The good news is that sectional sofas not only offer a fresh, updated solution to flexible seating, they are also practical, perfect for today's home. Now it is easier than ever to combine livability and style with this seasons most current sectionals for a relaxing, upscale and personalized comfort zone.
"Sofa trends this spring are definitely leaning towards elegant lines on oversized pieces, with stylized comfort as the main goal. A sectional sofa accomplishes that with ease," says T.J. Schmitz, product developer for Arhaus Furniture, a 21-store lifestyle home furnishings retailer.
Furniture placement and grouping is key in creating a user-friendly gathering space. "Ideal group seating is within a space of eight to 12 feet," says Schmitz. "Sectionals offer an excellent solution to unifying a space while providing flexible seating. With the right sectional pieces, you can easily adjust the configurations as needed to create the perfect entertaining area for family and friends."
Here are some helpful guidelines, provided by the experts at Arhaus, on purchasing and decorating with a sectional.
When you are shopping for a sectional sofa, make sure that your salesperson provides you with all the configuration options and dimensions of each piece. Measurements are critical in planning what will work in your room.
Look for sectionals that provide several configuration options. Interesting pieces, such as chaise lounges, can be placed at one end. These lounges act as a built-in ottoman and help to visually open up the seating area.
Determine if you want a curved piece or a corner piece in the configuration. Sectionals with curved pieces or "wedges" create a "horseshoe" shape and work better in larger, more open areas. Sectionals with corner pieces tend to be much easier to fit into tight spaces or smaller rooms.
If your room allows, the sectional should be facing towards the entrance of your room for a more welcoming setting. Approaching the back of the sectional when entering a room should be avoided when possible.
If you are looking for a more contemporary look, try an armless sectional. This type of sectional offers additional flexibility for changing the seating configurations and adjusting the look of your room.
The Update on Size
Look for updated sectional styles that are easy to work into many different spaces and configurations. Today, sectionals are available in anything from two pieces to six pieces.
The sectional size you choose depends on the kind of mood you want to create in a room. To create a cozy, intimate setting, try a smaller two-piece sectional. Select a four- to six- piece sectional for a welcoming place to relax and to balance the proportions of a larger room.
Another creative solution for seating in very large rooms is to use two smaller sectionals facing each other.
"We are seeing more homeowners seeking out smaller sectionals for soft seating in kitchen areas and bedrooms," says Schmitz. For all-purpose comfort and style in these rooms, he suggests trying a smaller two-piece sectional such as the Evergreen Sectional from Arhaus. Its pieces consist of an apartment sized sofa and a chaise on one end that is just right for smaller spaces.
Fabric Choices Made Easy
"Whatever sectional you consider this season, watch for upholstery with interesting fabrics and textures," says Schmitz. "Because of the increasing popularity of sectionals, we are seeing everything from contemporary and traditional looks in an assortment of leathers to casual, cottage-inspired looks in neutral, earthy washed cottons." With more fabric choices available, upholstery shoppers will enjoy selecting fabrics that create a personalized look in their homes.
Plush chenilles in solids or tapestries are an all-time favorite fabric for sectional sofas because of their softness and endurance to everyday use. For example, the rich, chocolate chenille of the Brewster Sectional from Arhaus is not only durable, but its soothing, soft surface also provides a handsome backdrop for this comfortable retreat.
"This season, the combination of fabric and leather on sectionals is also a very popular and practical upholstery choice," says Schmitz. "This attractive combination provides two looks in one with the flip of a cushion." Leather still proves to be a common choice with families because of its durability and easy maintenance.
Trend: Slipcover Your Sectional
New on the scene for sectionals is the adaptation of the classic slipcover. Slipcovers are an easy and fantastic way to freshen up the look of your sectional without having to redecorate with the change of every season.
And they are machine-washable! Schmitz suggests slipcovers in jewel-tone tapestries or velvets for cooler months and fresh cotton prints for the warmer months. An example is the Dawson sectional from Arhaus. It is slipcovered in washable, soft, ivory cotton versatile enough for formal or casual seating.
Dress-up Your Sectional with Accents
Be sure the cocktail table that you choose also allows for easy access in and out of the seating area. A square or round cocktail table works best and can easily be reached by many in a large gathering.
To help create a focal point to your sectional try using a cocktail table made of unusual materials or finishes. Some examples include mosaic, stone, copper or a hand-painted finish. Rugs also help create a focal point by "anchoring" a sectional within a space.
Pull the sectional out of a corner a little to add accents behind it such as console tables, plants, or lamps. Try using floor lamps tucked behind the sectional at both ends for optimum lighting.
Have fun mixing patterns and textures with the addition of pillows, throws, lamps and accent tables to help add color and warmth to a sectional. One of this season's most popular accent pieces is the cube ottoman covered in colorful wool kilim rugs. Try a pair in the center or one at each end of a sectional for a functional yet stylish accent.
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