From making the most of a corner wall to separating different areas, sectional sofas offer so many smart and exciting possibilities. Discover the best one for your living room!
Comfortable and visually appealing, sectional sofas are practical solutions for large households or those who enjoy having guests around all the time. Their iconic L shape makes them an ideal island for conversations, and you can really get creative when it comes to complementing them with a central coffee table.
With these sofas being fairly bulky pieces, however, it's always worth taking some time to explore different ideas and plan the layout of your sectional living room before picking a specific model.
To help you find the perfect setup for your home, our interior design experts have scouted for a wide range of sectional living room ideas that you can draw inspiration from or steal (we won't tell!).
1. Neutral sofa against an accent wall…
At the same time, while this option can work with white walls too, consider making your neutral sofa pop by placing it against a background in a bold accent hue. Why not keep it consistent through your cushions, too?
2. …or the other way around
If you’d rather stick to white walls (a tactical choice in small living rooms, as it inspires a wider and airy feel), make the actual sofa the star of the show by picking a bright accent color.
For example, this orange design works divinely with the rest of this room’s warm palette (like the wooden floor and accents or the stone fireplace) while introducing some conscious contrast against the blue chair.
3. Sectional living room with a white overload
Whether that’s because you’re tight on space or because you’re after the most relaxing and peaceful vibes, consider making both the sectional sofa and walls white.
This will also make your colorful items stand out even more, from cushions to table lamps.
At the same time, you can always balance it out by having one accent wall in a different hue.
4. Seating area with a sectional sofa and some poufs
Depending on how many members of your family and regular guests you need to accommodate for, a sectional sofa might be all you need.
They’re also ideal in smaller living rooms as they don’t get in the way of your visual flow.
5. Sectional living room with natural light
While tactically placed lamps can create the right ambiance in the evening, allowing plenty of natural light into your living room will make your seating area even more appealing and inviting during the day: perfect to catch up with friends and family!
So, if you have large windows, plan the position of your sectional sofa around them, and don’t hide them behind thick curtains.
6. Sectional sofa with a chaise lounge section
This will allow you to get comfy when watching movies, reading, or cozying up under a blanket.
At the same time, it can turn into an additional seat or two when you have a couple of extra guests around.
7. Sectional living room with coastal touches
Because your sectional sofa is likely to be the largest item in your living room, it’s a great starting point to really bring your chosen decor style to life.
For example, this design complements the room’s coastal inspiration by showcasing a white design and cushions in the colors and patterns of the sea.
You can then add other small touches around it, like this delightful rope-style tray.
8. Create a reading corner
Your new sectional sofa will be the perfect place to catch up with friends or watch TV, but it could also complement your other hobbies, like reading.
If that’s the case, place it right next to your beautiful bookshelves, and consider a model that includes a chaise on the side: that way, you’ll get to sit up or relax when reading the next page-turner.
9. Double sectional sofa setup
Are you looking for a seating solution for quite a few people? Perhaps one that takes its conversational setup to the next level?
If you have a spacious or long rectangular-shaped living room, consider two sectional sofas: you could maintain a perfect symmetrical layout by placing them opposite each other like in this example, or change it up a little by having the chaise sections on opposite sides.
10. Full square with different types of living room furniture
Another way to create a setup that promotes conversation is to stick to one sectional sofa (especially one with equal sides) and complement it with additional seating solutions that complete the two missing sections of your square.
11. Sectional sofa separating a seating and dining section
The back (or, in some cases, both sides) of your sectional sofa is a key element to divide different sections in your open-plan room.
Rather than introducing larger solutions that might get in the way of your visual flow (like room dividers), optimize your available space by placing your sofa in a way that creates a separate seating area while having your dining table on the other side.
12. U-shaped sectional room idea
For a more versatile solution that you can use in different ways depending on your needs and preferences, experiment with U-shaped sofas consisting of two opposite chaise sections.
This will allow you and your partner to relax, perhaps when sitting down with the kids in the middle (but be sure to give them an ottoman to put their feet up, too!) while also obtaining additional seats when you have guests around.
13. Living room sectional with a pattern
However, if your living room already involves plenty of monochrome pieces and items, don’t be afraid to play with patterns, too.
For a cohesive feel, choose one that includes at least one of your palette’s colors.
14. Sectional sofa and storage complementing each other
Understanding the right position for your new sectional sofa in relation to your other furniture pieces is essential in living rooms where space isn’t a luxury.
For example, have you thought about your storage needs? One of the back sections of your sofa could be used for a table or console, whereas choosing lower designs will allow you to showcase more built-in wall storage or shelves behind it.
15. A living room with a bold palette
If you have white walls and neutral floors, you can get more creative and experimental with the rest of your living room palette.
Chairs in the same hue could get a bit overwhelming, so choose between another cold/warm tone or a contrasting complementary color.
16. Sectional sofa in a loft studio
The best loft studios rely on a combination of open-plan settings and strategically placed elements to create separate areas without giving up on space.
Once again, you can use your new sectional sofa for that purpose, too.
By having the kitchen and mezzanine behind its back, you’ll obtain your own, separate seating area facing the opposite side.
17. Sectional sofa with the back section against the wall
Unless you have a huge living room where space is the least of your concerns, it might be worth harnessing its existing layout when placing your new sectional sofa. That way, you’ll get to make the most of what it already has to offer instead of running the risk of creating a cramped feel.
That’s why a popular option is to place one of the two back sections against a wall.
18. Artwork above a sectional sofa
If one section of your sofa is pushed right against the wall, that’s a great opportunity to turn it into a focal point and impress whoever walks into your living room.
You could create your own selection of smaller pieces (such as family portraits, pictures, or artwork) or stick to one item but make it big, like this showstopping painting.
19. Living room harnessing the modern origin of sectional sofas
Sectional sofas actually became popular in the 50s, right in the boom of mid-century modern decor.
So, why not embrace the rest of this style, too?
For example, choose long designs with a short back that emphasizes a horizontal feel, opt for tan leather or tufted upholstery in warm colors, and experiment with geometric shapes when it comes to patterns and designs (such as your cushions, rugs, and artwork).
20. Extra cozy sectional living room
To score high points on the coziness and familiarity meter, you can’t go wrong with traditional decor: think neutral hues, a cohesive color scheme, functional items with at least one decorative element, comfy armchairs, and furniture pieces with iconic cross designs.
Still, you could take it even further by adding cozy touches around your new sectional sofa, such as flowers, candles, throws, and lamps for ambiance.
21. A living room with a rectangular coffee table…
Different shapes can work better than others depending on that of your living room or, especially, your seating area.
As you can see in this stylish example, a rectangular feel calls for a table in the same shape.
22. … a round one…
If, on the other hand, your sectional sofa consists of two sides in the same length, you could consider a square or round coffee table.
The latter, in particular, can be a wiser space-saving choice in smaller settings: by getting rid of any sharp edges, it results in a cleaner visual flow and a more spacious appearance.
23. … or one that translates into a space-saving layout
Always choose your coffee table in relation to your sectional sofa but the rest of the room, too.
For example, if yours is fairly small, you could press one side against the wall and opt for a coffee table shape that makes the most of the space in between the two sofa sections, like the rectangular design in this beautifully designed example.
24. Sectional sofa with a low back
A sectional design with low backs will make your entire sofa appear longer while maintaining an illusion of space around it: after all, it doesn’t affect your visual flow as much as a higher back would.
You can also use these designs tactically to complement existing features in your living room. For example, in this setting, a higher back would have ended up covering the bottom of the windows.
25. Large sectional living room
If space isn’t a problem in your living room, you might as well make the most of it and create the seating area of your dreams. This is especially handy if you tend to have friends or family members around often.
The main section could cover almost the entire length of your wall, and you could use a chaise lounge to smoothen the transition to the rest of the room.
26. Sectional sofa decorated with lots of accent pillows
Aim for a cohesive but contrasting feel when you choose new cushions.
The most popular tricks involve placing bright designs against a neutral sofa or vice versa, as well as monochrome cushions against a print or pattern.
To keep everything consistent, be sure to include the same hue elsewhere in your living room (such as your table lamps or flower pots) rather than only using it for the cushions.
27. Stylish and spacious living room with a sectional
Instead of filling up every surface and corner with storage solutions or decorative items, take a step back and consider what you actually need in your living room.
Your new sectional sofa will obviously take up a sizeable portion of floor space, but you can keep an airy and minimalist feel by complementing it only with functional or meaningful items and furniture pieces.
28. Sectional living room with an end table next to the sofa
A central coffee table might be all you need in your new seating area.
Would you prefer to also have a spot to keep a drink or book always at easy reach, though? Could do with a lamp right next to you so that you can read comfortably and without straining your eyes?
Then we definitely recommend planning your new setup in a way that includes a practical end table!
29. Sectional sofa going beyond the usual shapes
Rectangular, square, one side longer than the other… Most sectional sofas tend to rely on the same symmetrical shapes (or consciously asymmetrical if a chaise lounge is involved).
In some cases, however, a different layout altogether might work better with the rest of your living room: so, consider more creative shapes, too!
For instance, this design creates an even cozier corner by having a section at an angle.
30. Creative sectional living room with bold decorative items
Rather than sticking to voguish trends, we recommend creating a sectional living room that showcases your own personality and decor preferences: after all, you’ll be looking at it every single day!
So, go on, and experiment with some of the bolder choices that you’ve seen on Pinterest. For example, this room stands out thanks to the overhead lights in different lengths and the tree behind the sectional sofa.