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Sectionals 101: All You Need to Know Before Buying a Sectional

Sectionals 101: All You Need to Know Before Buying a Sectional


More and more of our customers in Lifestyle are asking how they can make a sectional sofa work in their home, and we’re glad to see these pieces gaining more popularity! These versatile pieces of furniture are great for maximizing space in rooms of all shapes and sizes, plus they are very customizable and can fit in unique spaces. But, because there are so many styles and shapes available, the terminology can be confusing for first-time sectional buyers. We hope this post will help demystify the sectional.

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Why choose a sectional?

Sectionals are the most inviting.

No other seating arrangement seats more people than a sectional. Sectionals can help maximize seating options in smaller homes, especially when placed in a corner. All you need is a room with two walls. In many small areas, a sectional will often fit better than a sofa and loveseat as the length, and the width will take up less space.


Sectionals help to zone an open concept plan. 

Nothing looks better than an open and airy plan, but it is tricky to arrange furniture and divide between living/ dining and kitchen areas. In these instances, a sectional couch works as a visual barrier between functional spaces.

Configuring a Sectional

The first thing to understand about a sectional sofa is that it is comprised of two or more individual parts that fasten together by metal brackets located on the side of the piece. This is a great thing for customers because it means that you can often ask for individual pieces to create a custom sectional to fit the size of your home. If the configuration you want isn’t in stock, just ask about special ordering to get exactly what you want!


Depending on the manufacturer and the style of the sectional, you might have different pieces available. For an L shape sectional, you will be able to choose from a three-seat cushion sofa part, a two-cushion loveseat part, and a single-cushion square connector part. Some styles may also offer a chaise piece, which is similar to a loveseat in size but features a single long cushion and no back on one side. But to properly configure these parts, you need to understand the difference between right-arm facing and left-arm facing pieces.

Right-Side Sitting 

If you are standing facing a sectional and the chaise is on the right, it is a right-side sitting chaise. The arm of the chaise is on the right because the sofa continues to the left.


Left-Side Sitting

If you are standing facing a sectional and the chaise is on the left, it is a left-side sitting chaise. The arm of the chaise is on the left because the sofa continues to the right.


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When planning the placement of your sectional, think of daily use vs occasional use. Your room needs to feel welcoming and offer a comfortable/cozy feeling to your family. When you enter the room, you want to be facing the sectional; you don’t want to come into the room and see the back of it. Arranging it in the corner of the room facing the focal point is one of the easiest ways to place your sectional.


It’s essential to account for everything when measuring your space. Focal points, windows, doors and other furniture are important factors to consider in the area. For this reason, the left or right sitting sectional decision can sometimes be a difficult one. An interior designer can help with this task.

What are the best sectional configurations?

There are countless numbers of options when it comes to sectional set up. With so many choices, you will find the perfect fit for your space that suits your needs.

Modular sectionals come in different depth and width seats and will allow you to design the shape that fits your room best. Here are the 4 most common shape options that you can create with sectional couches!

  1. L-shape

When one side of the sectional is longer than the other, or they have an equal length on both sides, it is called an L-shape sectional. This arrangement works best in larger rooms with lots of wall space.  


  1. U-shape  

The U-shape looks like exactly that, a U except that sometimes one side can be shorter than the other. It can work well in spaces that are square or awkwardly shaped. The U-shape is ideal if you have a big space to fill, a family room or a finished basement/rec room.


  1. Sectional with chaise:

A chaise sectional is basically a sofa with an added chaise lounge. It feels right at home in an open-plan space, especially when paired with a side table and backed by a sofa table*. The chaise sectional works well in a small area when it can’t accommodate an L or U shaped sectional.

*Sofa table: a narrow table you can position at the back of a sofa to accessorize and create separation as well as hide the back of the sectional.


  1. Curved: cuddle corner

Most sectionals come with a round corner or a 90-degree option. It’s an excellent solution for intimate conversation and cuddling.


Reclining Sectional

Many larger sectionals have reclining options, whether it is powered electronically or not. And if you are looking for a top-of-the-line sectional, you should ask about ones with adjustable lumbar support and headrests. These sectionals are great for the living room or for a theater room because each person can adjust their seat to get the perfect level of comfort. Plus, some sectionals feature built-in consoles and cup holders to make the piece even more functional!



For a lower price option with a great feel, try a microfiber or microsuede sectional sofa. These durable fabrics are soft to the touch and will give you big bang for your buck. But for the most style and durability, look for a top grain leather sectional. You can find leather sectionals in all colors, from browns to whites and grays. These options are pricier, but the leather is easy to maintain and should last you for many years to come!


Final Step

Sectionals are great options for every home because they maximize the seating for any space. If you are interested in buying a sectional for your home, visit Lifestyle Homestore Furniture in Fresno, California or shop online to see what styles are available now or ask about ordering a custom piece. Plus our associates can help you finish the look with a coffee table or area rug that brings the entire room together!


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