A Few Terms to Learn When Furniture Shopping

Shopping for new furniture may be more of a challenge than you expect, since you need to choose pieces that are comfortable but also attractive, and that fit a room's overall dimensions without seeming too small and without crowding the space. To help you choose pieces that fit all those demands, note a few terms you might want to become familiar with before you start shopping, and this can help you determine the right pieces for your home.

Lounge versus recliner

A lounge is a bit different than a recliner; a recliner will have a footrest that folds into the seat, and you unfold this footrest with a lever or by pushing onto the back of the seat. A lounge is a long piece that allows you to put up your feet, but the bottom section of the lounge doesn't fold away. A lounge may be good for a corner of a room, where you want to fill out the L-shape of that space, whereas a recliner might be good for smaller rooms, as you can fold up that footrest section when needed.

Sectional or modular sofa

A sectional or modular sofa refers to a sofa that comes in separate sections, which can then be rearranged and repositioned in various layouts. These sofas may have end pieces with arms, and you can add as many additional pieces or sections between them for a long couch. The sectional may also be available with end pieces that are armless but which turn in an L-shape, so you can add pieces to the side of that end unit, creating an L-shaped seating arrangement. If you have a large room or want to create as much seating in a room as possible, a sectional or modular sofa can be the best choice.


A console is a type of wide but shallow table, usually about the same height as the back of a sofa. This piece can be put against a wall that needs a bit of decoration, without it getting in the way of foot traffic. You might add a console to an entryway if the space seems a bit barren, and if you need a shelf to hold keys, your handbag and the like. A console is also sometimes referred to as a sofa table, and it can be placed behind a sofa that is in the centre of the room, as it breaks up the looks of the sofa back. You can then add decorative items to the table for added visual interest.