Couches & Sofas for the Den

If you’re in the market for a new couch for the den, get ready for a dizzying display of options.  There are so many styles, colors and sizes available, it can be an overwhelming process.  Making a few decisions before starting the buying process can help you focus in on the best options for your den.

Size and Shape

It helps to make a decision as to what shape and size will work best in your space.  For larger dens, sectionals may be an option, as are loveseats for smaller rooms.  Sectionals are comfortable and large and offer plenty of seating.  But, there are drawbacks to sectionals:

  • Expense:  Sectionals tend to cost more than traditional couches.
  • Wear:  There are usually one or two prime seating spots on a sectional that wear more quickly than the other sections.  Replacing a sectional that is worn is like having to replace a roomful of furniture because of the size and expense.
  • Style:  There tend not to be as many styles and designs in sectionals sofas than traditional sizes.
  • Arrangement:  There is usually only one way to place the sectional within the room, there’s not much room for furniture rearranging when a sectional’s involved.  It’s also nice to be able to create intimate conversation groupings in a den, and a sectional doesn’t always allow for that.

If you’re looking for something with plenty of seating, two loveseats or couches may be an option.  Consider the scale of the pieces in relation to the scale of the room and other furnishings.

As for shape, if you plan to have other furnishings that offer straight lines with no curves, a sofa with some curvy lines, either in the couch itself or the arms, will add interest to the room.  Also consider that couches with straighter backs tend to look more formal.
For smaller rooms, couches with lower arms and backs can help open up the room and make it look larger.


There are so many styles offered, from traditional couches with rolled arms to straighter, modern examples.  Of course, consider the décor of the den.  Now’s the time to make the decision as to what look you’re going for in the room, casual vs. formal, modern vs. traditional….

In many dens, the couch is going to be the most visible piece of furniture, and will need to set the tone for the room.  Also consider what will be the focal point in the den.  If there’s a fireplace, use that as your starting point.  If there’s going to be a high tech, plasma television as the focal point, that can be your starting point.

Color and Pattern

If you’re starting from scratch in decorating the den, choose the couch before you paint the walls.  It’s easier to find paint to match the couch rather than vice versa.  As for pattern, the busier the pattern, the less the wear and tear will show.  If you have children that will be using the den as their primary play area, go for a busy pattern.  You can only ban food and drink around the new couch for so long.

Of course, the most important aspect of purchasing the couch – comfort.  Lay down on it, plop on it, put your feet up and even pretend to use your laptop if that’s how you plan on using your den.  Check the cushions to see how they’re constructed.

If you plan on using the den as a full-time family room, one option to consider is a couch with slipcovers.  Pottery Barn has several styles and offer various slipcovers that can be washed, changed for the seasons or changed for a complete room makeover.

But as for one of the most probing questions in choosing a couch or sofa for the den...What's the difference between a couch and a sofa?  The answer:  Nothing, it's a matter of semantics.