One of the hardest parts of owning or renting a space is deciding how to decorate the interior. Although it may seem simple, putting together an aesthetically pleasing living room is a task in and of itself. Should all living room furniture match?
Though a coordinated living room may look more pleasing to the eye than an uncoordinated one, living room furniture does not have to match. Ultimately, the design of the space is all up to the decorator’s personal preference.
That being said, there are plenty of ways to make your living room pop, with and without matching every single piece of furniture. This article will examine in great detail how living room furniture does not need to match, different ways you can decorate your living room, and more!
Does My Living Room Furniture Need to Match?
The best part of decorating your home is tailoring it to fit your personal style and preferences. There is no need to abide by any set of interior decorating rules; if you like the way it looks, commit to that layout! Your living room furniture does not need to match; however, you can coordinate pieces to create a more put-together finish.
Many people prefer to match focal points in their living space, such as the sofa and chairs, because of the polished look it gives. You can accomplish this either by buying the same model or by matching the color of your furniture. And if you’re hoping to decorate your space in a unique way, try combining non-matching pieces.
Different Types of Furniture Composition
There are three different ways to compose your living room furniture. You can choose one or combine these composition types to create a look that’s totally unique to your home. The perfect choice for you typically depends on the look you’re trying to achieve.
This next section will cover the three different compositions along with a few tips to achieve the look. Read on to learn what options are available for decorating your living room!
The first living room composition is to acquire all-matching furniture. This results in a cohesive living room. Matching furniture is a good option for a timeless and classic decorating style.
If you want to decorate your living room in this way, you’ll need to follow these guidelines:
- Match softer furniture. Sofas, loveseats, and chairs should be purchased from the same retailer in the same color. Typically, brands will sell a set of 2 sofas, or a 2-piece sofa and loveseat set. If you can’t find a matching set, choose a piece that most closely resembles the others.
- Opt for the same wood finish. When purchasing coffee and end tables, choose one wood finish and polish. Just like with sofas, you may be able to purchase a matching set of 2 or 3 tables. If not, shop around to find one with wood that matches the other pieces.
- Choose a color scheme and stick to it. For accent pieces, choose a color scheme that matches the rest of your softer furniture. For example, a gray couch might look nice with white accents. Coordinate your accent pillows and rugs in this complimentary color.
Opting for all-matching furniture is one of the easiest ways to put together a living room, as you can be certain that everything will go together nicely. If you are not interested in these decorating guidelines, another composition might be right for you.
Mix and Match Furniture
The next composition brings together coordinated pieces that aren’t exactly the same. This is a good choice if you want something that is pleasing to the eye but doesn’t match exactly. Mixing and matching can take a bit of practice to get down.
Below are some tips for mixing and matching your living room furniture.
- Choose a color scheme. Having a specific color scheme is a good way to ensure that everything will come together nicely in the end. A great way to start is by choosing several muted colors and one or two brighter colors for your accent pieces. Doing some light research on these color schemes will help you picture what your space may look like.
- Mix classic and modern themes. Overstock suggests adding modern accents into a classically themed layout for a unique spin on decorating. You can achieve this by adding statement pieces around your living room while keeping the main furniture simple.
- Play around with textures and patterns. If mixing furniture itself is too bold for you, start by swapping out your accent pillows for something with a funky pattern or texture. This is a good way to bring in something different without changing your entire layout.
Mixing your furniture is arguably the most difficult composition on the list, as the ultimate goal is to have everything come together cohesively. We recommend searching for inspiration online and drafting a plan before you start decorating.
For a totally unique look, opt for non-matching furniture. This is a fun way to make your space truly your own; choose pieces that you like as opposed to pieces that may blend well together.
If you opt for non-matching furniture, your living room will not have a cohesive look to it. While this may be perfect for some, many people do not prefer this look as the room can appear cluttered.
One way to keep non-matching furniture from looking too chaotic is by choosing a color scheme, as suggested with the other two compositions. Play up texture, patterns, and wood finishes, but have one or two accent colors that tie the whole room together. Otherwise, your space may look more messy than intentional.
What Color Should My Furniture Be?
Choosing a color scheme is one of the most important steps in decorating your living room. Once you’ve chosen a scheme, you can base your furniture and accents around it. We recommend having some idea of what colors you plan to use, even if you choose a non-matching composition.
Again, the colors you choose depend on your personal preference, but there are a few things you should keep in mind:
- Balance is important. If the rest of your decor is muted, avoid opting for overly bright colors as your living room may end up looking out of place.
- Try your best to stick to only a few colors, even if you don’t plan to match your furniture. If you choose too many colors, your home may look busy and cause you and your guests a literal headache in the long run. Start by finding some inspiration online as to what colors look best together and which you think would best fit your home.
- Add an accent wall. If you’re dedicated to your color scheme, consider adding an accent wall that matches your accent decorations. This could be a brighter color, such as red or orange. It is best to stick to only one wall, as an entire room painted this color may be too much.
Should My Curtains Match My Couch or My Walls?
Many newbie decorators want to match furniture and decorations to the colors of their walls, but this is not recommended. Instead, you should make your furniture choices without thinking about your paint color, as the two should be treated separately.
Curtains are great accent pieces that can add a pop of color, pattern, or texture to your living room. There are several ways to choose curtains for your space:
- Match the curtains to your furniture. If you’ve chosen a color scheme for your softer furniture, such as your couch and chairs, feel free to purchase curtains in the same color. As your furniture will often be more of a neutral color, your curtains are certain to look great with the rest of the room.
- Acquire accent curtains. If you’d like to add a pop of color, purchase curtains in accent colors that complement the rest of your furniture but aren’t the exact same shade. This is a great way to add another dimension to your living room without committing to something as expensive as furniture.
- Choose neutral curtains. If accent curtains nor matching curtains are what you’re looking for, opt for a neutral color that complements the rest of the living room. White is a popular choice for drapery as it tends to match just about anything else you may have in the space. Avoid colors that are too dark, as they may affect the natural lighting of the room.
Should My Furniture Match My Walls?
Choosing a paint color for your living room can be a daunting task. When considering how you plan to arrange your space, always choose your furniture before your paint color. Paint is much easier to match to furniture than the other way around!
A good rule of thumb is to opt for a muted neutral paint color that will match pretty much any furniture you have. That way, if you decide to change up your furniture later, the room will still look cohesive. Whites, beiges, and grays are good choices, but avoid anything too dark as the space may feel smaller.
How to Arrange Your Living Room
Arranging your living space can be a fun task! Once you’ve chosen which composition you’d like to pursue, you can move on to the actual decorating. Aside from color and furniture choices, you’ll need to decide how exactly you want your space to be laid out as well as how you will light up your space and decorate the walls.
The next section will cover some basics for how to decorate your living room so that you can be a pro in no time.
Choose a Layout
Once you’ve acquired your furniture, you’ll need to decide how you want to space it out. This will ultimately depend on the layout of your home, but there are a few general guidelines for making sure your space neither looks too open nor too cramped.
The Spruce recommends choosing a focal point and building your furniture around that area. It could be the center of the room, but it doesn’t have to be! Consider that focal point where conversations and gatherings will happen and arrange your furniture around it.
Remember that your furniture doesn’t have to be pushed up against a wall! Placing chairs or loveseats away from the sides of the room can help sequester off space and break the area into separate components. Or, you can opt for an open and flowing layout. This is totally up to you!
Determine Your Lighting
Will you hang a statement chandelier or opt for standing lamps between furniture? Keep in mind how you want to light up your space when choosing your layout. If your living room is lighter on the statement side, you may choose a bigger and bolder light fixture to draw some attention.
However, if you find yourself chock-full of statement and accent pieces, something more subdued for your lighting may be preferred. In this case, you can choose a simple standing lamp or table-top lamp to compliment the rest of your space.
You will also want to determine the brightness of your lighting as well. Do you want something bright enough to read and conduct business, or does something dimmer and more subdued align with your style? Think about the main purpose your living room will serve as well as how much natural light the space gets from windows.
Play It Up with Rugs
Adding area rugs is a great way to bring a pop of color or pattern into your living space. Don’t fret if your home is carpeted; you can still purchase that beautiful rug! Make sure that your rug is neither too small nor too big. The Spruce recommends leaving some bare floor for balance.
In terms of interior decorating, accessories can be anything small that spices up your space. Choose decorations to hang on your walls, such as framed prints or mirrors. You may also choose to add plants around the room to bring some life into your home.
Accessories are a great way to make your space your own and keep the room from feeling too stiff. The last thing you’ll want is your guests thinking that your home is a show model!
What to Avoid When Decorating Your Living Room
While your space should be decorated as you see fit, there are several things to avoid so that your living room still appears cohesive. Remember that while you want to make your home your own, you still will need to live in it every day.
Below are some things to consider when decorating your living room:
- Make it your own. Many new decorators get too wrapped up in making everything look perfect that they forget to add personal details! Remember that your home is still your home. Add family photos, quirky knickknacks, and anything around the room that helps you feel as though you’re actually living in the space.
- Test the paint color first. When it comes to painting, be sure to test the color on your walls before committing to it. The way it looks in the store may not be the way it looks in your home, especially once you factor in natural and artificial light.
- Measure, measure, measure! Never buy furniture for your living room without knowing the exact measurements of your space. This is a one-way ticket to disaster. A good way to know if the furniture will fit the way you want it to is by using a measuring tape to mark the areas of your living room it will cover. That way, you have an idea of how much space you’ll be losing.
- Buy the correct curtain length. The last thing you’ll want is to have your curtains draping on the floor. Be sure to measure the length and width of your windows before purchasing curtains for them.
- Make sure your art is at eye-level. When framed artwork is hung too high, your living room can look awkward. It is recommended to hang artwork around eye-level or a little bit lower if you happen to be exceptionally tall.
- Choose TV placement wisely. Not everyone chooses to have a TV in their living room. If you do, be sure to consider the placement wisely before hanging your TV on the wall. Just like your art, you’ll want to make sure that the TV isn’t hung too high or too low on your walls. Eye-level or slightly above is a good guideline to go off of!
Decorating your living room can seem like a daunting task, but it’s the perfect opportunity to let your personality shine. Once you’ve decided which composition and furniture are perfect for you, you’re ready to start decorating. We hope that this article has served as a helpful guide for determining where to begin when decorating a living room!