Giovanni Valle is a licensed architect and LEED-accredited professional and is certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). He is the author and managing editor of various digital publications, including BuilderSpace, Your Own Architect, and Interiors Place.
The perfect living room interior design is not always easy to achieve, as it’s challenging to know what works and what doesn’t. Even if this is not the first room you decorate, you might have some anxiety about getting it right, especially if you’re going to spend a lot of money on several furniture and decoration pieces. So getting it right is crucial, but should your living room furniture match?
Your living room furniture shouldn’t have to match. Mismatched furniture and chairs with a recurring pattern are a great way to create dynamism, play with light, and enjoy a modern design. However, make sure that they are balanced and won’t overpower each other.
When it comes to creating a living room with mismatched furniture pieces, it is crucial to have a clear vision of what you want it to look like. Below you can find some practical skills to create your dream living room today.
Does Living Room Furniture Have To Match?
When designing the perfect living room, you might wonder if the furniture should match, which is an age-old question, but the answer has not always been the same throughout history. If you ever have the chance to visit a home decorated over ten years ago, chances are that the furniture is identical to each other.
Just like clothing, home decor and design follow trends that are likely to fade over time. You can still opt for matching pieces of furniture, but modern homes tend to have a variety of well-coordinated, dynamic pieces.
Opting for matching furniture in today’s homes might create unnecessary symmetry and a dated look, and it might communicate that you bought your living room decor at a general store and without thinking about the room’s personality.
If you already have a matching set of couches, loveseats, and chairs, you might still be able to achieve a modern, dynamic look by mixing the patterns and adding color.
Do Chairs in the Living Room Have To Match?
You can opt for matching chairs and couches in the living room, and if your dining table is located in the living room, you might consider investing in a set of four or six chairs.
However, if your home is decorated in a modern style, you might consider playing with different chairs, stools, and ottomans. While offering the same seating space, this option allows you to make the most of the room’s size and characteristics.
An interesting example is the case of accent chairs, which used to be in pairs, often located in front of the sofa. However, you can now coordinate two accent chairs that are different. Nonetheless, they must be approximately the same weight, height, and length, so that one does not overpower the other one.
How To Mix Furniture
Matched furniture is not a synonym for coordinated furniture. You can have several accent pieces and mismatched tables and seating options, but they can also be coordinated, which is where your design skills play an essential role. The best way to ensure that you can create a theme across each piece of furniture is to be clear on your overall result.
In the video below, you can learn more about the mistakes to avoid when designing your living room:
Here are the essential aspects to take into consideration when selecting mismatched pieces of furniture:
Find a Common Trait
You can coordinate mismatched furniture, and by doing so, you can genuinely bring your desired style to life. So, before heading to the store and selecting random furniture pieces, you should make sure you are clear on what the common trait is.
A common trait could be a specific color, style, or pattern. For example, you might want plain colors and a limited number of sophisticated pieces for a minimalist home, or you can create a boho style with natural elements and fibers.
In any case, you should be clear on what the result is. A great way to envision it is to create a mood board.
Be Clear on Your Style
What if you’ve chosen a style, but found a different couch or sofa that fits your budget and taste? When looking to use a mismatched sofa’s dynamics, it is essential to be clear on what your style is.
Without an underlying style or trait, your look can suddenly start looking messy and cluttered rather than dynamic. Ideally, you should look into what your preferred style is before looking for living room furniture.
Opt for Some Combinations
Not all furniture needs to be mismatched, as you can easily create patterns across the room by proposing the same materials and colors in different furniture pieces.
Additionally, you might consider using different sets of furniture. For example, you might have a couple of ottomans for chairs that are matched that can be paired with a separate sofa or an accent table.
Six Reasons To Opt for Mixed Furniture
You can opt for matched furniture, so if you’ve found a set that perfectly fits your preferences and budget, you can undoubtedly use it for your design. However, an increasing number of homeowners and designers are opting for mismatched furniture.
Consulting an expert designer is always the best option if you want to get your living room design right the first time. However, here are a few of the benefits of mismatched furniture that you should not ignore. Let’s take a look at some of these benefits.
Symmetry Breaks Down
Symmetry is essential to create a sophisticated, classy, and uncluttered look, and, if you are the kind of person who prefers to have everything in order, you might want to introduce some symmetry in your living room.
However, picking matched furniture is not the only way to achieve this result, as it can yield counterproductive effects. Indeed, opting for symmetric designs can cause your living room to look austere and sterile.
Instead, asymmetry is considered to be an essential part of modern interior design. While maintaining the style you have chosen across the room, you can achieve asymmetry with a different seat (such as an ottoman, bench, or stool) or an accent coffee table.
You Can Find the Right Size
When selecting the right living room furniture, your taste and preferred style should not be the only two factors to consider. Indeed, it is essential to find the right size for your furniture to not look out of place.
However, as Dani Arps mentioned in a Vogue article, the size of your room does not have to decide the size of your furniture. With the right vision, an oversized element, such as a lamp, can create a beautiful focal point and create an amazing effect.
You’ll Have a Smarter Traffic Flow
Aside from being aesthetically pleasing, your living room should be practical and livable. For this, you will need to create an intelligent and natural traffic flow. If you are redesigning your current living room, start noticing how your family members move around the room.
Once you have identified the most common traffic path, you can move the furniture to create the proper flow. With matching furniture, this is more challenging to do, especially when trying to create symmetry. However, you can quickly move individual pieces around to suit your needs.
The Focal Point From the TV Gets Moved
In most homes, the living room’s focal point is the TV. What once was the fireplace today has become the entertainment system. While this is normal and will continue to evolve with our habits, make sure your living room supports socialization and conversation.
For this, you might place the main couch in front of the TV, but you can also place ottomans by the entertainment system to look back at the sofa. So, when your guests are around, they can look at each other and converse without obstacles in the way.
You Can Play With the Room’s Light
With symmetrical pieces of furniture, your room’s design will be dictated by the room’s shape, and when you have different pieces of furniture to manage, you can place them according to your room’s unique light signature. By doing this, you can enjoy a brighter reading spot or avoid glare on your TV screen.
You Can Introduce Several Pieces
If you opted for matching pieces of furniture, you might find it difficult to harmoniously introduce another one that is not part of the original set. However, if you opted for different elements, you can coordinate them and move them around as you need.
Undoubtedly, your living room furniture and chairs can match, but opting for mismatched elements can give your room a more dynamic and modern look. Opting for mismatched furniture has many benefits, as you can benefit from the room’s light signature and move the pieces around as you need.
When selecting and placing mismatched pieces of furniture, you must be clear on the home’s style, as this vision will allow you to create a recurring pattern and color theme across the room. By doing this, you can enjoy a harmonious result with mismatched furniture.
- Apartment Therapy: 7 Ways We’re All Laying Out Our Living Rooms Wrong
- Ideal Home: How to create a mood board
- My Move: Why Asymmetry Is An Important Part of Interior Design (and How to Make it Work)
- Vogue: 9 So-Called Home Décor Rules That You Should Break, According to These Interior Designers
- Design Basics: Intelligent Traffic Flow
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