Modular Sofa Buying Guide
Posted on October 14 2020
As a kid, I remember my parents buying a new set of couches for our growing family. Their main options were standard 2, 2.5 or 3 seater sofas or sofa-beds (in a flouncy floral fabric apparently). Modern sofas allow you to customise your furniture to your family and lifestyle, so it is worth trying to understand your options. Now there are so many options to suit any home; it can get a bit confusing, so before we go any further we need to get our heads around some of the terminologies that define the types of pieces used to build a modular sofa.
Getting to know the lingo
First, there is the corner piece, sometimes called the wedge piece. It is typically a 1-seater piece with a back on two adjacent sides. It will have locking features on two sides which are used to attach the other pieces you have selected.
Many people now opt to have at least one chaise piece within their sofa because it can allow for more seating or greater comfort. A chaise can be either left-hand facing (LHF) or right-hand facing (RHF).
And a RHF chaise will have an armrest on the right-hand side when you are looking at it from the front (below).
Armrest seats can be 1-seater or 2-seaters. Again, they are classified as either RHF or LHF, with RHF pieces having the armrest on the right when looking at the piece front on and LHF piece vice versa.
For those needing a larger sofa you can add a single seat or double seat, it has a back and no armrests. This is sometimes also called an arm-less piece. Some selected sofas also have consoles (which have drink holders) and recliners for those looking for extra comfort.
An ottoman is another piece to consider when building a modular sofa. It is a piece that is not locked into the sofa unit but can be placed right up to the sofa for a seamless addition. It allows for greater flexibility for when you need to seat additional people.
There are 2 main configurations to choose between: a corner unit and a chaise unit. Each of these configurations can be created using a variety of pieces which lock together tightly.
The standard corner sofa looks like a large 4-5 seater sofa bent at a 90° angle. The two ‘arms’ of the L-shape can have different or equal lengths. It will generally come in 3 or more pieces: one corner piece which will lock into two other pieces. A classic example of a corner sofa is the Paige Corner Lounge, comprised of a corner piece and two 2-seater armrest pieces (one LHF and the other RHF), which gives the entire unit an equal measurement from the corner to each armrest. For those after a real statement sofa for a large lounge or media room, you can look at the Bailey Corner Lounge. With a console (featuring a light and drink holder) is definitely more luxurious.
A chaise sofa can be configured in a number of ways. A smaller chaise sofa may look like a standard sofa with a chaise at one end; an example of this is the Margo.
A larger example of a modern chaise sofa is the Barkley which is a corner sofa with a chaise on one end. There is also the option to have a duel chaise sofa with something like the Davenport which has both an RHF and an LHF chaise joined together with a double seat. Finally, if you are after a real statement sofa, the Bradford sofa includes a drinks console, a chaise and a recliner which gives a real cinema feel.
Build your own
The great news is that modern sofa ranges allow you to build-your-own, essentially designing what will be most ideal for your home and lifestyle. The Davenport, along with the Paige, are great examples of sofas that you can configure to meet your current needs while still giving you options in the future. It is now possible to have the same sofa range throughout your house and change and reconfigure them as your family needs change.