How To Choose The Right Sofa Size For Any Space

The sofa is the centerpiece of the living room. It’s the crown jewel. The keystone. La pièce de résistance. Some Americans might argue that the TV is the most important part of the living room. But to them I ask, “would you watch TV if you didn’t have a couch to sit on?” The point is that choosing the right sofa for your living room is an important process. It’s about more than simply choosing your favorite color and guesstimating the size you need. Scale, the shape of your space, traffic flow, and the type of intended use are all factors that you’ll need to consider before deciding on your dream sofa.


It might feel great to drive around town in your Hummer, but as soon as you need to parallel park it you’re going to run into some problems. In this analogy your Hummer is the sofa and the parallel parking spot is your living room. Buying a large, 3 piece chaise sectional sofa might maximize your comfort but it’s going to devour all of your space if you live in a studio apartment. It might be comfy but it won’t be so comfortable when you have to use a pole vault to get across the room. This might seem obvious, but many people still choose sofas that are too big or too small for their space. A general rule of thumb is that your sofa should not occupy the entire length of a wall. There should be at least 18” of space on either side of the sofa. If you want a sectional with a chaise then the long chaise portion should not extend more than halfway across the room. The sofa should also be in scale with the rest of your decor.

[A 3 piece sectional] won’t be so comfortable when you have to use a pole vault to get across the room.

Shape Of Your Space

Not all living rooms are created equal. Nowadays there’s more variation than ever in the spaces we’re living. A renovated loft might have exposed pipes and load-bearing pillars getting in the way of furniture while other homes have huge open-floor plan expanses to furnish. Finding a sofa that fits the shape of your space is essential. A sofa should never protrude beyond an existing wall or float aimlessly in an open space. A sectional sofa is great for homes with open floor plans because it can help give shape and separation to the space. It can help define the living room zone versus the dining room zone. A sofa should never block off any unique architectural features like windows, fireplaces, or built-in shelving. Work with those pre-existing features and it will help you decide on the right sofa for your space.

Check out the descriptions in the images where we explain why each of these sofas is wrong for the space!

Traffic Flow

This is going to get a bit feng shui so stay with me on this one. People typically forget to consider traffic flow when they shop for a new sofa. The way people move through your space can have a drastic impact on the energy of the room (I warned you this was going to get new-agey). Energy and movement should be able to flow freely in and out of the living room. Buying a sofa or sectional that impedes the flow of movement and energy can absolutely kill the mood of a space. A sofa or sectional should never box in your space. You want to feel relaxed in your living room, not like you’re being held prisoner by your furniture. It’s also important not to have your furniture physically block entryways or other paths that people will be using to get around. If you have to shuffle past your sofa like you’re shimmying along the edge of a cliff then you might want to consider downsizing your furniture.

Buying a sofa or sectional that impedes the flow of movement and energy can absolutely kill the mood of a space

Intended Use

When deciding on a sofa you need to consider how you’ll be using it in your space. And you need to be honest about this one. You might love the idea that you’ll use the sofa as a spot to read your favorite literary classic or as a place to entertain your friend for tea, but the truth is that you’ll probably be sprawled out on it while binge-watching the newest Netflix series. If you like to have lots of people over to binge-watch the show with you then it might be worthwhile to get the bigger sectional. If you like to think that you’ll have tons of people over but never actually do then you’ll be happier buying a sofa that’s the right size for your space.

Finding furniture that’s the right size for your space isn’t always easy. That’s why Apt2B features a huge variety of sofas in all shapes and sizes. No matter your space we have a sofa that’s right for you. We have sectionals, reversible sectionals, sofas, apartment size sofas (in 2 sizes!), and even standalone arm chairs. Check them out!

Comments (4):

  1. Robin Mcdermott

    March 5, 2018 at 2:47 am

    Nice tips! yes you are right, its better to study your space and identify the size of the sofa that could perfectly accommodate in the room, leaving ample space for the other furniture too.

    • apt2b

      March 22, 2018 at 12:08 pm

      Thanks Robin!

    • apt2b

      March 22, 2018 at 12:07 pm

      Thanks so much! We’ll keep it coming!


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