This Sofa Hack Helped Me Fake a Living Room Sectional—and Saved Me Hundreds

updated Jul 1, 2020
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Living room with a sectional hacked with a regular sofa and ottoman

I’ve had sectional envy for years now. Don’t get me wrong—I had a good run with my World Market Kendall sofa, but it wasn’t really all that comfortable for more than one adult. Sure, a few people could sit on it, but if more than one person wanted to lounge or lay down? Forget about it. Spending so much time at home—even without entertaining in the equation—made me and my husband realize we needed to replace our sofa, and luckily, we had been saving up to make this purchase. The cushions had definitely seen better days (there was a broken spring coil almost popping out of one), and the sizing was never quite right either. That said, I was hoping to get a decade or more out of this next sofa and planned on spending more this time around, too, so this was not a decision I was going to take lightly.

Naturally, sectional sofas were all I had on my radar. The only question in my mind was: right-handed chaise or left-handed chaise? Our space is fairly small, so there’s really only one configuration that works for laying out the living room—sofa opposite the fireplace. I had been eyeing the Sven tan leather sectional from Article and also heard good things about Burrow’s Nomad and the Ms. Chesterfield from Interior Define. But when it came time to order, I had cold feet. I’m still renting, meaning I’m very much not in my forever home (at least, I don’t think I am). It seemed risky to drop a few thousand dollars on something with dimensions that potentially might not work in my next place. That’s when I got the brilliant idea of faking a sectional with a matching ottoman. 

It just so happens that the Sven tan leather ottoman has very similar dimensions to the sectional’s chaise. In fact, I ran the numbers, and the built-in chaise is just 4 inches longer and 3 inches wider. That was such a small spatial difference in my mind, but the full cost of the sectional (versus the Sven loveseat or 3-seater plus the ottoman) is almost $1,000 more. That was all the convincing I needed. Sure, there’d be an extra “seam” (or a tiny gap) created by pushing the ottoman up to the sofa as though it were a built-in chaise, but that’s nothing that a strategically-placed throw or a faux sheepskin couldn’t fix if it really bothered me (it hasn’t). Not only did this solution give me the flexibility now to go left or right handed with the “chaise”, I could also completely break up the set to use the ottoman in any room if/when I ever move.

I’ve been living with this sofa setup for a little over two months now, and I can’t believe I didn’t make this change sooner. Not only can two people now comfortably lay on the entire sofa, but it’ll also be easy to pull the pieces apart for extra seating when entertaining at home becomes a thing again. Don’t get me wrong: I still think sectional sofas are amazing. For me though, flexibility is important. So I’m okay to be faking my “sectional” for the next decade (and maybe beyond). I’d suggest at least looking into this option, if you want to save a little cash and have more configuration options with your sofa situation in the future. If the sectional you’re looking at is part of a larger collection that has an ottoman and a smaller sofa, you can probably pull this off, too.