What's your opinion on sectionals?

mrsmarvMarch 27, 2007

Our livingroom is strangely laid out (don't ask, just trust me LOL). Our fireplace is on one wall and our TV armoire/bookcases are on the wall adjacent to the fireplace wall (an L-shaped positioning). We have the ability to fit a smaller sectional against opposing walls, which makes sense from the standpoint of utilization. We could sit on one "L" of the sectional while watching TV, and on the other "L" section while watching the fire. We currently have a smaller sofa, chair and ottoman. No matter how I place the pieces, something is lacking, so I've basically decided that a sectional is probably the best solution for our space. My questions are:

Do you like them?

If so, why?

If not, why not?

Do you find you have more/less seating capability?

Is it a piece of furniture you have gotten tired of, since it's basically a "one trick pony"?

Does it make your space seem smaller/larger/cramped/off-balance?

Thanks in advance for any insight.

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I love them, for their versatility. I'm not sure what you meant by one trick, because it's just the opposite of how I feel - you can move any, some or all of the pieces around (if you get the right one, and put wheels on it). Some come with recliner end pieces, some with flip down tables, etc. etc. How much seating you have depends on what you buy of course. You can get tired of anything, but if you can shuffle pieces around, it helps to change things whenever you want.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2007 at 8:26PM
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We're looking at one with simple lines and no frills. No recliner, table, end piece, etc. The longest at either part can be no more than 88"-89". Our livingroom is strangely laid out, hence the question about a sectional and functionality. I also like the look of a traditional or transitional piece, nothing contemporary or overstuffed.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2007 at 9:20PM
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I think the sectionals they have now are more versatile, I especially like the ones with the chaise. I have an old sectional 'L' shape with sofa sleeper, which I hate and will be replacing soon. (Long story, sold furniture with last house, sectional is what we had in our cabin, will be buying furniture for new house.) You have options for recliners, etc. with the new sectionals, so I don't see them as being the overpowering space hogs that they used to be.

If I had the right space for a sectional (I don't) I would consider it because I think they are very functional. You know best your space and what works.


    Bookmark   March 27, 2007 at 11:01PM
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We have a pretty big sectional in our living room. We have the fireplace on one wall, the TV cabinet on the other, and the sectional facing both of them and it works out nicely. I do think it is a one trick pony, at least the one we have. We cannot move the pieces like other sectionals I have seen. It doesn't matter though, it works for our room. Besides the brick on the fire place, that is the only seating in the room and it is plenty big. I think it is 7ft on one side and 8 on the other. We can put 6 people it. It is an ethan allen sectional.

We actually like sectionals so much we have ordered another one for a different room. This one has a chaise, which I am so excited about.

There was just an article in the Sunday paper stating that secionals are no longer stuck in the 70's. They are a staple to homes.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2007 at 1:43AM
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SD...I was going to mention that we had a sectional for 15 years. And then you mentioned "stuck in the 70s". It was bought in the 70s and I recovered it at least 3 times. I loved the set and still wish it were around. Very simple lines, fit in every place we lived (job transfers a lot) from a 1,000 sq ft townhouse to our last 3,000 sq ft.

Now in a smaller home, I would have one again if the opportunity were there and really like the chaise addition look. But from what you are describing, this wouldn't work for allowing changing seating/viewing. I think you need full backs on each L section. My old one was just two pieces forming an L.

There are many options to them now with either a number of pieces to create a shape or the full couch with add-on sections. My personal preference would be two pieces rather than sections, like the onces with a corner, ends, etc. Be sure to measure the pieces...they can get bigger than expected by adding on. I was just looking at the new PB catalog with their different layouts. These are simple lines too like you described. A tad pricey, but good examples.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2007 at 6:31AM
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I think the newer styles are much more flexible than the older ones, but the modern styles come with pieces that have no arms and I find that type of sofa uncomfortable to sit on. I always feel awkward without an arm to rest my arm on!

My actual preference in seating, both from a design and a comfort standpoint, is club style chairs with a single generous two-person sofa for the occasional nap. I personally do not like sitting in the middle of a sofa (no one really does) especially next to someone I don't know LOL Individual seating helps.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2007 at 10:16AM
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Whaddya mean, "no one" likes sitting in the middle of a sofa? :-) We never have a problem with it when we have people over, unless someone's being a space hog. I think the one thing that makes a BIG difference, though, is having a three- (or one-) cushion couch as opposed to a two-cushion one, since the middle person all too often ends up sliding into the crack between the two cushions. With a three-cushion couch, each person gets their own cushion, no worries.

We had to take out the club chair and ottoman from our 12x12 LR (no family room) because you could only seat 5 people in the whole room, 6 if you crammed two on the ottoman. The set (couch, chair, ottoman) had been purchased for our previous house which had had a rather bigger LR, doesn't fit here. Hope it fits the next house. :-/ If I were staying here and had pots of money, I'd have moved the doorway between kitchen and LR and bought a sectional fitted to the room, and we could have fit probably a dozen people into our LR instead of 8 at most (3 on couch, 2 in small side chairs - not that comfortable - and 2 on the upholstered bench). Our friends, and we too, are getting older and not so much into sitting on floor cushions these days! :-)

MrsMarv, don't know whether that manufacturer is in your budget but Hancock and Moore has some gorgeous sectionals, and they don't just do leather. They've added some really amazing fabrics.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2007 at 6:51PM
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We have a 3 seat cushion sofa and I agree about it being much better than a 2 seat cushion. I'll take a look at Hancock and Moore. At this point we're looking at all our options. The price has to be reasonable since we don't have boatloads of money ;o) We'd like the best construction for what we can afford.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2007 at 9:13PM
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Hi, Even though my house is small I have really big furniture for the living room. I have a coffee table too, but it is not in the room right now because I just got the rugs cleaned and I have not moved it in.

We are still in the stages of adding wall art. That is very hard. But here are pictures of the sectional from different views. I love this couch and it is over 10 years old. Get's cleaned once a year and it has been the best purchase.

Hope this helps.


    Bookmark   March 29, 2007 at 1:27PM
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I wanted to make sure my pictures worked before I explained everything. This is the entire front of my house. I have the kitchen which you can see through the square in the wall, the dining "room" which is really the entrance to the house, and the living room. So when you are in the kitchen you can see the back of the couch and the fireplace, but only the side of the TV.

We could not put anything directly infront of the windows because the view is the ocean and that is what sold us on the house.

Anyway, hope that helps.


    Bookmark   March 29, 2007 at 1:47PM
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I love sectionals. The main 'problem' they pose is that most I've seen evoke 'modern' so if you don't want modern you may have to look around a bit to find something with softer lines.

Out here in L.A., Jennifer Convertibles (Jennifer's Convertibles?) is one store that seems to have non-exorbitant sofa pricing. For really nice sectionals, I like Macy's or Bloomingdale's selections.

Sectionals are worth it for the ease of moving, alone!

    Bookmark   April 1, 2007 at 1:24PM
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We do have a Jennifer Convertibles close by. I will check them out since our cousins purchased their sofa and loveseat from them and they are quite nice. I don't mind if the style is somewhat transitional, since we mix newer pieces with a few antique pieces (wish we had more of those).

    Bookmark   April 2, 2007 at 6:35AM
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Be careful about Jennifer Convertibles/Jennifer Leather. I bought a leather couch & loveseat there in 2000 and the frame on the couch has already broken. One day I looked at it and it was sitting on the ground. The wood had simply splintered and there appears to be no way to fix it. It broke, mind you, with 2 average size adults and a 20 lb dog using it. That "good" price I paid hardly seems like a bargain now. You get what you pay for...

    Bookmark   April 4, 2007 at 8:25PM
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Funny you should mention the quality of Jennifer Convertibles. I stopped at the local Jennifer store and I have to say that I was not impressed with the quality (or lack thereof). They seemed to be quite poorly made, with little or no attention paid to detail. The set our cousins have is much nicer, but they bought theirs almost 8 years ago. I've crossed them off our list.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2007 at 1:41PM
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