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Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts: How to Choose a Modular Sofa

Modular sofas are the perfect solution to having seating needs that constantly vary, or living in a small space where you don’t want to always have a large sofa. If all the options are a bit bewildering, though, just read this guide to help you figure out all the choices and exactly what is right for you.


How to measure for a modular sofa?

One of the great things about modular sofas is that the size is adjustable, so it simply not fitting is less of a worry. All the same, if you buy it with certain pieces included and a particular shape in mind, you want to make sure that layout will fit into your room. Measure the length of the space it’s going to sit in, factoring in any other accessories that may sit next to it such as standard lamps or side tables, as well as the depth of the space (i.e. the distance from the wall) and the height of the space, considering shelves that may be above the sofa or any pictures that you don’t want to have to move.

Alice Modular Sofa

Don’t forget though, it’s not just the space you’re putting the sofa in that you’ll have to measure. You should also measure every doorway it will need to go through, and any narrow corridors or awkward corners it will go round. Make sure you work out what is the smallest space it would have to go through, and have thoroughly measured that, including length, depth and diagonal distances. Of course, one of the benefits of a modular sofa is that each module is much smaller, so you’re far less likely to get it stuck

Armed with those measurements, you can start to look at sofas and individual modules, and plan what you’re likely to want.


Where to put your sofa?

Where exactly you put the sofa will depend a lot on its shape, size and what you are using it for. Of course, one of the great things about a modular sofa is how easily you can adjust the placement; perhaps having the sofa against the wall when it’s set up as a small loveseat with a separate chair and footstool, and then moving it more centrally into the room when you put it all together as an L-shaped sofa for a big gathering of friends.

Harry Modular Sofa

What features to consider?

The beauty of a modular sofa is being able to choose exactly what modules you want. So what sort of modules are available, and what do you need?

  • Armless units: A lot of modular sofa sections are armless, which means you can put as many of them as you want next to each other, to create a sofa of exactly the length you’re after. They may come in single or double units, for extra flexibility.
  • Left or right armed units: These are designed to go at the end of the sofa, and it’s important to think about whether you’ll need left or right armed units (or both of course) depending on how you plan to lay your sofa out. For added flexibility, though, some arms are detachable, meaning they can be added to either side of an armless unit.
  • Chaise unit: This is an extra long armless unit, which creates a lovely comfortable seating area and also turns a conventional sofa into an L-shaped or corner sofa just by placing it at one end.
  • Footstools: Modular sofas often come with footstools the same height as the sofa seats, meaning they can be put a small distance away as footrests, or placed up against the sofa as extra seating or to create a chaise end.
  • Corner units: The hub of a great modular sofa, corner units have a back wrapped around two sides, so you can add additional modules on both edges and create an L-shaped or even, with two corner units, a U-shaped sofa.
  • Modular sofa bed units: Even modular sofas can fit sofa beds in, and having a sofa bed unit is a great way to add flexibility to your sofa, no matter where you put it or how you plan to use it.

Venice Corner Sofa Bed

Of course, whatever you choose when you first buy your sofa, there’s nothing stopping you adding more modules later on – that’s the great advantage of a modular sofa.