Living Room Furniture: Sectional vs Couch

Picking out new furniture for your home can be a fun and exciting experience that allows you to express your style and personality in your living space. But when choosing seating options, you may wrestle with the question “Is a couch or a sectional better for my home?” Here are some tips to help you pick the seating option that works for you, your family, and your living room.


The first step in deciding between a couch or sectional is understanding the difference between the two and knowing how they affect your living space.


Couch or Sectional: Which One?


Sectionals are often large “L” shaped seating options that help to close the space in a living room. They tend to accommodate more guests due to their larger, longer size, and they come in a variety of finishes, colors, upholstery options, and sizes. In addition, sectionals have the following effects in a living room:

  • Sectionals tend to create more of a casual, laid back feel in a living room
  • They are more suitable for a larger space
  • Because of their size and shape, they do offer less design flexibility


How to Choose a Sectional Couch

Choose a sectional if you’ll be entertaining often, or if you have a large family. Sectionals have the convenient ability to seat more people without taking the same amount of space that multiple seating options would. For example, if you need to accommodate 8 people, you’d need two couches and a loveseat. But it’s possible that one single sectional can accommodate everyone without overpowering your living room.



Couches are shorter, smaller, seating options that usually seat three people, but come in larger options to seat more. Couches generally have the following effects:

  • Couches create more of an open feel in your living room
  • They offer more design flexibility
  • They are more suitable for smaller living spaces, as they do not overpower small spaces


How to Choose a Couch

Choose a couch if you have a smaller space to work with. According to Architect’s Digest, couches provide versatility and allow you to make the most out of your space. Sectionals force people to sit closer together. If you already have a tight space, a sectional would make your space seem even tighter. With couches, your options are endless. You can pair a couch with chaise lounge chairs, loveseats, or nearly any other seating option you want. Additionally, should you ever wish to rearrange your living room layout, a couch gives you the versatility to do so.


Pair your couch with a well-positioned area rug, and ta-da you have a pulled together space perfect for entertaining at home.


Arranging Your Living Room Furniture

Once you’ve made your decision, it’s time to arrange your furniture! Here is a fast and simple guide on how to arrange your living room furniture.


Decide on a Focal Point

Choosing a focal point is important to giving your living space meaning. Whether it’s your television, coffee table, or rug, be sure that your living room doesn’t overpower or distract from your focal point. Do this by setting your seating options around this point.


Arrange Tables, Chairs and Ottomans

Once you arrange your seating options, remember to place coffee tables 18 inches away from your couch or loveseat. This way the table can be useful, as anything on the table can be within reach. Additionally, any side tables go on the side of couches, sofas, or armchairs. Lastly, remember to leave at least 30 inches of space where you wish to provide walkways.



Living rooms can come with many lighting options. Floor lamps can take the place of side tables, meaning they can go on the side of your couch, sofa, or loveseat. Chandeliers should be centered around your main seating area, while direct lighting and spotlights should be aimed at artwork.



The last element of your living room is also the simplest: your rug. Your rug should be centered in the middle of your main seating arrangement to bring the look of your whole living room together.


Choosing the right living room pieces can be daunting, especially with the multitude of choices available. With this easy, straightforward guide, you can be well on your way to choosing the right living room seating options for your home.



Contributed to Your Home blog

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Published 6.16.19

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