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Rapport Furniture Stores | Los Angeles | Palm Desert | Rancho Mirage | La Quinta
What Is a Sectional Couch? Essential Buying Guide - Rapport Furniture

What Is a Sectional Couch? Essential Buying Guide

Looking for ways to improve your home’s interior? A quality sectional may just do the trick.

The right sectional couch can help you increase the functionality and the aesthetics of your space, all while giving you a more comfortable resting place in your den or living room.

But, what is a sectional couch? Simply put, a sectional is a type of sofa that consists of multiple parts so that it can be arranged to fit your design needs. Compared to traditional sofas, sectionals offer more versatile seating arrangements and design options.

In this guide, we’ll examine different types of sectionals, some important sectional buying guide information, and other helpful tips that will help you find the right sofa for your den.

Keep reading to find out more.

Most Common Types of Sectional Pieces

Sectionals come in an impressive array of options. Let’s go over four of the most common to help you find the one best suited for your room:

- L-Shaped Sectional

The classic L-shaped sectional has been a staple in American homes since the mid-twentieth century.

L-shaped sectional pieces work great either against the wall or as buffers in more open spaces to create perceptual divisions between two different rooms.

Comfortable and large, L-shaped sectionals also invite the inclusion of an ottoman or coffee table and pair nicely with larger rugs.

- U-Shape Sectional

U-shape sectional pieces offer a more modern take on the classic design, with three sections in the shape of a U providing tons of sitting room.

These pieces usually come with backs on all three sides or one section with a back and two chaises on the end with an open center.

Typically, these spacious couches work best in larger living areas.

- Sofa Chaise

If you’re not working with tons of space, a sofa chaise may be the sectional couch for you.

This smaller design retains the classic L-shape of the original sections, but it features a more compact sofa-plus-chaise design.

Generally, these smaller options come with three sofa cushions that are connected to a rectangular chase, thus giving the L-shaped appearance. Here’s the good news: most options allow you to choose the side the chaise will go on, giving you great design flexibility.

- Modular Sectional Sofa

For the greatest variability in design, opt for a modular sectional sofa.

These sofas are comprised of multiple pieces that can be arranged at will to fit your desired aesthetic.

Because they can be pulled apart, they’re also solid options for smaller spaces.

3 Things to Know When Buying a Sectional Couch

Before purchasing your next sectional pieces, you’ll want to keep a few important tidbits in mind. Understanding the following concepts will help you find a sectional couch that’s functional and matches your artistic vision:

1- Direction

Will your sectional face the left or the right?

This important consideration will determine if your couch extends to the left or the right, respectively.

TIP: Make sure that you map out how the couch will look if you are standing in front of it—and not how it will look when you are sitting on it.

2- Size

You’ll also want to consider the size.

A sectional that is too small will leave your room looking awkward and reduce the functionality of your space. Conversely, sectional pieces that are too large can overcrowd your room.

For this reason, we recommend taping out the dimensions (and the direction) of your desired sectional couch before you purchase it so that you have a better idea of how it looks.

3- Shape

Ultimately, the shape of your sectional will determine the flow of your room and the degree of functionality and comfort you’ll experience with your piece.

Generally, rounder options allow for more leg room, while straighter pieces such as L-shaped and U-shaped options feature more “boxed-in” corners.

Are Sectional Sofas Still in Style?

Though sectionals were popular during the middle half of the last century, this doesn’t mean they’re out of style. In fact, these pragmatic pieces of furniture are back in style—and for good reason!

A top-notch sectional offers everything you need in your next couch: comfort, space, design flexibility, and aesthetic appeal.

Should I Buy a Sofa or a Sectional?

Deciding whether to buy a traditional sofa or a sectional will ultimately depend on a few factors:

- Space

If your room is too small, larger L-shaped and U-shaped sectionals will likely be off the table. If you’re not feeling smaller chaise sectionals, you may simply wish to go for a traditional sofa.

- Functionality

Larger families benefit from sectionals, as they allow for more space for everyone to comfortably watch TV and enjoy conversation and family time in dens and living rooms.

- Design

If you’re someone who loves to rearrange, a sectional gives you more flexibility in how you put your room together.

How to Stage a Sectional Sofa in a Room

If you have the space, it’s always best to place your sectional in the middle of the room. Rather than putting your sectional couch against the wall, consider using it as a reference by which you align other design elements in your room.

U-shaped sectionals, in particular, are great at tying a room together when placed in the center of the room, while L-shaped pieces can create great contrast and open up space when placed near the corners of the walls.

Wherever you place it, be sure to leave space for tables, ottomans, and other odds-and-ends furniture, as this will give you places to set drinks, magazines, and other important items you have on hand, increasing the functionality and convenience of your space.

TIP: A large rug under the sitting area can also help make the area “pop” and really give your room character and visual appeal.

Does a Sectional Make a Room Look Bigger?

The right sectional can help transform a small room—or at least the way people perceive it.

Instead of cluttering a limited space with a number of smaller chairs and loveseats, placing a large sectional in one corner of the room can help a room look larger.

This is because you reduce the amount of space taken up and other visual distractions (chair legs and backs, for instance) and help open up a larger section of the room.


If you’re looking to upgrade your living room or den furniture, a sectional couch could be just what you need.

Functional, flexible, and comfortable, these attractive sofas allow you to tie together multiple interior design elements, separate open spaces into multiple rooms, and give you and the family more space to enjoy your sitting area.

Almost ready to make your purchase? Be sure to use this guide to help you find the right sectional pieces for your home.

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