The Best Sectional Sofa Dimensions, Shapes, and Styles for a Small Living Room

Obtain maximized seating in a smaller space with this ideal type of sectional.

By Kelly O’Roark


If you love to entertain, but don’t have a large, open-concept living room design, things can end up being too crowded (and thus uncomfortable) if you try to cram oversized furniture into a not-so-large space. Instead of attempting to fit a large couch, a loveseat, and a recliner into a small living room, the couch and the loveseat can be combined to save space while providing an extra seat with a sectional sofa. When it comes to understanding sectional sofa measurements, it’s important to not only look at the dimensions but to also take shape and style into consideration because all three play an integral role in maximizing limited space.




If you want to get the most seating without overcrowding your living room, this formula will help you achieve just that.


1. Dimensions

When it comes to sectional sofa dimensions, there are multiple combinations, and the larger the room, the larger the should be. Since the average house doesn’t have an enormous living room, the most ideal size is either 83-by-83 inches or 95-by-95 inches. The standard measurement for a sectional sofa is 95-by-95 and fits comfortably in a small living room (unless your living room is ).




Ensuring that you find the perfect length for both sides of the sectional is the first and most important measurement, however, the seat height and seat depth come in at a close second. The height of the sectional should be about 18 to 20 inches so that it not only provides a comfortable sitting position but is also the same height as a coffee table or ottoman. Since the average coffee table height is 16 to 20 inches (and same for an ottoman), it’ll be level with the top of the seat cushions.




The inside seat cushion depth (where the back cushion begins, and the edge of the seat ends) should be approximately 22 to 24 inches to provide the right amount of leg support without extending too far, to not waste any of your already-limited space.




2. Shape

Sectional sofas come in a variety of shapes, the most popular being L-shaped, U-shaped, and curved. For a smaller square-shaped or rectangular-shaped living room, an L-shaped sectional has a hard 90-degree angle at the corner, which maximizes the limited amount of space in the room. A curved corner or u-shaped sectional is more suited for a larger living room, as each of them takes up additional space, and are usually placed in the center of the living room.




The right angle of a 95-by-95-inch L-shaped sectional uses the least amount of space since it’s the only shape that has one side that’s completely flush against the wall. Utilizing the wall space to place furniture along the perimeter of the room will open up the living area while still providing plenty of seating for lounging or entertaining.


3. Style

When choosing a sectional sofa style, the combinations are endless in regards to seating arrangements. You can have a sectional with a chaise lounge section on one side or regular seats on both sides, depending on your personal preference. When choosing the seating style, you’ll want to make sure that you’ll have at least the same number of seats as you would with a standard couch and loveseat (which is five seats). On a standard 95-by-95-inch sectional sofa, you’ll have at least five seats, but can turn it into six seats if your guests aren’t afraid to move in a little closer.




In addition to the number of seats, choose a design that complements your home’s design style. If you have modern décor, straight lines all around will give it a contemporary feel. If you have a more traditional type of décor, softer lines and curves around the armrests and sides of the sectional will best suit the space.




Once you choose a seating style and design that works well for your living room, you can also get a matching ottoman to be used as a , a place to set food and drinks, or even as additional seating for one or two people. The can be moved around , and can also double as storage for extra throw blankets and pillows, which is a great space-saver for a smaller room. You really can’t lose with this three-in-one furniture accessory, as it doesn’t take up quite as much space as a traditional coffee table, and can be utilized as a multifunctional piece.




With the right formula, it’s possible to find a sectional sofa that will fit into your small living room, while still providing plenty of seating for your family and house guests. Now whenever you have house parties, instead of worrying about having enough seats with plenty of space to move around, you can focus on what really matters: making memories and eating your homemade chocolate trifle to your heart’s content.


Images used with permission, courtesy of Kelly O'Roark

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