Buying a new sofa is no easy task nor should its importance be overlooked. The first thing you should ask yourself in this situation is whether you need a sofa or a sectional. The answer to this question is linked to a lot of different details most of which are specific to the space that you have in mind. Sectionals are often the best solution. They tend to be more flexible and multifunctional. So what should you take into consideration before you go home with a sectional?
The components of a sectional
Sectionals are usually made of two or more components. They can include any of the following elements in a variety of combinations: a left-hand facing chair or chaise, a right-hand facing chair, one or more armless chairs, an armless love seat and a corner chair. These can be combined in a variety of configurations. Choose these components based on the amount of space available, the layout and the orientation of the sectional. It can either be left-hand or right-hand facing but also symmetrical or reversible.
Types of sectionals – stationary vs reclining
A stationary sectional is basically a standard one that has no added features and no moving parts. It’s basically a couch or a simple sofa but in a different form. A reclining sectional, on the other hand, has one or more seats which can recline. This allows different seating positions to be enjoyed and gives more flexibility and added comfort.
Sleeper sofas or sectionals
A sleeper, whether it’s a sofa or a sectional, comes with a pull out folding bed frame. It also usually has a mattress which is stored within the sofa. Of course, various different designs and configurations are available, each featuring a different mechanism and system.
Convertible sofas and sectionals
A convertible can basically be transformed from a couch or a sectional to a flat surface which can be used as a bed. This is done in a variety of ways. Either you need to pull out an extra piece from under the seat or to fold down the backrest and turn it into an extra seat alongside the existing one. Other designs are also available.
Modularity and flexibility are very important in some cases. Modular sectionals basically feature a series of individual pieces which can be moved around and rearranged according to the user’s immediate needs and preferences. They’re the most versatile and they’re very practical.
Available sectional shapes – L shaped
Sectionals come in several different shapes. There’s the standard L-shaped sectional which has seats that together form this distinctive shape and there’s also the L-shaped sofa and chaise combo. The latter is a combination between a regular sofa and a chaise that put together form a sectional.
Curved sectionals basically have a curved back and frame. They can look very interesting and beautiful and in some cases they can also be very practical. However, they’re not usually very space-efficient and this makes them a good option for large spaces and not such a great idea for small rooms.
The name is self-explanatory in this case. A U-shaped sectional basically has a central section and two side ones that flank it on either side forming the U-shape. Variations are also available. Although such sectionals can be very cozy and great for conversations, they don’t work for everyone or for every type of space.
Tips to consider: inspect the frame
When looking to buy a new sofa or sectional, always inspect the frame. Make sure it doesn’t wobble or creak. The frame should be sturdy and durable. Also, make sure the frame and all the corners are well-padded. This ensures less friction of the fabric that covers the frame and the fact that the frame doesn’t stick out through the upholstery. You should also inspect the center of the frame to make sure it’s not hollow.
Inspect the mechanism and metal parts
If the sofa or sectional has a reclining mechanism or any other moving parts, make sure they function properly. Also, inspect all the metal parts to make sure there are no signs of rust or no sharp edges that could cause injuries or could ruin the upholstery.
Inspect the seats
The seats on a sectional or sofa should be comfortable in all positions. So if they recline, test them and see how they feel. Look at the seat cushions more carefully as well. They should be firm and resilient and they should regain their shape quickly after you sit down and get back up.
Consider the purpose
Before you buy a sofa or a sectional, consider the purpose it will serve. It is something you buy for your living room with the desire to entertain lots of guests or something that needs to be cozy so you can lounge and watch TV on? Perhaps the sectional is for the reception area of an office or some other business space.
Consider size and shape
The size and shape of the sofa/ sectional are closely linked to the function that it will mainly serve. If it’s something you plan on putting in your reading corner or home office, than it can be small and cozy. But if you want the sectional to be suitable for large gatherings, than you need it to be large and even to include a mattress so you can let people sleep over.
Test drive and remember the little details
Finally, when you think you found the perfect sofa or sectional for your space, you should test drive it. Use the seats in all the available positions and imagine yourself and everyone else using it like you normally wood. Does it feel comfortable for everyone? Does it look good? Don’t overlook the little details. Check the patterns to make sure they are centered, the seams, the armrests to make sure they don’t jiggle and also the fabric to see if it’s durable or well-suited for the space you have in mind and its decor.