Sectional sofas are like big, comfortable, customizable puzzles. Sometimes, a traditional sofa just won’t cut it. When you want to maximize the space in a room without compromising the amount of available seating (think about family game night or game night with your best friends), a sectional sofa is the ultimate solution.
Sectionals come in preset configurations or larger pieces that can be configured to create one big, comfy couch. If you’re looking for a beautiful and modern couch that is so comfortable you could practically live on it, a sectional sofa is the way to go.
The Benefits of a Sectional Sofa
Depending on the way your living room is structured, a big rectangular couch may be more of a burden than a convenience. If you want a group of eight to be able to comfortably watch a movie with an unobstructed view of the projector or television, you’re going to have a hard time arranging multiple traditional sofas to facilitate the experience.
WIth a sectional, you can blend long and short pieces to create a roomy, comfy lounging space. You have a little bit of play and a lot more options. That’s why sectionals are often the first choice for people who love to entertain in their homes. A family of four that doesn’t often have guests might do fine with a sofa and loveseat combo. A large family or a couple that prefers to host events will need the additional benefits that a sectional provides.
The Adaptability of Sectional Sofas
The size and shape of your living room might not perfectly correlate with the amount of seating you’ll need, and there may not be an obvious way to arrange it so that everyone has a clear line of sight to the focal point. Sectional sofas allow you to use the corners of a room to build out your seating arrangement.
Sectional sofas make “L” shapes or squares with open fronts a lot easier. You can utilize the walls and the corners to build out a spacious seating arrangement without a single square foot going to waste. Pushing your seating up against and along the walls will leave the center of the room open, creating plenty of space for foot traffic. It also makes it easier to use large coffee tables or floor cushions as additional comfort objects.
If you want to create an adaptable living space, sectional sofas will facilitate that. Use oversized sofa pillows as impromptu floor cushions to sit everyone around the coffee table to play board games or cards. Utilize the open space in front of your sectional as a place to play with your cool new VR equipment.
Choosing the Right Sectional Sofa Layout
Sectionals are typically composed of long pieces, left facing pieces, and right facing pieces. Some sectional pieces are designed to fit together like a bed - one solid piece that everyone can climb up on. In order to build the perfect configuration, you must first establish what you want the focal point of your room to be, and where the focal point will go.
If your focal point is something like a fireplace, good luck moving it. It’s pretty well stuck where it is, and you’ll need to build your seating arrangement around it. If your focal point is something like a screen, you may have options regarding where to put it. Flat screen TVs can even be hung on corner mounts, if need be. Choose where you’re placing the focal point first.
Your sectional sofa should be built and positioned in a way that everyone has easy access to that focal point. If someone has to strain or lean over to see the TV, they’re not going to have a very fun time. For optimum comfort, your sectional should be positioned directly in front of your focal point, or diagonally from it.
A corner mounted TV is easiest to see when the corner of your sectional is diagonally across from that TV. If the corner where the TV is mounted is on the same side of the room as the corner of your sectional, people sitting nearest to that corner will either see half the screen or the back of the television. You want the bend of the sectional to build out from the corner furthest from the focal point.
If your focal point is in the center of the room, you have a lot more play. You can build out one or both sides of the sectional without obstructing view. This can be done with additional seating or with comfort additions, like chaise lounges or ottomans that will allow people to lay out with their feet up while they’re munching on their movie snacks. When the setup is straightforward, the arrangement of the pieces relates more to preferred levels of comfort than utility.
When arranging a sectional in the center of a room, symmetry is the most visually appealing. Utilizing a square shape with an open front clearly defines a seating area. Using only a left facing piece or a right facing piece will throw the seating area off balance, making it look ill defined. This is something you’ll want to consider.
If you only want to use one or the other, it helps to balance the other side with something like a large ottoman, making the side without the left or right piece a lounging side. It won’t be perfectly balanced, but it won’t look completely off-kilter.
Choosing the Right Sectional Upholstery
While a leather sectional might look edgy, moody, and modern, it’s not going to be as comfortable as you’d like. Real leather sticks to skin and doesn’t breathe. Anyone lounging around in shorts is going to get uncomfortable very quickly. Faux leather tends to crack and peel over time, leaving little bits of upholstery everywhere and making your couch look ancient when it’s only a few years old.
Knits and softer fabrics are stylish and modern. Velvet knits are a bit of a daring choice, but they’re very easy to snuggle into. Your sectional is a large part of your room, and you might want to choose a fabric with an interesting color and texture to draw attention to the seating area. Velvet will do just that.
Soft and comfortable knits and fabrics like micro-chenille, linen, or boucle knit will help you achieve a chic, minimalist vibe. Neutral colors will allow your decorative accents to pop more, allowing you more freedom in decor. When your couch is a neutral color, you can swap inexpensive decor pieces out every season to transform your space without ever purchasing new furniture.
Dressing Up Your Sectional Sofa with Accents
You want your sectional sofa to be stylish and comfortable. If you did it right, you’ll have to argue with yourself for at least twenty minutes about getting up. Accent pillows and blankets serve both purposes. They’re beautiful touches that add interest to your living room through texture and color. They’re also intended to be perfect for an impromptu snuggle or a quick cat nap before it’s time to cook dinner.
If all your blankets and sofa pillows are the same color, pattern, and texture, things won’t come together the way you want. Your sofa will look sterile and manufactured. You need to mix colors, patterns, and textures to create a chic and stylish space.
Solid color pillows with interesting fur or knit textures look soft and inviting. Pillows with intricate prints will break up the monotony of a couch that’s a neutral, solid color. Your pillows are your place to experiment, and you should experiment to your heart’s content. That’s the blessing of having a neutral couch - there are so many things you can do with it.
An even number of pillows can be arranged symmetrically to perfectly complement your sectional. This works best, of course, if your sectional is in a symmetrical configuration. For sectionals with one extended side, you’ll want an odd number of pillows. Peppering in fun patterns towards the corner piece makes the corner look a little more inviting.
Every surface of your sectional is the perfect opportunity to add an interesting pattern with a throw blanket. Try utilizing blankets that are similar, but different. Use one across the back and one on your left facing or right facing piece.
You may not be able to build your dream couch with a hammer and nails, but a sectional makes it easy to achieve your vision without ever picking up a tool. If you’re still trying to figure out how to put your room together, draw up a floor plan and experiment with ideas on paper before you commit to purchasing furniture. Pick up some paint and fabric swatches to help you fully envision a color story before you purchase pillows and paint your walls. Your imagination is the strongest interior decorating tool you have.
Source 1 - square footage calculator
Source 2 - Mounting a screen in a corner
Source 3- mixing patterns