Arranging L-Shaped Sofas in Any Area – including Tiny Spaces
by KRISTEN PHANG
The L-shaped sofa was the best playset in our small, cramped apartment.
When we were younger, my sister and I would climb onto the L-shaped sofa and imagined it as a castle, a pirate ship or a trailer. Despite the couch’s bulky size, we had ample space in the 12m2 living room to play – until we got scolded by our mother for running around.
One of the biggest concerns about buying an L-shaped sofa is whether there is enough space for such a large piece of furniture.
But the truth is: L-shaped sofas can fit in any space. They can be feature sections in wide-open living rooms, ideal social settings in small minimalist apartments and areas of relaxation in your garden.
It’s not a question of whether or not the sofa will fit; it’s a question of how.
By following these three easy steps, you will soon find yourself lounging in the living room with your own L-shaped sofa.
1. Plan, Measure and Record
The first thing you need to do to measure your room space in three dimensions: length, width and height.
This is because the amount of space in your room determines not only the size of your sofa but other limitations you will be working around too.
As you measure your room, consider the following factors:
How much room is there left in front of the sofa? Placing a coffee table or a rug in front of the sofa usually isn’t a big issue, but make sure there is enough space left for you to walk around.
If you want more seating, you can arrange feature chairs, foam cushions and stools in front of the sofa.
Is there any available space beside the L-shaped couch? If there is, you can consider putting a small table, a storage box, a plant or a floor lamp as filling up these tiny gaps of space will complete the sofa’s comforting ambience.
Usually, we place a sofa against a plain concrete wall. But if there are windows on this wall, measure the height between the floor and the bottom of the window frame. Make sure your sofa doesn’t go beyond this range so as not to obstruct the windows.
If there’s plenty of empty space above the sofa, you have the option to turn it into a feature wall. You can arrange pictures of your family and friends or pieces of wall art.
Utilise space as much as possible. If there are empty gaps between furniture, you can either close the gap or leave more space for walking and cleaning.
2. Finding the right L-shaped couch
Now that you know what your dimensions and limitation are, it is time to search for an L-shape sofa that fits your requirements.
This isn’t too difficult to do as there is a wide variety of design choices for L-shaped sofas. To find the right L-shaped sofa for you, you need to look at how the functionality and designs support your home and lifestyle.
Types of L-shaped Sofas
Compact Chaise Sofas
If you live in a small apartment with limited living space, a compact chaise L-shaped sofa would be the ideal sofa for your needs.
Compact sofas are simplistic and angular as they are designed to utilise space as efficiently as possible. By placing them against a wall or a corner, compact sofas take up significantly less space than a sofa and an armchair while having enough room for guests to lean back and relax.
Chaise L-shaped sofas are perfect for 3-4 people to lounge, but if you squeeze together (which I do not recommend during this time of COVID-19), you can fit around 6-7 people on the sofa.
Chaise sofas can be used in larger areas as well. Some compact chaise sofas can be designed to fit up to 7-8 people and be used to create new sections within a larger room.
If you are still unsure if the sofa would fit into your room, use masking tape to mark the edges of the sofa on the floor to help you visualise better.
Curved L-shaped Sofas and U-shaped Sofas
If you have a large living room and want a more stylised sofa, a curved L-shaped sofa and a U-shaped sofa would be a good choice for you.
Because of their unconventional shapes and curved edges, these stylised sofas are best placed at the centre of the room as a feature piece rather than against a wall where they will leave awkward, tiny gaps.
Since these sofas aren’t divided into seating sections, it’s easy to find space for everyone to sit.
The size and shape of your sofa can be influenced by the number of guests you host because sofas are the hotspots of social gatherings. So, when it comes to choosing an L-shaped sofa, find a shape that allows your usual number of guests to talk at a comfortable distance.
If you are someone who likes to redesign your room often, a modular sofa would be good for any room.
Modular sofas are made of individual sectional pieces put together to form a larger couch. This gives you the flexibility to create a variety of different shapes aside from the conventional ‘L’ shape. You can even arrange a makeshift bed or smaller couches with them!
These sectional pieces are small and light, hence they are easy to move around and store away in your storage closet.
Design of Sofa Elements
The design of the sofa elements itself, such as the width of the sofa seats, will also influence your lifestyle and by extension your choice of L-shaped sofas.
For example, if your sofa seat has a large width, you will end up shifting yourself right to the very back end of the sofa. This allows you to relax while reading your favourite book or watch the latest K-drama on your iPad.
On the other hand, sofas with smaller seat width help you sit upright which to some people is an ideal set up to work comfortably.
The height of the backrest, the shape of your armrest and foam density can also influence how you use your sofa.
To know what sofa qualities you are looking for, reflect on your daily activities at home and ask yourself: what kind of mood would I like to come home to?
L-shaped sofas often come with additional features adds to the functionality of the couch or your seating comfort.
Most signature sofas get their ‘L’ shape from a corner chaise, which is an extended seat designed for people to rest their legs upon.
Since most chaises are modular pieces that extend the length of the couch, they can be shifted to either the left or right side of the sofa. They can also be used as an ottoman (backless seat) where you can rest your feet.
Other L-shaped sofas replace the chaise with a recliner. This gives a more theatrical feel during movie nights and is a comfortable place to take a short nap after a long day of work. L-shaped sofas may also have additional storage compartments underneath the seats or pull out beds for unexpected guests.
Don’t get too excited about the additional features – remember, you are on a budget!
Before you consider buying that sofa with additional features, ask yourself whether these features are necessary. If buying an L-shaped sofa with a recliner is a bit too pricey, may be it’s better to invest in an L-shaped sofa with storage units for your small home.
3. Designing your sofa
Now comes the fun part: by choosing from a wide range of upholstery fabrics and colours, you can customise your sofa to be royal, profession, casual or fun!
To get started, here are some common fabrics used for L-shaped sofas that you can consider:
Plain textured fabrics – These monocoloured fabrics have a subtle weaving pattern that soft to the touch, expressing a comfortable yet fun vibe for their couches. They’re comfortable to sit on in any kind of weather, but would need regular washing to rid of dust and any allergens.
Textured fabrics – These fabrics have more prominent patterns with varying levels of rough or soft textures. They can also have more subtle colour variation, such as duo or tricolour palette colours, which gives off a relaxed aura.
If you’re looking for simple yet attractive coloured textures, you can check out FibreGuard Musa or Elation collection for tricoloured fabrics or their Trezor collection for duo-coloured fabrics.
Leather – Leather gives off a more high-end professional look to your sofa, making it more suitable for an office environment. They are easy to clean with a simple wipe, but they can get sticky during hot weather or chilly in cold weather.
Faux leather alternatives are also available for nature and animal loving patrons.
However, if you want your sofa to be featured, you can try one of the many creative patterns in FibreGuard Orlando collection.
If you’re looking for a more unique texture, try using Chenille fabrics. These fabrics have a furry-rug like texture that gives a comfortable rich feel to the sofa. Velvet also has an interesting dense yet smooth texture, giving off a royal, high-end vibe that makes you feel like the ruler of your own home.
With a catalogue of 20,000 fabrics varying in textures and colours, Acacia fabric is a good place to start your search for high-quality fabrics.
Browse through Acacia Fabrics catalogues here: Acacia Collection
Getting High-quality Fabrics.
As important as colours and textures are to the mood of your living area, the quality of your fabric is important to the functionality of the sofa and your daily needs.
For example, a good upholstery fabric that has an average of 30,000 rubs on the Martindale test to last for a while. However, if you often have guests over, try any of Acacia’s fabrics that have rub counts of up to 50,000 rubs as can last for much longer.
If you have little kids or pets at home, your sofa fabrics would probably be stained quite often. Rather than getting normal fabrics that you have to send to the cleaners every other week, try using one of FibreGuard’s stainless fabrics.
By simply pouring water over the stain and dabbing it with a dry cloth, FibreGuard Fabrics will be cleaned as fresh as new in a short amount of time.
FibreGuard also has been certified according to the OEKO-TEX Standard 100 as:
· Safe for children, pets and those with sensitive skin. (No harmful chemicals)
· Non-violent with no animal products
· Ecologically friendly with a minimal footprint on the environment
The bottom line is: when it comes to quality, find a fabric that is not only high quality but responds directly to your needs and desires.
Arranging and fitting an L-shape sofa for your home is easier than you think. So long as you plan beforehand and choose an L-shape sofa that supports your lifestyle, you too can fit an L-shaped sofa into a room regardless of its size.