AdviceInterior designLiving room

Accommodating an L shaped sofa

Picture of a white L shaped sofa

The days of the three-piece suite have long been numbered, with many of us preferring to mix and match our furniture, go for two sofas, or just go for one huge sofa that suits all of our needs. The L shaped sofa is a great example of how we are moving away from the traditional and towards the modern, with more outlets making them available in a number of designs, materials and colours.

However, the L shaped sofa is not always the easiest piece of furniture to accommodate. It needs a good deal of space and not a little thought to ensure that you get the best out of it in your home. That being said, having enough space for two or more of you to get comfy and watch box sets is always a good thing, even if you have to sacrifice storage space, sideboards or standard lamps to squeeze it in.

One of the first things to think about when considering an L shaped sofa is whether it will fit in your space and whether it will fit through your door. Most modern L-shaped sofas come as sectional pieces that are either pushed together (allowing for rearranging) or fitted together on site. These sofas are sometimes known as modular sofas, and that is how many online stores will categorise them. Others may call some models chaise sofas or even corner sofas.

Picture of a L shaped sofa and coffee table in basement

Once you have the sofa through the door, you will need to position it. If you are lucky enough to have a large living space or if you have a spacious open plan living area, then you may want to use the sofa to divide up the space. These large sofas are ideal to use as dividing points and can mark the boundaries of mini rooms within a larger space.

If you have a small space but still want an L-shaped sofa, then you may need to think about angling the sofa to work with your space and allow you enough room to move around it. This may seem counter-intuitive, but it can make for a cosy way to enclose your room. Likewise, don’t be afraid to situate sofas across openings in the wall or archways if you have a semi-open plan room, such as those you may find in a converted terrace or semi-detached house. It may look in the way to begin with, but you will soon grow used to it.

Picture of a TV room with L shaped sofa

You should always measure up your space before you go off to browse sofas in shops or online, but you will also need to think a little about layout too. Not all L-shaped sofas are the same, although most offer you the option of the longer part and arms on the left or the right end. Think how this will look in your room and how you use your sofa, as well as how many people will be using it. If you want room for the kids and the cats then you might want to buy extra sections and go U-shaped.

Design-wise, the L-shaped sofa does lend itself well to modern design, so it is great for anyone who likes Mid-century design or hankers after a space age living space. Obviously it won’t sit so well in your period home alongside Victorian ephemera, but those with an eye for design can make it work. The sheer size of L-shaped sofas means that fabric works better than leather or vinyls, with lighter colours being popular. So, try charcoal over black and light greens over navy. Or at least be willing to experiment with some bright blocks of colour in your cushions.

Need some help painting or decorating to complement your new sofa? Post a job on Rated People in our Painter / Decorator category to receive quotes from our qualified and trusted tradespeople.

Iain Aitch

Iain is a London-based writer who works as a journalist for a number of newspapers and magazines. He has also written two books, one of which is a hilarious lexicon about Britishness – Iain is a Brit through and through!

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