How To Place A Sectional In A Small Living Room (5 Layout Ideas)

There are many design misconceptions about small spaces, and sectionals are one of them. So many people avoid sectionals in smaller areas. The initial thought often is, "oh, it will make my space seem too small." But it's actually just the opposite! The right sectional can make a small space feel bigger, open, and inviting.

Sectionals are a great fit for small living room spaces, in part because of all of the customizable options available. Sectionals of yesteryear, sometimes gaudy and often cumbersome, are now sleek, stylish, and can be tailed to fit your space. Don’t let the size of your living space keep you from the cozy sectional of your dreams.

A suburban residential home with sectional sofa, How To Place A Sectional In A Small Living Room (5 Layout Ideas)

Advantages and Disadvantages

To avoid disappointment and post-shopping regret, our design pros follow the measure twice, and move it once! Measure the space you want to place your sofa to make sure you’ll be able to fit your sectional in easily without jamming it in (don’t forget to measure doorways, too!). With any big purchase comes the tried and true pros and cons list. Save yourself (and your wallet) any unnecessary stress and weigh out the pros and cons before lugging home a sofa that doesn’t fit your needs or design.


  • Increased seating options without additional furniture
  • Stylish options to fit any style or fabric choices
  • Reduced clutter and less bulky furniture
  • Visually creates distinct areas in open-concept spaces.


  • Depending on the living room and sofa, limited arrangement options are a possibility.
  • Some models, particularly modular sectionals, can run on the expensive side.
  • Sectionals can be space-specific (a consideration if a move is in the future)

When figuring out sectional placement in your home, take note of household items you'd need to easily access or avoid, like doorways, windows, heaters, and outlets. Moving a sofa every time you need to turn on a lamp, plug in a phone, or access a heating vent will quickly become frustrating. Measure window height if the sofa will be placed under a window.

Design planning can feel overwhelming, especially when you know what you like but aren't sure where to start. Keep reading below for five of our favorite sectional placement options for small living rooms!

1. Cozy Corner

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Layout #1

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Room 1

Create an inviting and cozy corner with a 2-seater sectional sofa. Perfectly sized for small spaces, an L-shaped sectional gives enough space whether you’re hosting guests or lounging alone.

Nestling a sectional against the walls will open up space in the room for an accent chair or flowering plant while taking advantage of those awkward corner spaces. To avoid a rigid atmosphere caused by too many angles, you can soften your living space with a round accent rug and coffee table.

Versatility is always a selling point in the design world, and this JY QAQA Convertible Sectional Sofa hits the mark. Linen fabric with beige cushions will mesh with any decor. The comfortable reversible chaise is perfect if you decide to switch things up. Whether curled up in front of the tv or relaxing near the window, this sleek sectional can’t be beaten.

Click here to see this product on Amazon.

2. Focus of Attention

Room layout with sectional

Second small living room with sectional

If you’re unsure where to start designing your living room space, try starting with a focal point. Whether your design focus is a bright, warm fireplace or an engaging flat-screen TV - set up your space in a way that will get the most use from you. The goal is to create a space that feels like a warm welcome when you come home.  Once you figure out the focus of attention in your living room (aside from your sleek sofa, of course), your design plans will fall into place easily.

Using a sectional to create a clear focal point showcases a distinct purpose by sectioning off an area of your living space. This is especially handy when it comes to open-concept rooms and studio apartments. By styling an appealing atmosphere with hanging planters on the wall and warm accent lighting, a sleek sectional will be the star of the show!

3. Conversation Centerpiece

Living room with sectional layout 3

Room 3

If you’re more of a relaxed and chat type of person, a design setup that revolves around a conversation might be right up your alley. A sectional palace across from comfy armchairs and a round coffee table will be the hub of your future heart-to-hearts.

4. Entertain with Ease

Layout number 4

Layout 4: Sectional in small living room

If you have a smaller living room with an open concept design, a four-seater sectional creates a multi-dimensional space. Anchoring your sofa against an accent wall draws the eye in without cluttering the space. A solid rectangular coffee table that is wide enough for all guests to set down their glass or easily reach appetizers without the furniture feeling bulky and crowded is perfect for a sofa placement like this.

To create a multipurpose space like the one above, you’ll need to start with a sturdy sectional like the Nouvcoo Modern Sectional. This plush sofa is comfortable, and the soft microfibre upholstery is easy to clean - perfect for guests of all ages! A staple for anyone living in a small space is the coveted hidden storage, and the included ottoman definitely doesn’t disappoint. Whether used as an added seat or storage for warm blankets, this highly coveted sectional with a sturdy ottoman is a must-have for any small space.

Click here to see this product on Amazon.

5. Lean Back and Relax

Layout 5

Layout #5

Whether you’re coming home from a long day at work or waking up to a lazy Sunday, a setup like this will inspire you to lean back and relax. By pairing two sofas - a smaller sectional and a snug loveseat - you’ll shape a space that’s soft and welcoming. Sofas of a similar fabric create a cohesive seating area while placing them directionally across from each other fosters organic conversation. This setup creates a homey atmosphere that begs for deep discussions and inviting books. 

Finding That Perfect Sectional Placement

Before tossing your old sofa, take some time to consider where you'd like to put a sectional in your new space. What type of atmosphere or ambiance should the living space embody? What will the primary purpose be for the living space? Sectional placement can seem daunting in any area, particularly in a living room of a smaller size.  We hope these placement pointers encourage you to leap into the structured sofa world. 

For more sectional sofa inspiration and design advice, try these posts -

Should Sectional Pieces Really Match?

How To Measure A Sectional Couch [Detailed Guide]

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