My Best Friend’s Basement Remodel – On Finding Their Perfect U-Shaped Comfortable Sectional

Finding the perfect family room sectional can feel daunting. Not only is it a large initial investment but if you get it wrong you are STUCK with a very physically large mistake, staring at you daily, mocking you for your poor decision. And it’s not easy to “switch out” a sectional. Today will help, especially those of you looking for specific configurations that are difficult to find readymade. My sectional philosophy is to lean hard into comfort while of course insisting on style and quality. For this project, my best friend’s basement (also seen here and here), we needed the perfect U-shaped configuration which in this case was particularly specific – but good news, we found it and it’s WONDERFUL.


Here we have the before – a well-loved family room – for two grown-ups and two young tween boys. I feel like we all know this basis. It serves a lot of purposes for the family (movie room, game room, study room, escape room, etc) and it totally works. But while spending so much time down here in lockdown, and with some savings due to canceling vacations/life, they finally decided to make it a space they would LOVE to be in.


They loved how comfortable their sofa was and the fact they could really spread out on all three sides. But they wanted a newer version (they and their dogs loved that one for 18 years) so it was ready to give to another friend’s basement so they could upgrade theirs. Here were their new sectional needs:

  1. It needed to be U-shaped, but where one side is a sofa with back and arms, and the other side is a chair so that you can see the TV over your feet.
  2. The fabric needed to be dark, cozy, and really family and pet-friendly.
  3. They still desperately wanted it to be comfortable, but less overstuffed than their previous one, more stylish, and streamlined.

Let’s get specific. The biggest challenge was finding a “U with a chair” sectional as their TV was off to the left of the fireplace. They liked that on one side of the “U” there was a full back and arms (so people could sit and lean facing the chair/tv) while the other side was a chair, allowing you to see the TV without having to look over the sofa arm. I scoured the internet making sure there wasn’t one readymade for them and sure enough there wasn’t one that fit the bill that we liked – it was pretty specific and we still wanted it to look modern and fresh. So I immediately went to one of my favorite sources, Interior Define, and found not one but multiple sofas that could be customized into this configuration. We landed on “Winslow” and “Gaby“.


From Top Left Clockwise: Gaby 3-Seat Left Sectional Chair | Gaby Corner With Left Sectional Chair | Gaby 4-Seat Sectional Sofa With Left Bumper | Gaby Leather 4-Seat Corner Sectional

Both sectionals could be configured to work in the space – both stylistically and size-wise.

From Top Left Clockwise: Winslow 3-Piece 4-Seat U-Sectional | Winslow 3-seat Right Bumper Sectional | Winslow Corner With Left Sectional Chair | Winslow 4-Seat Leather Right Sectional Chair

So Priscilla, lead designer, threw them in a mockup to see if that would help our decision – the blue against the wood looked SO GOOD (there are SO many fabric options).

They are both awesome and honestly, I didn’t have much of a preference. The Winslow is slightly more squared off and streamlined as opposed to the Gaby which is slightly more rounded. I used to have the Maxwell (another sofa from them) which was SO comfortable and durable (I gave it to a Pen and Napkin makeover and there have been many times where I’ve really missed it).

As you might have guessed, we were designing this basement mid-lockdown so there was no way to “test-sit” these sofas then, but I knew that I could attest to the comfort, quality, and durability of the fabric of the one I had. Basically, I trust them when they say a fabric is kid/pet-friendly.

With anything custom you want to live by the “measure twice, cut once” philosophy… or in our case “measure twice, put those measurements into a design program, and order once with total confidence”. So Priscilla plugged in two sizes of each sofa – the Winslow and the Gaby mostly to make sure that the clearances for walking as well as the fireplace.


We decided to go more modern/streamlined and choose the Winslow. Then we had to choose the fabric and they have a TON of options. They were leaning strongly towards dark because they wanted to lean into the coziness and be more dirt/stain friendly. While a lot of the fabrics are performance, I think we can all agree that we somehow “feel” like darker colors are more dirt-resistant or at least more “dirt forgiving.” Again, they have two tween boys and a pup so this room will get a LOT of use and this sofa fabric and room need to really work for them.

We narrowed it down in this order:

  1. Configuration: Corner Sectional with Right Arm Chair
  2. Fabric: Heathered Weave in the color Azure (a cozy Heathered navy)
  3. Seat Configuration: Bench seat versus individual cushions (we chose a bench cushion on the long side)
  4. Leg options – We chose the wood midcentury but they have a lot of options (see above)
  5. Cushion Fill: Down Alternative (which is soft but you don’t have to fluff a lot and is good for allergies).

The sofa would retail at $4,595.00 and the lead time was 16-20 weeks – and y’all it came in time. ARE YOU READY??? We have the full reveal coming next week (SORRY) But look! A sneak peek!

Sneak Peek Of The Finished Sectional and Room

This room turned out far more cozy, comfortable (and beautiful) than I think any of us imagined. I can’t wait to show you the full room reveal next week (and more of the sectional). Check out their site for all their style options – and yes they have chairs and smaller sofas, too.

And guess what?? Interior Define is having a 20% off Customization 101 Sale which starts 5/5. So if you are in need of a new sofa, start customizing it now and purchase starting Thursday for this deal.

*After Photo by Sara Ligorria-Tramp

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