Maximizing Space with Sofas and Sectionals
The living room is a place of fun and relaxation, and choosing a sofa or sectional that best suits your needs is a crucial step in creating comfort. The furniture you select sets a welcoming environment for a wide range of situations. You can create an open, airy room for entertaining guests or a cozy nook for reading and watching television.
As you’re searching for living room furniture, it helps to think about your available space and how you normally use it. In most cases, this means making a choice between traditional sofas and sectional sofas.
Sofa or Sectional?
A sofa is a long seat with space for three or more people. While a sectional sofa has these same characteristics, it’s normally much larger and is comprised of several separate seating elements. You can rearrange sectional seating components to better match your space needs.
The Benefits of Sofas
Sofas are a traditional choice. They’re relatively easy to move around, and this makes them a great option if you want to rearrange the layout of a room or you move frequently. They’re usually smaller than sectionals, which means it’s possible to find a sofa suitable for even very small rooms. Some common sofa designs include:
· Loveseat (settee): A small sofa for two people; ideal for smaller rooms.
· Cabriole: An elegant and traditional sofa with curved legs.
· Camelback: A sophisticated sofa with a back featuring one or two curves.
· Chaise: The ideal choice when you want to stretch out to watch a movie.
· Chesterfield: A sofa characterized by rolled arms and deep button tufting on the back; often features leather upholstery.
· English roll arm: A comfortable option with rounded, low arms.
· Tuxedo: A chic, timeless design with a geometric shape and clean lines.
· Mid-century: A sleek design with a rectangular shape and wooden legs.
· Corner sofa: An L-shaped sofa, often incorporating a chaise into the design, and a space-efficient option.
The Benefits of Sectionals
Sectionals are a good choice if you’re designing a seating environment for a specific location. It’s possible to pick elements that slot into the given space, creating furniture that’s tailored to your needs to become a defining part of the room’s decor. They’re great for unconventionally shaped rooms, and they also work well in large spaces, where you can arrange them to divide the space into zones for watching television or entertaining guests.
Planning and Measuring
When purchasing any type of furniture, it’s essential to consider the amount of space you have available. A large sofa captures attention, and you want to ensure there’s plenty of room for free-flowing movement around your furniture in smaller rooms. A small sofa in a large room may provide insufficient seating for your needs.
Before you start shopping, carefully measure the room or draw a plan of your proposed layout. Think about how you intend to position and use the sofa in relation to other items in the room.
· A sofa is normally 6-8' long and 32-40" deep; longer models with low backs suit rooms with low ceilings.
· Allow 14-18" between the sofa and the coffee table, and try to keep seat levels at the same height as your coffee table and side tables.
· Leave 3-10' between chairs and sofas to foster intimate conversation.
· Allow at least 30" between seating for people to walk around freely.
· Position the sofa so the distance between the seats and the television screen is 1.5 times the diagonal measurement of the screen.
· Allow clearance for doors to open fully.
It’s also important to consider how you plan to get the sofa into the room. Measure the width and height of your doors, the width of stairs if your furniture is for use upstairs, and the ceiling clearance. It can take some creative thinking to move a very long, deep sofa around a tight corner or through a doorway in a narrow corridor. Walk through the journey the sofa is going to take, and measure every angle to ensure it can fit.
Sectionals are useful for creating bespoke furniture layouts that complement your living space – they can look like they were made just for your room. A small sectional sofa provides the perfect way to make the most of a comfortable corner, while a collection of sectionals transforms large spaces to meet your needs.
· U-shaped: Ideal seating around a coffee table for conversation or a game of cards.
· L-shaped: Useful for corners or for orienting the room to face a focal point, such as the television.
· Curved: An attractive option that creates intimate settings in smaller living rooms and media rooms.
The material you choose guides the sofa’s aesthetic qualities. For example, leather sectionals and sofas have a timeless, sophisticated style, and because they rarely have patterns, they form a good foundation for experimenting with colorful throws and accent pillows. Fabric upholstery is warm and comfortable and is available in a wide range of colors and patterns: Create a serene environment with traditional neutrals, or experiment with color for a vibrant, eclectic look.
The material also determines the furniture’s durability. Furniture’s resistance to spills, soiling and scratching is particularly important in a home with children or pets, or in rooms that you use on a daily basis. Popular choices for furniture upholstery include:
· Leather: A durable, attractive material that’s continually stylish and relatively easy to clean. Over time, leather furniture develops a patina, which gives it extra character and makes each piece unique. Dark colors are especially easy to maintain.
· Cotton: A fabric that’s resistant to wearing and fading; cotton blended with additional fibers are even more durable.
· Wool: A durable option usually blended with synthetic fibers. Resists wearing, fading, pilling and soiling.
· Linen: A fade-resistant material with a casual style.
· Vinyl: An alternative to leather that’s durable and easy to clean.
· Sunbrella®: These fabrics are for indoor or outdoor use, and are resistant to fading from direct sunlight, making it a premium choice for a sunroom or patio.
· Rayon: A durable and cost-effective alternative to linen, real silk or cotton.
Color and Accessories
A sofa is often the focal point of a living room, particularly in smaller rooms, and it helps to define the look and feel of the whole area. The various colors and patterns provide an excellent opportunity to make a visual impact and style your room to match your personality:
· Dark colors create a cozy environment.
· Bright colors make a room feel fun and welcoming. If you want to create a calm, serene room, a clean color palette of white and gray is relaxing.
· A neutral cream or brown sofa works with many color schemes and decor styles, and it provides a clean slate on which to build layers of color and texture with vibrant accents.
· Using a color that’s similar to the decor of a room, such as beige leather with wood flooring, creates a sense of harmony and balance.
· If you have large windows with views of trees or parks, consider incorporating green into your decor to help bring the outside in.
Decorative accents make a sofa pop. Adding some bright pillows to a neutral sofa creates dynamic contrasts that reinvent the sofa’s appearance. If your sofa has a strong color or theme, repeating those motifs throughout the rest of your room decor creates a sense of cohesion. For example, if you have a red sofa, try introducing an area rug with a hint of red to help tie together the various decor elements.
Aside from displaying your personal style, one of the most important considerations when you’re choosing a sofa is how you use your space. If you watch your favorite shows from your couch, you might prefer seating that you can orient toward the TV. If you like to host parties and social gatherings, consider options that let you create cozy seating areas around your coffee table. When you keep in mind how much room you have and how you love to spend your time, it’s easy to choose a style of seating that’s perfect for you and that helps make your living space a wonderful place to relax.