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Modular Sofas

More About Modular Sofas

Modular Sofa Buying Guide


This detailed guide covers all the aspects that you need to consider when making a decision about purchasing a modular sofa.

What is a modular sofa?

You hear the term modular sofa used frequently by sofa and furniture retailers these days, it conjures up images of voluminous open plan living spaces, often in white, which are dominated by a large presentation piece modular sofa and often little or nothing else, but that's not the be all and end all of modular sofas, so let's start by asking and answering the question what exactly is a modular sofa?
The answer? It's relatively simple, a modular sofa is a sofa that is comprised of a number of individual components that can be arranged or constructed to create an integrated sofa, which is often, but doesn't have to be, large and contemporary.

Why purchase a modular sofa?

Make more of your space than a traditional 3 piece suite combo

We'd wager a bet that when most people think of making a sofa purchase the first thing that pops into their mind is a traditional three piece suite comprised of a three seat sofa, a two seater and an armchair, the great news is that you can turn that cliche on its head by buying a modular sofa which will allow you to create a sofa that is designed to fit the space in your room and maximise the seating space you have available.

Accommodate the entire family

What could be better than the whole family sitting down together in comfort for an evening get together or a special occasion? If that's the sort of opportunity that you dream of then a modular sofa could well be the perfect home seating purchase for you, that's because a large integrated modular sofa will let you all sit together and eliminate the wasted space that you get between the two seat sofa and three seat sofa of a traditional suite set - you can pop a corner seat in that space and an extra person instead!

Dead space in the corner

Two sofas in corner of room

Extra space for seating

Corner sofa in the corner of the room

Natural room divider or feature

If you have a large open plan living space a modular sofa makes a perfect feature for your room and can also serve to divide your room into sections, a great example of the latter feature in action is using a modular sofa to create a natural divide between the spaces in the large living/dining/kitchen areas which are popular today.
A corner sofa splitting the room

Traditional lounge

Don't be fooled into thinking that these sofas are only right for large open plan spaces, that's not the case at all, because there are so many flexible modular sofa systems available, including nabru's design your own sofa system, you can create a sofa that is tailor made to fit your room's dimensions and maximise the seating space that you have available in your room.

Man cave!

Every boy's (or man's aka big boy) dream is to have a man cave, now there are many synonyms for the same thing and the most popular ones include home cinema room, cellar room and loft room, well the great news is that a modular sofa is a perfect way to make the most of the space in these rooms which is sometimes cramped or has been carved out of an awkward or difficult to access space. That's because a modular sofa can be configured to make the most of the space you have available for seating, whatever the room's restrictions and with a self assembly design you can be sure that access restrictions don't apply.
Man cave sofa

See all Nabru Man Cave Sofas

Top Tip:
Make the most of the space that you have available for seating in your home by purchasing a modular sofa!

Modular Sofa Shapes

As a general rule modular sofas come in three different shapes, these are:

Straight Sofa

A straight sofa comprising of two, three or sometimes many more seats, the nabru sofa designer tools allow you to create long sofas comprised of lots of seats, a 10 or 12 seat sofa is entirely within the realms of possibility and affordability.
Straight Sofa

Corner or L Shape

Maximise the seating space you have in your room by adding seating along two walls, this will give you extra seating in the corner. It is important to consider other living room furniture when you are measuring up a corner sofa. For more detailed information about this see our 'How to Measure Your Home for a Sofa' Guide.
Corner Sofa

U Shape or C Shape

If you've got the space flaunt it! Large wrap around U or C shaped sofas are perfect for home entertainment rooms, social gatherings and family function rooms. A popular option when having a large U-Shape sofa is to have the two sides armless, this opens up the sofa into the room.
U-Shape Sofa

See all Nabru U-Shape Sofas

Construction techniques

Integrated sofas

These modular sofas, like the ones produced by nabru, come as a series of components or parts which you build to create an integrated modular sofa, once built they can be any of straight sofas, corner sofas, or U shape sofas.
There are many advantages of this type of construction the most significant amongst these are (1) Guaranteed to fit - as they are delivered in parts they are guaranteed to fit into your home whatever the access restrictions and (2) The parts interlock to create an integrated sofa so there is no risk of "modular sofa drift" which is a potential pitfall of the individual seat design described below.
Integrated Seats

Individual seats

The other popular construction technique for modular sofas is for them to be comprised of a number of individual seat units which themselves are available in a number of sub-types such as individual seats, corner seats, chaise seats, arms and extension seats.
The major advantage of this type of modular sofa is that, depending on how many seats you have bought and how flexible your room layout is, you can rearrange your seat units into different configurations allowing you to freshen up your room design or look or to address specific needs such as a social event.
The exact construction of individual seat unit modular sofas varies, some of them have locking mechanisms which are designed to hold the individual seat units together whereas others are reliant on friction to hold the individual seat units together, this latter point is the Achilles heel of this modular sofa design as all too often "modular sofa drift" can occur and you can end up finding your loved ones on the other side of your room! Where are you...
Individual Seats

See all Nabru Armless Sofas

Top Tip:
In our opinion the best construction technique for your modular sofa purchase is the integrated modular sofa option, nothing is more frustrating than experiencing modular sofa drift!

Extendable and maintainable


Clearly if you are shelling out a large amount of money on a new sofa for your home it would be great if the sofa could grow with you, for example if you move to a new home or finally manage to build the extension to your home that you've always dreamed of wouldn't it be great if you could add a few seats to your sofa or turn a straight sofa into a corner sofa rather than selling or disposing of your old sofa.
With a modular sofa this is possible, you can extend and add to it or downsize it rather than having to change your sofa each time you have a life change, which could be great news for your bank balance too.

Your old 3 seat sofa

Three seat sofa

Converts to a corner sofa

Convert to a corner sofa


With many modular sofa systems spare or replacement parts are available so if you have an accident at home and stain or damage a cover then for a small fee you can obtain a replacement cover rather than having to replace your whole sofa. Ouch!
You can also purchase spare sets of covers for your sofa which ensure that you can freshen up the look of your sofa or room or should the mood take you change your sofa with the seasons, for example a light airy set of covers for Spring and Summer and a warm cosy set of covers for Autumn and Winter.
Top Tip:
Before you go ahead and commit a large sum of money to the purchase of your modular sofa it's worth spending a bit of time investigating the support that your supplier provides in terms of extending your sofa and maintaining it over time, you could save yourself a lot of cash and many headaches over the longer term, needless to say all nabru's sofas are extendable and maintainable.

Will if fit through the door?

Now that you are certain that a modular sofa is the right sofa purchase for you it's time to consider some of the practicalities, the foremost amongst these is making sure you can fit your modular sofa into your room and that there's enough space for you to live with it when you get it there.

One of the big advantages that modular sofas have over traditional sofas is that they come as a kit of components or parts which means that you're more certain to be able to fit one in than a traditional sofa, however, having said that you should still take your time to carefully measure up the parts on your sofa to make sure you will get them into your home, of course, if you are buying a nabru self assembly sofa these steps won't be necessary as all of our sofas are guaranteed to fit, whatever the access restrictions!

You also need to think carefully about the implications of living with your sofa day to day, it's not enough that there's enough space for it in the room, you also need to make sure that there's enough space to walk around it and that it doesn't partially block windows, radiators and doors.

Will the sofa fit through the door?

See how Nabru sofas slot together

Top Tip:
We've written a buying guide "How to measure your home for a new sofa" and you should review this in detail for much more information on this topic.

Customise your modular sofa

This bit is the fun part, now that you've found a modular sofa that will fit your room in terms of size and space it's time to make it tailor made to your sense of personal style so that it's perfect for your home in terms of both size and style.
Different modular sofa systems will vary in terms of the options and the level of customisation that they offer so the following sections are specific to nabru's modular sofa systems.

Seat style

We offer 4 different styles of seat width and two different levels of seat comfort, we have found over the years that the wider seat widths tend to be preferred by people looking for a more modern and contemporary look.
Sofa seat sizes


You have the option to add piping detail to the seats and the seat backs, piping detail is formed by wrapping fabric around a piece of piping cord (string to all intents and purposes) and then sewing this into the seams of the cushions and back cushions. The result is a stylish, defined, attractive edge to your seat back and cushions.
Seat cushion with piping

Feet Style

We offer a choice of solid steamed beech feet with an attractive lacquer finish at no extra cost or for a slight additional premium you can purchase our brushed steel feet option.

Solid hardwood oak feet

Sofa Bed Option

The opportunity exists to add a handy occasional use sofa bed to most of nabru's modular sofa products.

Styling Options - Chaise/ Armless/Extended Seat

You can make a really big statement with your modular sofa by adding additional styling options such as a chaise seat end, armless end or extended seat, the impact they make can sometimes be quite striking, you can also mix and match the seat width styles on either side of corner and U Shape sofas to similar effect.

Corner Sofa with Chaise

Corner Sofa with Chaise

Armless/Extended seat sofa

Armless corner sofa with extended seat

See all Nabru Chaise Corner Sofas

Top Tip:
To find out just how many options there are available for you to customise your nabru sofa check out our design your own sofa tools and sofa options pages!

Choose your Fabric

Obviously one of the most important choices to make when you are purchasing a modular sofa is the choice of fabric covering for your sofa, here at nabru we recognise the importance of that choice and genuinely believe that when it comes to choosing a fabric for your sofa there's no such thing as too much choice! So you won't be surprised when you learn that we offer a choice of 75 different fabric choices for our range of modular sofas.

The range of fabrics has been carefully chosen to ensure that we offer a large selection of fabric colours and textures, enough we hope to suit even the most discerning of sofa connoisseurs.

When it comes to choosing a fabric there are a lot of things that you need to think about, just a few of the more important considerations include whether it will be going into a bright or a dark room? How durable is the fabric? Do I have pets or young children? How much maintenance will the fabric require?

We've covered all of these issues and more in our buying guide "How to choose a fabric for my sofa".

Fabric Options

See all Sofa Fabrics

Top Tip:
How a fabric looks when it is viewed on a desktop, tablet or mobile screen can be very different to how it looks in the flesh, we always recommend that you obtain an actual sample of the fabric that you are interested in before making the decision to purchase. At nabru we send out a full set of all of our fabric samples in each day's first class post to ensure that you can make your decision easily and quickly.

Author: Iain Cowsill

Iain is the Managing Director at Nabru. If you have a sofa question, email Iain at service@nabru.co.uk and he'll be happy to help!