Wow, it’s hard to find a midcentury-modern style sectional with a curved — or rounded “wedge” back center — piece available new today. But I dug and dug — and found nine designs among four companies. Why aren’t these more popular? I have my theory…

Did they even have squared-off sectionals in midcentury America?

I don’t think so. The only sectional sofas that are really “retro” — as in 1940s, 1950s, 1960s midcentury style — are sectionals with a rounded wedge in the middle. *I think.* That is, I don’t think I’ve seen too many 90-degree, all squared-at-the inside-edge sectional sofas from back in the day.

Our first sectional sofa was vintage — and it was a wedge — and we loved it. Above: We had a new wedge-back sectional built for our Mahalo Lounge from scratch by a local furniture maker, Barclay Furniture. It was really fun to work with a local company — and not that much more expensive including the fact that got eight-way hand-tied springs and also my spendy upholstery was… spendy. The main reason that I ultimately went with a custom-made sectional is that I wanted one with smaller dimensions than currently offered by retailers. My sectional measures just 96″ x 96″. Most of the designs shown below are larger, from about 108″ x 108″ up to 121″ x 121″. Given the size of my rooms, those extra inches made a difference to me.

So far I have only found four places to buy these made new.  The style seems way less popular than squared-off sectionals, although I think wedges look better and are more functional too. I will also make a bet: Those big curvy corner wedges are a bear to make, to ship, to store, and to deliver. I bet furniture makers prefer not to push them. What do you think?

Four places to buy midcentury-modern style, wedge-back sectional sofas:

Note, the center piece seems to be formally called a “wedge”. As in: wedge of pie. Makes sense.

And note, my list is not in any particular order:

Rowe:

rowe brady sectionalLike a number of designs in this story, Rowe Furniture’s Brady sectional also can be ordered sans an arm on one side with a sitting cushion thingie instead on either side. My husband and I thought about this option, but decided that while it looked swanky, it was less functional.  

Room and Board:

Room and Board’s Reese curved sectional comes in two sizes. 

Joybird:

Joybird really caters to the mid mod crowd, and they have six different designs of round corner sectional — their navigation takes you right to them, easy peasy. Note: Joybird is currently an advertiser on my site; they did not pay me to write this story or anything.

West Elm:

West Elm’s Valencia curved back sectional seems era-bending, but I find it appealing.

Oh and…

I started watching for vintage sectionals on ebay. See my archive on pinterest here.

Nice, huh! Let me know if you find any other sources, readers, and I’ll add them to the list.

Categoriesfurniture
  1. ineffablespace says:

    I think it’s multifactorial.

    Mostly I think it’s consumer demand though, because if people in multiple market segments including the lowest discount furniture segment—manufacturers would figure out how to supply them, even cheaply.

    If you look at the upper end of the market–I checked Henredon as one example–they have many offerings of curved sofas, from one-piece elliptical sofas to sectionals with wedge and large curved sections. They always have offered and they probably will, as long as the company exists. In the upper echelon contemporary modernist market –De Sede, for example, they offer the DS-600 in segments meant to form neverending sinuous curves (these sofas are in the middle of 5-figures in price).

    However, most of the long-offered curved offerings are either very traditional and expensive furniture or very contemporary and very very expensive furniture and that has a limited market.

    I think the middle of the market (which is the vast majority of the market) are influenced by a number of factors:

    Most of the middle of the market is not yet embracing MCM enough to commit to large purchases. and they might never. I think much of the market sees MCM furniture as something most appropriate for MCM houses, and if they don’t have one, they furnish transitionally. So if they wanted a curved transitional sofa, it would put them in the Henredon et al market, not the West Elm, Joybird market.

    Most people don’t have room for a curved sectional. Much new construction has much greater Volume in the rooms and large open great rooms for the main living spaces. However, if you look at the actual Footprint of how much space they can allot to furniture, it’s just as small as it ever was, and perhaps even a little smaller in some regards because there are few walls or corners to tuck something like this into. Floating furniture takes up more space that arranging large pieces against the wall and floating smaller pieces. A sectional that’s square and possibly open ended like a chaise at one end is probably a better fit.

    Finally, conventional decorating wisdom says that your large pieces of furniture should be neutral and non-committal, essentially something beige and transitional, because it will work if you change your mind, get tired of it, move to a different house. And possibly it should be inexpensive enough to change it to something else if you move or get tired of it.

    We live in an era where relatively inexpensive non-committal furniture is the norm, where any strong decorating statement is made with inexpensive accessories that can easily be changed and updated. It’s the complete opposite of what you are doing in your living room, and the opposite of the time capsule.

  2. linda h says:

    My sectional made in the 60’s has two sections with an end table made to fit exactly between them in the corner, so not a curved section. I am getting it recovered, so I considered the Rivington fabric.

  3. Janet in ME says:

    Having worked in the retail furniture business for many years, I can help answer that. Number one is that they are expensive. Many companies let you pick and choose the sizes to put together, and this is considered a custom built set so you pay! Secondly, if one piece wears out, say the seating area on one side is used more, then you lose the entire expensive sectional rather than replacing just one sofa. And the sizes just don’t always work in the space. Those curved corners are really huge and take up a lot of space compared to the 90 degree angle ones. I love them but never had a house one would fit into, but they sure make the room if you have a large area to fill up. We didn’t sell too many of them. Most people opted for a sofa with a loveseat or chair and a half. Funny note; one time we got one in and somehow the order was put in wrong. Half the sectional was beige and the other half was red! Their fail proof computer system didn’t catch the error and the production line didn’t either.

  4. Lynne says:

    The “Dorset” by Rowe also has a curved option. They don’t show it immediately in the pictures, you have to go to the specifics. It’s there as an option. I have this sofa-in a wild green color. It was at, what we considered, a very reasonable price. I buy a lot of Rowe pieces because they are one of the few companies that still have cushions with the corded welting.

  5. linda h says:

    Also the reason I am not getting a new sofa instead of re-upholstering the old one is that although I am 5’6″, my legs are not comfortable on the deeper, newer sofas.

  6. Carolyn says:

    I love that word “swanky” – it takes “fancy” to a whole ‘nother level.
    These look like Rob & Laura’s LR set-up, especially the Rowe. I’d find this a lot more conducive to conversations than either the sofa and loveseat facing each other or sofa and two chairs. The curved section was the first I thought of – the relatively primitive technology needed to make these then but they can’t seem to today with all the wonders literally at their fingertips.
    Now, thanks to ineffable space, holes have been shot in the open concept styles we’ve seen in the last few decades. Every old home MUST be opened up because they are “too boxy” and yet there is no more space! Wha??? I feel bad for my daughter because she’s being taxed for square footage that is just…empty air…in her fancy new construction.

  7. Jay says:

    Ah the voice of experience. I would have guessed that a curved sectional bordered on custom thus many dollars. I remember the childhood visits to the house my father’s sister lived in – a huge one floor house. The living and dining rooms were separated by a stone double sided fireplace. I could have ridden my bike in there. The sectional pretty much was the furniture – the “wedge” area was a long angled section so more like 45 deg. angles. I can still picture it – nubby off white fabric and box pleat kick skirt. It was not shoved into the corner either. I’m guessing it was made to fit the room. I wonder just how much use was ever made of that room.

  8. Jay says:

    The new sectional looks very smart sitting on the oriental rug while the pinch pleats stand at attention in the background.

  9. Paula says:

    We got our sectional from TrueModern. It is not a wedge, but what we liked about it was the length was customizable. Also, for what we were going to pay I really wanted to “see” it first to be sure of the quality. We had to go to San Francisco for work and they were nice enough to open up for us on a Sunday. Really great experience. When it was delivered, one of the cushions was sized oddly and they sent us a new one, no problem. I would buy from them again !

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