our new apt: the hunt for the perfect sectional

One of the things that always bothered me the most about our current apartment was the fact that our living room couldn’t accommodate a standard-sized sofa. The hallway and main door were so narrow that I had to get something with detachable legs and a super-low back, and the walls in the living room were so oddly broken up that nothing would fit against a wall without jutting out three feet into a weird space. So when we looked for a new place, the first thing I wanted was a living room that could a) fit a normal sofa inside and b) have room for a decent-sized sectional that would allow AC and I to lie down and watch TV at the same time. I know it’s not good to plan design around TV watching, but I’m trying to be realistic about the way we unwind, which usually involves Netflix or something we’ve recorded on TV.

Our new living room (above) isn’t massive, but it does have room for an L-shaped sofa and coffee table, so my brain immediately went into over-drive looking for cool sectionals we could use. After searching for a few days though, I was a little bummed to see that most of them were either super clunky (chunky legs, weighing a ton) or heavy on the mid-century details. I’m not crazy about either these days, so I decided to round up my favorites out of the ones I saw and share them — in the hopes that they might be helpful for those of you looking for a great modern sectional. I’m hoping that maybe someone out there knows of a cool modern sectional source that I haven’t hit yet. If you do, I would be eternally grateful to know. I feel like the sectional scene could use the help of some awesome young designers. But hey, any of these would beat the uncomfy tiny settees we lived in for two years. xo, grace

Image above: 1. Clarke Sectional $3198; 2. Gus LOFT Bi-sectional $2999+; 3. Cielo sectional $2097; 4. Simena Sectional $2640 (my favorite right now); 5. Lee Industries Sectional (Price upon request, I’d guess around $3-4k); 6. Jasper Sectional $2398 (My second favorite)

*Top image is the Blake Sectional from West Elm, $1989

  1. A request? We’re trying to find a sectional for our house, which is an old Victorian with tiny rooms. So we’re hunting for small sectionals too, but in a less modern style. Simple, clean lines (hate super-overstuffed furniture), maybe with a bit of tufting and/or nailheads? Any suggestions on where to look for those? Would love to see a Design*Sponge round-up on the topic!

    1. grace says:

      hi mary anne!

      i didn’t see a ton like that in my search, but i’d try lee industries- they have a wider range of more traditional styles :)


  2. jeni says:

    I was debating between that yummy Lee Sectional (with the fabric I wanted it was $4200) and the Robin Bruce “Cindy” sectional (got it for only $2700 in dog friendly fabric!) http://www.robinbruce.com/styles/sectionals/thumbs.htm
    It’s Manufacturer Sale Month in March! so I got 20% off… and it’s down cushions… zzzzzzzzzz

  3. orange sugar says:

    I don’t know about quality comfort but CB2 has the anchor

    Macys This n That

    Mitchell Gold also has some interesting options

  4. Hi there Grace, there are some lovely suggestions for sectionals from all your readers, but I agree most with the two ladies who suggest two sofa’s instead and I will tell you why : if you really like to watch 2 movies in a row to relax, and you’re on a sectional, only one person can really relax and have their legs resting on the sofa ( look for instance at the Cielo sectional- what I mean is the bit of the sectional that stretches out), whilst , when you buy two really nice sofa’s , you both have klegroom.Plus your apartment is so roomy, you would really have the space for it.

  5. AT says:

    Mary Anne, this is probably more Victorian and embellished than you’d like, but I’m totally dying for it….


    The price is amazing, almost worth the drive to FL for pick up!

  6. Nancy says:

    Love your choices – Just make sure the material is durable and wears well. I spent $4k on a TEMPLE FURNITURE sectional sofa and the material did not hold up. It looked worn after only 1 month. It’s been 1 year now and the manufacturer will do nothing!

  7. Kristi says:

    Perfect sectional couch! (first pic, the others are lovely as well) My husband and I bought a honking, huge sectional and it was perfect in our big, old vintage Pittsburgh apt, but then we down sized to a match-box sized apartment. Now it explodes out of our tiny living room and all I want to do is throw it out over our little balcony! (if, the monstrosity would fit though our door!) Look out below!! What was I thinking with such a enormous piece of furniture? If only I had a petite, classic sectional such as this!!!

  8. Jennifer says:

    Since we can’t bring our pets to the furniture store to test out pet friendliness…I was wondering if you knew what kind of couch fabric is the best for not grabbing onto every single pet hair….besides leather..

  9. Christina says:

    Hi Grace! Maybe you’ve already checked out this site, but it has some of my favorite sectionals…love this one http://www.roomservicestore.com/product/SECT018/Deep-Sectional-in-Cream-Linen/- it’s deep, so good for lounging and watching movies!

  10. Elizabeth says:

    We have this Ikea karlstad sofa and the slipcovers come OFF! so that makes it even better, price is $899


  11. isavirtue says:

    sectionals are heaven! they look great and are super comfortable and when people come over you have the seating room!

    the ones grace picked are lovely! light and fresh and nice colours.

    my fiance and i struggled to find one that didn’t remind us of our parent’s living rooms and one day he brought me to a furniture store he had been to without me and showed me a black leather sectional. i was definitely hesitant but then started to really appreciate the angles. and the easy clean up factor. and how i could contrast it with cool pillows and a soft white carpet…

    and our living room was born!

  12. Tru says:

    My sis just got a really comfy sectional that looks a lot like the Gus Jane sectional– its called the Alessia setional. Check it out at http://www1.macys.com/catalog/product/index.ognc?ID=476355&CategoryID=29391&LinkType=PDPZ1

  13. cristiana zarr says:

    I have the Gus Carter sectional and love it! I always get complements on it!

  14. alpana says:

    am living in a parallel universe looking for a sectional! We have the Jasper currently which I absolutely love. I have never had an issue with comfort on that sofa- it is amazing even after several years. I almost bought the GUS Jane sectional (which is also so clever how you can switch the chaise) but wish the cushion was not so hard. I love the look of their products and would love if they would have a more comfy product (hint, hint). My other fave is DWR’s Neo Sectional! Am loving the Bnt-simena-sectional and will have to check it out.

  15. Can’t omit to let you look at a super sectional which is so cool but quite cheap.. as it is for the garden- but what a steal.
    Montauk sectional, $499-$899.
    Just saw it- here is the link : http://ifthelampshadefits.blogspot.com/2011/03/sneak-peek-of-west-elm-summer.html

  16. Caroline says:

    Our taste is midcentury modern but its hard to find a couch in that style that is deep or cushy enough for true lazy lounging around.

    Ultimately we got the York sectional from Room and Board (LOVE Room and Board!) and could not be happier. I am embarrassed to admit we fall asleep on it constantly. The microsuede upholstery is “boring” but a great neutral, and it seems impermeable to spills. The bonus is our cats don’t scratch at it. All in all awesome.

  17. Dave says:

    We do offer other sectionals in our store but the Jane Bi-sectional is the most versatile and durable piece on the market. The style, versatility and durability is an instant draw to these pieces. Easily our favorite.

  18. carolyn says:

    i almost bought the jasper from room and board. i went with the york and i love it!

  19. Amy says:

    i want a sectional so bad! i adore the first one you posted, also #4 on your list (the bottom one?). both i love! your new living room looks amazing. so jealous!

  20. Emily says:

    In our search to find an affordable, stylish and comfortable sofa we’ve come across (via craigslist) quite a few stores that build sofas/sectionals locally. These sofas are generally cheaper than those sold at CB or WE and can be customized to your specifications. Perch Furniture in Portland’s Pearl District is an example, though I just realized their sofas are built in Los Angeles. :) http://www.perchfurniture.com/index.php

    With our sad, little budget, I’d love to buy pre-owned/vintage, but my husband won’t go for it.

  21. Barbara says:

    Crazy! Just moved to a condo with a not-so-big living/dining area and thought a sectional would Never fit. However… this one is fantastic! Tall spouse and I are both able to get horizontal in our separate spaces and be very comfy for long TV sessions. Resident feline enjoys it too and his shedded fur wipes off the microfiber easily. We got “graphite” and put it with a Company C Deco rug in peacock. Lovin’ it all!! good luck with your quest, grace.


  22. Janet says:

    I am totally on the same page. In my tiny apartment, with narrow stairs with a 90 degree angle, my “sofa” is closer to a love seat sized.

    We are looking for a house in the spring – and the requirement is it needs to fit a sofa (prob a sectional w/ a chase) – so we can watch movies together.

    I was sick for a few weeks last year, and I’m short, and the “sofa” is not long enough for me to lay on. – I definitely knew it’s time was up.

  23. Alix H. says:

    I have had my eye on the R&B Jasper (#6) but have always wondered about the quality of it…but i like that it won’t OVERWHELM a room..in fact I had it as a great option for a smaller room??

  24. Amber says:

    I was also going to suggest Blu Dot’s sectionals. You could even try to swap for it in the Blu Dot Swap Meet! I’m sure you’d have some interesting expertise and something to offer in the swap.

  25. jac7890 says:

    Hi Grace, I have owned this Canadian-built and designed sectional for years – it’s super cozy and comfy — and modestly sized for apartment folks like us.

    It’s well-priced and semi-custom so you can pick your fabric, color, and leg style.


    I also see that EQ3 has a store in Brooklyn where they will have sample fabric swatches.

  26. Shirlee says:

    Great collection. My favorite is still the Gus … unfortunately the buttons keep popping off mine. :(

  27. squiggle says:

    i’m looking for a sectional with a round/curved “corner,” so that people can sit all the way around. anyone have leads on one of those? (like r&b’s reese, but not so big!)

  28. Lynn says:

    Grace: Any idea where the table comes from in the picture. I love it!

    1. grace says:


      in the top image? west elm. it’s all west elm in the top shot.


  29. Kito says:

    To much ads here. I ask again. Could you give me some information about the table in front. Please!!!

    1. grace says:


      not sure what ads you’re talking about- but the table above is from west elm- please see my previous comment.


  30. Pam Kueber says:

    Hey, Grace, some fabulous sectionals I recently discovered and posted here, I don’t tink anyone else has mentioned them yet: http://retrorenovation.com/2011/01/19/mid-century-modern-sofas-sectionals-and-chairs-made-in-the-u-s-a-by-younger-furniture/

  31. David Reid says:

    3 buttons came off my Jane sectional from Gus Modern in the first week, so be warned!

  32. Peter says:

    Oh! Those “sectionals” have nowhere to go . Two chaises longues, one with an arm to the left, the other with an arm on the right are more practical. They are great at right angles with the two “armless” ends abutting- piles of cushions and you have your L-shaped crash zone. Put the two ends with arms at right angles and you can put a big square table in the corner they make. When you tire of that you have two seats to face each other. The only person who loved our old sectional was the Frenchie, who hogged the best seat

  33. Katherine says:

    I’ve been looking for a sectional too and right now am in love with this “oxford sectional” from ABC Home:
    It’s similar to your first pick one – I’ve sat on it in the store and it’s very comfortable and beautiful! (I think it’s a little less $$ too.)

  34. Clairebear says:

    Your sofa is beautiful. Would you mind sharing how much it cost including delivery? Also, what is the name? Thanks!

  35. orangette says:

    I’m on the daunting hunt for a sectional too–and this might be it! It’s sold out of the UK, alas, but otherwise perfect:


  36. Your sofa is beautiful. Would you mind sharing how much it cost including delivery? Also, what is the name? Thanks!


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