This is why Shea McGee didn't include a sectional in her living room remodel – favoring a more traditional look instead

The designer proves a sectional may not always be the best choice

Shea McGee standing in Spring living room
(Image credit: Target)

Shea McGee's highly anticipated family home remodel has proven to be full of decor inspiration, not least the open-plan living room.

Embracing a more traditional look than its previous laid-back, modern rustic style, you may have noticed that despite the room's generous size, the newly decorated living room includes no sectional. 

Instead, two separate sofas group the coffee table area, amongst plenty of other standalone living room seating ideas

In a recent video posted to the Studio McGee YouTube channel, Shea explains exactly why she avoided sectional living room ideas and shares how she created a cohesive look with two different sofa styles instead. 

'I don’t want a sectional in my main living room,' Shea says in the video. 'I think sectionals are fun couches,' she continues, but adds that she doesn't 'put them in the rooms that are supposed to act as the pretty living room.'

'We have a basement and so the sectional is down there,' the designer continues, preferring the relaxed look out of sight from the more formal living room

While two living rooms may not be the reality for all of us, opting to ditch the sectional regardless may not be a bad thing. Embracing a look similar to Shea's doesn't need to compromise comfort, who shares: 'I find two sofas to be really comfortable'.

If you're inspired by the slightly more formal look of two sofas, Shea shares her top tips for choosing them, ensuring they feel cohesive despite being of different styles. 

Her first tip is to consider the bases of the sofas. 'I want one that comes close to the floor, or touches the floor... and then the other one I will choose to have legs,' she explains. The aim is to have 'one that’s more substantial and base heavy and then the other one feels a little lighter.'

She also suggests matching the arm heights of the two sofas, which should be 'somewhat the same level,' for a tied-together look. 

Lastly, Shea points out that there should be a level of continuity between the two sofa's design styles to ensure they work in harmony. She suggests that 'maybe they both have a subtle slope to the back or the arm; just any points of continuity would be a great place to bring connection'. 

If you're considering refreshing your living room, swapping out the sofa can be a highly effective way to create a whole new look. To lean into the look of Shea's elevated, traditional living room, consider two separate sofas instead of a sectional.

Below, you can shop the two sofas included in Shea's space, and another of our favorite styles to capture the same refined and grown-up aesthetic.

Emily Moorman
News Writer

Emily Moorman is a News Writer at Homes & Gardens, working across a range of topics spanning interiors, celebrity and emerging trends. With a background in the fashion industry, Emily is well-versed in the world of design and trend cycles. Her undergraduate degree was in Fashion Communication and Promotion which she studied at Norwich University of The Arts, specialising in writing and digital communications.