It happens at least once in every Canadian household – your old living room furniture needs to be tossed, and the discussion about what to replace it with begins.
However, this discussion can quickly turn into a debate – would a sofa or a sectional work better in the living space? By looking at each of the following factors, you can flesh out what you want as the centrepiece of your living room.
The first thing to think about is your living room layout – where do you want your new furniture to go and what will fit in the space?
For us, there is enough room for either a sofa (with coordinating pieces, if we want) or a sectional. But we also have to look at the empty space we need for functionality and how any furniture may influence the usability of the room. If a chaise sticks out too far, will we run into it? Is there enough room for a coffee table and end tables?
Because sectionals feature a corner as part of their design, one thing to consider is where to place the furniture without cutting off usable space. A sofa would allow us to change around our living room as the mood strikes. Plus, you can purchase matching or accent-coloured upholstery to provide additional seating for visitors.
With so many factors to think about, furniture shopping can be overwhelming. This is why a pro/con list can help you make these big decisions. With a pro/con list, you get all your questions and information out of your head and organized in front of you. Once we got everything down on paper, my boyfriend and I had a clearer idea of where our priorities were and how we could move forward.
Our List of Pro’s and Con’s
|o Easier to move||o Plenty of seating|
|o Can fit in multiple spots||o Room to lounge|
|o Less disruptive to the flow of the room||o Creates a cozier atmosphere|
|o Leaves space to coordinate with other furniture|
|o Not able to stretch out as much||o Can’t really move it around|
|o Not as much seating space||o Room arrangements are limited by the sectional size|
|o If something goes wrong, costs more to reupholster or replace|
Nothing is more frustrating than picking your perfect sofa or sectional, and then not being able to get it in your home. A friend of mine bought a sectional for her townhouse only to discover it couldn’t make the trip up the stairs because of a sloped ceiling. With help from some friends, she hoisted it over her second-story balcony and has since declared she is never moving.
The lesson? Make sure you think about all entryways and spaces your furniture will travel through to get to its final destination. This includes doorways, stairways, halls and any tricky corners your delivery team will need to navigate.
One of my fellow experts, Kaitlyn, suggests making a tape outline of the furniture piece you want to buy using the exact furniture measurements. This allows you to not only see the size of it in your living room, but also gives you an idea if the furniture will fit through the door and hall. Take the pieces of tape corresponding to width and length and (carefully) see if you can manoeuver it from your front door to its final stop.
Furniture Makes the Room
Choosing between a sectional and a sofa may come down your own personality and style. Many different sofa and sectional styles are available to suit every taste and desire. While some people may want thick, soft furniture that can withstand roughhousing, others may want a sleek and streamlined design for a more minimalist look. Think about how you like to relax, what kind of activities take place in your living room and what features are important for feeling at home on your new furniture.
For example, I tend to lounge and relax in my living room. I love to let my arms or legs dangle off the sides of the furniture, and even grab a short cat nap. I think a sectional would be perfect for this. Meanwhile, someone else may be more of a vertical sitter – he prefers to sit up to watch TV or play video games. For him, a couch with either some accent chairs or a loveseat would be enough. Think about who will be using the furniture, how they are going to use it and what is the best option to suit your household needs.
On the other hand, you may want to consider how you want your guests to respond to your living room. Some people may feel a sectional is too cozy and intimate, which may make them feel uncomfortable. Yet others could see a sofa, loveseat and chair set-up as aloof, and think it’s not a very welcoming space. While it is your home, and your furniture should suit your space and preferences first, it is worthwhile to contemplate what kind of impression you want friends and family to experience when they visit.
While there are many factors to ponder when shopping for new furniture, the ultimate goal is to find a piece you love that will help make your home perfect for you. And really, that should be the end of the debate.