Sectionals are the perfect choice for people with large families, or anyone who likes a little extra s p a c e while they relax. They offer countless options and come with many advantages that make them the right choice for may homes. However, shopping for a sectional is different than shopping for a regular sofa/loveseat/chair combo.
They have a ton of benefits, but also come with unique restrictions you'll need to consider before making a purchase. Here's everything you need to know before you shop for a new sectional:
WHAT'S A SECTIONAL?
Sectionals are modular sofas made up of 2 or more pieces that can be arranged in a variety of configurations to fit any space. Just like basic sofas, these come in numerous styles to appeal to any taste.
THE BUILDING BLOCKS
While the overall look of a sectional will vary, the parts that make it whole are pretty universal. Here are the most common terms you'll run into during your search:
LEFT/RIGHT ARM FACING: Often abbreviated to "LAF" or "RAF", this refers to where the arm is when you're facing the piece. One thing that's usually true is your sectional will have one LAF and one RAF piece.
ARMLESS: Chairs, loveseats, and sofas with no armrests can be added between your LAF/RAF pieces to make one side of the sectional longer. In modular designs, you might use armless pieces at the ends for a modern, airy look.
CORNER: Corners are also armless, however come with 2 back cushions to turn the seating pattern 90 degrees (like an elbow). This is what determines the shape of a sectional.
CHAISE: Usually at the end of a sectional, chaises are essentially chairs with a built in ottoman. Perfect for stretching out & relaxing!
CUDDLER: Another type of chaise, the cuddler fans out at an angle, offering a deeper seat than the rest of the sectional without the space needed for a traditional chaise.
The best part about sectionals is they can be constructed to fit any space perfectly. Here are 3 popular configurations that are made with the pieces listed above:
L-SHAPED: Usually 2 or 3 pieces, L-shaped sectionals fit well in corners and are ideal if you need more walking space in front or on one side of your living room.
U-SHAPED: The U-shaped sectional takes the L & adds one more piece, usually a chaise, to the open end.
CHAISE: The chaise sectional is perfect for smaller rooms & apartments. You'll sometimes hear them called a "one wall sectional" because they don't require a corner piece.
BEFORE YOU BUY A SECTIONAL
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION. First, decide where your new sectional is going to be parked. Is it snug in a corner, or floating in the center of a room? A good rule to follow is let your room be the guide. Larger rooms usually call for a floating arrangement, while mid to small sized rooms will look best with your sectional in the corner or against one wall.
MEASURE TWICE. If you remember nothing from this guide, remember this: measure everything. Measure the room, the walls, the windows, the path of delivery, light fixtures, and existing furniture. You can never measure too much. Then write those measurements down AND take pictures. Trust us on this!
BUDGET. A will typically set you back a few thousand dollars. Of course, there are inexpensive options out there, and while it might be tempting to pinch pennies spending a little more on quality construction & design means you won't be shopping (spending!) for a new sectional in a couple of years.
FUNCTIONALITY. How are you going to use your sectional? Consider who's using it and if you need features like built in storage, USB ports, reclining pieces, etc.
Once you're familiar with how to buy a sectional, you can get started with the fun stuff like fabrics, pillows, rugs, and accessories!
If you'd like more information or some help in purchasing your new sectional, visit one of our design consultants to create a sectional that's perfect for you.