Mismatched Furniture

Feb 3 2014

Although we might not like to admit it to ourselves, we will undoubtedly spend a significant amount of our home lives sitting, lying or slouching on the sofas in our living rooms. There is nothing more satisfying after a long day than collapsing into a cushy sofa and unwinding with some bad TV and a glass of wine. Living rooms are generally larger now than they were traditionally though, so more families are deciding to forego the traditional 3-piece suite in favour of a dual sofa arrangement.

Finding 2 sofas that sit comfortably together though (pun very much intended) is a task that's easier said than done. But do your sofas really need to complement each other? Here we'll be exploring that question in detail and discussing whether or not your sofas necessarily need to match.

For Mixing

Contrast is an important part of our lives. It's often said that life would be incredibly boring if everything was the same and this sentiment could quite feasibly be said about furniture. A strict, regimented room can come across as a little clinical and 'cold', but a room with a greater juxtaposition will feel warmer, more intimate and more 'personal'. Your home should always reflect your personality and your personal style, not some copy and paste job from an Ikea catalogue and as you'll be using your living room to potentially entertain guests, it should be the room with the most pronounced personality.

Embrace the eclecticism of your style and try to make sure your sofas are as different as possible. Just choosing two sofas of the same material and shape but in different colours will look just as clinical as two identical sofas. Push the boat out a little and experiment. Maybe even try highlighting the sheer 'oddness' of the arrangement by using different coloured cushions, tables and lamps. Define the space, don't let it define you!

Against Mixing

In some circumstances the two sofa decision might have thrust upon you. For example if you're suffering financially and you've been 'donated' an old, tattered sofa from your ageing aunt or if you entertain on a regular basis and are in desperate need of the seating room. If this is the case you might feel like you've been dealt a raw hand and with good reason. Sofas are (by their very nature) large and imposing so it takes a lot to distract visitors eyes away from them if they are looking particularly unattractive. A fine rug or a large, bold painting could go some way towards drawing their gaze, but it will only ever be a fleeting distraction. Mixed sofas could also ruin a rooms aesthetic 'vibe' or 'theme' and if one sofa is significantly more comfortable than the other (not beyond the realms of possibility at all) there can and will be arguments.


There are of course exceptions, but in general I'd much prefer a living room with two non-matching sofas to a living room with matching sofas, for a variety of reasons. The great thing about non-matching sofas is that you have so many more stylistic options available to you and with a little tweaking you can achieve a perfect blend between uniformity and originality. Different sized sofas are also far easier to manoeuvre into the comfortable, traditional 'L' shape that faces the focal point of the room (usually the television or fireplace).

Ultimately it's a matter of taste and will depend very much of whether you prefer everything to be neat and tidy or warm and cosy. It is possible to strike a balance though, you'll just have to do a little bit of the ground work yourself.

My Bio
Passionate about all things interior design and home décor Justine writes for The Suite Company UK. With a keen eye for design and thirst for making inspirational spaces, she loves to create beautiful, liveable interiors.
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