The sectional sofas are, perhaps, one of the most polarizing elements in outdoor patio design. They genuinely enjoy a love and hate relationship with people. There are lots of misconceptions and false notions about the sectional terminology. LAF or left arm facing refers to the fact that when someone is standing in front of a piece, the arm should be on that person’s left side. RAF or right arm facing indicates that the arm is on the right. Getting the appropriately-facing arm is vital, because two sections or more are supposed to be grouped, and the arm’s placement will decide whether the new sectional arrangement will work or not.
A sectional is typically consists of two pieces or more. Broadly speaking, the number of sections is directly proportional to the net price of the set. The usual components that make a sectional are an RAF chair, a LAF chaise or chair, a corner chair and a love seat without arms. All these pieces can be arranged many times by employing numerous combinations. One should always choose the components according to the space available, the orientation, and the layout of the sectional. It can either be reversible or symmetrical, but also RAF or LAF.
Sectional sofas offer three distinct advantages; namely, scalability (one can add more pieces in future), mobility (the sections can be moved anywhere), and divisiveness (sectionals bifurcate open floors and create distinguishable rooms within large spaces).
Some of the most popular designs of sectional sofas for outdoors are described below.
- Curved: The curved sectional adds sculptural notes to any place and is characterized by an elegant silhouette.
- U-Shaped: This type of sectional is ideal for generating intimate conversation because of its two projected arms that sit next to each other.
- Modular: Most sectionals comprises of multiple pieces which are supposed to be stationary and can be connected in a particular configuration only. However, this is not the case with modular, and it can consist of as many as five blocks.
- L-Shaped: Pretty much evident from the name, it resembles the English alphabet L in shape, as if two sofas are merged at the very end forming an angle of ninety degrees. The L-shape is considered the most universal of sectionals.
The frame assembly of the sectionals come in two flavors; namely, stapled (cheapest and less durable) and double-dowelled (most robust and durable).
The prospective buyers can choose from a plethora of options for the frame material; such as, particle board or PB (composite wood materials: cheapest, lightest, and most fragile), hard wood (solid woods like cherry/Beech/Oak/Walnut: more durable than PB), kiln dried hard wood (when the wood is dried in big ovens: even more durable and resilient and least likely to snap or warp) and metal (hardest among all: could bend over with passage of time but will never snap).
When planning to purchase a new sectional for the patio, always examine the frames. It should not creak or wobble. The frame should be durable and sturdy. The center of the frame should also be inspected to make sure that it is not hollow. All metal parts should be thoroughly examined to rule out any signs of rust and injury-causing sharp edges.