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Should I get a sectional or a sofa for my living room? Add to ...

The question

I am trying to decide whether to get a sectional or a sofa for my living room. What are the pros and cons of each?

The answer

Sectional or sofa – I am just so glad you didn’t ask about a “couch” – my least favourite word in the language. In general, I prefer a sofa to a sectional. The first sectional I ever had was made with beautiful Italian leather, but the manufacturer put the return on the left side instead of the right. It just didn’t work, no matter how many times we rotated it. People also tend to put their feet up on sectionals, which means the fabric gets dirty (and reupholstering a larger piece like this will take a toll on your wallet). From a logistical standpoint, you need an army to help move a sectional around. But the friendly sofa has so many options, and it is easier to pair with end tables, which provide that all-important resting spot for lamps and drinks. For a family room, a sectional can be a practical solution but, for a living room, it’s too big and too informal. Play with different ideas for your sofa to keep it fun – is it with arms or without? Exposed legs or valance? Just don’t call it a couch.

Follow architect and interior designer Dee Dee Taylor Eustace on Twitter: @ddtaylordd. Have a design dilemma? E-mail style@globeandmail.com.

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