Sponsor spotlight: What is the perfect residential sectional?

Rachael Bauer, Interior Designer
425-765-7680 | www.rbbydesign.com

As an interior designer, I continually strive to find a harmonious blend between aesthetics and functionality. My most recent challenge is sourcing the ideal residential sectional that meets both criteria.

Here I outline three pivotal aspects I prioritize when evaluating residential sectionals:

1. Taller, but Aesthetically Pleasing Back

Many modern-day sectionals draw inspiration from mid-century modern design, often featuring lower back lines. While visually appealing, these designs compromise comfort during extended periods of use. Personally, I find myself slouching down and sinking lower for a relaxed position that seems to feel better for my back and neck, though not ergonomically correct. Striking a balance between a beautiful form and an optimal height remains a challenge. When assessing the ideal back height, make sure to acknowledge the heights of different users. Consider adding a separate lounge chair or chairs to complement your sectional seating group and to accommodate significant height differences among users.

“Vida High-Back Modular” sectional with taller back from RH.
“Edouard” sofa with taller back from B&B Italia.

2. Integrated Back Cushion Structure

Furthermore, contemporary sectionals trend toward all-loose back pillows supplemented by numerous throw pillows – pillows galore. The padding in pillows conforms to your body shape and often loses its resilience over time, appearing deflated. Users may even resort to pushing them aside, sometimes ending up on the floor in my own home. While larger back cushions might become a cozy spot for pets, the appearance of disheveled pillows is less appealing. A potential solution lies in drawing inspiration from contract-rated furniture design. Many such pieces seamlessly integrate back cushions into the structure itself, offering both durability and a welcoming residential feel. This still allows for decorating with additional throw pillows, offering a balanced compromise. The goal is to achieve lasting comfort with reduced reliance on frequent pillow fluffing and maintenance.

“Bonnie and Clyde” sectional sofa with integrated back cushion accompanied by throw pillows, offered by Blu Dot.

3. Flexibility through Modularity

Ideally, furniture should be easily moveable and inherently flexible. Unfortunately, many residential sectionals lack reconfigurability, leaving users confined to fixed arrangements with set chaise orientations and lengths. I advocate for more versatile alternates, such as modular pieces with ganging capabilities. Imagine the freedom to transform a sectional into a sofa by simply removing sections. Users’ spaces and needs change over time. Granting furniture owners the ability to dictate the layout based on their current space’s unique requirements fosters adaptability. Embracing modular designs empowers individuals to tailor their furniture to their needs, promoting a more customizable and user-centric approach.

An example of the many possibilities by using Bassett Furniture’s six modular components from the Beckham Collection.
Bassett Furniture’s Beckham Sectional.

What’s your favorite sectional? I’d love to hear from you!

Reach out to Rachael at rachael@rbbydesign.com or 425-765-7680.

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