Buying Guides

What is a sectional sofa?

It can come in many guises, shapes and sizes, but you may be wondering… what is a sectional sofa, and is it the right sofa for your home?

From classic chaise designs to contemporary L-shaped layouts and grand cinematic-worthy circular configurations, a sectional sofa is essentially a sofa that is made up of two or more adjoining sections that can be switched and flipped to suit your individual needs.

Let’s find out more about this couch chameleon and how to set up a sectional sofa to reap the rewards of this versatile and flexible seating solution in any living space.

Sofa vs Sectional: What’s The Difference?

Picking a sofa is one of the most important decisions to be made when planning a lounge, snug or room for entertaining guests.

A focal point in any living space, it provides a go-to haven for comfort, relaxation, or socialising with others, and there is a wide array of bespoke sofas to suit every budget, taste and need.

But how do you arrange a living room with a sectional sofa compared to a standard sofa?

If you’re not sure exactly what the difference is between a traditional sofa or a sectional sofa, it just really comes down to the numbers.

A traditional sofa usually comes in one fixed piece, allowing two or three people to sit comfortably next to each other – or more with larger four-seater models. This type of sofa cannot be taken apart and reconfigured in any other way.

Two-seaters are great for smaller, more restricted spaces, while a larger traditional sofa can work well as a standalone or in combination with other furniture where the layout is defined, and needs are unlikely to change.

Take, for example, a cosy seating zone around a fireplace with two standard sofas facing each other and a large coffee table and rug in between.

On the other hand, a sectional sofa comprises at least two sections and often multiple pieces that can be joined with a simple click mechanism or separated just as easily and conveniently to provide various design formats.

Whatever the size of a room, these sofas offer a high degree of functionality and responsiveness to adapt to changing needs or even mood – perfect, if your home is used often for entertaining, for instance, or you’re the sort of person who likes to breathe new life into your living space by mixing things up every so often.

@2711_interiors styles our Long Island Complete Set in Taupe for a living space that prioritises comfort.

Are Sectional Sofas the same as Modular Sofas?

Sometimes referred to as sectional sofas, at other times, modular sofas. But they’re virtually one and the same.

Both comprise two or more separate, individual pieces that can be joined together or taken apart for an alternative format.

While, strictly speaking, there’s a slight difference in that modular sectional sofas can offer more design configurations than their straight-forward sectional sisters – the terms are used interchangeably. 

Sectional or modular, whatever you want to call them, these sofas were made for modern day living, flexibility and comfort.

Interior designer @lynseyforddesign builds a snug that uses her living space efficiently.

What are the Benefits of Sectional Sofas

A sectional sofa is a flexible friend that’s in it for the long-haul. Whatever your mood or the demands you place on it, it’s always ready to swing into action and will never let you down. Here are some of the many benefits:

  • It’s highly versatile and will allow you to customise a space in an instant, from movie nights to a birthday party or cocktail soiree. 
  • A sectional sofa will be just as happy to adapt as and when needed on the journey of life’s changing circumstances, such as moving home, new additions to the family or even boomerang kids – saving on the costs of having to replace a sofa in the long run.
  • It can make a room work harder when space is limited or there are awkward nooks and crannies to get around.
  • A sectional sofa will provide more room to spread out, which is why this type of sofa is very popular with families and hosts who love to entertain.
  • Configurations often include reclining sections, or a chaise, footstool or ottoman to put your feet up and stretch out, providing the ultimate comfort and extra storage if required.

From a design point of view, sectional sofas can instantly add a touch of visual interest with different shapes, styles and configurations. Whatever the occasion or preference, there’s a layout to suit and enhance a room.

@henandcraskedinburgh goes bold with a Long Island Sofa and Georgette Footstool in Nefertiti, combined with a boucle armchair and flat weave rug.

Types of Sectional Sofa Styles

Sectional sofas come in a variety of shapes and designs. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular: 

  • A chaise sofa is like a debonaire daybed – its name taken from the French word for long chair, it provides an extended section with left-hand and right-hand designs to put your feet up.

Take the Harry sofa, which has been designed with total flexibility in mind. Available as a storage pouffe with a weighted bolster back cushion, as well as a storage footstool, you can create a chaise sofa with a simple click – or a cosy corner sofa with a pouffe combo.

  • L-shaped sofas like the Long Island modular sofa provide ample seating and comfort – with left hand and right hand versions available, they are perfect for large gatherings with family and friends allowing easy social interaction thanks to their versatile design.

For Scandi minimalism with maximum comfort and functionality, the Romy Complete Set includes footstools specially designed to create the perfect sociable sofa with back to back configuration. 

  • A U-shaped sofa is essentially a standard sofa with a chaise on each side – perfect for parties or games nights, you can create a cosy enclave in a large room and make an impactful style statement.

So, there we have it. If you’re looking for a sofa that’s versatile, flexible, stylish and offers great comfort, sectional or modular sofas tick every box.

With countless design options, fabrics and finishes available, all handcrafted by our experts at, you’ll be spoilt for choice.

For inspiration on how to choose your dream sofa, check out our sofa buying guide