Sofa vs. Sectional Buying Guide: Choosing the Option that Suits Your Space Best

When it comes to furnishing your living room, few decisions are as pivotal as choosing between a sofa and a sectional. These central pieces not only anchor your space but also dictate the comfort and style of your home. Whether you’re envisioning elegant aesthetics, lively gatherings, or a serene spot to unwind, the right seating can make all the difference.

In this guide, we’ll delve into the distinct features of sofas and sectionals, helping you determine which option aligns best with your space, lifestyle, and aesthetic preferences.

Let's explore the factors that will guide you to the perfect choice for your living space.


Sectionals (also referred to as sectional sofas) are larger pieces of furniture that consist of two or more "sections" joined to create a cohesive piece. A simple sectional may form the shape of an "L," offering seating on either side with a connecting piece in the middle.

Other sectionals, on the other hand, may consist of three pieces to create a more designated seating area within a larger room. In other cases, a sectional may be "U" shaped or otherwise curved for visual interest and additional seating capacity.

Modern design room with a sectional white furniture and a dark wood coffee table in the middle


Sofas, on the other hand, are individual pieces of furniture that are usually designed to seat anywhere from two to three people at once. A "traditional" sofa will seat three across, whereas a loveseat sofa is designed to seat two people. 

Like sectionals, sofas can come in a variety of sizes, styles, and configurations. Some may include manual or power-reclining features for added comfort, as well as built-in cup holders or trays.

Contemporary design room with a white sofa and white arm chairs and two small tables in the middle

Interior Design Tips for Choosing Between a Sectional and a Sofa

Both sectionals and sofas have their benefits, so it ultimately comes down to the specifications of your living room and what you're looking for in your new furniture. If you're still not sure which furniture option is right for you, there are some things you can take into consideration to help you decide.

Size of the Room

First, consider the size of your space and where you can realistically fit your living room seating. This will mean measuring the exact specifications of your living room and taking into account things like flow and balance in your design.

If you're working with a smaller space, a sofa may be a better option to avoid overcrowding your living room. On the other hand, if you have very large, open-concept interiors, then a sectional can be a great way to fill the space while maximizing your seating capacity.

Who Will Use the Furniture Most?

Think about how the space will be used. A sectional is ideal for lounging and large gatherings, so if you entertain often, a sectional is your best bet. On the other hand, a sofa might be better for more formal settings or smaller gatherings.

Style and Aesthetics

In addition to the size and configuration of your living room, you'll also want to consider your own design preferences. What is the overall design aesthetic of your space? Are you going for a more classic look or a contemporary style?

Match the style of the sofa or sectional with your overall decor. For instance, a sleek, modern sectional works well in contemporary spaces, while a classic sofa complements traditional interiors. However, if you like an eclectic mix of styles, there’s nothing wrong with adding a sectional or sofa style that boldly contrasts with the interior design. 

Focal Point and Balance

Do you want your seating to be the main focal point of the room? A sectional often becomes the centrepiece of a room, while a sofa can blend more seamlessly with other furniture. Also, make sure that the chosen piece balances well with other elements like coffee tables, side tables, and lighting.

Future Plans

Consider, too, how long you plan on being in your current home. Oftentimes, sectionals can be challenging to relocate from one space to another because they aren't as versatile. This means that if you plan on moving in the future, your new living room might not accommodate a larger sectional. Of course, this isn't a problem if you don't have plans to move in the near future or if you are already leaning towards furnishing your living room with sofas, which tend to be more versatile and easy to move.

In addition, if you like to rearrange your furniture frequently, a sofa with separate chairs or loveseats might offer more versatility than a sectional. That way, you can move things around to your heart’s desire without feeling too restrictive.

Contemporary room with modern white sofa and a white armchair

Shop Stylish Sectionals and Sofas at Domaine Furnishings

From optimizing seating in smaller spaces to creating cozy conversational areas, both sofas and sectionals have their own place in modern living room interior design.

Domaine Furnishings carries a large selection of both sofas and sectionals from the industry's most trusted home decor and furniture brands, so you can find the perfect fit for your space. Whether you're looking for a sprawling sectional or a more compact loveseat, we carry a wide range of sizes, materials, and styles from which to choose.

And if you need a little more assistance in selecting between a sofa and a sectional for your living room, our experienced interior design team is happy to help—so get in touch today to schedule your consultation!

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