The living room is a space that is occupied by the family so much of the time and is often shared with others, which puts your design choices in the spotlight in a way that other rooms don’t.
The result? The question of whether living room furniture fits needs a satisfactory answer, so that the room’s aesthetic will bring lasting pleasure to you, your family and your visitors.
Matching living room ideas are therefore appealing – an easy option for an important element of the interior design that makes the execution of living room ideas easier. But while a simple solution is always appealing and mixing it up will certainly require you to use more of your interior design skills, is the simpler route the best one to take? Here we look at the arguments.
Should living room furniture match?
Living room sofa ideas and armchairs are at the heart of the room’s design and their style, color, texture and lines are all intrinsic to its aesthetic. Matching living room furniture used to be de rigueur with combinations such as a sofa and loveseat creating harmony of colour, upholstery and shape.
With a combination like this, the style of the furniture – whether it is, for example, traditional, modern or mid-century – and details such as leg finish, together with material type and color, only need to be considered once.
But is this the right way to go? “Today, sofa-matching armchairs can have a dated air,” says Lucy Searle, global editor of Homes & Gardens. ‘Although there are exceptions to the rule, using this approach is also missing an opportunity to create a room with individual character rather than following the furniture store’s lead – and that’s whether you have a generous budget or have a more frugal approach to costs.’
Is it okay to have mismatched living room furniture?
Mismatched living room furniture is definitely an option to consider when considering living room furniture ideas. By putting together a sofa and armchair combination, it creates a more dynamic interior, which makes the interplay of different colors, textures and lines visible, and makes the room more decoratively rich.
‘What’s crucial if living room furniture doesn’t match is that the choice is generally still harmonious,’ says Homes and Gardens’ Lucy Searle. ‘You can create it by style, silhouette, a wood color, and so on. A common thread will make the selection seem composed rather than chaotic.’
How do you coordinate furniture in a living room?
To coordinate furniture in a living room, first take a step back from focusing on the furniture to consider the choices you make for the room as a whole. The color scheme includes the furniture, so in a room with a palette that uses shades of gray, along with a lesser proportion of yellow and black, for example, you can choose gray sofa living room ideas along with a love seat in yellow which provides a shadow of an area rug and which can be repeated in cushions.
Also think about elements that are common between pieces. For example, you can pair different armchairs of similar style and colors of the same color, or design furniture with similar proportions such as slim and upright in a small living room, or low-to-the-ground and curved and juicy in a modern room, or perhaps choose seating that shares a natural aesthetic with linen upholstery and wood detailing.
“The idea is to have repeated notes, so the coordination is subtle rather than matchy,” says Jennifer Ebert, digital editor of Homes & Gardens. ‘But also remember that an accent piece should catch the eye Think of a rattan armchair next to a soft fabric couch, or a curved loveseat in a cozy corner while the couch has squarer lines.’
Living room furniture that matches and coordinates ideas
To give a room a look that is individual and takes its inspiration from leading interior designers, the simplest answer to the question if living room furniture fits is no. But there are also ways that matching furniture can be a good approach, so below are some of our favorite strategies that take different approaches.
1. Coordinate but not match furniture
Curating your own selection of furniture rather than using a single design and material for different seating elements will bring an interior designer’s touch to a living room.
“Decide on the elements that will make the pieces work happily as a group and on the overall color palette,” says Homes & Gardens‘Jennifer Ebert. ‘There is a lot to choose from to create harmony or difference: think about color line, shape, style, material, tactility.’
2. Make a point to match
Matching furniture in a color that is then repeated on the walls is a growing trend – and one that can make an impact if you choose a shade like this hot pink. It’s a cocoon look that’s ideal for rooms that are usually used after dark and it’s great for spaces in which you entertain, creating easy intimacy.
But with such an expanse of matching upholstery and the color on the walls too, it’s important to balance it with another color like this room’s charcoal colors for furniture, flooring and area rug. Also, bring in texture to avoid a one-dimensional scheme.
3. Match and mirror
Customization can be the perfect solution for a sophisticated and elegant living room design. A pair of sofas placed opposite each other creates a symmetrical layout that looks smart but is also perfect for entertaining. The focus is on those sitting opposite, rather than grouping furniture styles around the television or facing the chimney for a cozy atmosphere.
But even here, matching is widely avoided. Choose armchairs that contrast with the couches to provide extra interest (they can still be arranged symmetrically to continue the formal feel), or go for a daybed at one end of the arrangement, and use a footstool to also ‘ create another line.