Ever considered a large sectional in a small living room? This light, bright living room is anchored by a large blue gray sectional and accented with natural wood and white highlights. Tour this gorgeous rustic modern living room and find out why a sectional might be the best piece for your family room.
I still remember hunter green patterned velour, puffy back, reclining sectionals that completely dwarfed even the largest of rooms… and I shudder.
But sectionals have come so far since I was a girl in the early 90’s. And I am thrilled to show you how a HUGE sectional was actually the answer to our rather-on-the-small-side family room.
Thank you to Article for providing furniture for this space. I am thrilled to offer a review of Article’s Cube modular sofa and Timpani ottoman. As always, text and opinions are my own.
Design plans to maximize seating in living room:
Let me start by stating the obvious to my regular readers: I’ve never really shown this room on the blog before. When we first moved in, we had the tv on a bench in front of the window, two oversized brown leather pieces floating opposite the tv, a bookcase tucked into the corner, and an old tufted ottoman in the center. They all looked beautiful in our old living room (where the tv hung on the wall above the fireplace), but in this room they were awkward and totally inefficient. The room felt cramped, and we could still only seat 4-5 people.
So we completely redid the fireplace and created a bookcase nook for the tv (you can read all about that project here), which realigned the room much more logically. But even with the addition of a wingback chair, we could still only seat 5 people really comfortably. Since we are now a family of 6, that proves to be rather disappointing.
Let me give a little disclosure: I realize this is not a tiny living room by any standards. But for a big Texas house, where we regularly try to sit 10-12 adults, it’s not large either. The room is about 13’x13′ with two walls of huge windows (which I LOVE, but they do make furniture placement tricky) and – thanks to our fireplace renovation – one wall of cabinetry and fireplace. The fourth “wall” is open past the bar area to our kitchen table.
So I set out with two main goals for this living room makeover: add more (and more efficient) seating AND create a light, bright feel.
And the key to this space was actually not smaller furniture, but bigger furniture… Crazy, right?
Review of the Article Cube modular sofa and Timpani ottoman:
Using a large sectional in a small living room:
A couple of years ago, I chose a couch from Article for a client (aka my little brother 😉 ), and I was so very impressed. I was a little hesitant about ordering furniture that I couldn’t touch beforehand (they sell exclusively online), but their low delivery price and easy return policy made it a no brainer… and the couch ended up being perfect: the quality, the style, and the price were incredible. So I began looking at Article when I was thinking about a new couch for my living room, and was so pleased to find this sectional and to partner with them on this project. The Cube is a very generous (both deep and wide) modular sofa, sold either as a three-piece set or piece by piece (ours is two ends, two middles, and one corner to make the giant L… and I do mean giant). (Update: the Cube has been retired and has been replaced with the Gaba.)
Despite its large size, its low profile made it perfect for our walls of windows. The previous couch (which was not particularly high-backed) kept bumping into the plantation shutters and forcing them closed. The view is straight out to our backyard, and it is one of the best parts of this room – and you know how I feel about all the natural light – so the height of the Cube is absolutely perfect. The low profile also helps accentuate the room’s high ceilings and makes it feel so much larger even though much more floor space is actually covered by the sectional.
Even better, it can comfortably seat SO MANY people! Our entire family can practically lay end-to-end… not that my kids have tried or anything – ha!
And the fabric has a gorgeous linen look but seems so very durable – a huge factor when I’m choosing furniture that my kids will be using regularly. To make that easier, Article even has durability scores of the fabrics on their site; they recommend looking for fabric sofas with a Martindale rub test of at least 25,000 rubs… and the Cube surpasses that by a long shot with a score of 100,000. The couch is firm enough that you don’t fall into it and get stuck (which is important given how low it is), but it’s wonderfully comfortable to sit for hours – working on your laptop or watching a movie.
Probably the only thing I might change if I had total control is I tend more towards warm grays than cool. Our walls, which are Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray, are my favorite – light gray with some warm tones – and our kitchen cabinets are a darker warm gray. The gray blue of the sectional really is beautiful (and actually complements our marble in the kitchen really well). I think it will be a very forgiving color: light enough to help the room feel bright (remember one of my goals?), but dark enough to hide the inevitable grime of young kids. Article also offers the Cube in white (which I would love, but I don’t find it practical at this stage in our family’s life) and a Thunder Gray (which was actually my original choice, but the Glacier Blue was available more quickly and I liked the idea of a lighter color). All that to say, it’s a lovely color but definitely a blue gray, not a warm gray. (Update: Note that the Gaba has slightly different names, but it also comes in essentially those same three colors.)
The best coffee table for a large sectional:
Since I’ve had at least one little one in the house learning to walk for the past six years, I’ve been a big fan of tufted ottomans used as “coffee tables.” But I’ve never loved one as much as I love this. The Timpani in Charme Tan is incredibly gorgeous. The modular sofa is the piece that makes the room work, but the ottoman is the piece I am smitten by: the beautiful light brown real leather, the stitching in such a pretty pattern, the slight tufting… it’s all perfect. And totally baby friendly.
I think the round shape makes it feel like there’s much more floor space and feels balanced no matter how far it is from the corner of the sectional…
And mom doesn’t have to go batty when it gets pushed askew by the littles. 😉
How to decorate around a huge sectional:
Suffice it to say, I love how our family room turned out. And I’m excited to share with you more details about the space…
But this post has gotten really long! So I’m going to save all the other decorating details for part 2. In the meantime, what do you think? Do you struggle to get enough seating in your living space? Do you have a small living room? Do you think (counterintuitive though it may seem) that a large sectional might be your answer? I’d love to know!
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