In Design

Best Sofas for Small Living Rooms: Reasons to Love a Curved Sofa

Blue curved sofa for the living room

Note: Post was originally published October 2017

Looking for the best sofa for your small living room? Looking to maximize space within a tricky floor plan? Well let me offer you…. a kidney bean!

Say what?

See, the kidney bean is not reserved just for chili. The iconic kidney-shaped sofa is also a great solution in design. This sofa can fit perfectly in small rooms (but can also crush it in large spaces as well). It’s a sofa that can kick ass in space planning. It’s a sofa that can make a round coffee table look really, really good.

Today I’m talking about the curved sofa.

There are many reasons to love this curvy, graceful, and often super-funky-cool sofa, and I’ve got seven of my favorite reasons down below. I’m also sharing how I’ve suggested this piece for a some of my Design Mini clients: a historic 1900s Victorian and a 2024 modern new-build. This sofa has no problem standing the test of time!

But first, what are some examples of this type of sofa? I was at High Point Furniture Market and saw quite a few great curved sofas that got me really inspired.

C Shaped Sofa

Lawrence of La Brea showroom

Curved Sofa

Barry Dixon / Arteriors showroom

Curved Sofa


How a Curved Sofa Can Work: 100-Year-old Victorian

Let’s look at case study #1. 

The homeowner of a 100-year-old Victorian home reached out to me because she and her husband could not figure out how to best layout their living room. In just one room, there was a bay window, a corner fireplace, two large cased openings, a door, and an air register in a really conspicuous place on the floor. All of these elements made it really challenging to find a furniture layout that felt right and didn’t leave space wasted.

Here are a couple of pictures of their space with their existing pieces.

It was Christmas when they took these pictures so the bay window was the perfect location for the Christmas tree. But for the rest of the year they were at a loss on what to put in front of the window. If they put the two armchairs they own in front of the window then they ended up feeling really far from the sofa. And the sofa also was located over the air grille on the floor, which was not ideal, but they didn’t know where else to put it.

Layout Option 1

The first layout was a configuration using their existing sofa and ottoman. I like to show people the best way to use their existing pieces in case they don’t have the budget to buy new furniture. The best way to use the sofa was to float it on an angle in front of the fireplace and pair it with a settee. Remember, there is a floor register along the left wall, and I didn’t want to cover it up. I was also aiming to protect the traffic patterns.

It wasn’t a bad option, but I knew there had to be better.

Back when the house was constructed, Victorian parlor sofas and other petite furnishings of the era found their places effortlessly within the room. Graceful, curved settees and chairs were positioned for intimate conversations or leisurely reading, often placed towards the room’s center rather than against its walls. Nowadays, however, deep sofas reign supreme for lounging, and they often present a challenge due to their size, typically getting relegated to placement along the wall. Recognizing the need to honor the Victorian-era aesthetic while catering to modern comfort and space requirements, the solution became clear: curved sofas.

Layout Option 2

I realized that for this space that a pair of kidney-shaped sofas really took this floor plan to the next level. One curved sofa fit perfectly at the bay window, and the other could float in front of the fireplace, much like the first option. With a rectangle-shaped sofa, there were so many limitations to what else could fit. The overall seating group gets restricted into a block on a grid. With the curves in this 80″ x 40″ sofa, you could easily fit two accent chairs and plenty of table surfaces. A curved sofa opens up so many possibilities because of their organic form you can float and rearrange them in so many ways.

Layout Option 3

The curves of the sofa allow it to be positioned near the air register without blocking all the air flow like the existing rectangular sofa. This layout allows for ample seating as well as space for easy traffic through the living space.

How a Curved Sofa Can Work: Modern New Build

In case study #2, I show you curved sofas can be used beautifully in larger spaces as well!

Another homeowner sought assistance through my Design Mini services to furnish their spacious open living and dining area. Having just completed the construction of their new home, they found themselves at a loss regarding the ideal furniture arrangement. Questions about the most suitable sofa and whether to create separate seating areas arose. Eager to purchase new furniture and get settled in, they realized they needed design guidance. While their space had few existing furnishings, we needed to account for three sets of sliding doors, multiple built-in shelves, and a designated TV area during the design process.

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The space had strong architectural lines with a vaulted ceiling, clerestory windows, and views toward an angled kitchen. To offset the hard lines, balance the multiple design features, and promote unobstructed traffic flow, I suggested a curved sofa.

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I like a curved sofa among the various architectural angles because it is inviting with its organic shape while also being very functional. The doors and windows do not get obstructed by furniture and the natural traffic pattern to the kitchen is protected. It will easily act as a focal point in this space because of its position in the room and the curved shape. An overall size of 66” x 142” works well here as it needs to be large enough to afford ample seating as well as match the proportions of the room.

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The 3D rendering of the living room helps visualize the interest a curved sofa brings to the space while also providing function. A win-win scenario, if I do say so myself.

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Kayra Ivory Bouclé Sofa - Fullscreen View 1 of 15.

Article Kayra Ivory Bouclé Sofa

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Wayfair Lutanda 90” Corduroy Sofa

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Lulu & Georgia Cara Sofa

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Arteriors Turner Small Sofa

Reasons to Love a Curved Sofa

Why Curved Sofas Are a Must-Have

Still not convinced? Here are 7 reasons why curved sofas deserve a prime spot in your living room:

  1. Sculptural Beauty: Transform your space into a gallery with a curved sofa as the centerpiece—a true work of art.
  2. Perfect Pairings: Say goodbye to awkward gaps—curved sofas effortlessly complement round coffee tables, optimizing every inch of space.
  3. Seamless Integration: Tight spots? No problem! Curved sofas fit into tricky corners without sacrificing comfort or style.
  4. Ultimate Comfort: Designed with human proportions in mind, curved sofas offer unparalleled coziness, inviting you to sink in and unwind.
  5. Versatile Placement: From corners to columns, curved sofas hug every nook and cranny, maximizing seating without compromising flow.
  6. Effortless Traffic Flow: Bid farewell to visual obstacles—soft curves guide traffic smoothly, ensuring a seamless living experience.
  7. Limitless Layout Options: Break free from conventional grids—curved sofas encourage creativity, opening doors to endless layout possibilities.

Don’t let limited space confine your creativity—embrace the elegance of curved sofas and unlock the full potential of your living room. 

Ready to Elevate Your Space?

Now that you have seen the versatility of a curved sofa, I hope you are inspired to explore curved sofas for your own living space. To make things easier, consider my Design Mini service and receive a 10-page thoughtfully curated design presentation for your space to help you determine what works best for your space.

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  • tamara
    October 10, 2018 at 10:00 am

    Curved sofas are so practical and sculptural! Hope you find the perfect one! xx

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