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Design 101: Lesson 3 - Sectional Couch Styling

Design 101: Lesson 3 - Sectional Couch Styling
We’ve been thinking about the dos and don’ts of styling a sofa lately, particularly styling sectional couches. Sectionals are a great option because they offer a little more seating and add an element of comfort to a room. But styling all those corners can sometimes be difficult. So, to help you out, we’ve created a few fool-proof ways to style your sectional couch with decorative pillows that will leave it looking chic while still allowing it to be functional.

3 Steps to Sectional Couch Styling:

  • Preparing the floor plan
  • Choosing and placing decorative pillows
  • Styling the room

Step 1: Prepare the Floor Plan for Your New Sectional Couch

It is very important to measure your space before ordering a sectional couch to be sure you are getting the right fit for the room you are putting it in. Make sure to know the exact measurements for all of the walls. Sectionals are typically great in a corner of the room, up against two walls. 

Create a basic floor plan with a sectional couch. This will help you with measurements and visualization, as well as to create an organized way to style the rest of your room around the sectional. 

If the sectional is going in a family room or a place where a TV will be, consider where the TV will be when you are choosing the size and type of sectional you want.

Different Types of Sectional Couches

When most people think of a sectional, they picture a classic L-shaped sofa. While these L-shaped options are quite popular, as their angular shape fits well in many rooms, they’re certainly not the only type of sectionals. For a softer look or a shape that works well in the middle of a room instead of up against a wall, look for the U- or semi-circle sectionals.

Types of sectionals:
  • Double chaise
  • U-shaped-Three sided
  • L-shape
  • Semi-circle

Changing it Up – Stational vs. Modular Sectional Couches

Along with different shapes, there are also different types of sectionals. The two types of sectionals are stationary and modular. Stationary sectionals are the most common kind. These types of sofas are designed to be one shape that locks in place. 

Modular sectionals, on the other hand, usually come in three to five pieces that can be arranged in a variety of different ways. These are great for people who move often, using the sofa in different room layouts, as well as people who prefer to redecorate on a whim. (Make sure your pieces are secured together before using.)

Step 2: Choosing Decorative Pillows and Pillow Placement

There are a variety of ways to style your decorative pillows on a sectional, but not all ways keep it looking clean, chic, and inviting. We recommend using 6-7 pillows on the sofa to create a full look without going overboard. Here are our top two favorite ways to style:

Pillow Placement Style 1:

  • Choose two sets of three decorative pillows that are the same size and pattern (We recommend three 20x20s and three 24x24s). Place one on both ends and one in the middle of your sectional couch.

  • Choose one 14×20 decorative pillow that complements the other two patterns and place it in the middle cluster of pillows.

  • Keep the pillow placement symmetrical on the ends and go for something a little different in the middle.

Pillow Placement Style 2:

  • Choose three 24×24 pillows in the same pattern. Find two 20×20 pillows that coordinate. Place one pillow on the sofa on both ends and one in the middle.

  • Choose one 16×26 decorative pillow that complements the other two patterns and place to the left of the middle on the sectional couch.

  • Once again, keep the pillow placement symmetrical on the ends, and for the pillows on the sofa in the middle, go for something a little different.

We’ve compiled a few examples of different pillow placement styles and patterns that work well together. Have a look and pick a favorite for your sectional couch styling!


Step 3: Style the Rest of the Room Around the Sectional Couch

The couch is placed, and the pillows on the sofa are perfectly arranged. Now what? Now it’s time to carry that style throughout the rest of the room for a pulled-together look that’s sophisticated and inviting.

Tips for styling a room:

  • Add a colorful throw: place it on the chaise section of the sofa.

  • Add a great rug: choose a rug that fits under the front legs of the sofa and extends at least 3 feet beyond the coffee table (if using a coffee table).

  • A coffee table used with a sectional couch should fit the boundary edges of the sofa.

  • Make sure the coffee table is proportionate to the sectional. A large sectional should have a large coffee table.


    No matter how you choose to set up your layout, place your pillows on your sofa, or decorate the room, you’re sure to bring a touch of comfort and sophistication when you choose a sectional couch. Curl up in comfort and enjoy your favorite space after following this guide on how to style your sectional.