What Size Sectional Should You Use in a 12x12 Room?

sectional sofa

Mint Images / Getty Images

If your living space measures 12 by 12, but you're set on incorporating a sectional into the room, there are a few major factors that you'll need to keep in mind when shopping for a piece. Sectionals can be quite large, after all, and working them into small spaces can be a bit of a challenge. Below, designers weigh in on the need to knows as it pertains to using sectionals in small spaces.

Keep Length Top of Mind

Keep in mind that 12 feet is the equivalent of 144 inches, and you do not want your sectional to overwhelm your living space. Thus, designer Anna Franklin suggests sticking to a sofa that's under 80 inches in length. "It's an easy way to create a cozy seating area without overwhelming the space," she says. And if such a piece doesn't seem large enough for your entertaining needs, note that there are plenty of ways to get creative in your space. "We recommend mixing it with other moveable pieces, such poufs or a chair for extra seating," Franklin adds.

living room with sectional

@estherbschmidt / Instagram

Consider a Piece's Profile

This is also essential to take into account, designer Larisa Barton of Soeur Interiors says. She offers a handful of tricks to keep in mind to ensure that a sectional does not look out of place in a relatively petite room. "Lower profile sofas—in terms of seat and back height—will help keep the room feel open and the ceilings tall," she shares. And these sofas offer an added benefit, designer Karen Rohr of Mackenzie Collier Interiors notes. "Low-profile sectionals tend to be more comfortable than their bulky counterparts, as they offer a deeper seat and softer cushions,"

Barton also recommends looking for a sectional that features bench seats rather than small cushion seats. "This lengthens the look of the sofa and room in general by adding fewer lines," she says. "Lastly, choosing a sectional with slim legs instead of a footboard lightens the overall feel of the sofa so it does not read as bulky."

Use the Corner of a Room

This can be a great area in which to position an L-shaped sectional, Rohr says. "An L-shaped sectional is a great option when trying to tackle these tricky areas and still create a cozy seating area that feels light and airy," she adds. "The angled design adds visual interest and allows the space to feel more open, drawing the eye towards the corner for a sense of intimacy and coziness." A modular sofa can also be a winner here, Rohr says. "Having a build-your-own sofa can be a great fit for those in temporary living situations so you can easily transport furniture and make it fit perfectly, no matter the size or shape of the room."

sectional sofa

TerryJ / Getty Images

Pick the Right Fabrics

A neutral sectional can do no wrong in Rohr's book. "Neutral, cooler tones are ideal to keep the room open and spacious," she notes. Of course, you'll want to ensure the fabric you select is durable and stain resistant. A sofa can be a major investment and you'll want to feel confident that yours will stand the test of time.

sectional sofa

Mint Images / Getty Images

Evaluate Other Options

Given that most sectionals are 95 by 95 inches, this piece of furniture simply may not be the most practical choice for a 12 by 12 room, designer Jessica Kain Barton of J.Kathryn Interiors says. "Would it need to float because the room is surrounded by windows and a doorway? If that’s the case, you need to consider walkway space, etc.," Kain Barton says. She suggests opting for a cozy sofa along with an ottoman or some accent chairs instead. "Whichever direction you choose just make sure your furniture gives you plenty places to sit and relax while ensuring you have the ability to maneuver around," she adds.

Two separate sofas can be another way to ensure that you have ample seating available yet don't overpower your space with a sectional. "If the goal is to have several seating options then one might go with two smaller matching couches with an oversized coffee table in the center," designer Esther Dormer shares. Once again, modular pieces may just save the day. "They sell modular coffee tables that pull apart and come together," Dormer adds.