I sometimes wonder how many people really do have the classic, all matching sofa and chairs combination nowadays. I mean, it used to be a thing, right? It used to be considered the right thing to do, you’d buy the sofa and would choose the matching chairs. Everything was just so and everything had its place. Times, however, have changed and today there’s far more emphasis on personal style. Most of us simply don’t want a home that looks like it has been bought straight from the pages of a catalogue (come to think of it, are catalogues still a thing?) and have amassed items over years that might not always go together but that are dear to us.
This is where, when furnishing our homes, we need to start thinking about how to put all those potentially mismatched items together in a way that is personal, homely and doesn’t end up looking, errr, simply mismatched. Especially when it comes to sofas and chairs, it can sometimes be a little tricky to figure out whether they work together or not. But there are ways to make it work if we just take a few things into account and use some small tricks to pull it all together.
First of all, you should look at your (and your home’s) overall style. If your style is contemporary and modern, then don’t try to match it with a twee floral number of a chair. Whilst such extreme juxtapositions can occasionally work to great effect, it is a really fine line between ‘wow’ and ‘what were you thinking?’ and not something I would advise to attempt if you’re on any kind of budgetary restrictions. A sofa with very simple lines and no frills at all will work really well in a contemporary setting and can be paired with equally simple but beautiful chairs.
If your style is naturally more cosy and you don’t mind mixing patterns then you’re already half way there as mixing furniture will become easier. Sofas and chairs in similar shapes work really well together even if they’re essentially different designs. Squishy leather chairs complement the cosy sofa and the look is pulled together nicely by using cushions in the same fabric as the sofa to accessorise the chairs. This gives the overall setting a cohesive look.
When attempting to go for clashing colours, the style should be the same. Pairing a brown leather sofa with bright blue chairs might seem odd at first, but the styles are fairly similar mid-century, so it really works. You will also need to think a little about the other pieces of furniture you put around the sofa and chairs: again, a slight nod (though not exclusive) to mid century design helps pull the look together.
If you happen to have a sofa with something of a wild or crazy pattern then a chair in a single colour will work best. Here a retro chair has been paired with a cosy sofa, but it works because the green of the chair is repeated in the pattern of the sofa. So, pick out a colour and use it to guide you when looking for a chair to complement your sofa.
This is another great example regarding the use of colour to pull mismatched furniture together. One sofa and not one, but three different chairs, and yet it all works. One chair is essentially the same colour as the sofa but has a cushion that matches the second chair (burnt orange) and the rug, the second chair has a cushion that matches the seat cushion of the third chair (duck egg blue) as well as the walls, the third chair has a seat cushion that matches the walls as well as the cushions on the sofa. Even the accessories like lamps, curtains and the rug match the colour scheme. And this is how this completely mismatched room looks calm and put together – even if none of the items actually are the same. Pretty clever, right?
I hope these tips are useful to you and will help you put together your very personal look.