Can Sectionals Be Separated?Is it Stylish or Weird?

Sectionals are possibly the most loved and hated pieces of furniture. With their big comfy cushions, and ample cuddle space, they are great for movie nights with the family and for cuddling up with a loved one. But, they’re also large and don’t allow for a lot of seating options. This can be inconvenient when entertaining. 

So, the question is, can sectionals be separated? Modular sectionals are designed to be separated. You can also separate traditional sectionals, but it may be less fashionable. Separating a sectional can be functional and beautiful, or it can be a flop. Here are some tips to help you do it well. 

Traditional sectional sofa

Can You Separate a Sectional Sofa?

Both modular and traditional sectionals come in all shapes, sizes, and styles. But, they are built very differently.

Modular Sectionals

A modular sectional is designed to come apart. You can do this by sliding the sections apart, lifting and unlatching the sections, or by unsnapping them. These sectionals are great because you can rearrange them and the hardware attaching the pieces is strategically placed.

Traditional Sectionals

This is where separating a sectional can get weird. Older sectionals are designed to stay in one shape. They are screwed together and you need tools to detach the pieces. So, they’re harder to take apart. 

Keep in mind that the middle pieces won’t have fabric on the parts where they attach to other pieces. Also, the hardware isn’t strategically hidden.

One part of a modular sectional sofa

Is It Weird Having a Separated Sectional Sofa?

A separated sectional can be stylish and cohesive. But, separating a sectional can also feel weird and unbalanced. This happens for a couple of reasons:

1. Sectional Design – Traditional sectionals often have a footstool or ottoman that can be pulled out, but that’s pretty much it. It’s hard to style the pieces and hide unfinished fabric and attachment hardware.

2. Sectional Shape – Curved sectionals and sectionals with round shapes can be weird when separated. The straight edges and right angles of L-shaped or U-shaped sectionals allow the pieces to feel more complete on their own. Curved sectionals and round seats can feel incomplete when separated. 

You can remedy this with anchor pieces and accents. Curved sectionals feel complete when pieced together, so you’ll need to take extra care when separating them.

Separated sectional sofa

When Is It a Good Idea to Keep a Sectional Sofa Separated?

You should keep a sectional sofa separated when:

1. You Want a Modern/Chic Style – Sectionals are bulky pieces of furniture. They’re comfortable, inviting, and they create a casual atmosphere. Separating a sectional will break up the room and change the tone. You can still keep a sense of coziness, but separating the pieces will make a room feel less intimate and more exciting.

2. It Fits Your Lifestyle – Having a separated sectional is practical when you are hosting and entertaining. Having the pieces broken up allows people to engage with each other while maintaining their personal space. You may also want a broken up sectional if you don’t have a TV or if you are working from home in your living room.

Modular sectional sofa

How to Separate a Large Modular Sectional

Modular sectionals are designed to be detached, rearranged, and recombined. You should be able to slide them apart by unsnapping the crocodile clip from it’s adjoining pin or by lifting a section up and off its adjoining latch. 

Keep in mind that you may need help to do this, but you shouldn’t need any tools. 

Styling a Large Modular Sectional

After you have the pieces separated, you can style the sectional:

1. Facing a Focal Point

Orient your pieces toward the focal point of the room. This can be a TV, a fireplace, a painting, or a window. Place the main section directly across from the focal point. 

You can place it against a wall or, if the room is large enough, you can leave the main section floating. Place the extra sections in a semi-circle facing the focal point.

For pieces without armrests, add a side table to make them feel more complete and intentional. You can also place a coffee table or ottoman between the focal point and the pieces to fill the space and add warmth.

2. Conversational

If you are hosting, then your guests will be the focal point of the room. You will want the seats facing each other with adequate spacing. And, you should have the largest pieces directly across from each other. You can also place a coffee table or ottoman in the center.

Sectional sofa with chaise style

How to Separate a Chaise Style Sectional

A chaise-style sectional is a sofa with an extended ottoman on one end. When separating the chaise, continue to keep your focal point in mind. 

The chaise doesn’t have arm rests, so it’s a good idea to place a side table next to it. You can also separate the chaise and put it under a window. Or, you can make it feel like a second sofa.

Symmetrical Sectional Sofa

How to Make a Sectional into Two Couches

You can divide a sectional into two couches by separating the main section from the extra pieces. Use the chaise as a long seat and attach another piece that has an arm rest.

Styling

Splitting a sectional into two couches can be fun to redesign and can help you create a modern atmosphere. Place them across from one another for cozy socializing or focused family time. 

Use an area rug that extends past the couches to bring the two together. Dividing a sectional into two couches is a great way to put a focus on togetherness.

Corner section of modular sofa

What Should You Do with the Corner Piece of a Sectional?

If you have extra pieces of a large modular sectional, you can place them in different rooms or in different parts of a large living room. For example, while the rest of the furniture is facing the TV you could place a single seat and footrest in a corner opposite of the TV. Then, you can add a side table, some books, and its own rug. An overhead light would also help to section it off into a reading area. 

Consider making mini-nooks in a bedroom, nursery, or spare room if splitting the sectional leaves you with extra pieces.

Conclusion

Separating a sectional is a great way to shift the atmosphere in a room and to make a space more functional. But, it can end up looking weird if you don’t do it correctly.

A traditional sectional isn’t built to be separated. If you want to separate it, you’ll need tools and you’ll have to do some heavy lifting. Once separated, you may struggle to hide attachment hardware or unfinished fabric. That will make the room feel disconnected and incomplete. 

Modular sectionals, however, are designed to be separated. Their complete fabrics and simple hardware will help your room look chic, cozy, and put together in a variety of arrangements.

The most important part when it comes to separating or leaving your sectional together is whether it works for you. Splitting up a sectional is great for entertaining, breaking up a room, and creating a modern atmosphere. Give it a try and go from there.

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