Sectional sofa is a versatile and one of the most practical pieces of upholstered furniture for large and small living rooms alike. With its simple design, this kind of sofa brings casual grandeur to the living room.
The term could mean huge L shaped couch or smaller pieces that can make up a typical sectional collection. For instance a single armrest and single chair can make up a sleeper sofa unit, or you can choose the right number of pieces to create a sectional piece of furniture that may fit your room size and layout.
Sectional sofas came into vogue during the Victorian era. During that time, it was made up of two or more sofas which were put together to make a longer couch. Corner pieces were not common then.
It was in the 1950s that sectional sofas in modern design became popular. French furniture designer Charles and Ray Eames brought in the sleek and low profile, with bold geometric shapes and styles. Chairs were dispensed with and continuous sectional sofas were introduced. The concept of sofa-cum-bed also was born.
In the 20th century, advanced concepts with focus on convenience and comfort caught on. A wide choice of fabric and leather upholsteries for sectionals is also available as also color and texture options to match your home.
Making of a Sectional sofa
A typical sectional sofa provides two or more pieces that can be configured together. The number of pieces used and the type varies from product to product.
A standard sectional sofa has a three over three designs, that is, it has three back cushions over three seat cushions. There are two arms like a standalone sofa or no arms or just one, left facing or right facing arm. A recliner seat could be placed next to a sofa to make it longer. Such recliners can have left and right arms or could be armless. Otherwise, a non reclining chair with a single seat could be added instead of the recliner.
A sectional love seat is designed with just two seats or it could be a console love seat with two armrests per seat or armless according to preference. A corner wedge is a piece that allows two sectional sofas to be fitted as one. While most wedges come with a 90 degree angle, there could be wider wedges too. And these are all armless.
Some accessories that go with sectional sofas include armrests that fit between two seats or at an end, with cup holders and storage spaces, a sleeper sofa, with a fold out bed, which could be double sized, a chaise lounge which could provide an extra long seat to help you stretch or relax at the end of a sectional sofa.
Sectional sofa options
Those sectional sofas with chaise lounge on one end can ramp up the price a bit, but it offers extra seating space and looks modern and comfortable. The lounge looks like an extension of the sectional. When purchasing such sectional sofas with lounge, make sure that the lounge piece extends on the side of the couch where there will be room for it in the space provided. For instance if there is more room on the right side of the living room, select a sectional sofa with chaise lounge on the right side instead of the left side and vice versa. If a small sectional is desired, a standard size sofa that has a chaise lounge portion is a great option.
A recliner sectional sofa is a deluxe model. Some recliner sectionals have two recliners either in the center of the sectional or at the two ends, or there might just be one recliner on one end of the sofa. Sometimes a small table, a console or cup holder in the center of two recliners is provided. These high-end models are more expensive but very convenient for families with children or older people to enjoy the comfort of a recliner. Some recliner sofas come with recliner chaise as well.
Sleeper sectional sofas offer more seating space and can accommodate overnight guests at once. A sleeper sofa can be converted into a full or queen sized bed in minutes which is convenient when families visit. In case of the absence of a guest room, a sleeper sectional sofa comes in handy.
A circular sectional sofa is trendy and fun. And this is a fresh take of the standard sectional and looks elegant and sleek, in contemporary design but at a higher price.
Nowadays, many sectionals come with an ottoman that is seat height with large storage under the cushion, making it an ideal choice for a makeshift lounge. A sectional ottoman adds a decorative touch to the room in addition to adding more space in the living room for items such as remote controls, movies, blankets or pillows. Many sectional sofas come with ottomans or they can be purchased separately.
Sofa and love seat pieces have a center back cushion that is foldable into a table surface. This appears normally in the middle of the sectional sofa. A slide out storage space in the form of a cooling drawer can be added to a sofa, and this is located at the base or inside an armrest. It is insulated to hold cool drinks with an ice pack or electric refrigeration.
Selecting sectional sofas
Choosing the right sectional sofa is no easy task. Of course, quality and durability are the most important factors when it comes to buying one. Other questions to be addressed would be, if the sofa is being used, how it looks, and should it wear a lot of cushions. Those who are ordering online should see detailed photos of the sectional sofa to make sure that it is in good condition. While slightly worn out sofas can still have lots of years left on them, a sofa with rips, tears, burns and holes and stains has a much shorter life span.
Here are some guidelines that could help you choose the best from among several options.
Frame check: Good quality sofas generally have hardwood frames. Check the framework to know what the sofa frame is really made out of and not just upholstered wood. The supports should also be durable and withstand the weight of a few people using the couch together. Ensure that the sofa does not rock at the corners.
Foundation check: Good quality sectional sofas have foundations made of tempered steel. Seat and cushions have to be pressed to check if the foundation is strong enough. If springs are felt, it means that the sofa is not good enough. In quality sofas, you will not feel the springs.
Upholstery check: If the frame and foundation of the sectional sofa is good enough, then the next should be upholstery check – there are a number of options in fabrics. Choose a fabric that matches the décor and preferences.
Fabrics for sectional sofa
Sectionals come in an array of fabrics. Micro fiber should be a good option for families with kids and pets as stains can be removed easily from them. Durable leather, velvet and suede are other good choices. Selection of fabric depends much on personal taste, budget and other such considerations.
Sectional sofa brands
There are several furniture web sites that cater to sectional sofa brands, where an array of quality sectional sofas from leading manufacturers is made available. Some popular models include:
Broyhill Laramie sectional is a traditional style emphasized by rolled arms, bun feet and trim nailed head. This is perfect for classic and western décor lovers and they come in a choice of fabric upholstery in different colors and toss pillows.
Catnapper Cortez sectional sofas are for leather lovers; modern sofas at affordable prices in rich brown leather upholstery. Many seat recliners and foot rest and lower back support are high points of this brand.
For those who are looking for contemporary styling with rich upholstery, Jackson Everest sectional sofa is the one. The chocolate colored upholstery goes well with many different color schemes. Accessories like the chaise loungers and cocktail ottoman make this brand unique.
A Klaussner Drew sectional sofa is simple in its elegance, and can be seen with arms and well tailored cushions and thick wood feet. This is a beautiful and comfortable brand that comes in a myriad color range to complement her living room décor.
A Lane Stallion sectional sofa is another contemporary casual collection that is designed for deep comfort. Its padded and stuffed back cushions cradle comfort. There are several configurations available and all in rich bonded leather in a range of colors.
Websites such as sofasandsectionals.com can be browsed to choose from many leading sofa brands that sport popular models.
Considerations for selecting a sectional sofa
Regardless of the type of sofa, factors to be considered while selecting sectional sofas are the size of the sofa, and the right one will depend on the usage and space available. Is there room for a full sized sectional sofa with chaise lounge and sofa bed ? Or should it be a smaller set up ? There are specific sectional sofas for small living homes spaces. Therefore, it is better to measure the area available before you decide on the sofa.
Once the size is known, the next factor is the style of the sofa. Should it be a traditionally styled sectional in rich brown leather or a casual contemporary design with overstuffed cushions and easy to clean fabric? Modern leather sectional sofas have good quality leather and these have potential to last forever, if only taken care of properly. For those who are not so much into fabric, thematic modern sectional sofa options in leather are available. Sectional sofas are available in different styles, colors and upholsteries to suit different tastes.
The next thing is to consider the available features. Should it be reclining or have stationary seats. What about upholders and other options like console and love seat. Other than fabric, style and space considerations, budget or price is a factor that should be borne in mind while considering buying a sectional sofa.
Tips while selecting sectional sofas
Since a sectional is larger and deeper than regular sofas, consider placing it in the middle of the room. You can free up your walls for other furniture. This way you don't end up blocking doorways and windows too. Get your measurements right before you set out selecting a sectional sofa. You might want to experiment with different placements within the room.
- Measure the space accurately to ensure that the purchased sectional sofa will fit, before buying.
- A sleeper sectional sofa will work better if there is not much space.
- A micro fiber sectional sofa would be the right choice in homes with small children.
- A leather sectional sofa is for those who prefer an easy to clean piece.
- Vintage sectional sofa buyers must ensure that there is a return policy or buyer's guarantee before they purchase.
- For reclining or motion sofas, check their smooth running.
No doubt then, that purchasing a sectional sofa is a worthwhile investment. A sectional sofa may be the only furniture needed for a living room as it can seat many people. And a good quality sectional sofa can last for years, if only taken care of properly. Breathe new life into an outdated room with a feature-packed sectional sofa, a purchase you can enjoy for years.