Grrrrrr... How 'bout a shag-o-licious game of cat-and-mouse around the playpen baby???

In and out of style for over eighty years! 

Sectional sofas first showed up in the Art Deco era as everything at that time was streamlined which made their clean-lined, one-piece design perfect.  They've never really gone out of style, but they've enjoyed significant reprises since. For instance, their clean lines worked perfectly in the "moderne" 50's era;  then in the 1980's they were the ubiquitous decorating item in every home, upholstered in taupe chenille with super-sized fancy (expensive) pillows tossed all over them.

They're baaaaack...

My thoughts on this recent resurgence are:

  1. We all live so very casually these days, it's nothing to put your feet on your friends coffee table, and a sectional just screams comfort.
  2. People's "personal space" has relaxed substantially; twenty five years ago if you sat close to someone their "you're in my space" alarms went off ... (are we becoming Japanese?)
  3. TV's are in every room now, why not have places to lay out, chillax and watch.
  4. We've left behind schmancy, overdecorated rooms. Less is what works now, so one large sectional sofa over two formal sofas and four French arm chairs is definitely better.
  5. Some homes of today are so super large that a sectional sofa fits better with the scale of the space - instead of lots of random pieces floating around in this huge-ass space.
  6. Sectionals were always labeled as being expensive, custom-only pieces. No more, they're very accessible now and available in zillions of configurations.
  7. If you have a small living room, why not get one sectional - which will make it look bigger - instead of cramming in a bunch of odd seating pieces?

Catch my drift.....said Snow White....?


This watercolor of the salon of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor's Paris apartment is as it was decorated in the late 40's by France's preeminent design firm, Jansen,  who designed these lovely sectionals.   The one on the left has a "chaise" end, the one on the right is completely backless, open to the windows.

Extremely casual for its time, the double sectionals had bolster backs with large pillows lined up casually along the back.

A detail of the pale-green velvet sectional; backless, armless and beautifully detailed with buttons.

(Source: Elle Decor)
A more modern version of the Windsor's fireside sectionals. The tufting makes the velvet shine beautifully (I'dunno wassup with the two throw pillows...)

(Designer: Labelle Juliette)
This small but sexy room is fun and feels like a place to enjoy yourself in.  Notice the free standing chair to the right of the fireplace is actually the right-hand arm section of the whole sectional. Cheap and chic!

Here's a similar sectional in a second-hand store....make the connection!
Have fun with it, be daring. This sofa probably sold for $200.

(Designer: Robert Couturier)
What makes these small corner sectionals work is that they offer smaller conversation groups when having large parties, or have coffee with a friend.  They fill the dead corners with seating instead of the ubiquitous "chest-with-lamp-and-mirror-above" shtick.

(Designer: Lucy Fenton, Australia)
This chic's rad pad is workin' it!  I love the casual mix; country, modern, African, retro, ethnic, etc.  The pale gray-lavender sectional makes the room feel larger by eliminating multiple pieces of furniture. The pillows bring out the great colors in the paintings - it's fresh and speaks to today's design aesthetic - "if it feels good, do it!".

(Source: Elle Decor)
This modern country house is ligit; comfort, style and simplicity.  The sectional sofa's purpose here is creating a cozy fireside reading nook and adding a soft, cushy element to the space as all the other modern items are rather hard lined - ouch.

(Designer: Vincente Wolf)
Wolf is known for edgy, eclectic rooms that embody comfort and artwork. The living room in his own small, but super-chic beach house was perfect for a sectional as social gatherings, stretching out and being comfy were priority one. The soft gray-blue pillows add even more comfort and play with the photographs above.

(Source: Casasugar)
Outdoor sectionals used to be wrought iron contraptions with vinyl-covered, foam cushions. Now they're amazingly practical in woven wicker-like plastics upholstered in soft textiles.  I like the idea of a sectional outdoors for one important reason: It's ONE piece of furniture instead of several small ones which creates a visual clutter and it holds it's balance with all the other visual competitors outside.

(Source: Studio Annetta)
Perfect for the big-city apartment dwellers with small rooms.  The sectional in this beautiful, traditionally decorated room provides a lot of seating for social gatherings and a place to layout and watch TV when home alone. 

(Designer: Timothy Mather)
The pea-green sectional makes this room work, it's fun and boldly-subtle.  If they had covered the sectional the bright turquoise it would be like a Buick in the room -  too bold and it would look twice as big! The green is a good year round color too.

(Designer: Ver Misczynski)
This large living room with a lovely view to the outdoors keep its interiors simple. This large blue sectional infuses one subtle stroke of color into this light-filled space creating a seating area with one macdaddy piece of furniture, not a grouping of multiple sofas and chairs. 

(Source: Unknown)
This elegant 'transitional' style living room makes good use of what would normally be a dead corner with a smart looking sectional which can seat four of five guests.

(Source: Unknown)
Chaise-end Sectionals are very popular right now.  They're great for that special reading or TV watching seat and they can handle three or four extra tuchas' at a party.

(Designer: Thomas Britt)
I love the whole look here!  This well-edited room works because the space isn't crammed with sofas and chairs, there's ONE big-ass sofa instead.

(Designer: Steven Gambrel)
This appears at first glance to be a very elegant, formal room, but notice there's tons of places to put your feet up and feel comfortable....the "new formal."  Notice the French mattress style sofa cushions.

(Designer: Thomas Jayne)
This custom sectional with exposed wooden legs and frame was custom made to fit inside the beautiful bay window. A great place to sit after dinner for coffee, or just absorb the view. Once again, one large sofa takes the place of many smaller pieces which would create clutter and visually interfere with the view.

(Source: Ricky and Ralph Laurens NYC apartment)
As these two are notorious in the industry for the inability to make up their minds for their own interiors, this is what they always resort to...pure works (again).  

(Designer: Lynde Easterlin)
A small living room which cant handle a lot of loose pieces uses a sectional to create all the seating they need.  The blue colors and photos framed alike all help to the simplicity of the space.

(Designers: Fernandez-True)
This long narrow urban apartment needed an anchor, this sectional with the chaise-end gives that without lookin' like a boring sofa stuck in the middle of the room.

(Source: Michael Kors, NYC residence)
Just like the clothes he wears himself....that early-80's modern ain't workin'. This apartment is a virtual checklist from the Design Within Reach catalogue (Mies, Tizio, Knoll, Bertoia, etc.) with no fresh angle - at all...yawn.    The sectional in a bright color or even white with ethnic pillows would make it MUCH more interesting and less formulaic.

(Source: Coastal Living)
Fun, Comfy, Casual....   'nuf said.

(Source: Julianne Moore, NYC residence)
These two Vladimir Kagan sofas are sooo hot. Installed on a slight angle adds some (needed) drama to the space.

(Source: Cheryl Crow, CA rsidence)
This sectional with the tufted back is virtually maintenance free, turn the seat cushions over once in a while and it'll look great forever.

(Designer: Brooke Aitken, Australia)
A very small apartment gets all the seating it can handle without looking crowded. Notice the slightly higher cocktail table makes this a casual dining spot too!.

(Designer: Vincente Wolf)
LOVE this "elegantly casual" sitting area which can double as a dining area in this living room.

(Source: Unknown)
The long, low sectional and matching chairs add to the horizontality(!) of this room which works perfectly with the architecture.


Really? You couldn't afford ONE more section and make this somewhat practical?  Yah, I sooo wanna be the person sitting in the corner section here - Tic-Tac please.

Leave the airport lounge at the airport...

Is this a TRON inspired sofa?  Think that's a good idea?

You can do it, I'm here to help!