The Most Important Factors to Think About When Buying a Sectional Sofa

Americans are shying away from formal living spaces in 2016. Instead, they are focusing on creating more relaxed environments that lend themselves to entertaining. This trend, as a result, has popularized sectional sofas. If you want to host friends and family comfortably and stylishly, consider these sectional sofa factors.

The “Arm”


Image courtesy Ginny and John Woods | Flickr

Sectional sofas have arms that are named based on what type they are on when you are facing the furniture. If you look at a sectional, observe if the arm appears on the left or right. The former is dubbed “left arm facing,” while the latter is called “right arm facing.” Determine which works best for your space and use it as a starting point when combining additional sectional pieces.

Keep in mind that some pieces do not come with an arm. Figure out how that will affect your guests’ comfort. In most scenarios, avoid having an end piece that is armless because it makes people uncomfortable.


Because a sectional comprises of multiple pieces, you may conclude that it will not fit into a small space. On the contrary, the abundance of options makes it possible to combine pieces in a way that fits any size room.

For example, in a narrow space, combine a left arm facing love seat with a chaise that possesses a right arm. This maximizes the original two-seating option with potentially two additional spots. The chaise may also accommodate a single person, who chooses to lounge.

Rounded Corners

If you have a larger room where the television is placed in a corner, adding a rounded corner piece to your sectional is a good option for increasing the number of seats available. Also known as a “wedge,” the rounded corner section is generally situated directly in front of your television set.

When shopping for this option, take time to measure your room first. The wedge takes up considerable space, so knowing the dimensions of your room and accounting for the additional length needed on each side will make it easier to shop. Best of all, when your furniture arrives, it will fit perfectly.


The L- and U-shape as well as semi-circular make up the three types of sectional sofas available. The L-shape design resembles the letter, in that there is one long and short side. The configuration may include a loveseat paired with a chaise, or a couch and sofa connected with a wedge or squared-off corner piece.

The U-shape also resembles the letter for which it is named and typically consists of two longer sides that are anchored with a chaise. The semi-circular option curves to create a unique look. It offers multiple seating options and occasionally ends with a stretch that does not have backing.

There is also a bonus option you can try. A modular sectional gives you the freedom to reconfigure a sofa to fit any room. You can select from three to five individual pieces to create an interesting seating arrangement.

The Reclining Option

Being limited to sitting up straight in your sectional is no longer a problem. You can now find pieces that recline, giving you the added luxury of sprawling out. Depending on the piece chosen, you may have the option to recline in a single section, or in multiple seats. The feature works well in media and family rooms.

Color Scheme


Image courtesy Miami Modern Furniture | Flickr

Figure out whether you want a sectional to match the color scheme of a room, or if the piece of furniture will complement existing hues. If you lean toward the latter, choose a sectional that adds a pop of color, like a red piece to stand out in a room with blue-painted walls.

Another option involves selecting a solid-colored or patterned sectional with similar tones found in your room. For a bolder approach, make your sectional the star of the room and redesign your space all together. This may include purchasing new home decor to fulfill a color scheme that is driven solely by your new sectional.


Pricing varies, but in many cases, sectional sofas will cost more than traditional couches and loveseats. However, you must take into account that this type of furniture serves a larger crowd, so it reduces the need to purchase a separate loveseat or recliner. For a more affordable piece, designing a sectional with fewer elements will keep the price down.


To find the most suitable fabric, think about your lifestyle. Are you a bachelor or a parent? If you are single and have no children, more options are available. Leather, for instance, requires added care to preserve the material. For that reason, it is not advised for people with children.

Stain-resistant and durable fabrics, such as indestructible soft sensuede and supple vinyl, work well for families, according to interior designer and Nesting founder Liz Levin. If you own pets or are known to spill food and drink, these fabrics should also be considered to increase the longevity of your sectional.