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Should Sectional Pieces Really Match?

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Sectional sofas are popular choices for many homes. They're comfortable, stylish, and provide plenty of seating options. By definition, sectionals are made up of two or more separate pieces that are pushed together. Though you might be tempted to combine different colors and styles of sectional pieces, this might not be the best idea.

Sectional pieces should match each other. This is the best way to ensure that the sofa looks cohesive. If you're looking for ways to add variety and creative style to your living room, consider usingt furniture and other decorative elements that complement the sectional without matching it exactly. 

We've researched what the experts have to say on this topic and have compiled all the information into this helpful guide. We'll give more details on the above answer. Plus, we'll help you decide whether or not a sectional is right for your home, how it should be arranged, and how to pick out the best coffee table. 

Let's go!

Modern contemporary living room with a brown sectional sofa, white painted walls, and a wooden coffee table, Should Sectional Pieces Really Match?

Should sectional pieces match?

Most sectionals only come in two pieces and are sold together. It would be difficult to find a manufacturer who would sell you two separate pieces to go together that don't come in the same set. Instead, use your sectional to drive the rest of the living room's decor. For instance, this room features a cream-colored sectional but has two black leather chairs opposite.

Contemporary living room with modern designed furnitures, a beige sectional couch, and a gray couch

Similarly, this room has a white sofa and two grey armchairs. They used the throw pillows on the sofa to bridge the color gap between the two furniture styles.

If you have your heart set on a mismatched sectional sofa, some manufacturers sell separate sections in different colors that you can buy separately. This ensures that the pieces are the same size and style, even if they're different colors or patterns. 

Are sectional sofas a good idea?

Will a sectional work for your specific living room? This pro and con list can help you decide.

Pro: can divide rooms

Open floorplans are all the rage right now and likely will be popular for a long time. While this is great, sometimes it's difficult to arrange furniture without it feeling awkward. Sectionals can be positioned to break up the floorplan and create loose "rooms" while still letting the area feel open.

Pro: provide seating for many people

The typical sofa only seats three people. On the other hand, Sectionals are basically two sofas together and seat anywhere from five to ten people comfortably. 

Pro: naturally encourage socialization

While many people use their living room to watch TV and movies, living rooms are also a great place to socialize. Sectionals promote that socilization by the way they're positioned. Instead of a single couch where everyone sits side-by-side, sectionals allow you to sit at an angle from each other.

Pro: use space efficiently

Yes, sectionals are basically two sofas combined. But they use space much more efficiently than shoving two sofas together would. Is there a corner of your living room that can't be used for anything else? Put a sectional in it! That solves the problem of the awkward gap between two couches placed at a right angle.

Con: large and unwieldy

One of the pros of sectionals -- their large size -- is also a con. While they seat more people than a normal sofa, they can be unwieldy and awkward in the wrong room. If you ever move homes, carrying and transporting the sectional will be a major hassle.

Con: inflexible

Sectionals are also inflexible. Since the vast majority are designed to be used at right angles, they don't fit in every living room. If one does fit in your living room, there's a good chance that it will only work in one corner and can't be moved to other areas.

If this is a concern for you, think about buying a matching couch and loveseat set. These two pieces can be arranged in numerous configurations and have plenty of seating options.

Convinced a sectional is right for your home? Check out this article next: Where To Buy A Sectional (Top 20 Online Stores)

How to arrange a sectional sofa?

There are several ways to position a sectional in your living room. Here are the four most common.

In a corner

As we said earlier, putting your sectional in a corner can be an efficient use of space. It can also make the room feel more open and inviting. This is helpful in small homes such as studio apartments.

A sectional in the corner has plenty of seating and lets everything else in the apartment be a part of the action. It also lets anyone sitting on the sofa see the rest of the space, making it appear bigger. This living room spreads into the dining room, creating a flow between the two rooms.

A craftsman themed dining room with handcrafter dining table, chairs, and cabinet

In a corner with other seats across from it 

The other option for a sectional in the corner is to place a couple of chairs across from it. In addition to the practical benefit of adding seats, this arrangement also helps close in the space and balance the room. See how the chairs across from the sectional distinguish the living room from the dining room?

A top view of a living room plan

This approach also facilitates conversation and gives you a chance to add different colors to the room. If the only piece of furniture in the living or family room is the sectional, it eliminates some creativity and variety.

Out in the open

Want to hear something crazy? Couches don't have to be touching a wall! As open floorplans rise in popularity, expect to see a rise in sectionals that float in the middle of the rooms, creating a barrier on two sides. The sectional below separates the living room from the dining room and kitchen yet still leaves eyelines across the home.

Another popular reason to arrange your sectional this way is to allow two focal points like the living room below. If you have a fireplace and TV, you can see both from the sectional. Or, if you have a big picture window with a TV next to it, this sectional arrangement focuses on both.

One end against a wall and the other in the open

If you want to use your sectional to distinguish between rooms, you have a couple of options. The first is to push one end up against the wall and let the other one float out in the open. The couch in the room below has created a barrier between rooms, even though half of it is against the wall.

 

This might be necessary for narrower rooms. Before positioning your sectional this way, make sure there is plenty of walking space to enter the newly-created "room." If your room is too narrow, plan on using a different configuration or purchasing a smaller sofa. 

Read this article to make sure the sectional will fit the way you'd like: How To Measure A Sectional Couch [Detailed Guide]

How do you keep sectional pieces together?

Many sectional pieces come with latches to attach to each other. The pieces slide into each other and lock. However, if yours didn't come with these attached latches, you can consider a couple of options.

A non-permanent option are straps like the ones below. These straps are essentially heavy-duty rubber bands that go around the legs of the separate sections and tie them together. These work well if you plan on rearranging your pieces or move frequently.

Click here to view these straps on Amazon.

Or, if you're looking for a permanent, more sturdy option, check out these latches that you can install yourself. Screw one half into one part of the sofa and the other half into the corresponding piece, and connect them. This method requires measuring and some hardware installation.

Click here to view these latches on Amazon.

What kind of coffee table looks best with a sectional?

The best kind of coffee table depends on the type of sectional.

A round or square coffee table is best for a sectional that is L-shaped and equal on both sides. This lets it fit in between both sides of the sofa and ensures that it is proportional to the sofa's size. A rectangular coffee table will be longer on one arm of the sofa than the other, looking awkward and mismatched.

Click here to view this coffee table on Amazon.

Click here to view this coffee table on Amazon.

For a three-part sectional that's shaped like a "U," consider using a rectangular table that fits in between the arms comfortably. Make sure that there's plenty of walking space between the sofa arms and the table. A rectangular table would be reachable by everyone on the couch and would complete the balanced look.

Click here to view this coffee table on Amazon.

In Closing

Sectional sofas are designed so that all the pieces match. Play it safe by following that rule and using other pieces of furniture and decor to provide variety in your room. Before purchasing a sectional, make sure it will fit well in your living room by picking out the best arrangement.

Hopefully, this guide has answered your questions about sectional sofas and how to arrange them!