How to Choose the Perfect Sectional Sofa
The Victorian era was the first time sectional sofas were introduced to mankind and, since then, they’ve become an amazingly versatile seating furniture, popular worldwide. They can be used for the indoors or even for the outdoors, and today we’re going to show you how to choose the perfect one for your needs.
We know the term “sectional” usually brings an enormous L-shaped sofa’s image to a lot of our readers’ minds, but that isn’t always the case. In terms of aesthetics, comfort and space-saving design, there is no better seating furniture than a sectional sofa. Firstly, you’ve got the space – perfect for having all your friends and family, in one room, without them needing to sit in uncomfortable chairs, all night long. Secondly, its versatility – you can arrange its structure to better take advantage of your room’s layout, while having all the features you want on a couch. Then, the harmony – we’re not saying having two different styled sofas in one room is bad, but creating a similar style on different seating pieces just breathes a beautiful harmony, capable of transforming a room and truly impress your guests. Finally, the comfort – studies show that sleeping on a small sofa can be really bad for your health and that’s why a sectional, where you can doze off, completely stretched, for a couple of hours, is perfect for all you nappers.
Now, choosing a sectional can be an arduous task, mainly due to the immense variety of options and features, so we’re here to aid you on this quest for comfort!
1 – Tailor its Anatomy to Your Needs
There’s a crazy number of pieces inside a sectional sofa’s anatomy. Depending on the space you’ve got and your budget, we recommend you getting two or three different pieces. Here are the most popular ones:
This is the piece most people will use as the main body, as it’s usually made of three back cushions over three seat cushions. You can get it with an arm on each side, on one side (left or right) or with no arms at all.
As the name states, this one is for the lovebirds, as it has two seats. The difference between the standard and the console ones is that the latter has two armrests per seat, some even bringing cup holders. You’ll get a bit farther to your partner, but at least you can place your drink without worrying with unwanted spills. Same as the last one, you can get it with two, one or no arm whatsoever.
Recliners are single seats that have adjustable backs and can be placed next to a sofa or a loveseat, perfect for those after lunch naps! Once more, it has the same arms’ configurations as the last two.
Same as the previous one, without the reclining option, even though it’s typically cheaper.
– Corner Wedge
Imagine you want your sectional sofa to fit in a corner. This is the piece to get, as it creates a 90º angle or, in some cases, an even wider one. They are usually armless.
Aside from the previous pieces, there are a couple of specialized additions you can add to a normal chair:
Fitting between two seats or on an end, this single armrest can also have a cup holder or even a hidden storage space.
– Sofa Bed
This is a very functional piece, as we’re talking about a sofa with a fold out bed, perfect for having family at home. Usually, you’ll get a queen or double sized bed and they can come with none, one or two arms.
– Chaise Lounge
Most people have an uncomfortable and easy to stain coffee table, next to their couch, where they put their feet up. That’s where the chaise lounge enters – an extra long seat, with room for your legs, that fits on the end of a sectional sofa and, therefore, only has one arm.
– Cooling Drawer
This is where technology meets comfort. The cooling drawer is a slide-out storage space that can be added to a sofa or a loveseat. You can opt for placing it on its base or inside an armrest and, through ice packs or electric refrigeration, you can always have a cold drink, at arm’s length!
– Cocktail Ottoman
A cocktail ottoman is a comfortable piece, seat height, that can work as a make-do chaise lounge as well as a storage space, usually underneath its cushion.
2 – Matching is Fundamental
There’s a couple of inherent aesthetic qualities a sectional can deliver to your place, like color harmony, symmetry and an overall comfortable feeling, but every home has a personality, so matching the style of the sectional sofa to your place is fundamental.
If you enjoy a traditional design, we recommend a classic and rich brown leather sofa, while an easy to clean, with bright colors and overstuffed cushions will definitely bring a contemporary touch to every room. Regarding cushions, there are two paths to choose from: you can go simple and choose the same color for the sofa and the pillows, or even play with different shades, or you can go bold and strive for beautiful contrasts, like red on gray, or black on white. There’s also, usually, an overlooked aspect – you can’t imagine how many people have bought a beautiful and stylish sectional, just to get home and realize it doesn’t match the rugs! Finally, always make sure that it adapts to the setting – if it’ll be used indoors then nearly all types of material will do (it’s mainly up to your personal preference) but if it’s meant to be used outdoors then it needs to have a specific set of qualities to endure the elements while still looking great all year round. To find out which one’s right for you, take a look at this list of the best choices on the market right now.
3- Think About Your Room’s Traffic Pattern
What’s traffic pattern, you ask? Imagine your living room as a city, with many roads. Now, think of the paths you typically take, while walking around in it – that’s the traffic pattern. You can have an elegant sectional sofa in your living room, but it can easily become a burden if you have to walk like an Olympic gymnast to get around.
In modern architecture, there’s nothing better than an open floor plan, with space to dance around! That’s why, before any big decisions, always remember to measure the place where you want to set your sectional! You will also see, very often, the terms RAF (Right Arm Facing) and LAF (Left Arm Facing), referring to, when facing it, which side has an arm.
Now, regarding space, there’s a couple of tips you should follow. Firstly, if you decide on a chaise lounge, not only should you measure it, (you don’t want to have your feet hanging) but you should also place it on the side with the least amount of traffic. Secondly, don’t be afraid to float your sectional! Placing it against the wall might look like the best decision sometimes but, by leaving it in the middle, you can also use it as a division between open rooms, like between a dining and a living room. Lastly, but also extremely important, before getting to the final step and sliding your credit card, make sure your new couch fits the doorway!
Even though a sectional sofa is, usually, more expensive than a regular sofa, we believe that the qualities and features that it brings turn the scales in its favor. You can’t really look at it as one-off purchase, but as a life-lasting investment for your comfort, your home and your day to day life. Thanks for reading and as always, have a great day!