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How to Place a Sectional in a Small Living Room

How to Place a Sectional in a Small Living Room

Wondering how to place a sectional in a living room? You’re in the right place. 

You can create a gorgeously welcoming living room space with your favorite sectional with the right approach. 

Let’s explore how to place a sectional in a small living room.

Placing a Sectional in a Living Room: A Summary

The trick to fitting a sectional into a living room is all in the planning. We’ll walk through the three steps you need to take to place a sectional in a small living room.

  • Step 1: Measure your room accurately.
  • Step 2: Plan the layout of the room based on how you want to use it.
  • Step 3: Find the sectional that checks all your boxes.

We’ll dig deeper into each of these steps below.

How to Place a Sectional in a Living Room in 3 Steps

A sectional can add a uniquely cozy and welcoming touch to a small space. But you need to carefully plan so that you don’t simply overcrowd your living room.

Whether you already have a sectional or are just in the market, you need to follow the three steps below to ensure your sectional works in your living room.

Step 1: Measure Your Room

Step 1 in how to place a sectional in a living room is a couple measuring the room with a tape measure

Antonio Guillem/Shutterstock

Before anything else, you need to know how your sectional will fit in the room. Trust me, you don’t want to try “eyeballing it” only to find out you can’t make it fit into your space.

Getting the dimensions down on paper first will make the rest of the process so much smoother. Here’s how to measure your room correctly:

  1. First, get a heavy-duty tape measure and, ideally, a second person to help you with measurements. You can do it yourself, but it’s a little harder to get the tape measure to work for you alone. 
  2. Next, measure all the outer dimensions of the room from wall to wall. Get the length and width of the main walls. At this point, ignore any corners or openings. 
  3. Next, measure along the length of each wall, stopping at corners, windows, or doorways. Make a note of these smaller sections. 
  4. If you already have furniture placed in the room, measure the distance from the walls to that piece of furniture.
  5. If your sectional will sit under a window, measure the distance from the floor to the base of the window so you have an idea of how tall the sectional should be. Measure the width of the window as well if you need to center the sectional.
  6. If you already own a sectional, you’ll need to measure it, too. Measure the length and width of each part and the overall height. Compare these measurements to your room measurements to ensure your current section will fit.

Jot all your measurements down so you can reference your notes as you map out your floor plan in the next step. I find it most helpful to sketch a quick diagram of the room and write the measurements directly onto the sketch.

That way, you’re never confused about which section of the room is which. You’ll also need these measurements later when shopping for a sectional—more on that in the third step.

Step 2: Map Out Your Floor Plan

Architect's concept coming to life, symbolizing how to place a sectional in a living room


Now that you have everything measured, it’s time to decide how to arrange the room.

You can place a sectional in a living room in several creative ways. Let’s look at some of the best options.

Tucked Into a Corner

For some of us, open space is the primary concern. We want to keep the floor clear and make our small spaces feel bigger than they are. If that’s your goal, the best layout is to push your sectional into a corner. 

Sectionals are perfect for corners since they hug the walls and instantly make your space feel cozier.

It’s like the room is welcoming you with open arms and armrests. Your area may even be small enough to find a sectional that spans an entire wall and fits snuggly into two parallel corners.

Pushing your sectional against a wall gives you open floor space and more options for extra furniture like chairs or tables. The room’s focal point could be a coffee table or just an open concept facing the entrance.

Ready for Conversation 

You can also embrace the intimate size of your room by arranging your furniture to encourage conversation. Position your sectional against one wall, and then arrange another small love seat or two lounge chairs across from it.

Put a round coffee table in the middle, and suddenly your space will be ready for any friendly chat. This arrangement uses the small size of your living room to your advantage, keeping furniture cozy and close.

Setting Boundaries and Focal Points

While nestling your sectional against a wall will help create open space, maybe you want to break up your room into smaller sections. If you have an open concept kitchen/dining/living room, you might want to set your living room apart. 

A sectional is perfect for creating those divisions in an open concept living space. Instead of placing it against a wall facing out, arrange your sectional out in the middle of the space, facing into it.

The back of the sectional creates a visual divider between your living room and the rest of the home. To pull this off, it’s a good idea to have all the furniture in your living room arranged around a specific focal point.

A TV on the wall or corner across from the sectional is ideal. You can also use hanging plants or artwork to create a focal point. Focal points draw the eye and make sense of the space. They help us to feel like the space is intentional rather than crowded.

Divide and Conquer

If you have a sectional that just doesn’t quite fit into your new smaller space, try this: Break up your sectional into smaller pieces! For example, you could use a chaise piece against one wall and the couch part against the parallel wall.

Or you could move the ottoman away from the couch. Some sectionals separate into several variations.

Have fun with it and explore different combos. Of course, not every sectional can be divided successfully, so this may not work depending on your type. That point brings us to our final step.

Step 3: Choose the Right Sectional

Woman couch shopping for a piece on how to place a sectional in a living room (the third step is to find the right sectional)

Matej Kastelic/Shutterstock

Once you have an idea of the size of your space and your vision for how to set it up, it’s time to find your new sectional! Keep your measurements close by and as you search, be sure to filter your results based on the sizes you need.

If you’re shopping in a store, let the customer service team know what sectional dimensions you need. Since you will fit your sectional into a smaller space, look for sleek, compact lines.

I’d advise that you avoid anything too bulky or dramatic. Modern, Scandinavian, or Mid-Century Modern designs often work perfectly in small spaces. 

The best sectionals for a small space are customizable. Look for sectionals that allow you to move the ottoman to different sides or even break it into two or more separate sections. After all, that’s what a sectional is all about!

Things to Consider

Here are a few final things to consider as you work out how to place a sectional into a living room. 

  • Don’t block windows, doors, or fireplaces. These elements add visual interest and space. If you block a critical element, you’ll just make the room feel more cluttered and detract from its natural strengths. 
  • Keep other furniture to a minimum. If you’re working with a smaller living room, don’t crowd it with too much furniture. Keep it to a sectional, one or two other chairs, and a coffee or side table.
  • Choose lighter fabrics. Dark-colored fabrics may work for a focal point, but they tend to weigh the room down in a smaller space. Think about what you want to feel in the room and what paint colors you want to use, too.

Keep these essential tips in mind as you plan out your new space. They’re simple tricks to help make your area feel larger than it is.

Even if you enjoy the coziness of a smaller space, the tips above will help you create a visually appealing and comfortable room.

How Do You Place a Sectional in a Small Living Room?

To help illustrate how to put a sectional in a living room, such a piece of furniture in a beige living room with a tan couch and light wood floors


That’s right – you can make a sectional work in a smaller space. A well-chosen sectional can make your small space pop! 

When figuring out how to place a sectional in a living room, don’t forget to: take accurate measurements before you start, lay out a game plan for your layout, and spend time finding the perfect sectional for your lifestyle and home.

If you already have your sectional, consider various layouts that will help you fit it into your new room. With a few tips and tricks, your sectional will be right at home, and your living room might even become your favorite room in the house.