Sometimes a Pair of Sofas Is the Right Choice For Your Seating Arrangement

You may already know I'm not a fan of the sofa-loveseat combination or most oversized sectionals.  A sofa and chairs are typically what works best and offers the most flexibility in a seating arrangement.  

west elm sofa

 

However, sometimes a pair of sofas is the way to go.   I first starting working with this client in 2011, when her living room looked like this:

DSC_2419

Living Room Before

 

What's a little tricky to tell from the photo is that while there is hardwood in part of this open-concept space,  there is an inlay of carpeting in the area that is designated for the living room.  The carpet is laid at an angle on the front entry of that area, and not really knowing how to balance the seating arrangement in a space with such an unusual feature, my client lined up the back of the sofa with that angle.

DSC_2424

Living Room Arrangement Before

 

I knew immediately that we needed to address the architectural focal point (hint, hint:  it's the fireplace) and draw attention away from the wacky nature of the carpet-hardwood combo.  I suggested a twin pair of sofas for the seating area.  My client eventually purchased a pair of West Elm sofas. Following our third session together over an 18-month period, this is the arrangement as it looked when I left her home yesterday afternoon:

pair of sofas

Pair of Sofas in Living Room After

 

Can you appreciate how much more balanced, more focused this room looks and feels?  We chose sofas with low backs so that her view through the back windows wouldn't be obstructed.

use a pair of sofas

Two Facing Sofas Create Balance

 

The room feels so much better, and my client tells me her family and friends now love coming over to her house for gatherings.  Sometimes a pair of same-size sofas are just what you need to make a seating area work.  Would you ever buy two of the same sofa?

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Natalie A
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Natalie A

I've got a pair! 🙂

Hannah Dee
Guest

Definitely. It can be a very dramatic look as well, and the symmetry is pleasing.

Paula Van Hoogen
Guest
Paula Van Hoogen

Yes, and they also were West Elm sofas. The mistake I made was getting the "Apartment" size sofas,

which are not deep enough to be comfortable, but they look darned good! I've got them at right angles now, because the room they're in (2nd location) is sooo long. I would do it again with more comfy sofas!

I had the same arrangement you have there, but it cut off the chair my husband loves to sit in by a beautiful window. Since he will not move, I had to adjust the arrangement :).

Mary
Guest
Mary

I have a pair of identical apartment size sofas on order right now.   They are slipcovered with mini skirts and turned legs.  Despite the popularity of white slipcovers, I chose a washable cotton/linen blend in a beautiful medium blue grey (these are for every day use).   Plan on positioning them an L shape for now.  I thought this was the better way to go over a sectional, as we may choose to put them across from each other at some point.   They will still be long enough to lay down on, and all four of our family members will have… Read more »

Mary
Guest
Mary

I have a pair of identical apartment size sofas on order right now.   They are slipcovered with mini skirts and turned legs.  Despite the popularity of white slipcovers, I chose a washable cotton/linen blend in a beautiful medium blue grey (these are for every day use).   Plan on positioning them an L shape for now.  I thought this was the better way to go over a sectional, as we may choose to put them across from each other at some point.   They will still be long enough to lay down on, and all four of our family members will have… Read more »

Kathi
Guest
Kathi

Kristie, this is exactly why people should pay the extra bucks for a designer,I have been helping my 83 yr old uncle renovate a condo he just purchased in Ohio, he lives in Fla , and I had some wicker furniture in his sunroom that just looked plain wrong with the arrangement of it, my friend, who is a designer came over and in 2 minutes flat, rearranged everything and it just looks  fabulous now,it was such a simple solution, but my brain just could not see the possibility,you designers are worth every penny, this living room you just did… Read more »

Rory vanlandingham
Guest
Rory vanlandingham

I love my pair of sofas! So much more seating room.

Patti Hutchinson
Guest
Patti Hutchinson

This is timely! We are considering two reclining sofas for our family room. (Not the big, ugly, puffy kind….but the nice, regular sofa-looking kind with two recliners on each end. I am definitely showing this to my husband! Thanks!

Holly
Guest

Ahhh…much better. It's crazy how much more soothing that can be on the eye – and I bet even better in person. As we're house hunting, I've already visually been laying out certain rooms in my head and trying to get a feel for how the layout would work – I guess that's part of being a design junky.  It looks great Kristie and I bet your client is very happy with this new look.

Jordan
Guest
Jordan

I am on my second set of 2 identical sofas and would not have anything else.  Because of the layout

of the room, mine are in an L shape.  This is much better than a sectional because you can have a

beautiful table and lamp between them.  I have also used them back to back with a sofa table between

them creating seperate seating areas.

Pam from Louisville
Guest
Pam from Louisville

What a difference from beginning to end.  The room looks great with the sofas.  I like the arrangements on the bookcases.  I'm always redoing my bookcases and never getting it quite right.    

Robin @ happilyhomeafter.blogspot.com
Guest
Robin @ happilyhomeafter.blogspot.com

I have identical twin sofa's in our Great Room.  Ours are positioned much like your clients, in front of bookcases that flank the fireplace.  Our fireplace is off-center in the room which drove me crazy because I find symetry callming and attractive; using the sofas in front of the bookcases emphasizes their symetry.  A plus is one sofa is fairly at the center point of the Great Room and actually acts as a zone divider, creating a small group seating area on the other side.  Its nice in a larger room having different gathering spots, even if it is a large… Read more »

Debbie
Guest
Debbie

We just bought two 86" sofas 3 weeks ago for our living room and are loving them big time.  We also have them in an "L" arrangement.  Really enjoying begin able to stretch out!  Lots of nice comments from friends on our choice.

Nancy Griffin
Guest

Hi Debbie
I have been searching for a sectional recliner, and my husband and I were considering a matching reclining love seat and couch…course I wasn’t sure so googled this thread. Can you send me a pic of your 2 leather sofas in your L arrangement? We have a fixed TV so the facing couches probably won’t work and my husband hates the idea. He says noone will sit in the one because you can’t see the TV easily.

Kristin Long
Guest
Kristin Long

Love the transformation- and with a tricky floor combo!  I have two full size, extremely comfortable dk brown leather sofas and have been able to arrange them in numerous ways and change the look with accessories.  We bought them 7 years ago and have loved them!  Love your blog!

home And decor
Guest

I blog often and I seriously appreciate your information.
This great article has truly peaked my interest.

I am going to book mark your site and keep checking for new information about once a week.

I subscribed to your RSS feed too.

Sandra Koll
Guest

Can you tell me what the width of that room is from the fireplace to the end of the carpet area?

Cathie
Guest
Cathie

What is your opinion on a full size sofa (89″) paired with an apartment sized sofa (75″) in the same fabric? We are furnishing our family room, square shape, with a fireplace and TV on the west wall and a bank of windows on the south wall. We are planning to put the full size sofa on the north wall and the apartment sized sofa on the south wall. Access to the family room is from the south-east. We would like to have a small table and chairs in between the kitchen and family room on the south wall because… Read more »