Let’s face it: buying a sectional sofa can be an overwhelming task. It’s also a great way to maximize the seating in your home while adding a stylish yet functional piece of furniture to your home decor.
If you feel overwhelmed by the seemingly limitless sectional options on the market today, we’ve got you covered. (Even if you don’t know the difference between a right-arm-facing or left-arm-facing sectional just yet!)
Are you looking to “fill” a large living area with the perfect furniture? Does your living room fail to accommodate the number of guests you entertain regularly? Are you hoping to create a cozy space for post-bunch naps on the weekend? If you answered yes to any of these questions or others like them, a larger sofa might be the best option for your home.
Another consideration is the shape of your space. If you’re not sure whether a sectional will work in your space or not, map out your floor pattern and identify key walkways. If the couch would limit or obstruct these high-traffic areas, consider a smaller sofa or a couch / loveseat combination that would allow greater freedom of movement.
Finally, consider all of your options. There are many types of sectionals. Often, first-time buyers assume sectional sofas only come in L-shapes and right angles. While this is one of the most common types of sectional, it’s not the only one.
You can find curved or U-shaped couches to fit your budget and style preferences as well, like this U-shaped modern velvet sectional.
Speaking of sectional sofa designs, there are three primary categories available to buy: L-shaped, curved, and U-shaped. As the names suggest, each type is defined by its angles and configuration.
Imagine unboxing your new couch only to find the chaise lounge extending in the wrong direction. While this is a critical mistake, it’s easily avoided with a splash of careful planning.
Once you have a general idea of what shape you need your couch to be, it’s time to start narrowing down your sectional sofa search. The best way to do this is to determine what components you want it to include. A few of the most common options are:
To chaise or not to chaise: that is the question. A chaise lounge is an extension, usually without arms on at least one side, that creates additional leg-room on the couch. Take this modern leather sofa with a right-facing chaise, for example. In a way, a chaise functions much like a footrest and is a great option for casual, family-friendly rooms.
Corner seats are another common (and often necessary) component to sectional couches. If you want to maximize seating with your new sectional, consider a sofa with a curved corner chair. Right-angled corner seats, while stylish, aren’t always the most practical because they limit leg room. A curved corner chair, like the one found on this classic six-seater reclining sectional, provides more legroom than their right-angled counterparts.
Loveseats, on the other hand, are smaller sectional pieces designed to comfortably seat two people. You can find them in RAF or LAF configurations, as well as armless varieties - depending on where the love seat is situated within the larger layout of the sofa.
Finding the perfect fit for your unique home doesn’t have to be complicated, but you should make sure it will fit in the space you have - physically and aesthetically.
Narrow down your choices by determining which color, fabric, and configuration you love. Then, measure your space and further narrow your list by eliminating the ones that are either too large or small.
The most important step is measuring your living space completely and accurately. To get an accurate idea of how the sectional will fit, mark the length, width, and depth of the couch in painter’s tape on the floor. (The kind that’s just sticky enough to adhere but releases easily!)
Styling your room around your new sofa is the final - and arguably most fun - step in the buying process. Before you sit back, kick your feet up and relax, consider additional pieces of decor you may want to use to accessorize your newly furnished living space.