Modular sofas are the ultimate staple for urban living. No other piece can offer such flexibility, and adapt so cleverly to its surroundings and the evolving needs of a home.
Modular sofas are made up of individual sections, or 'modules' that can be moved around and arranged to suit your living space, or even your mood. These sections come in a range of sizes and styles – arm and back pieces, and often a left or right-hand chaise – that can fit in various configurations, making them an incredibly versatile and practical investment. Modular sofas can just be arranged to seat two people, much like a regular two-piece suite, or they can be extended into vast L or U shapes to accommodate 10 or more – perfect for large families and socialising.
What’s the difference between a modular sofa and a sectional sofa?
A modular and sectional sofa are similar – both have two or more connected pieces – and the terms are often used interchangeably, but there are key differences. A sectional sofa typically refers to an L-shaped sofa that combines a sofa or loveseat and a chaise, and most importantly, it isn’t designed to be rearranged. The very purpose of a modular sofa by contrast is to be moved and configured at will.
The different types of modular sofa:
1. Chaise modular sofa
A modular sofa with a chaise is a great option for adding a bit of extra comfort in narrow living rooms where the width of your sofa is restricted. Whilst adding a chaise does create an L-shape (see below,) it's usually intended for lounging rather than seating extra people.
2. L-shaped modular sofa
L-shaped modular sofas resemble two sofas meeting at a 90-degree angle. These are brilliant for small families, and can fit neatly in the corners of your living room without taking up too much floor space.
3. U-shaped modular sofa
A wrap-around U-shaped modular sofa is a bit of a luxury for those with ample space. Great for entertaining, and usually designed with very generous proportions to sit guests next to and across from one another.
4. Modular sofa bed
The ultimate in multifunctional furniture. If you don’t have a spare bedroom, modular sofa beds are a super practical option. Even a small two-seater modular sofa can usually offer a deceptively large pull-out bed.
5. Modular storage sofa
Modular sofas with hidden storage are perfect for urban living. Usually, the seat or chaise section will be set on hinges or springs so they can be easily lifted to store away any clutter, freeing up valuable floor space.
Are modular sofas worth it?
Modular sofas can be overlooked, but there are arguably more benefits to choosing a modular sofa than a regular sofa.
Modular sofas are totally adaptable to your needs – it’s common to break up your modular sofa when you have company, placing a coffee table in between units to make your living space more conducive to socialising. They can fit perfectly in any room, reducing wasted floor space, and adapting to awkward layouts. Individual sections will always manoeuvre through doorways (there's nothing worse than receiving a sofa, only to discover it won't fit through your front door,) which also gives you the option of moving your sofa between rooms. And, if your modular sofa is damaged, it's far more cost effective to replace individual units.
From two seats to 10, left or right corner, with or without an ottoman – this chunky modular sofa by Swyft is the picture of versatility. Here in a classic pumice linen, and made with handy stain-resistant threads, it's perfect for busy households.
We love the deconstructed look of this Made.com Fernsby modular sofa with interesting trim detailing. Note the plump pillow-top seats, and abundance of cushions in soft recycled velvet – this one is sink-in comfy.
This clever Layla modular sofa from our own House Beautiful collection at DFS is the ultimate in multifunctional design. Each piece can be lifted to reveal hidden storage below to keep your living room totally clutter-free. It arrives with modern geometric cushions, and here is accessorised to perfection with a throw, lampshade and wall art from Homebase.
We love a classic velvet sofa, especially in a sophisticated forest green. This Model 06 Modular Sofa from Swyft Home is generously proportioned, with deep seats and ample room for lounging.
Don't be fooled by the upright shape of this Livienne modular sofa, with generously oversized seats and super low arm and backrests, this is a sofa for lounging. Choose a pale colourway to create a real life cloud in your living room.
A contemporary faux leather modular sofa in classic tan with deceptively slim arms and backrest – remove the central module and this piece would be great for smaller homes. If you have the space, we highly recommend adding the footstool to your configuration for the best lounging.
You can't go far wrong with a classic grey sofa. A lot of modular sofas favour boxy silhouettes, but this sophisticated piece is designed with slim legs and frame, perfect for contemporary homes.
A generously proportioned and deeply squidgy modular sofa from Loaf. Wodge is available in 159 different fabrics for the ultimate customised piece – we're fans of the spill-resistant linen in soft rose pink, the deep cinnamon velvet, and alabaster bamboo.
This Tokyo modular sofa from John Lewis & Partners sits low to the ground, with extra feather-filled cushions for sink-in comfort. It's available with a storage table in matching fabric that can be placed at the end of your configuration, or between two seat units for a handy spot to pop a cup of tea.
A contemporary handmade piece from Sofa.com in a delicious pink fabric. We love the curved detailing here on the arms and backrest – great for back support. If you're not a fan of pink, this modular piece comes in a vast selection of colours and fabrics, from soft leather to boucle.
One for the pattern lovers. This feature modular sofa from Anthropologie is made with a tropical hardwood frame and durable cotton rug upholstery in a fun stripe design. Even with deep seats, the slim arm and backrest make this a great option for smaller homes.
This clever modular corner sofa from Made.com embraces Japandi style, merging Japanese minimalism and Scandinavian functionality. Sitting low to the floor on a wooden plinth base, with cushioned arms and two side tables that can be moved around to suit your needs.
A playful take on the modular sofa, here shown with individual units mixed and matched across fabrics and colours. This is a totally achievable look in your own home if you err on the side of bold maximalism.
Perfect for urban gardens. This super affordable modular sofa set from Dunelm includes four seats, two footstools and a matching coffee table. Crafted from rattan, steel, and glass for a robust and low maintenance finish.
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