L-shaped sofas combine a sofa and corner seat in one piece of furniture. They are space efficient, making them ideal for small apartments or smaller living rooms. They may be a better overall value, because you are essentially getting an entire living room set in a single piece of furniture. Here’s an effective guide for buying a corner L-shaped sofa.

Know Your Dimensions Before You Go Shopping

No one wants to face the horror of a 102-inch sofa and a 100-inch space. You can’t cut the arm off the sofa, and you may not want to move the end tables or corner chair out so you can fit the new L-shaped sofa in. This is why you must know the total space you have before you go shopping for the sofa. Note that the total length of the sofa should include the arms, not the seating area. Those arms may add another 18 inches to the total length.

Know what seat height is comfortable for you, since a sofa that is too low or too high will be uncomfortable.

Decide on a Configuration

An L-shaped sofa may be curved to the left or to the right. Which direction fits the room you want it to sit in? And which direction may interfere with the flow of people through the room? We’d recommend knowing the dimensions and layout of the room you’re going to put the sofa in, so that you don’t pick a couch that blocks part of the doorway or hallway.

Know What You Need Out of the Sofa

A sofa is by definition something you sit on. But do you also want it to serve as a guest bed? There are some L-sectional sofas with built-in sleepers. Others will let you combine large flat footrests to create a surface someone could sleep on. On the other hand, someone who lives in a small apartment may choose sofas with built in storage compartments in the seats or the footrests.

Find the Right Retailer

If you go to the average furniture store, they’re going to have a lot of sofas but very few that are L-shaped. You may feel pressured to choose between the wrong size and the wrong color. The solution is to find an online sofa retailer that offers a wide range of L-shaped sofas. A side benefit of working with an online retailer is that they tend to have a much larger selection than retail stores. That is because they can have one or two of dozens of models in storage that wouldn’t be worth putting out on the showroom floor.

Pick the Right Color and Texture

We recommend online retailers with a large inventory so you can choose from a variety of colors and textures. It is your decision as to whether you want a bright white sofa or a stain-hiding beige sofa. However, you can’t choose a rich red couch or jet-black leather sofa if they don’t have it in stock. Try to choose something that will look good in your living room even if you decide you want to change your color palette. For example, pick an L-shaped sofa in a neutral tone you can decorate with a variety of throw pillows.