How to Choose Furniture that Complements Each Other

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When it comes to selecting furniture for a room, choosing pieces that match in style and weight can create a balanced look. Incorporating color strategically can draw the eye further into the room and add continuity to a space.
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You’ve just purchased a new home and can’t wait to furnish it. However, the thought of putting together a cohesive look is overwhelming. While buying a matching set of furniture is an easy solution, many prefer an eclectic approach that includes pieces from different designers and eras. To achieve an eclectic yet harmonious look, it’s important to have a decorating scheme with unifying elements.

 

Using Color

One way to mix and match furnishings is through the use of color. It can provide continuity in a room with pieces of different styles. For example, if you own a variety of mismatched wood furniture, consider painting it all one color. A monochromatic scheme of white walls and painted white furniture in various styles is the basis of the popular Shabby Chic decorating style that has been in vogue for years.

Complementary colors, located across from each other on the color wheel, provide the most vibrant color combinations. Don’t be afraid to make bold choices, but if you decide to use multiple colors in your furniture or accessories, consider a neutral backdrop like white or beige walls and trim.

Drawing the Eye

Repetition is a design principle that helps to tie a room together. If you have a neutral room with a single orange element, that becomes the focal point. However, if there are multiple pops of orange throughout the room, it encourages your eye to wander and provides balance.

Using Patterns

Bold patterns and contrasting colors in fabrics can tie together a couple of furnishings that wouldn’t typically “go” together from a color wheel perspective. Funky and vibrant patterns are popular, and combining a variety of patterns successfully can create a stunning room. For example, you could reupholster your couch in a striped pattern and select a large-scale floral in matching colors for your guest chairs. You could also choose a smaller scale of the same floral pattern for accent pillows on the couch.

If you prefer to keep it simple, select a rug with the colors you want in your room. It’s wise to choose the rug before selecting furnishings, as it can be challenging to find the perfect rug to harmonize with your existing furniture. By choosing the rug first, you can select upholstery that matches with ease.

Consider Proportions


When decorating a room, it’s important to keep in mind the scale of the furniture. For example, if you have a large sofa and chair, you should choose a chunky coffee table that matches their girth. It’s also important to choose furniture that matches in visual weight. A comfy overstuffed couch wouldn’t look right with a spindly-legged coffee table. Instead, opt for a chunkier option that proportionally matches the size of the sofa. Additionally, the scale of the furniture should work well with the size of the room. A king-sized bed and matching dressers would make a small bedroom feel overcrowded and uninviting, while a table for four and a small buffet would get lost in a cavernous dining room. The furniture needs to have a sense of scale and work well in the room.

Using Materials

If you prefer wood furniture in a stained state, try finding different pieces in the same shade of wood to unify a dissimilar combination of furniture. Mixing light and dark woods can also work, but make sure you have enough of both to balance each other. For example, if you have a big dark coffee table, and you want to use smaller end tables in lighter wood, you’ll want at least two of the smaller tables so that they have similar visual weight as the coffee table. Metal can be a good complement to contemporary eclectic decorating schemes, but it won’t work as well in a formal room.

For More Information

Related Articles

  • Decorating Styles
  • How to Furnish a Small Space
  • How to Make a Large Space Feel Homey
  • How to Make a Small Room Seem Big
  • How to Salvage a Garage Sale Find

Sources

  • “Basic Decorating Tips with Personal Style!” Spirited Lady Boutique & Affirmations. March 27, 2010. (Aug. 28, 2010) http://www.spirited-lady-boutique.com/decorating.html”
  • Decorating Tips and Hints.” Plantation Furnishings. 2010. (Aug. 28, 2010) http://www.plantationfurnishings.com/buying-tips-decorating.php
  • “Design Dilemma: Changing Design Styles Mid-Stream.” HomeDesignFind.com. May 26, 2009. (Aug. 28, 2010) http://www.homedesignfind.com/how-to-tips-advice/design-dilemma-changing-design-styles-mid-stream/
  • “Ten Top Interior Design Myths Dispelled — Dos and Don’ts for Successful Interior Decorating.” Handy American. 2010. (Aug. 28, 2010) http://www.handyamerican.com/articles-myths-interior-decorating.asp

FAQ

1. What is the first step in picking furniture that goes together?

The first step in picking furniture that goes together is to decide on a color palette. Consider the colors that already exist in the room and choose furniture that will complement them. You can also choose a neutral color palette, such as black, white, or beige, and add pops of color with accent pieces.

2. Should I pick furniture from the same collection?

You don’t necessarily have to pick furniture from the same collection, but you should choose pieces that have a similar style and design. This will create a cohesive look and make your room feel more put together.

3. How can I mix different furniture styles?

If you want to mix different furniture styles, make sure they have something in common, such as color or shape. You can also use accessories to tie the pieces together, such as matching throw pillows or a coordinating rug.

4. Should I pick furniture based on the size of my room?

Yes, you should consider the size of your room when picking furniture. Choose pieces that are proportional to the room and don’t overpower the space. If your room is small, choose furniture with a smaller footprint and consider pieces that have built-in storage to maximize space.

5. How many different types of furniture should I have in a room?

It’s best to stick to a few types of furniture in a room to avoid a cluttered look. You can mix and match within those types, such as having a sofa, loveseat, and accent chair in a living room, but try to keep the overall number of pieces to a minimum.

6. Should I choose furniture based on current trends?

You can incorporate current trends in your furniture choices, but don’t base your entire room around them. Choose pieces that you love and will stand the test of time, and add trendy accessories to keep the room feeling fresh and modern.

7. How do I choose the right fabric for my furniture?

Consider the purpose of the furniture and the amount of use it will get when choosing fabric. If you have kids or pets, choose a durable, stain-resistant fabric. If you want a more luxurious look, choose a velvet or silk fabric. And if you want to add texture, choose a woven or patterned fabric.

8. How can I incorporate different textures in my furniture?

You can incorporate different textures in your furniture by choosing pieces with different finishes, such as matte, glossy, or distressed. You can also mix and match fabrics, such as pairing a leather sofa with a velvet accent chair.

9. Should I choose furniture based on my personal style or the style of my home?

You should choose furniture based on your personal style, but also consider the overall style of your home. You want your furniture to fit in with the existing decor and create a cohesive look, but don’t be afraid to add your own personal touch.

10. How can I make sure my furniture is comfortable?

When picking furniture, make sure to test it out for comfort. Sit on the sofa, lie down on the bed, and test out the chairs. You want your furniture to not only look good, but also feel good and be functional for your daily use.

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