How to pick the right sized Sofa

A quick Google search can tell you that sofas, sectionals, and arm chairs tend to come in some basic sizes. Generally, a standard three-cushion sofa you want to purchase for your living room would measure 6-8 feet in length, or you could get a square sectional for roughly 8 feet by 8 feet. But what does that really mean in terms of your personal living space? How much furniture can you really fit in your home without making things feel too crowded or too empty? Here are some of our tips for selecting the right sized furniture for your home.


Basic spacing tips


As you plan the layout of your sitting area, keep in mind that you’ll generally want between 2-3 feet of empty space between a chair and other big pieces of furniture so people have room to walk in front of guests who are already seated. However, if you want to also include a coffee table in front of the sofa, you’ll only want 1-2 feet of space so you can easily reach for drinks or books on the table. You’ll want to use even less space between a chair and an ottoman or foot rest, because more space creates discomfort.


Choosing a sofa


Like we mentioned earlier, a sofa usually measures between 6-8 feet in length, with a cushion depth of about 3 feet. However, before you decide to just stick with the standard, we encourage you to measure the length and width of your room, and also to consider what you want to use the room for. Will your new sofa be added to the formal sitting room at the front of your house, where you greet new guests and get to know them, or do you want to use the sofa in your lounge area where comfort is the top priority?

My Sofa Creation allows you the option to add a few extra inches of depth into your cushions so you can really unwind at the end of the day. If you choose this option, just be sure you calculate the extra depth into your decision about a new ottoman or coffee table. You would also be surprised at how much difference you’ll find in just a few inches in the length of your sofa. If you select a sofa which is 8 feet long, you may want to use smaller end tables at each side. Too many large pieces of furniture next to each other can make a space look small and crowded, but using petite end tables next to an oversized couch can look classy and balanced.


Selecting a sectional


If it’s time to decorate the man cave or main entertainment room, you may forgo a traditional sofa altogether in favor of a cozy sectional. It’s more difficult to predict the length of your sectional because these seats come in a wide array of shapes. Typically, a sectional will measure between 9 and 14 feet long. If you’re using a square-shaped sectional, each side will be about 8 feet long, which could work well with a smaller room.

After you choose a sectional, there are some unique challenges to keep in mind as you furnish the rest of the room. If the sectional doesn’t come with an ottoman already, but sure you pick an ottoman that will allow about 1 foot of space between the sides of the ottoman and the cushions of the sectional. This allows enough room for people to move over on the seat while still being able to easily reach the ottoman. Sectionals also tend to offer less maneuverability in the room overall, so we suggest choosing end tables that don’t include drawers, and placing any recliners in a space where the footrest won’t interfere with the rest of the room’s furniture at full recline.


Picking a recliner


Choosing a recliner is a more complicated process, because you have to consider not only the dimensions of the chair, but also the length of the chair when it’s in full recline. Recliners come in a wide range of widths, generally between 3-5 feet. And although the depth may be similar to that of an armchair, a recliner’s length can reach 6 feet or more when it’s in full recline. Although it may look awkward in some cases, we do suggest keeping another 2-3 feet of open space in front of the chair at full recline so people can easily walk around the chair without disturbing its sitter. You can cut down on the awkward amount of open space by having the recliner sit off to the side, facing the same direction as the sofa, sectional, or other major furniture in the room.


More furniture placement inspiration


We want to encourage you to come out to one of our show rooms in San Francisco or San Rafael, where you can see how our furniture stylists have arranged demonstration sitting rooms for you to see how your new furniture will really look when placed beside each other in a room. Feel free to measure how much space we put between our sofas, end tables, poufs, and other furniture to get ideas for your own home.



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