Sectional or Sofa?

Reader Intelligence Report

One of the big decisions when considering living room seating is the choice between a sectional and a sofa. Size, comfort, and aesthetics all come in to play. And, while it's always going to come down to individual style and the room dimensions, the wonderful Apartment Therapy readers have had some words of wisdom to impart (as always!) on the topic. Here are some of the best bits of advice:

PRO-SECTIONAL:

• From patrick (the other one)

The best seat in the house is the chaise section of my sofa. And it creates a sense of a room and enclosure without "eating space" in this apartment as successfully as it did in my last. I think if you have the room, including the chaise section is a no brainer. And a sectional couch moves a million times easier than a solid one.

• From amiencc

I personally find a sofa and two chairs kind of awkward for interaction..a sectional has always felt more intimate to me, and the little corner curve lets you pull your feet up and interact at a comfortable angle, rather than being right smack dab parallel to the other person.

• From 212gretchen

It's true, a sectional is a big commitment-- but I love my mine. I got it specifically so two people can lounge on the sofa. And you know, it works for those non-lounging guest situations, too. But I do think you need to have a separate chair diagonally across from the corner to balance it out. And I did get a streamlined modern, raised off the floor, chaise-type. So what I give up in flexibility, I gained in general overall loveliness.

• From Renata

We have a 2-piece sectional. When we have enough people to plausibly fill it, we solve the awkward corner issue by simply pulling the two apart just a bit. Even a few inches of space between translates to a lot of psychological room; it's much more comfortable.

• From jojo

One of my favorite little joys is to push the ottoman into the "L" formed by the chaise on my leather sofa, create a double bed-like area, and snuggle up on it to watch TV with my boyfriend. A plain sofa and ottoman wouldn't be the same.

PRO-SOFA:

• From LilyC

There are attractive sectionals out there, but as I enjoy personal space in my seating choices, they are sort of limiting - especially the chaise trend. Unless you are a psychiatrist seeing patients at home or one of your guests is sleepy and requires a cat nap, the chaise thing is a two-seater at best. And on a regular sectional, no one wants to be Baby, put in the corner. So in my opinion they give the illusion of lots of seating space, but you are better off with a sofa and chairs you can move around.

• From Jackie F

I considered getting a sectional for a long time, but ultimately bought a sofa with a matching ottoman. I'm VERY happy with this choice, since I get the comfort of a chaise and the flexibility of being able to move the ottoman around.

• From Michael

Buy yourself a good 3 seater sofa and one or two co-ordinating (not matching) chairs. Trust me: waaay more flexible if you ever move house...and you will.

• From Tse Moana

Depends on your space I think. But I personally go for separate seating things. That way you can mix sofas, chairs, stools, seating cushions (like fatboys and such) or whatever you want in a way that fits you and your house best. And I second the sentiment about sitting in the corner, you really can't get out of it anymore, especially when there's a lot of folks on the sectional. Makes getting up to go to the loo quite a job.

• From JosieDaisy

A sectional commits you to almost a whole room of furniture in one style. I like to have a sofa and two chairs all in different styles or fabrics or something.

Have an opinion on the sectional vs. subject to share? Please let us know in the comments below …

Image: Blake Sectional at West Elm

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Sectionals, Sofas

Janel Laban is the Executive Editor of Apartment Therapy and has been working here, at the dreamiest of dream jobs, since March 2006.

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