couches: skirt vs. no skirt

winnie100January 8, 2014

I am finally getting a new couch and loveseat after 25 years. My current set is skirted. I like the look of skirted couches but that is what I am use to seeing. After looking at furniture in stores and pictures it appears skirts are out of style and many couches have tapered legs. About the only skirts I see in pictures are couches that have slipcovers. What are your thoughts? Will it look strange with multiple styles of legs on the furniture, casegoods, in the room? I suspect I will have this set for a very long time and I want something that will stand the test of time.
Thanks for your help.

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Typically, I think skirted sofas are more traditional where non-skirted sofas are more modern/contemporary.

Im not sure what the "rules" are for mixing leg styles. I would think a simple, straight leg would go with just about any style, but others on here are probably more knowledgeable than me.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 3:42PM
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I'm averse to too many furniture legs in a room so I always get tailored skirts, I just like them better.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 3:54PM
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I like tailored skirts better too.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 4:31PM
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Holly- Kay

I like tailored skirts also but don't have one piece of furniture with a skirt. I think you should get what you like and not worry about following what is trendy.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 4:57PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

Skirts allow storage and need less underneath dusting but it's really a style choice and what you prefer. I currently have both.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 5:04PM
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For cleaning, I prefer legs. I have had about every kind under the sun. I am on sofa #16 in my lifetime, but I admit to having two rooms, a family room and a formal living room, and having moved a number of times and besides, I am really old. I now have a sectional with a skirt and a sofa with legs. I much prefer cleaning under the sofa with the cute legs using my Swiffer. That's my story and I am sticking to it.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 6:00PM
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My vote is no skirt!
I too agree that too many legs are unattractive.
The legs in my family room are all the same wood tone. My couch originally had lighter legs and I had my painter stain them, it was an easy job.
My coffee table is a to the floor leather ottoman, I think it helped hide all the other legs in the room.
I think you could do a chair or two with a skirt if you like the look.
I went no skirt as I wanted a more transitional look, while I love traditional style, I was tired of it.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 6:21PM
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I have unskirted sofas and just looked at all my legs, but now thinking about it I realized that I've never paid attention to the legs and my guess is most people wouldn't unless you have a mish mash of styles and wood colors which would stand out more. All my legs are pretty straight and simple. A few have slight curves but they still look fine next to the straight ones.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 7:11PM
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I don't think various types of legs look bad in a room, but I do like some legs/some skirts in a room. Our family room has no skirt and our formal living room has a skirt. I love the look of a skirt, but legs are nice too! Go with what you like. Might also depend on what type of couch you pick out - you might like one look over the other on that particular couch.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 7:15PM
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I have a large oriental rug in my living room, so chose non-skirted sofa and chairs so the design would show. When I had a skirted sofa before, the cats slept under it, and it was difficult to vacuum their fur.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 11:03AM
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I store the leaves to my dining room table under the living room couch, so a skirt is essential. I have two occasional chairs with skirts and I now thin they would look better without them. I never really thought about unskirted when I got them. I like both looks, a little of each.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 11:23AM
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I recently went through this too and I ditched the skirt. Used to like them. My tastes have changed completely over time. When I was selling my house last year and staging the rooms to look fresh and contemporary to appeal to young buyers, I ended up loving the look myself!! Goodbye skirts!

When I was choosing a new sofa at the furniture store, the salesperson and I were looking for a sofa that kinda-sorta complemented my existing modern and recent chair purchase. When we found one, she was careful to choose a leg finish that matched my existing chair. I may not have thought too much about it.

I just went and looked at the height of the legs. The sofa legs are barely visible...just a couple of inches at best. The chair legs are more exposed and are about 5 inches high. But all legs are espresso and I think that works well.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 4:21PM
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Thanks to everyone for their input. I am still undecided about skirt or no-skirt. It is hard to imagine something different than what you have had for a lifetime. I have started looking at fabric and I am not sure if my husband or I will go crazy first.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 10:18AM
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We have a skirted sofa in the living room and a tapered leg sectional with a lounger in the family room. I now prefer the no-skirt look. Having multiple styles of legs on the furniture does not bother me.

If it's a more "formal" room then I'd go with a skirt. As for seeing so many slipcovered sofas, that does seem to be the trend, but OMG I can't imagine keeping the white ones clean!

We recently bought a brown non-skirted sectional with a chaise for our Cape house and LOVE it. It's so easy to vacuum under it and it has a casual vibe to it.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 6:10PM
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I have pets so anything skirted is out for me. I like both though and would consider skirted if I didn't have a dog and three cats. Not to mention the two kittens would rip the skirts to pieces. The price we pay to have our beloved pets! ;)

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 6:25PM
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I prefer no skirt on my sofas, chairs and beds.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 7:19PM
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Some sofas have "barely there" legs which are easier to mix/match with other furniture legs without having an actual skirt. For example, American Leather has some. I'm sure there are others.

I prefer no skirt, but I also don't like sofas that make too much of a statement with their legs!

Here is a link that might be useful: American Leather sofas

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 7:39PM
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Prefer no skirt.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 10:04PM
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I recently got a new sofa without a skirt and one drawback I wasn't expected concerns my dog. Now whenever we play fetch, the ball goes under the couch. This seldom happened with my skirted couch. Now, once the ball goes under the couch, my dog will bark continuously until I fetch the ball out from under the couch. Hate it!

But maybe you don't have a dog.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 8:05PM
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Dilly--have that problem, too. Wish I could skirt my sofa and tables for fetch time!

Winnie, first, congrats on getting new furniture! Mixing furniture legs isn't a big deal to me. While mine do not match, the styles of chairs are complementary to the sofa, so it works.

As an added note, it's fairly simple to change out the feet on "footed" sofas, chairs and ottomans--most are just screwed on the bottom, and you can unscrew them and replace with something else. (This works on furniture with "feet" as opposed to "legs".) I'm going to do that with a sofa I'll be reupholstering this spring. I think I saw replacement feet at Home Depot (or another big box) that are raw wood and can be stained to match.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 10:28PM
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