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Tips For Buying An L-Shaped Sofa And Mistakes To Avoid

L-shape sofas, sometimes called sectional sofas, are a popular seating choice for living rooms in 2021. They’re great for comfort, offer a good amount of seating and come in all sorts of different styles, colours and fabrics. However, there are a few things you’ll need to know in order to make the best purchase for you!

In this article, we’ll give our top tips for buying an L-shape sofa, then we’ll cover some of the most common mistakes that homeowners make when buying a sofa. Lastly, we’ll answer some of the most frequently asked questions about buying sofas in general.

Tips For Buying A Sofa That’s Sectional Or L-Shaped

purple corner sofa
A Purple Fabric Corner Sofa

L-shape sofas are versatile and can fit with a wide variety of room styles and shapes. As long as you’re buying a high-quality piece from a reputable brand, it’s hard to go wrong. However, there are some steps you can follow to make sure you’re getting the best use out of your new purchase.

Our best tips for buying an L-shape sofa are to:

Choose A Specific Type Of L-Shaped Sofa

Many buyers don’t know that there are different types of L-shape sofas to choose from including:

  • Angled corner or sectional sofa – This is the most traditional option if you’re shopping for an L-shape sofa. A high-quality corner sofa is an immensely versatile piece.
  • Chaise L-shape sofas – Sectional sofas don’t necessarily have to be huge. Instead, you could choose an elegant chaise sofa which provides all of the same benefits as their larger counterparts with a much smaller frame.
  • Recliners – Some L-shape sofas offer seats that recline for ultimate comfort.
  • Modular Sofas – One of the most modern types of L shape sofas are ones which come in distinct parts, or modules, which allow you to customise the shape of the seating area and even convert the sofa into one large rectangle – perfect for lounging or even sleeping extra guests.

Style Your Sofa With The Room

grey l shaped sofa
A Grey Fabric Corner Sofa In An Open Plan Room

L-shape sofas can work anywhere within the room; however, you’ll need to decide where exactly they will look best. For example, large rooms look great with an L-shape sofa in the middle, however, small rooms look best with a sectional sofa along a wall.

Some of our other best style tips include:

  • Fitting your L-shape sofa around a coffee table.
  • Using Coolors to build a custom colour palette for your living room in order to choose a sofa colour.
  • Pairing your sofa with cushions, throw pillows and blankets that fit with your colour theme for extra comfort and style.
  • Pairing your sofa with other pieces, such as a stylish accent chair.
  • Using Pinterest to look for inspiration.

Choose A Piece of Furniture That Doubles As Storage

One of the many benefits of an L-shaped sofa is that they are large enough to offer plenty of extra storage (as long as you choose a model designed for this purpose.) If you’re conscious about needing extra storage space in your living room, you can choose a sectional sofa that comes with built-in drawers or even seats that lift to reveal an area underneath. Some sofas even have extra storage under the arms.

Measure With Tape

Most homeowners or interior designers will use a tape measure to ensure that a piece of furniture will fit into their living space. However, one of our best tips is to actually use pieces of tape on the floor to mark where the sofa is going to sit.

By outlining the shape of the sofa onto the floor, or marking its height on a wall, you’ll be able to get a much better idea of where best to place your new purchase as well as a better idea of its overall measurements and depth.

Mistakes To Avoid When Buying An L-Shaped Sofa

woman sitting on a yellow corner sofa
A Fabric Corner Sofa In A Small Room

In order to ensure you don’t make a mistake when purchasing an L-shaped Corner sofa, you should avoid:

Choosing The Wrong Size For The Living Room

L-shaped sofas come in many different sizes, from smaller 3 seaters and corner seaters right the way up to huge 10-12 seats.

Of course, you won’t be able to fit a 10-seater sectional sofa into a small living room. However, many people err on the small side when it comes to buying a sofa for a larger space.

You should bear in mind that your sofa will be the focal point of your living room and will be the main seating area. In addition, you want to fill the space you have without adding too much clutter. So, don’t be afraid to choose a large model for larger spaces.

Assuming The Sofa Needs To Sit In The Corner

Another common mistake when buying an L-shaped sofa is assuming that it needs to sit along a wall or fit into the corner of a room. Of course, this can be an option if the room is particularly small, or if the room is square-shaped, however, it isn’t always the best idea for larger living spaces.

Fitting a sectional sofa into a corner of a large area will only accentuate the blank space in the room. Instead, you can put the sofa in the middle of the room, using the L-shape to create a distinct area. This separates the living area into neat sections and makes sure there are no large gaps that leave the space looking empty.

Not Measuring Properly

Not many furniture buyers would make the mistake of not measuring their living space in order to check whether their new sofa will fit comfortably. However, many people do forget to take the measurements of their front door, hallway, or doors to their living room.

In order to avoid sending your purchase back or even damaging your home, you should make sure to measure the height and width of anywhere your sofa will need to pass through when moving it into the house.

What Should I Look For When Buying A Sofa?

There are hundreds and thousands of sofas to choose from both online and in stores. It can all be quite confusing, and you may find it difficult to make a decision. However, to make the best choice for you and your space, make sure to look out for:

Something That Matches Your Interior Style

When buying any sofa, you’ll need to think about the style of the space it will be going into. You’ll want to make sure that it fits with the rest of your designs in order to keep a coherent theme.

For example, if you’re going for minimalism, you probably wouldn’t want to buy a patterned sofa. In addition, if you’re designing an industrialist room, a leather or distressed sofa would work best.

You should also consider the other items in the room such as wall art, existing tables, decorations etc. If you have a lot of plants in the room, choosing a green or an earth-tone sofa would mix well. However, this wouldn’t work for rooms painted with pink walls or brightly patterned wallpaper, as this would clash.

You can check out some furniture design blogs to get more style inspiration.

A Fabric That Matches Your Lifestyle

You’ll also need to consider the fabric of your new sofa. This comes down to individual preference but will also depend on your lifestyle as well as the occupants of the space.

For example, if you are a family with pets that will be lounging on the seating or children who are likely to be messy, you probably won’t want a white sofa or one with velvet or velour fabric. Fabrics like this are much harder to clean and tend to trap odours compared to, for example, a leather sofa.

A Good Warranty And Returns Policy

If you’re buying furniture, you need to be sure that you’re purchasing from a brand that offers a good warranty. You should expect your sofa to last for upwards of 10 years and its warranty should reflect this.

You’ll also want to look out for the furniture company’s return policy. If anything arrives broken, the quality isn’t what you thought, or the sofa simply doesn’t suit your living space, you should be able to return your purchase within a reasonable amount of time.

How Do You Know If A Couch Is Good Quality?

woman checking quality of sofa
A Person Checking The Quality Of A Pillows Materials

There are two key characteristics to look out for in order to determine the quality of any sofa you want to buy:

It Comes From A Reputable Brand

Whilst a cheap deal from an online company you’ve never heard of may seem like a good idea at first, you should think twice about making this type of purchase. Remember, when buying any item of furniture, brand quality is of paramount importance.

A high-quality brand will pride itself on making high-quality sofas that last the test of time. So, always make sure to research the brand thoroughly before you buy.

It Has High-Quality Materials And Construction

You will always be able to tell the quality of a sofa or a piece of furniture by looking into the materials used as well as the construction process.

A high-quality sofa will have:

  • A solid, hardwood frame rather than particleboard or plastic.
  • Metal springs.
  • Extra strength, good-quality materials in the frame itself.
  • Arms which don’t move when rested on.
  • Sofa cushions which don’t immediately sink when sat upon and regain their original shape once you move.
  • Meticulous seams and stitching that doesn’t come loose when touched.
  • Flame retardant materials and fire-safe guarantees from the manufacturer.

Reputable brands will always have this information available. If you can’t find out these details about your sofa, this should be a red flag that it might not be the best quality.

How Do You Arrange An L-Shaped Couch?

good quality grey l shaped couch
A Grey Fabric Corner Sofa In A Modern Room

An L-shape sofa can slot into many places in your living room depending on the size of the area and the style you’re looking to achieve.

For example, your sectional sofa could fit:

In The Centre Of The Room

If you want your L-shaped sofa to be a real statement piece, you can place it in the centre of the room, not touching any walls. This draws the eye directly to the seating area and paired with a coffee table in the middle of the L, it becomes the focal point of the living room. This leaves the potential to add features such as bookcases, dressers and console tables to the walls of the room for extra storage and decoration.

Against A Wall

If your living room is on the smaller side, the best area to place an L-shaped sofa is likely along a wall. This allows the benefit of extra seating that comes with a sectional sofa, whilst making sure that it doesn’t overcrowd the living room.

However, for large spaces, we don’t recommend placing your sofa directly in the corner of the room, as it’s a much better use of space to leave a gap between the sofa and the corner for an item such as a side table. This avoids clutter in the rest of the room and ensures you still have a space to place vases, lamps or plants.

As A Room Divider

Let’s say you have a particularly large living room or one with an interesting shape such as an L. In this case, you can use an L-shaped sofa to act as a room divider in order to split the space up into distinct sections. This helps you to make the best use of the space and prevents the centre of the living room from looking bare. It also means you can use another section of the living area for a different purpose, such as adding a table with chairs to create a dining area.

What Is The Best Quality Sofa Brand?

grey l shaped sofa
A Grey Corner Sofa In Front Of A Fireplace

There isn’t exactly one true answer for the question, ‘Which is the best quality sofa brand.’ This is because certain brands will fit with certain buyers’ criteria and of course, this will vary from person to person.

There are hundreds of sofa brands on the market, all making claims to be reputable and high-quality, which makes it difficult to make a choice. So, here are some of our best tips on what to look out for in order to tell if a furniture or sofa brand offers the best quality:

A Brand With A Showroom

A sofa brand that guarantees high quality will be able to show you some previous examples of their work or some prototypes in their showroom.

It can be tempting to buy a sofa online without viewing it, but in order to be sure you’re making the right choice, it’s always best to view and test the sofa in person.

One With Great Reviews

Reviews and recommendations are the best way to determine the quality of a brand. So, you should always check feedback from independent review sites and never simply take the seller’s website at face value.

You can do this on sites like Trustpilot or Feefo.

A Brand With Good Customer Service And Terms

With any piece of furniture, you should check the standard of the company’s customer service and terms before you buy to ensure they offer:

  • A good length warranty in case of breakage.
  • A dedicated customer service team that’s easy to contact.
  • A reasonable returns policy.

Not Necessarily A Large, National Brand

You should bear in mind that purchasing from a large corporation does not necessarily mean high quality. Of course, there are plenty of great national furniture stores that have sold millions of sofas and have been operational for decades.

However, this doesn’t mean it’s a mistake to purchase from a smaller local brand. When you purchase from a local seller, you are a real priority, you can speak with the manufacturer directly and benefit from a personal service. With larger sellers, sometimes you risk becoming a number in the system.


Now you should be an expert on purchasing a sofa and should also feel more informed about whether or not an L-shape sofa is for you. You’ll also understand more about how to choose the best L-shape sofa for your living room and how to avoid some of the most common mistakes that L-shaped sofa buyers make.

When in doubt, always remember to consider your living room style, shape and lifestyle use to choose the right colour, size and fabric of your sofa. In addition, make sure to purchase from a reputable retailer and test your sofa in person to ensure you’re buying a quality piece that will stand the test of time.

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