Dear TEOT: Sofa or Sectional?

A TEOT reader Faith recently emailed with this question,

Sarah- I just wondered HOW you decide if your living room deserves a couch,loveseat set, or a sectional. I am VERY torn. I NEED to buy my living room furniture, since mine is OVER 10 years old ( my husband and I got the couch, loveseat set when we were 1st married.) I like the idea of a sectional, since my whole family can all be cuddled up on it, watching a movie, but I just can find anything I like.

Hi Faith,

I think what is initially going to guide your choice is space. Can the room accomodate a sectional without swallowing all of the useable space in the room? Next you need to consider what piece of furniture suits your lifestyle best. Do you have lots of parties where people might not want to sit shoulder to shoulder, do you have children, pets etc. Budget is also obviously going to be a huge factor.

It sounds like you’re looking for something new but you might always consider reupholstering your current sofa depending on what kind of shape it is in. If your sofa is salvageable you could sell the loveseat and put the money you make toward a chair and an ottoman.

It’s always fun to troll Craigslist and thrift stores for a sofa waiting for a new life. Or going to an online store to get a new sofa, click here more info.

But if you’re absolutely set on buying something new here are a few suggestions,

I liked the shape of this sofa and the loose cushions on the back. It would easily suit varied interior styles.

pottery barn arlington sofa

Arlington, Pottery Barn

The sofas offered at Restoration Hardware contain the right ingredients that will make a lasting piece of furniture both in style and durability. RH is touting a kiln dried hardwood frame and a choice of down filled cushions.

Restoration Hardware Englished rolled arm sofa

English rolled arm sofa

cielo sectional CB2

Cielo sectional, CB2

selby sofa room and board

Selby, Room & Board

And hey while we’re talking about the Selby collection, I like the armchair (how about this one Kylie?)

selby chair room and board

Selby chair

holden sofa room and board

Holden sofa with chaise, Room & Board

There are so many beautiful sofa designs at Lee Industries its difficult to choose. Search for a location near you that can order Lee.

lee industries sofa

Lee Industries

I’ve had a Karlstad loveseat for about a year now in the natural linen color. There was a recent incident with DC that involved the deposit of bodily fluids and my german shepherd had also gotten up on the loveseat and left some small dark stains. The cushion cover was zipped off, went to the dry cleaners and $4 later it can back good as new.

karlstad sectional linen IKEA

Karlstad sectional, IKEA

I hope this helps you begin the selection process. Good luck and let me know what you decide! Thank you for your email.

If you’ve got questions, send us an email using the Contact Teot link at the top or the typewriter link on the right side.

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  • Thanks. That post does help A LOT. I think my couches are going to be GONE. They have seen 1 BIG dog ( who we no longer have) and 2 kids ( which we still have)and TONS of family movie nights etc, so they aren’t worth saving. =)

    I SWEAR finding the right couch is like finding your spouse…. you just KNOW, and I haven’t had that feeling.

    We’re off to Ikea this weekend, so I hope to find something there, or in the MANY other furniture stores we will visit in Charlotte.

    Craigslist is a GREAT idea, I’ll check that out. Thanks again. My living room I think can handle either one, so now I just have to decide and go with it.

  • Sarah and Bootsy- I’ve got a question- all these design blogs (little green notebook, i suwanee) are talking about “Chiang Mai” trays/chairs/etc. What characteristics give it that name? The reason I’m asking- my sister actually lives right outside Chiang Mai, Thailand (and I’m assuming it has SOMETHING to do with that) and I’m thinking she could bring us all something home if we knew what the heck it was! :-) Thanks in advance!

  • Hey Amy, the quick answer is Chiang Mai is a fabric pattern available via Schumacher but I’d like to answer your question in more detail at a later date.

  • Kylie-I still like the tufted Baker chair that you emailed me back in November too but that is going to be more than the Room & Board chair. Keep your eyes peeled for a pair of thrifty chairs.

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