Everything you Need to Know About Sectional Sofas

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Sectional sofas have been trending in recent days due to their huge sizes as compared to standard and traditional sofas. Homeowners with large families or those who regularly host crowds of visitors are most likely to consider these sofas as they’re designed to offer ample seating space.

But, what’s the history behind these sofas anyway? Well, sectional sofas came in the furniture scene during the Victorian era. During this time, these sofas comprised of two or more sofas, which when put together, formed one huge sofa. Corner pieces were not available at this time.

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However, during the 1950s, major improvements were evident such as the use of smooth materials and low profile designs that gave these sofas bold geometric shapes. During the 20th century, more advanced improvements emerged that gave the sectional sofas a more refined look and an emphasis in organized style.

With such a rich and refined history, sectional sofas have dominated the furniture market due to their lovable configuration and the relaxed, intimate, and welcoming ambiance they give to your interior. Due to these reasons, most homeowners and interior designers are willing to give them a shot.

But, how much do you really know about these sofas? Well, in this post, we will discuss everything you need to know about sectional sofas before you can plan your move.

First, the Terminologies

The first thing you need to know about sectional sofas is to familiarize yourself with the terminologies used. At least by doing this, you will ensure that you’re on the same page with a sales representative when taking you through the various models available.

Two of the most common terminologies you’re likely to come across to are; RAF, which simply means Right Arm Facing and LAM, meaning Left Arm Facing.

They Can Occupy a Large Space

Due to their complex designs, sectional sofas can really eat much of your living room space if you don’t plan ahead. So, to avoid messing up, it’s a good practice to first measure the dimensions of your living room such as the length, width, and height of the wall including that of the windows. To simplify this point further, you can consider these four simple steps.

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  • Measure the room: This is where you measure the dimensions of your living room where you’ll fit the sofas.
  • Measure the sectional sofas: Next, take measurements of the sectional sofas from the length, width, to the height.
  • Mark the floor: Using masking tape, mark the areas of the floor where your sectionals will fit. At least this will give you an accurate visualization of the amount of space the sofas will occupy.
  • Assess your room: Finally, take into account the layout of your living room to make sure your new sofas fit well. Here, you need to examine the doors, the size of the windows, living room accessories (such as the ottoman, coffee tables, headlamps and other furniture), and the level of traffic in that specific area.

They Come in Different Shapes

Due to their complex designs, sectional sofas come in a dizzying number of options that give your interior a superior conversational and welcoming mood if selected well. Some of the common styles you’re expected to find in the market are;

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  • L-Shaped couches: This is the most common type of sectional sofas you’re likely to see in most homes. It consists of a two cushioned sofa merged together to a three or four cushioned sofa to form a right angle.
  • Sectional sofa with chaise: This type of sofa is a simplified version of the L-Shaped sofa as it combines a sectional sofa with a chaise on one end. The sofa where the chaise is attached to can be a two, three, or four-seater sofa depending on the size of your living room.
  • U-Shaped sectional sofa: This is one of the best sectional sleeper sofa types that keep the conversation going. For those with roomy interiors, this sofa is the best to consider as it consists of a variety of sofas merged together to foam a U-Shape. This type of sofa can feature two right-angled sofas, an L-Shaped sofa with a chaise attached on one side or a single sofa with two chaises attached on either side.
  • Curved sofa: If you’re looking for a piece of furniture with an elegant silhouette, then the curved sectional sofa is what you need. What makes this seat so superior is its gorgeous curves that offer added safety to playful kids and pets as there are no sharp corners. Although this sofa is ideal for close conversations, it’s not suited for small spaces, as its curved design doesn’t flush against the wall meaning you have to position it at the center of the room.

They Have Various Designs

When you think of the design, there are some questions you’ll have to ask yourself. Some of these questions are; should I buy modular or a fixed sectional sofa? Reclining or not? Arms or no arms?

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  • Fixed sofas: If you choose a fixed sectional sofa, it simply means the sofa doesn’t feature any mobile components or any add-ons for that matter.
  • Modular sofa: With this sectional sofa, several individual pieces merge together to suit a particular preference or layout. You can create several different arrangements with this design such as the L-Shape or U-Shape provided you have enough space.
  • Reclining sofa: These sofas come with recliners that provide some versatility when resting.
  • Arms or no arms: Depending on the taste, some homeowners can opt to choose sectional sofas with arms or without. In case you choose the arms, make sure you know the difference between RAF and LAF.

Different Fabrics to Choose From

Since sectional sofas are a pricey investment, they’re designed using different fabrics that are intended to take care of your individual needs and purpose. Are you a homeowner with pets or playful kids? Do you intend to eat on the sofa?  Do you plan to use the sofa rarely or regularly?

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You see, the answers to these questions are likely to dictate the type of fabric you’re likely to choose for your sectional sofa. Some of the common fabrics you may come across include; leather, microfiber, velvet, and polyester upholstered fabrics.

Note that each of these fabrics has different maintenance levels meaning you should be very keen on what you choose to ensure that it matches the intended use.

Various Colors to Choose From

Just like the fabrics, the color too requires ultimate care during selection to ensure that what you get matches your intended ambiance. As we mentioned earlier, a sectional sofa is a big investment. So, to save you the heavy load of changing your seat covers, simply select a neutral color (beige, white, black or grey) then accentuate the surrounding (such as the pillows, the rugs, the curtains and wallpapers) with bolder colors.

Come With Various Add-On Features

Due to their high versatility, sectional sofas are open to various configurations that make it easy to customize them. Since the main purpose of a sofa is to offer comfort, these seats have gone way beyond this to offer homeowners more than what traditional sofas can offer. Some of these add-on features include;

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  • Adjustable headrests: These headrests are either rectangular or log-shaped. They’re supported with stainless steel rods that allow them to flip up or downwards to give you a perfect resting position.
  • Dropdown table: This is another add-on that comprises of a fold-down back cushion that forms a table or cup holders.
  • Console armrest: A console armrest has two purposes. First, it acts as a solid armrest and secondly, it acts as a storage space with open shelves and drawers.


Now that you know everything about sectional sofas, the next step is to sit back and make the final decision before you can finally make your purchase. As you can see, these sofas are very complex and are huge furniture pieces as compared to their standard or traditional sofa counterparts.

Therefore, choosing the right model for your living room will call for a meticulously drawn floor plan to ensure that what you buy provides the right comfort, style, and function to your indoor space.

Henry Carlson
Henry Carlson

Henry’s first job was in the furniture and mattress industry as a sales associate. From there, he moved up to merchandising specialist for several years and then became an assistant manager. Working in the industry gave him access to a lot of products and also helped him gain in-depth knowledge.

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