What is Davenport furniture – Explained
If you’re in the market for a new sofa, you may have heard about Davenports and thought, Why do I need to know about this?
The short answer to that question is that it’s useful information if you want to buy the right furniture piece and not accidentally buy something that isn’t really what you want or need.
Here are the differences between Davenports and sofas, along with links to each product so you can get more details on your options.
The History of the Davenport
A davenport originally referred to a small sofa used in bedrooms by wealthy individuals.
And even now, some davenports are sofas rather than full beds. They’re typically smaller than queen or king-sized beds, but larger than twin beds. (They can also function as both.)
Many people choose them for their personal guest rooms or children’s rooms because they’re easier to move around than bigger beds but still comfortable enough for overnight guests.
As with many other older pieces of furniture that have become more commonly seen in recent years, davenports can be modernized with contrasting upholstery or textiles that give them a sleek look.
They can even be entirely covered in leather for an ultra-modern style upgrade.
What is a Davenport Couch?
You’re probably used to calling them sofas or couches, but in fact there’s an actual technical name for what you see on most couches: davenports.
They were originally named after one man (so it stands to reason that they may not be exactly alike).
William Sprague Adam was a physician who invented davenports back in 1871 as an alternative to horse-drawn carriages.
They weren’t always called davenports, though; at first they were called sofa beds because they could easily convert from seating arrangements into sleeping areas.
A short time later someone realized that if you put cushions onto these pieces of furniture you could sit on them comfortably—and thus today we know them as sofas!
“Davenport” is a phrase that may be used to refer to two distinct styles of furniture.
Davenport is the most widely used term in the United States, and it refers to any big piece of upholstered furniture that is large enough to comfortably sleep on.
Davenport writing desks are popular in Britain and antique businesses that sell Victorian furniture.
It’s kind of confusing for me… Let’s Learn more about each piece of furniture and the history of the Davenport name in the following sections.
Even though the Davenport couch was a huge hit when it first came out, its meaning has shifted with time.
The word “Davenport” was used to characterise sleeper couches because of the big, cushioned, and pleasant nature of Davenport sofas.
Where Did the Name Davenport Come From?
The term davenport was first coined in 1828. James Davenport was an actor who made his living performing in traveling theater companies.
Because of his success on stage, he became well-known throughout New England and as far west as Ohio. In addition to being known for his theater performances, Mr. Davenport’s home also hosted card games with visiting businessmen after shows were over.
There were no tables in which to play cards at that time—and so Mr. Davenport had stools placed end-to-end so players could sit at them without having to hold onto something or have their elbows constantly bumping into other players next to them.
How Does the Size of a Davenport Compare to Other Furniture Pieces?
Davenports are large pieces of furniture; however, they can range in size from big to even bigger.
The average davenport measures between 90 and 96 inches in length (that’s 2.3 – 2.4 meters).
The average seat height on a davenport is usually 18 (0.46 meters) while some might be as high as 23 (0.58 meters).
Finally, you’ll find some great ones with couches measuring up to 125 (3.2 meters) long!
How are Sofas Similar to Davenports?
Sofas are similar to davenports in that they’re both furniture items—they’re both made for comfort and enjoyment.
However, sofas are usually smaller than davenports; though davenports can be used as sofas (and vice versa), each was designed with a specific purpose in mind.
In addition to being smaller than davenports, sofas tend to have fewer accessories (toss pillows or throw blankets) than their larger counterparts.
However, these accessories can also vary depending on your preferences; if you prefer luxe items like fluffy down throws on your sofa when you relax with friends or an eye-catching Moroccan accent throw draped over your arm of chairs, there’s no reason not to indulge!
Sofas vs. Davenports – Which One Are You Buying?
Before you dive into buying your next piece of furniture, it’s important to know that there are several variations on couches that can be confusing for people new to them.
For example, there’s more than one kind of sofa – from convertible sofas to sectionals.
But if you ask someone what they’re looking for in a couch and they reply with I want a sofa, odds are they mean something different than someone who says I want a davenport. Read on to find out what sets these two items apart.
Couches are a type of furniture that is used for lying down or sitting while you are in a relaxed attitude.
If you stroll into a high-end furniture store and want to make a statement while also being comfortable, you can ask to see a sofa.
To be even more particular when shopping through an antique store, enquire with the shopkeeper about the availability of davenports.
However, the majority of people do not distinguish between the names, and davenport is a commercial name for a piece of furniture that is essentially the same as the other.
Depending on who is speaking, the term “sofa” refers to a more official term for the piece of furniture, whilst the term “couch” may conjure up images of a large, fluffy piece of furniture that is more informal.
A sofa may be designed to encourage sitting, but a couch is clearly designed to encourage reclining.