Sofas

If you asked 10 people whether skirted sofas were out of style, the majority would probably say that they are. The reason that some consider skirted sofas to be out of style is that they are typically associated with older styles.

For some of us, we tend to think of plaid couches having a wavy skirt on them. This outdated look can give the entire concept of a sofa skirt a bit of a bad rap.

So, Are Skirted Sofas Out of Style?

The simple answer is “no.” While some people tend to associate sofa skirts with decades past, that doesn’t mean that they are locked in the past. There are plenty of modern sofa styles that implement skirts into the design.

Not only that, the look and feel of the skirts have changed as well. They now more closely match the modern aesthetic that so many value. All while offering a few benefits that may not necessarily jump off the page when you think about it.

When a Skirted Sofa Comes in Handy

There are actually quite a few reasons why you may want to go with a skirted sofa over a non-skirted option. We’ll go over each of those reasons in greater detail and it may unearth the reason why they still remain a relevant option today.

Less “Leggy”

Your big furniture pieces, like a sofa, can either set the tone for the rest of the room or blend right in. Skirted sofas can stand apart from the rest of the furniture in a room in a really positive way. Simply because you can’t see its legs.

If the room that has your sofa also has things like end tables, a coffee table, or other pieces of furniture where the legs are visible, the skirted sofa can stand apart. It not only provides one less “leg” visual to have to contend with, but it gives a distinctly different appeal compared to the rest of the room.

Whereas a sofa without the skirts can kind of blend in with other legged furniture, the skirted sofa can stand out in a positive way. It breaks the room up a bit and keeps it from feeling like everything has legs of contrasting styles.

A Complimentary Touch

More and more, bright colors are becoming a focal point in the design of a room. But there is still a need for more subtle colors. Having a neutral-colored skirted sofa is a great way to play off of those bright colors without taking away the attention you would normally put on those colors.

Skirted sofas can be used to break up too much bright coloring. A skirted sofa of the right color could act as the necessary complimentary piece to the rest of the room. The color scheme can even work in a way where it compliments secondary pieces while still acting as the primary.

Adding Trim

In a much more subtle way, skirted sofas scan help to clearly define the space. If you have an open concept, a skirted sofa can provide some of that natural separation that is needed in kitchens and living rooms.

By adding trim to the hem of the sofa, it can create a bit of separation between the floor and the furniture. Clearly defined visual boundaries are created, preventing the rest of the design from bleeding into itself.

The Downsides of Skirted Sofas

While there is a lot to like about skirted sofas, there are a few things that definitely do not jibe. The perception of the style is a hard one to work around. And speaking of being hard to work around, there is the matter of cleaning.

Tougher to Clean

The biggest downside to skirted sofas is that they can be more difficult to clean. Whereas you can easily get beneath a couch simply standing it on its legs without an obstruction, getting to the under portion can be more difficult with a skirt in place.

Not only that, for those who have pets, fur, pet dander, and other contaminants can collect not only underneath the sofa, but all over the flap as well. When cleaning, make sure that you lift the skirt up so that you can get to all the debris underneath. But it is all too easy to drag those contaminants out and onto the skirt itself.

A Design Stigma

Like it or not, there is one issue with skirted sofas that is real but not necessarily fair. For most people, thinking about a skirted sofa equates to remembering an elderly relative who had something that looked quite the same.

There are plenty of modern designs out there. The common stigma is that only old and outdated homes have a skirted sofa. But with more and more implementation into modern design, it is just as possible to have a skirted sofa that fits in well with a more modern design aesthetic.

More Prone to Wear and Tear

The biggest issue with a skirted sofa is the simple fact that it is close to or on the floor at all times. With enough foot traffic, it is not out of the realm of possibility to believe the skirt of your sofa looking filthy but also damaged as well.

Keeping your sofa skirt clean is a constant issue and can really take away from the overall appeal that it may have had.

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Skirted Sofas Are Still Useful

Get that old, outdated trope about skirted sofas out of your head. With the right design and fabric, they can be just as much in style now as they were decades ago. They can provide a compliment to the rest of the room’s design. They can also reduce the number of legs that you see at a given time, and so much more.

If you are looking to create a modern living room design, going with a skirted couch is a great move. That is so long as you choose the proper materials and keep the skirt from getting dirty.

Ryan Womeldorf
Ryan Womeldorf

Ryan Womeldorf has more than a decade of experience writing. He loves to blog about construction, plumbing, and other home topics. Ryan also loves hockey and a lifelong Buffalo sports fan.

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