Sectional living room ideas – 10 stylish ways with seating

Be inspired by sectional living room ideas that spell comfort and good looks

Sectional living room ideas – white living room with gray sectional, console, side tables, rug, stripe drapes
(Image credit: Designers Guild)

Sectional living room ideas are a favorite solution to the space’s seating. Comfortable, spacious, and versatile, a sectional also makes a fabulous focal point for the room.

Of course, the right style of sectional is key to pulling off your living room sofa ideas, and also crucial is placement within the room whether it’s a large open space, or a smaller cocooning room.

We’ve put together living room ideas with sectional to provide inspiration for your room design, and asked the experts for their advice about using the best couch for this zoned layout, too.

Sectional living room ideas

Sectional sofas can prove the best choice for large living rooms but also to satisfy small spaces, though you will have to work hard to ensure you are buying the right sized couch for a small living room if it's a sectional. Make the perfect style choice and achieve design success with these sectional living room ideas.

1. Place an L-shaped sectional away from the walls

white living room with grey sectional couch, dark wooden floor, pouffe, black accents, bay window

(Image credit: Neptune)

While sectional living room ideas often see it located against the walls, it’s worth considering other options.

'A sectional can nestle neatly against the walls of small and large spaces alike, making the most of empty corners. When used in the center (or positioned away from the walls) of a bigger open plan room, this style can work to break up the overall space and create an inviting and flexible area that encourages easy conversation and relaxation. Use a footstool or coffee table (or both) to complete the zoned area,' says George Miller, home designer at Neptune

2. Lounge on a low contemporary cream design

cream sectional with textured cream rug, glass mirrored coffee table

(Image credit: Ligne Roset)

Whatever your living room paint ideas, a neutral sectional will complement perfectly and, for a modern look, go low. 

'This sectional is ideal for those who love a minimalist approach in their living rooms. A cream design will go with any existing scheme and its low slung profile, no feet and great depth makes you want to get cozy on it instantly,' says Jennifer Ebert, digital editor, Homes & Gardens.

3. Use a sectional for zoning

loft living room with vaulted ceiling, grey sectional on blue rug, armchairs, pendant lights

(Image credit: Ercol)

Consider a sectional to make designing a living room with generous proportions easy.

'This large sectional holds its own in this open plan space and it's helped by the navy rug which grounds the area. If you do use living room rug ideas in this way (and I always would), make sure it's big enough for the sectional, armchairs and coffee table to all fit within its four corners,' says Lucy Searle, global editor in chief, Homes & Gardens.

4. Customize your sectional to suit your space

white living room with gray sectional, console, side tables, rug, stripe drapes

(Image credit: Designers Guild)

The flexibility of sectional living room ideas can be a boon if you’re following living room feng shui principles, while customization provides ultimate versatility. 

'Make your piece truly your own by customizing it to suit your room. Versatile and elegant, these pieces have been carefully considered by our design team and manufactured to the highest quality to ensure superb comfort,' says Tricia Guild, founder and creative director at Designers Guild

5. Change sectional layout throughout the day

neutral living room with pops of orange, cream boule sectional, rug, retro sideboard, small coffee table

(Image credit: Heals)

Minimalist living room ideas can still provide flexibility, as this uncluttered space shows.

'Over recent years, as the emerging trend for open plan living grew in tandem with a shift to hybrid working, it’s no surprise that boundaries throughout the home have become increasingly blurred,' says Sabina Miller, director of buying at Heal's. ‘Flexible pieces of furniture can be used to create zones within your space and help to create a more structured, multifunctional way of living.

‘A sectional L-shaped configuration is a great way to create a natural boundary between two spaces without blocking natural light or having a physical barrier that closes up the room. This can be particularly beneficial when space is at a premium, such as a flat with a shared kitchen, office and living space, and keeps an element of fluidity whilst separating the functionality of a room. 

‘For the ultimate flexibility, a modular sofa design, such as the Lilli Sofa by Heal’s, can be arranged to suit your changing lifestyle needs throughout the day. Whether you need a spacious setting for entertaining friends, a cinema-style set up for movie night, or just want to chase the summer evening sun, having the option to easily adapt your living room layout is perfect for modern day living,' says Sabina Miller, director of buying at Heal's.

6. Get cozy in a snug with a bespoke design

living room with wooden storage units, textured ceiling, brown couch, blue and yellow cushions, drapes, footstool

(Image credit: Cabellero)

Brown couch living room ideas really suit the shape of a sectional sofa, and you can really relax with cozy living room ideas that keep drinks right at hand.

'The client wanted a cozy TV snug that was also practical, so we designed bespoke cocktail tables that connected to the sectional sofa. We also designed bronze inserts into the sofa arms to be used as trays,' says Lucia Caballero, founder and creative director, Caballero

7. Turn an L-shaped sectional into a U shape

neutral living room with large sectional, log pile, coffee table, drapes, black crittal windows, stone fireplace

(Image credit: Murphy Maude Interiors/Lisa Hubbard)

Broken plan living room ideas divide rooms into small areas without compromising the open feel, and a sectional can perform this function.

'A sectional is exceptionally great for scaling out a living room. Offering the most amount of seating and a less traditional style than the typical sofa and lounge chairs, a modular sofa opens the floor to a more intimate living space, while also prioritizing functionality and creativity,' says Leslie Murphy, owner and creative director at Murphy Maude Interiors

8. Consider a sectional instead of two couches

green and neutral living room with sectional, patterned rug and pouffe, pelmets, open shelving, wooden floor, fire place

(Image credit: OKA)

If you’re looking for living room layout ideas for compact spaces, a sectional can be a problem-solver.

‘In a smaller sitting room, it can be tricky to squeeze in enough comfortable seating for you and your guests. I find that a corner sofa, such as our Lamorna, are a great solution for this; they provide lots of seating but take up far less space than two whole couches, and, when layered up with plenty of soft velvet cushion covers, can help to create a cozy setting,' says Sue Jones, co-founder and creative director at OKA

9. Add color to an all white scheme 

Living room with blue modular sofa and colorful cushions in Cornish coastal newbuild

(Image credit: Dan Duchars)

Consider a color that pops among your sectional living room ideas to make it an even more attention-grabbing feature. Blue couch living room ideas are perfect against white walls.

'Believe it or not, sectionals are very versatile – they can work away from walls, they can stand alone to zone an area, or be tucked into a corner to maximize space like this sky blue design in a coastal home,' says Melanie Griffiths, editor, Period Living.

10. Make a statement with a shapely design

living room with beige patterned wallpaper, coral couch, cream rug

(Image credit: Arte)

Don't underestimate the wide variety of designs you can choose from when you’re contemplating living room ideas with sectional.

'There literally is something for everyone. This contemporary design is a statement piece that looks fabulous in a period house. Keep the rest of the scheme simple so it takes pride of place,' says Jennifer Ebert, digital editor, Homes & Gardens.

Is a sectional good for a living room?

A sectional can be a very good choice for a living room. ‘Sectionals can provide generous seating,’ says Lucy Searle, global editor in chief of Homes & Gardens. ‘And although they might seem like an obvious choice for a larger living room, they can prove space saving in a small living room as you don’t need to be concerned by space between a number of individual armchairs or couches.’

Are sectionals outdated?

Sectionals aren’t outdated, and are worthy of consideration as well as individual couches, and other seating. ‘There’s always a place for living room seating that can be comfortably shared by the whole family and friends,’ says Lucy Searle. ‘And a sectional is no compromise in design terms with a plethora of shapes, height and fabrics available to suit the room’s aesthetic.’

Sophie Warren-Smith
Contributing Editor

Sophie has been an interior stylist and journalist for over 20 years and has worked for many of the main interior magazines during that time, both in-house and as a freelancer. On the side, as well as being the News Editor for indie magazine, 91, she trained to be a florist in 2019 and launched The Prettiest Posy where she curates beautiful flowers for modern weddings and events. For H&G, she writes features about interior design – and is known for having an eye for a beautiful room.