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A Sectional-Sofa Terminology Guide


Do you love to lounge? Do you have guests over and need more places for them to sit? Does the thought of being able to put your feet up for a marathon session of Desperate Housewives Orange County (so tan and so crazy) sound amazing? You just might be a great candidate for a sectional sofa.

Choosing the right sectional for your space can be very daunting, however. Knowing how to look for a right-arm facing chaise or a left-arm facing chaise is the difference between your sofa fitting in your house or being sold immediately in the classified ads because it’s backwards.

I’ve learned in my wise young age that even though I can easily geek out on these kind of decisions, it isn’t so for most people. So, I’ve put together a set of guidelines for you to follow if you’re in the market for a new sectional sofa; all the information you need to make an informed decision.


Let’s start with the basics: a sofa. It can be called both a couch and a sofa and is a single unit piece without any extensions or add-ons. A single sofa can be placed alone in a room, or a look that I like is to place them facing each other for a symmetrical mirror image.


design by Redeux Decor

Hutton II -available through Redeux Decor


A corner sectional sofa has a corner piece that anchors the sectional. The one-arm sofas that attach to it on either side can be the same length or different lengths depending on the size of your room. I attached a photo and diagram below that breaks down what a corner piece with 2 equal length one-arm sofas looks like.



A sofa with chaise combo is a one-arm sofa with an attached chaise lounge. This is a great option for the “feet up” crowd. Why use your coffee table when you can have a full-on couch to put your feet on?

via Pinterest


Toby Sofa w/ Chaise available through Redeux Decor


Not a sharer? A U-shaped sectional might be your speed so you can both put your feet up at the same time! An armless sofa in the center, surrounded by two chaise lounges make a perfect U shape.


You’re probably wondering what that weird “right-arm facing”thing I was talking about means. Here’s an explanation and a few other rules that you cannot forget before ordering up your dream couch.

1. RAF – right-arm facing. It means if you’re standing and staring at your sectional, the arm is on your right side. This only applies to a sectional piece that has one arm.

2. LAF – left-arm facing. If you’re standing and staring at your sectional, the arm is on your left side. (Ditto on the one arm thing)

3. The opposite of RAF/LAF is RAS/LAS or in other words, right arm sitting/left arm sitting. That means if you’re sitting on your couch, the arm will be on the right if it’s RAS and on the left if it’s LAS.


5. Last, but not least: will it fit through the door, the hallway, or window if need be? If you can’t get it in the house, it might make a great lawn ornament instead.

I hope this helps elevate your shopping experience. If not, call me and I’ll help you out.


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