Make it Modular

Sectional Sofas for Minimal Living

September 2020
4 minute read
Endless sofa by Bensen in grey fabric on brown carpet
Back in 1970’s Benidorm, you couldn’t set foot in a hotel lobby without tripping over brown nylon cubes. Scattered far as the eye could see, they brought on a nauseous surge.

So if you shriek in horror at the thought of a Modular Sofa, I don’t blame you!

But think again.
Now they’re in a different league.

From 'dumpy utility’ they've evolved into refined and elegant.

So if you’re cruising round Pinterest looking for sofa inspiration, add 'modular' to your search and enter a world of seating eye candy.

Ultimate versatility meets ultimate design.

Here’s what you’re missing out on!

The Module is born

You’d never guess, but the modular sofa was born in 1944.
Brought to life by Harvey Probber, a visionary and savvy entrepreneur.

He designed simple shapes like wedges, cubes and half-circles, that fit together to make any seating arrangement.
At the time it was revolutionary.

Unlike Bauhaus his style was luxury modernism - exotic woods, polished lacquer and opulent fabrics.
Over the years he developed the concept into 'nuclear furniture' - a modular system that included tables and cabinets.
He also opened one of the first showrooms catering exclusively to interior designers. Ideal for his luxury designs.

Chill Out sofa by Tacchini in black and white dogtooth fabric
Chill Out by Gordon Guillaumier for Tacchini embodies the spirit of Bauhaus with linear geometry and tubular metal legs. It integrates beautifully with the Ledge coffee table, shown here with Basaltina marble top.
Tacchini

The DNA of any modular or sectional sofa is simplicity.
Standard units connect in any configuration to produce seating that exactly fits your space.

Following their introduction they quickly became the pinnacle of luxury.
Expansive seating stretching across the living space of glass sided houses, perched in the LA hills.
They hit the skids in the 80s when design went through a dark phase.
But now they’re back on top, with all the best brands creating stunning modular designs.

Westside sofa by Poliform in modern luxury Italian villa
Westside is the latest modular system from Poliform. Seen here in an island configuration it shows how the best brands are achieving ultimate versatility without any compromise in style.
Poliform

Why go modular?

Here’s two great reasons to opt for a sectional sofa.

1. LIVING SPACE

A modular sofa’s a versatile and intelligent option no matter what your space.

BIG

You’ve a large living space. You want to seat lots of people. Do you get 3 separate sofas and scatter them across the room? No, that would look ridiculous.
Instead, a modular C-shaped sofa would be more effective.
Everyone gets a seat and you create the perfect ambience by bringing friends together. Great for socialising and parties.

Love entertaining outside on a warm Summer evening?
Outdoor modular sofas are ideal.

SMALL

You’ve a Parisian apartment with compact living space. You need seating but without feeling cluttered. Modular’s the way to go.

Most designs come in narrow/shallow, or deep/wide options.
Go for the narrow style, no arms and a corner section.
Then you’ve maximised your seating with the minimal amount of space.

UNUSAL

Or you’ve a unique living space. It could be L-shaped or even curved. Modular seating will adapt. It can be tailored to the most challenging space.

Jerome daybed by Bolia in grey green fabric
Jerome from the Danish brand Bolia can truly adapt to any living space. Sections range in size from the petite daybed seen here, all the way up to an enormous square chaise lounge. There's also a slim wooden table that integrates into the armrest.
Bolia

2. DESIGN

You want to keep your interior minimal and the design unified. You don’t want 5 different styles of seating.

Go modular and you’ve solved the problem. You can have any arrangement, seat everyone, and keep it minimal and cohesive.

Endless by Bensen, as the name suggests, can be configured into any size and shape. There are curved and straight sections in many options.
Play with mini sofas on their Online 3D Configurator to see how truly versatile it is.

Endless sofa by Bensen in cream fabric against a concrete wall
Endless can snake forever with its incredible range of interconnecting sections. Delicate metal legs make the sofa float and stop the luxurious deep seat from feeling heavy. Photo © Alan Jensen.
Bensen

Unlimited Options

Modular sofas are all about versatility and creating anything you want.
So not surprisingly there are almost unlimited options.

Simplify the process and choose the one that's prefect for you by considering these five key elements.

1. LEGS

Modular sofas come with or without legs.
Without legs the body of the sofa sits on the floor. These tend to be lower and wider and designed for reclining and ultimate relaxation. They’re luxurious but take up a little more space.
With legs the body of the sofa floats and you see the floor running underneath. The beauty of this is the room feels spacious.
The sofa has a lightness, but seats are often slimmer.

Poff sofa by Wendelbo in light grey fabric in modern minimal house
Poff by Wendelbo is a masterpiece of minimalism. It balances the best of both worlds - low, wide seats perfect for relaxing, combined with small feet to add lightness to the design.
Wendelbo

2. ARMS

Arms have pros and cons. They’re comfortable and convenient to lean against. You feel protected and relaxed. But they take up space.
Removing them allows you to have a larger sofa with wider seats.
It also creates an open, minimal look.

Define sofa by Wendelbo in dark grey fabric in grey minimal room
Define is completely flat with a groove that allows you to position the arms and back wherever you want them. An ingenious approach by Wendelbo.
Wendelbo

3. BACK

Low backs are fabulous and minimal with deep, wide seats made for lounging.
But for more support there are options.
If you go for a higher back you loose that elegant low style.
So to get the best of both, you could add cushions that rise above the back. Covered in the same fabric as the sofa they blend seamlessly.

Leather backrest detail of Westside sofa by Poliform
Westside incorporates an ingenious moveable fin to provide extra support, which can be removed for ultimate minimalism.
Poliform
Floyd-Hi 2 sofa system in grey fabric by Living Divani
Living Divani are experts at creating graceful simiplicity. Their latest modular sofa, Floyd-Hi 2 System, shows how you can keep an elegant low back but add support with cushions.
Living Divani

4. UPHOLSTERY

Fabric or leather?
Modules that sit on the floor look heavy in leather.
For this style use a fabric with subtle texture or colour variation.
Leather works best on more delicate sofas supported on legs.

Raft sofa by Wendelbo in cream bouclé fabric
The use of a cream bouclé fabric on this Raft sofa adds subtle interest to a minimal design. The wonderful low wide armrests look graceful rather than blocky.
Wendlebo

5. ACCESSORIES

Library arm rests and ottoman trays - modular sofas aren’t just for sitting.
The best brands integrate other elements like coffee tables and storage systems. The range of ingenious accessories is amazing.

Detail of black wooden behind sofa element for Westside sofa by Poliform
This behind sofa element for Westside shows why Poliform are world leaders in creating beautifully proportioned designs that function perfectly.
Poliform

If modular sofas are off your radar, you’re missing a trick.
Highly versatile they adapt to any space. From large C-shapes, great for socialising, to compact L-shapes in a Parisian loft.

All the top brands design modular sofas, so there’s no need to compromise on style. And if you love minimal they’re perfect.

So pick up a good book, pour a glass of wine, sit back and relax.

Dan
Fitness Nut, Bookworm and Minimalist
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