Stumped in the living room... a sectional or sofa? Which one did Beth choose? Which one would you choose?
By, Tommy MacMullan
La-Z-Boy Designer, Mobile
Some design decisions are quick and easy...like an accessory. Some answers are so clear! Then, there are others that are HUGE decisions that you will have to live with for a long time. And it is so important to make the right decision! And choosing between a full sectional or a sofa is one of those very big decisions that you must get right! So, I do my best to have my clients THINK IT THROUGH...
Last month, a new client - Beth - requested an in home design appointment. We met and she admitted how "stumped" she was trying to decide on a sectional or a sofa for her large living room. She sent her old sofa to college last month when her oldest child moved from the dorm into an apartment. Now she was ready to choose a new sofa or sectional, choose custom fabric or leather, and wait for its grand delivery later this Spring or early Summer when life - hopefully - may return somewhat back to normal. But she needed professional design help in choosing this primary piece of furniture. So, I went through my "THINK IT THROUGH" quiz with her.
Let's take a look at these two furniture workhorses: the sofa and the sectional.
A sofa - also called a couch - most commonly can seat three adults.
THE ALANI - SOFA WITH "CUDDLER"
A sectional (actually short for sectional sofa) has a modular design with two or more pieces coming together to create an L or U wrap-around shape, and can usually seat more than three adults.
THE ALANI - FULL SECTIONAL
- with cuddler and chaise -
How do you decide?
Both are beautiful, so we know the room will look like a picture out of a magazine! Still...its a decision she will live with - literally - for a long, long time. I told Beth, "Let's THINK IT THROUGH" together. This is what I do!
1. Do you feel strongly about one over the other?
Beth had a strong preference of a formal sofa when we first met. But when she came into the store and saw the La-Z-Boy sectionals, she realized they can be quite sleek, have an organized look and feel, and work perfectly in a living room. So, she was stumped. Confusion set in. So... I said, "Let's THINK IT THROUGH some more...."
2. How many seats and who will be sitting in them?
Beth still has one child in high school who will graduate in May, so by late summer the room will mostly be used by Beth and her husband.
I told her, "Don't just count the seats you need. THINK about WHO will be sitting in them. A sectional can fit 4-6 people, most spots will not have armrests, and the one in the corner won't have legroom. A sofa with one or two chairs will provide plenty of seating for five people. So, the number of seats may not be as important as you might think. "
Tommy Mac: Many rooms with one sofa actually have space for TWO sofas to meet the need for more seating and great conversation.
3. How large is the room, and how will you use the room?
Absolutely key to making this decision is the room size and what its function will be the majority of the time. Beth has room for a large sectional, but still she had to THINK IT THROUGH. Beth's living room is large, and has a fireplace with a TV above it. Before COVID the room was a gathering spot for guests, football games, cocktails with the neighbors, and it was her kids' video game headquarters. However, glancing at some other pieces in her home, I could tell that she has a dressy flair.
We all know how sectionals are great for lounging back, kicking up your feet, and squeezing family members together to watch a movie. Beth was looking forward to entertaining again and I suggested that her guests might want a little more personal space so a sofa, two sofas, or a sofa-sectional with a cuddler, might be the better choice. She could add chairs. Plus, after a few months, the room would no longer be a video game haven.
Beth did THINK IT THROUGH, but for not long. She answered the quiz honestly, and made her decision. Which one do you think she chose? Which one would you choose?
Quiz yourself and THINK IT THROUGH.
La-Z-Boy Gulf Coast