Do Sofas & Loveseats Have to Match?

Jill Arens

Decorating trends come and go, and matching, large upholstered pieces in the living room are out of vogue. Although buying a complete set makes decorating simpler, your room will appear monotonous, boring and repetitive. You want your space to offer a harmonious mixture of patterns, textures and colors, along with a few surprises for aesthetic interest.

Synchronize Your Furniture

For a more interesting room, avoid this kind of matching set.

Your sofa and love seat can complement each other without matching exactly. As long as the two don't clash, your room will come together in a distinctive way. To ground the room, choose a couch with solid-color or neutral upholstery and a love seat in a different style or color. Reserve bold prints and stripes for chairs and smaller upholstered pieces. For a soothing mix, match your furniture to the colors in your rug, or tie the pieces together with coordinating toss pillows. If you can't envision the result, furniture stores typically keep interior decorators on hand to guide anxious shoppers.

Small Room Considerations

In a small space, matching your wall color and sofa will make the room appear larger; the sofa will disappear into the wall. Choose streamlined furniture instead of oversize pieces, and avoid dark upholstery. To really open up the room, use two chairs instead of a love seat. Couches and love seats carry significant visual weight, so only use both if your room can handle two sizable pieces.

Comfort Is King

Find furniture that offers fashion and function. You no longer need uncomfortable, small cushions or dainty upholstery to make your room look luxurious. Avoid fussy, small seats that don't offer enough space for you to kick back and relax. Select a skirted couch for a more casual vibe, and use a large ottoman instead of a coffee table. Lay a coordinating blanket throw on the back of your love seat or sofa, tucking the end into the crevice of the cushion for tidiness.

Keeping the Room Alive

Matching furniture tends to date a room, so using mismatched pieces will keep your room from appearing old and unfashionable. Your living room is never finished; the space should take shape and evolve over time. When you're ready for a change, don't buy new furniture -- add slipcovers to modernize your room. Adding and changing accessories will keep the space fresh for both you and your guests.