Now don't get me wrong, Who doesn't love a good set from Pottery barn, or West Elm when they have it all set up in the window. It's beautiful, it all matches exactly, and they are obviously very good at it designing them. These "sets" are made for people to just go in take a quick look at it and say "Ok, thats good!". But is "good" really good enough?
There nothing to say that matching dining room set wont look good in your home, but that is the big difference between doing it yourself, and hiring a decorator. If it were that easy everyone could be one. But when you walk into a home that has been carefully curated by a designer, you can tell a big difference between that and the matching set you picked up at the retail store. So here are some great examples of how to mix different furniture pieces but still have your space look cohesive and high end.
Mix and Match Your Sofas!
Who says your sofas have to match?! Absolutely Nobody. This is actually a really big thing right now that we are seeing more and more of. One big rule I have is to always invest more in things that you sit on, but with mixing and matching sofas, maybe you can find a great deal on one or both of those sofa just because you don't have to buy a matching set. This also helps with tricky layouts where maybe you need a certain size sofa or chair for a particular space but an entire set wont fit the bill. This allows for a unique look that people will remember and it looks like you put a lot of time and effort into carefully selecting each unique piece for your home.
2. Dining Tables and Chairs
While having a dining set with all the same wood tones is ok and surely a safe bet, add a bit more interest by mixing the finishes. There is nothing that says that you cant mix wood tones. The rule on mixing wood tones is to only mix up to three and no more in a space. This does not apply to mixing wood with paint though. So if you want black chairs with a wood table go for it!
This tends to add some dimensions so that each piece stands out on its own. When you have a set that all matches exactly, they tend to blend together and get lost and it just looks like one big glob of furniture.
The same can be said with mixing in some upholstered chairs with your dining set. Even if you aren't sure about going totally rogue and buying all new chairs for your dining table, at least add some different chairs at each end of the table that has some fun upholstery. Heres another great example from CB2 that has their pieces mixed and the wood tones do not match.
3. Mixing Bedroom Furniture
Mixing the pieces in your bedroom gives a much more comfortable and high end look to the space. You can tell that each piece goes well together but none of them actually match. It gives each corner in the room its own feel and "moment" to stand out and intrigue.
Matching Bedroom furniture sets are the bane of my existence and quite honestly one of my biggest pet peeves. It tends to look very bland and like not a whole lot of thought and love went into the space. Here is an example of an all matching set and you can see a big difference between this and the examples above. While it looks nice and I technically like the pieces individually, it also looks cheap and not original.
Here are some great ways to achieve that high end look in your bedroom:
Don't have your nightstands match your bed. By this I mean go with a fabric bed and wood nightstands, or Shagreen nightstand with a wood bed. This adds different textures along the same wall
By all means do not match your dressers to your nightstands. I love to go with a completely different dresser than the nightstands. You can do this by again mixing the material they are made of as well as the color of them. For example having black metal nightstands with a wood dresser, or having a painted dresser with wood nightstands, etc.
Try not to have two dressers in the room together. If you can help it, try to only have one dresser in the bedroom. Most normal sized bedrooms cannot pull this off and unless you have an extremely large bedroom, I would suggest only having one. If you absolutely need the other for storage see if you can stick it in the closet.
To Wrap up, I also want to give some advice on those shopping trips to go get that set of furniture for your space that you so desire. Again, I'm not saying that those matching sets aren't pretty, but just a few things to keep in mind.
Pay attention to measurements. One of the big responsibilities of a designer is to ensure that the pieces we choose will fit into the space and allow for maximum usability of that room. And while you may get a rough measurement of that dining room, don't just make sure that the table will fit. Measure the chairs too. Measure how big of a rug you will need to adequately fit the space and to ensure that the chairs do not come off that rug when you scoot away from the table. Maybe a round table would fit better. Maybe you need to find chairs that are a bit more shallow or narrow to allow for more comfortable seating arrangements.
For living rooms, do not buy sofas that are too big for the space, make sure that you can get around them easily, and also choose the correct shape for your coffee table. Round tables work better for L-shaped sectionals!
As Always, Happy Hunting and leave your comments below!