Sectionals are making a comeback in modern interior design. Once considered bulky and reserved for theater rooms, the modern sectional sofa is now popping up in living rooms of every size.
It’s essential to decide how you want to style your sectional sofa before you buy one. A sectional isn’t just a quick buy — it’s an investment. The right one can make your home feel much warmer and more inviting for years to come.
In this guide, you’ll learn how to choose and style a modern sectional. For those who already have one of these living room classics, you’ll also find some simple tips and techniques to update your space.
Buying a modern sectional sofa
A great sectional can make all the difference in your living room furniture. For example, you could prioritize aesthetics with a quality leather sectional sofa, or you could focus on versatility with a reversible sectional. If you have a small space, you might want a compact two-piece sectional or a modular sofa that you can upgrade if you move somewhere bigger.
One bonus with sectionals is that you don’t have to settle. With upgradable sizes, reversible placement, and modern design, they can be comfortable, stylish, and space-efficient all at the same time. Even better, many can function as a bed when you need a spare.
Most smaller living room arrangements consist of a couch and two accent chairs. More sizable layouts may swap an accent chair for a loveseat to accommodate additional guests. In either case, you can often replace the couch with a sectional and make the space much more versatile.
Modular sectionals have a wide variety of pieces that allow you to adjust their size, and they’re some of the most popular options available. With these, you can buy a couple of pieces now and then wait until you have more room or savings to add to it.
Other choices, like two-piece sectionals, U-shaped sectionals, or corner sectionals, are made of two or more connected sofa pieces. They come in a wide variety of sizes, colors, and styles.
Top tips for perfect sectional styling
Here are a few tricks to capturing perfect sectional styling. Color, shape, and accents are all important factors for creating a look you’ll love.
Find the right color
Choose a sectional color that works well with your living room’s color palette. Neutral tones like white, dark grey, light grey, black, tan, or beige are popular choices. You can also have fun with color if it suits your style. The sky’s the limit.
The right color will make your living room look streamlined and tidy. If you already have a sectional and want to change the color, sectional slipcovers are a great option. Some brands will even allow you to purchase back cushions and seat cushions in new colors to save money.
Think about shape and size
The shape and size of your sectional are big considerations, too. Look at the natural flow of traffic through your living area and what would work best with your floorplan. The most common choice is an L-shape sectional, but U-shaped options are popular in larger spaces.
If you have an open layout, you can play with shape as you build your dream sofa. Try an L-shape reversible chaise sectional that can switch between left facing and right facing in a small open living room. Also, a U-shaped sleeper sofa can fit the whole family if you have the square footage.
If you already own a sectional, experiment with ways you can change it up. For example, you might swap the layout of a reversible sectional sofa to rearrange the seating area and create a fresh look.
Pick the right materials
Consider which materials will work best in your home. This is both a matter of preference and durability. For instance, a soft fabric sectional or a velvet sectional might not be the best if you have pets or kids. On the other hand, a leather sectional or one made for easy cleaning might be able to stand up to your lifestyle better.
Materials will also impact price, so think about your budget. For example, going with faux leather upholstery is typically more affordable than opting for a real leather sectional. Likewise, a solid wood frame might be more expensive than a low profile option with metal legs.
Punch things up with pillows, tables, and storage
The decor on and around your sectional matters, too. Pillows, tables, artwork, and storage are examples of finishing touches that can complete your look.
Pillows are one of the easiest ways to give any sectional a fresh update. Start with pillows in a solid neutral color and layer on smaller ones of varying textures, patterns, and colors. Mix and match for maximum aesthetic appeal.
Tables and storage are other essentials. A modern living room usually features a coffee table and one or two side tables. You might place a coffee table as the centerpiece in front of the sectional with a side table at both the right arm and left arm. For storage, you might opt for a coffee table with drawers or a storage ottoman.
If you have a loveseat, armchair, or recliner in your living space, it will impact how you can style your modern sectional. Plan how much furniture you need in the room and where you want it to sit to avoid interrupting traffic flow.
Many living rooms with a large sectional don’t feature other seating options. If you’re getting all new furniture, consider saving your money for another piece of a modular sectional instead of buying additional seating.
5 modern sectionals you’ll love
Whether you’re looking for a wide range of upholstery options or you just want a cozy lounging space for movie night, we have you covered. These five modern sectionals are bestsellers that range from mid-century modern to farmhouse style.
Seanna cushion back modular sectional
This relaxing Seanna Cushion Back Modular sectional is sure to become a family favorite. It features clean lines, a cool gel memory foam layer, and padded armrests. You’ll assemble it with the armless chair and corner pieces, allowing you to pick the perfect size and shape for your living area.
Albany 6-piece power sectional
The Albany 6-Piece Power Sectional combines comfort and class for today’s homes. This modern sectional is soft, padded, and breathable, with faux leather and CertiPUR certified foam. It also has sectional features such as power motion, a built-in console, a power outlet, and cup holders for ultimate convenience.
McLoughlin upholstered sectional
The McLoughlin Upholstered Sectional is modern, styling, and plush. With sloped arms and thin, tapered legs, it has a delicate quality that can give any room an impressive, retro-like upgrade. The easily reversible storage chaise makes it a versatile option, as do the reversible seat and back cushions.
McCord 2-piece cushion back sectional
The McCord 2-piece Sectional lets you lounge in style on soft chenille fabric with extra throw pillows for nap time. With an ultra-versatile dark grey color, this beauty would suit a range of decor styles, from farmhouse to mid-century modern. And thanks to the spacious reversible chaise, it can accommodate any space.
Churchill tufted modular sectional
The Churchill Tufted Sectional is a mid-century modern option with sleek, clean lines and a gorgeous charcoal base color. You’ll assemble it with armless chair pieces, corner pieces, and an optional ottoman, making it easy to configure in any space.
Ready to start styling?
Investing in a sectional for your home is exciting, and you’re probably eager to get started. Before you buy, remember to go down your checklist of color, materials, shape, size, and features. This will help you get the perfect modern sectional for your home.
For more ideas and design inspiration, browse Coaster Furniture’s full selection of beautiful modern sectionals.
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