The Best Sectional Sofas for Small Spaces | Articulate

The Best Sectional Sofas for Small Spaces

The art of decorating a sprawling villa is a beautiful task — but also an aspirational one. While we might all live in an open-plan feat of architecture one day, most of us are wrestling with small square footage and tricky layouts. 

While sitting on the floor is always an option, a sofa is usually a better choice both style-wise and for your back. However, figuring out how to fit enough seating into your small space can be a challenge. So without further ado, allow us to introduce a seemingly counterintuitive solution: sectional sofas in your small space.

A gray sectional is shown in a small space with white paneling on the walls.
Delilah of @loeppkyslife adds big style and character to her smaller space with the Timber Sectional and personal design touches.

Proportions

Why would you stuff a large, sectional sofa into your small space? In a word: proportion. 

With the right proportions, your living space can live out its palatial dreams without looking swamped or lost in a sea of large-scale furniture. As with styling your outfits, the trick is paying attention to balance. 

When introducing a larger piece such as the Beta Sectional to your small space, try to keep the rest of your look fairly minimal. Instead of adding a bunch of single-use furniture and decor “just because”, incorporate some double-duty pieces like the Lignum Shelving Unit to maximize function without sacrificing style. The Lignum gives you a desk to work at plus a spot to store your books and favorite trinkets, meaning you won’t need a separate bookshelf and desk. It’s the little things like this that end up making a big difference in a smaller space.

A white sectional sofa and two white armchairs are shown with pampas grass.
The Beta Modular Sectional gives Nina from @diariesofmyhome plenty of space to lounge, while the space’s minimalist style keeps the look streamlined and serene.

Function and Style

You can have both — and a sectional in your small space, too. The biggest faux pas a small space can make is to introduce a lot of visual interruption. A sectional sofa like the Ceni is comfortable, seats lots of people, but reads as a single piece. Compared to stuffing your small space with a loveseat, a few chairs, and a coffee table, a single sectional sofa feels positively streamlined — plus it can hold all your pals. 

The style of sectional you choose will also impact how it appears in your space. Allow us to return to our styling metaphor. Just like oversized clothing looks chic and together with a little tailoring, so too will your sofa. Sharp, clean lines like those of the Lappi Sectional make an oversized sofa look sleek and svelte in any small space. 

A gray Lappi Sectional from Article sits in a mauve living room in front of a gallery wall.
Think a colorful room can’t be modern and refined? Think again. The slim silhouette and clean lines of the Lappi Sectional in Alyssa Demilio’s space work perfectly with the stunning wall color and patterns at play in the room.

Lastly, let’s talk about how multi-functional a sectional sofa is. It’s for lounge sessions, game nights, platonic hangs, non-platonic hangs, naps, and can even serve as an impromptu guest bedroom. When you’ve got a small space, a dedicated guest room is probably out of the question, but a sofa bed sectional like the Soma adds that extra layer of comfort and value to your space. See? You really can have it all. 

Light and Color

There’s a lot of conflicting opinions about how to use color in a small space. Some warn against going too neutral with a sectional sofa in your small space as it can wash out an otherwise beautiful room, while a colorful sofa is often feared because it can feel like a big commitment. Before you waste time trying to decide between these two options, we beg you to ask yourself: what kind of lighting does my space get? 

Yuna Leonard's bright space shows her children playing on the Timber Sectional from Article
Yuna Leonard’s children enjoy the Timber Sectional in their sunshine-flooded living room.

A sunny, brightly lit room can support both bright and dark colors without overwhelming small spaces. If your space doesn’t have a lot of natural light, you might want to keep things neutral and light when it comes to the color of your sectional sofa.

If you’re aiming for a clean and bright space, something like the Burrard Sectional in Seasalt is the perfect choice no matter what kind of natural light you get. The lines are crisp, the profile is fairly low (so it doesn’t block your view of other areas in your space), and the color is light and airy. If you want to add visual interest without overwhelming your space with tons of colors, a few cushions like the bouclé Gabriola Pillows add touchable texture and plenty of design intrigue.  

A gray sectional sofa sits in front of a large window in this bright space.
A south-facing window is the perfect match for the light and airy Burrard Sectional in Maddie Farmen’s home.

If you’re more interested in creating a cozy, British cottagecore kind of feel instead, feel free to choose a sectional that incorporates darker and moodier colors. Imagine a room overflowing with antique books, dark woods, bouquets of wildflowers, and the Sven Sectional in a dreamy green velvet? It’s a look that feels lush and mysterious, but plays well with whatever natural light you have available in your space. Sign us up, buttercup. 

To sum it up, one of the most important things to consider when bringing a sectional sofa into your small space is your own personal style. Not everyone loves a neutral and minimalist look, just as not everyone loves the lush colors and textures of a more maximalist style. Consider how your lighting will work in tandem with the look you’re going for, and design your room from there. The bottom line? You do you. 

The leather Timber Sectional is styled in a dark green painted room.
Miranda of @thoughtfullythrifted has created the coziest haven with her Timber Sectional in a Charme Tan leather and her collection of vintage treasures. That moody-hued green wall doesn’t hurt, either.

Make Room(s)

While it might be tough to imagine, a sectional sofa in a small space can actually make your room look larger. Sectionals help delineate spaces, where the back of the piece creates a clear line between multiple functions of one room. Think of it like a little wall — but one that doesn’t completely cut off different areas. 

For example, in a small studio apartment an oversized masculine sectional like the Timber creates a designated living space simply by the lines of it’s silhouette. You can then have your bedroom area behind one side of the sectional in a clearly defined area, and a cozy dining space on the other side. This one piece of furniture, the mighty sectional sofa, instantly provides a clear foundation to design and build around. 

Mid-Century Modular Sectionals 

If you’re worried about the layout of your space, or you just like a little flexibility, a modular sectional sofa is a great option. 

With a variety of modular components, you can mix and match pieces to create the Beta Sectional that works best for you.

With a style like the customizable Beta Modular Sofa, you can choose the exact pieces and configurations you want, with the added possibility of changing them around or adding more components in the future. Perhaps your current apartment living room can only accommodate the Corner Module plus one Right Arm Module. You’ve got a cozy chaise-style spot to read your friend’s latest poetry collection without sacrificing style. If you eventually move to a bigger home, you can then easily purchase as many more modules as you like to create the ultimate movie watching pod. A modular sectional lets you take it apart, move it around, and add or subtract pieces to customize a piece that works specifically for you — and your space. 

While it’s not always easy to translate your personal style and desired comfort to a small space, a sectional sofa communicates an easy elegance without feeling claustrophobic. Whether you’re looking for something moody and luxurious, light and airy, or custom and modular, there’s an Article sectional that’s ready for your space — no matter the size. 

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