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How to Decide Between a Sectional Sofa and a Couch

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Choosing furniture that fits well and expresses the personal tastes and needs of the people who use it most can seem overwhelming. For most people, deciding between a sectional sofa and a couch is a difficult task that depends a great deal on preconceived notions about decorating rules.

Before making decisions about which type of furniture works best in the room, consider the traffic flow, shape, and size of the space. Make sure that the areas around doorways remain clear. It’s crucial to keep an open mind during this process. New furniture designs offer pleasantly surprising options.

Here are a few things that are important to consider when choosing between a sectional sofa and a couch:

Personal Preference

Try to discard any personal feelings about sectional sofas. They aren’t the giant overstuffed furniture of yesteryear, anymore. Focus on the desired result of the purchase, which is a piece of furniture that fits the space and has room for everyone to relax in comfort.

Size of Living Room

Ultimately, the decision about which furniture to purchase depends on the size of the living room. Measure the space and take note of the actual size of the pieces that are up for consideration. It’s difficult to estimate what fits well by simply imagining the area and the furnishings. Smaller rooms don’t have to feel cramped. Choose a couch or sectional with narrow arms and a streamlined design. Larger rooms can accommodate generously proportioned furniture more easily.

Shape of Living Room

Rooms that are long and narrow may better accommodate a couch and coffee table combination. People who prefer a sectional may find that using a corner that doesn’t have a doorway or window nearby offers a good fit for larger furniture. A smaller sectional or short chaise are other viable options in this type of space.

Living Room Shape

If A Sectional is The Right Choice for You

If a sectional is the right choice for your living room area, it’s important to understand some basic terminology before shopping.

Left Arm Facing, the arm is located on the left when facing the sectional.

Right Arm Facing, the arm is located to the right when facing the sectional.

A sectional usually occupies two walls in a living room; having the correct location of the arm is not only ecstatically correct but it also helps this type of furniture work well in the room.

Here are the main four types of sectionals to consider:

1- L-Shaped Sectionals

This sectional has two pieces that are connected together via a bracket. An L-Shaped Sectional offers a sofa with an arm and a smaller sofa or chaise attached to it. This style of sectional has its limitations as the corner unit most often goes unused to avoid people sitting too close and touching each other’s legs.

Another disadvantage of the middle seat is the lack arm rests. It can become uncomfortable to sit on a soft surface for long periods of time without this additional comfort feature.

For entertaining, a sectional may be too awkward to accommodate visitors. It may be ideal for families who enjoy lounging while watching television. Guests tend to be more comfortable with additional personal space.

L Shaped Sectional Sofa

2- Sectionals with Chaise

A sectional with chaise is a popular style with younger people and those who prefer a more modern style. The sofa is attached to a chaise which offers the ideal space to stretch out. Some even have storage space underneath. Certain models have fun extras like built-in speakers or Bluetooth.

Sectional with Chaise

3- Curved Sectionals

This unique option is a real attention-getter. The design features a rounded end chaise-style seating area that’s perfect for entertaining at intimate gatherings. Curved sectionals fit well with nearly any style of décor, but they lean toward a more modern look. Sloping arm-rests and lift headrests make it a comfortable option for lounging, as well.

Curved Sectional Sofa

4- Sectionals with Reclining Seats

For the ultimate in decadent relaxation, sectionals with reclining seats offer a great solution for larger living rooms and families that like to spread out. These sectionals tend to be bulkier, but the trade-off is the ultimate in comfort. End reclining seats offer ample leg room. Theater style living rooms are the ideal space for these large furniture items.

Sectional with Reclining Chairs

Choosing between a sectional sofa and couch really is a matter of personal preference. Taking the room size and shape into consideration is important. It’s also crucial to think about who will use the space and how to make guests and family members most comfortable.


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