Thursday, February 7, 2013

Knoll Versus Knole

I have been in the trenches doing proof reading for a book I have been working on for over a year. It is finally going to press and will be out in October!!!

Whilst doing corrections, a caption for a sofa created some confusion.

What is this called?

And what is this called?

It was the battle of Knoll versus Knole. In design school we learned that sofas as we now think of them were "invented" around 1610, when the Sackville-Wests commissioned the making of one for their manor house (Knole in Kent). They still own the manor and the sofa. The design, henceforth has been called "Knole".

The original Knole sofa from 1610

The most recently famous Knole sofa can be seen weekly in the library of Downton Abbey (aka Highclere Castle).

The most famous Knole sofa that we see every week in the library of Downton Abbey

The library at Highclere Castle

You can read a great history of the Knole sofa at Apartment Therapy.

After many back and forth emails with my editor, the query of Knole versus Knoll was solved. Which one, Knole or Knoll do you think is in my book?

The Knoll sofa

In the meantime here's a nice round up of the Knole, which has made it's way into the modern age quite nicely.

Lavender Knole sofa via Houzz

A room by Alberto Pinto with a Knole sofa

Designer Orlando Diaz-Azcuy arranged a pair of Tiplady Knole sofas from George Smith  (covered in silk) to face each other in front of the fireplace

Pair of pinkie Knoles

The mechanics of the Knole sofa invented in 1610 - the high back made it possible to float it away from a wall, and made it cozy against pesky drafts - The sides went down so one could stretch out for a knap

It's so cool - The whole thing is held together with a rope and tassel

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  1. I love the Knoll sofas - the Knole not so much. So excited to see your book! Congratulations!
    xoxo -e (

  2. I have a Knoll sofa but not on metal legs...I put wooden feet on it. I would say since your book could include both but may have more Knole's? It seems more New Orleanian. Here in ATL with a huge contemporary influence, there would be more Knoll's!

  3. What good news, looking forward to your book, congratulations.

  4. love them all! great idea to be able to recline the sides for a nap!! Can't wait for your book, it will be the perfect Christmas gift for my incredible aunt (and for myself!).

  5. Can't wait for your book...:)
    Knoll or Knole ( I am thinking Knole) it will be brilliant... xv

  6. My living room furniture is calling out for some color. I just have to wait for my 2 YO to stop banging on them.


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