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If you're furnishing your first living room or are looking to upgrade your style, you might have a couple of questions when going about the job. We hope our answers to some of these questions help you to make the most of your living space.
It can be aesthetically pleasing when your furniture matches, but this isn't a necessity. The most crucial part when it comes to picking furniture is to choose items that you love - after all, you're going to be spending a lot of time in your living room, and if it doesn't suit you or your style, it won't be an inviting place for you to be.
Matching furniture is an easy way to create a cohesive look in your space, but there are other ways to do this without having matching furniture sets and still have your sitting room looking balanced and well-decorated. For example, if you want to mix and match furniture, you may use a specific colour scheme as a base to work around. If you've decided you want a green sofa, choose a non-matching cuddle chair or a set of armchairs from a different collection in the same green tone. You could even buy a patterned sofa in a floral, damask, or check print and select an accent from the pattern to match the rest of your furniture.
Alternatively, if you're not quite brave enough yet to go for mismatched furniture, you can try mixing soft furnishings by colour, pattern, texture, or materials. Velvet cushions might look particularly luxurious with lace ones, whilst a blue chevron print might look best with block colour blue pillows or throws.
One of the easiest ways to place your furniture is by establishing a focal point. This could be around a television, a coffee table, fireplace, window, or even a piece of wall art. This way, you have a clear square in which to work. Try to keep your furniture away from the walls if you can - this will enable you to have walkways without getting in the way of the television for others and helps to create a more intimate, convivial environment.
You might even want to create a conversation area away from a focal point to allow for easy socialising without furniture blockades, depending on the size of your living room. Creating zones within your space will enable you to streamline the environment and create a harmonious feel. Zones and seating areas can be easily defined with rugs that either coordinate or clash with soft furnishings, depending on your tastes.
Finally, coffee tables should be placed so that no one needs to stand up when they want to put down their mug, plate, or glass whilst still maintaining a reasonable distance from your sofa to be comfortable sitting and walking around. Side tables can be used between armchairs for the same purpose or at either end of the sofa.
A sofa lasts between 7 and 15 years. Replace it when there's no longer lumbar support, the cushions have sagged, the frame squeaks, and the piece is no longer comfortable. If you find the fabric has started to smell or has stains you can't remove, but the sofa itself is still in good condition, you might want to consider getting the sofa re-upholstered. The same goes for your armchairs, except they have a slightly shorter lifespan of around 7 to 10 years.
Change your coffee table every 5 to 10 years. It might be time to replace your table when water rings, heat rings, and scuff marks are noticeable and cannot be removed. You should also replace it when it shows evident signs of wear and tear or becomes unstable.
If you have wood accent chairs, replace these every 10 to 15 years. Get new ones when the legs become unsteady and can't be tightened further, when the wood has started to split, or if it's become unsightly due to everyday damage. If your wooden chair is upholstered and needs a bit of TLC, you can re-upholster the fabric if the rest of the chair is in excellent condition.
If you're looking for more home design inspiration, why not browse our furniture collection or peruse the articles below?