The Antidote to the Sofa Loveseat Combination

It’s probably no surprise that I contemplate interiors more than most.  It’s as important to me how a room feels as how it looks, and I’m always trying to understand why it makes me feel a certain way.  

pastel colors interiors

 

I have often spoke about how much I dislike the  sofa – loveseat combination because it is both a lazy default and an option that is very limiting in regard to arrangement.  At a recent speaking engagement at the international Real Estate Staging Association, I  dubbed it the “lofa” and discouraged it’s use whenever possible.  

sofa427_3

Say “no” to the lofa . . . 

 

Last summer I worked in a client’s living room where I chose new paint colors and rearranged her existing furniture.  That’s when I realized that I like her sofa – loveseat combination.  But WHY?  Well, I believe it’s because it’s not a matching lofa combination –  they are instead two different sized sofas upholstered in different fabrics.  

mismatched sofa and loveseat

The Decorologist

 

I haven’t really stopped thinking about that room.  I find myself drawn to quirky loveseats that I find at estate sales.  I am also drawn to rooms decorated in a European salon-style with multiple sofas and seating areas within one large room.   I love my living room but find it difficult to seat more than five people in the space, which pushes me to think about seating alternatives on a continual basis.   

yellow loveseat

The Decorologist

 

My home is my laboratory – it’s where I do all kinds of design and styling experiments, without worrying about what other people think.  Last year I purchased a vintage loveseat at the Bella Rustica sale for my daughter’s bedroom – long story, but it ended up in our downstairs studio and hasn’t really been used much.  So it hit me – what if I did something cray-cray like try to work it into my living room conversation area?  Of course, I had to talk my 13-year-old into helping me drag it up the stairs and into place . . . 

2014 paint color trends

new living room seating arrangement

 

I’m totally in love with the resulting arrangement.  We had company on Sunday afternoon, and it was awesome to be able to comfortably seat several adult couples in the living room.  I think I may have stumbled upon the perfect seating arrangement:  a mismatched sofa and loveseat + a pair of matching chairs.

designer living room arrangement

The Decorologist 

 

Above is the view from the entry of the room.  This arrangement really widens the long, narrow room. And it looks good from every vantage point in the space.  You can take a look at this room the way I had it arranged before here.

mismatched sofa and loveseat

The Decorologist

 

While both sofas are tufted, that’s about all they have in common.  My blue tuxedo-style sofa from Merridian Home Furnishings is larger and has exposed legs, while the shorter vintage loveseat is upholstered in yellow terrycloth-type fabric and sports a skirt and small arms.  

mixing sofa styles

The Decorologist

 

Finding the right mix is obviously the key – but it helps if you like a bohemian, collected look. The yellow chevron sofa pillows tie in with the sofa, but the sofa is a more vivid version of buttery yellow of some of my casegoods in the room.

living room furniture arrangement

The Decorologist

 

Did you notice the new unicorn with its glittery horn?  My youngest daughter is currently obsessed with unicorns, so I got this for her for Christmas.  She likes that I hung it in the room where we spend most of our time as a family.

vintage portraits in designer living room

you can find your own unicorn here

 

In my house, moving the furniture usually results in a reconfiguration of tabletop displays and accessory placement. It’s what makes me happy! 

arranging tabletops

tabletop display 

 

Do you think you could handle a mismatched sofa and loveseat combo, or are you still a fan of the lofa?

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Debra
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Debra

I’ve been hanging onto a loveseat, for years, that I no longer have a place for. I love the piece and am hoping that an opportunity will turn up so that I can use it again. Maybe I should drag it out of the basement and see how it looks with my sofa!

Deb
Guest
Deb

I still like the “lofa” I Would Like a sectional in my family room, but my room configuration doesn’t allow it so I feel the lofa is the next best thing.

Deb
Guest
Deb

After sleeping on it, I do really want to overcome my lofa. Heading to meet with a designer to help me today! My FP and wall mounted flat screen are on adjacent walls – so I have the 2 focal point problem. Currently, loveseat faces FP, sofa faces TV, with chair in the corner between FP and TV at an angle towards the lofa. Thinking about 2 more chairs to replace love seat. Perhaps then, I’d have some options for rearranging – especially in the winter when I love a chair on each side of the FP.

Jenny B.
Guest

I love mismatched furniture! I desperately need more seating in our living room, but can’t for the life of me figure out how to place anything more than a sofa and a pair of chairs. We have a corner fireplace and several traffic patterns. Sigh…

Pamm
Guest
Pamm

Where did you put those gorgeous chairs that were by the fireplace? (They made my heart pound!) New arrangement looks fabulous!

Anette
Guest
Anette

Hi Kristie, I am thinking that the small love seat is gorgeous but…..I think it would look striking in the room beyond the living room where the white and turquoise chair is. It looks way out of scale in the living room. I also think the sofa and bucket chairs are the same height and this causes the eye to see a line around the room. I was thinking that the 2 yellow high backs fit better and look cozier. For more seating why not put the yellow chairs back in place, the yellow sofa in the room beyond, and… Read more »

Anette
Guest
Anette

Hi Kristie

Where did my comments go?

Ashley Littman
Guest

Great post! I am not a “Lofa” fan – love the term Lofa. Mixing it up is the only way to go in my opinion.
Love your blog!

Jula Cordeira interiors
Guest
Jula Cordeira interiors

I think the yellow sofas scale is too small in relation to the sofa and chairs. I do like the layout though.
I would suggest a good sized club chair instead

Edith
Guest
Edith

Hi Kristie,

Whenever I look at photos of your home, I expect Doris Day to appear with a Martini in hand. It’s a very girly Tea Room like space and I often wonder how many men would feel comfortable in this environment.

Apple Hill Cottage
Guest

We have a long narrow living room with a fireplace on the side too. I currently have a chair and a half at right angles to the couch, but I’d put a loveseat there if I had one! I like it. And I also like the fact that you ignored the big doorway behind it. The room says “Sit down, relax, don’t just walk through…” 🙂

Nancy
Guest
Nancy

Kristie, The visual flow and interest of your LR seems even more inviting now!! It was truly beautiful before, but wow! The little yellow *sofa* is just darling and your new sofa doesn’t high-brow it one bit. Instead big sofa says, ‘come on over here, you little cutie, and snuggle up to me!’ What I like most about this post is that you fessed up to an altering of your thinking about something. You did not leave your *public foot* stuck in concrete when you discovered that you could go for a little ‘lofa’ yourself at times if the matchy-matchy,… Read more »

Gwen
Guest
Gwen

Have the mismatched sofa/loveseat combo in my family room. Same as you, one skirted, one leggy. Have always loved this combo. Now others know the secret. Great job!

kelly
Guest

Like you, I have not liked the lofa for some time now. One reason is because it takes up so much room and only one person can sit comfortably.
Your home is beautiful Kristie!

Diane
Guest
Diane

Thank you, thank you, thank you! Now I know what’s wrong with my living room. I LOVE the mismatched seating. Time to head to the furniture store…

Merri Ann
Guest
Merri Ann

I think your room is really beautiful! However, my neat and orderly brain would never be comfortable with this arrangement :0) I would forever want to put all the decorative items away behind a cabinet door to clear off the surfaces. It’s funny how I like the look of this type of room but I can’t do it in my home. The thing that keeps me coming back to your blog is your ability to do something different for every client. If we can ever get past repairing our home (neglected by the previous owners), I would love to hire… Read more »

Francie
Guest
Francie

People that come to my house get to hear all about your influences on my décor and furniture arrangement so I am very proud that the unicorn I told you about made it into your house 🙂 I like how you’re always trying out new things and agree having enough seating is a constant challenge.

Amy White
Guest
Amy White

Would it be possible to put slightly taller legs on the loveseat? It looks a bit out of scale with your beautiful Meridian sofa. Also perhaps a horizontal pillow to add width visually? Popping pillows on the yellow will give it some weight to stand up to the big blue.

Carol
Guest
Carol

I like your combination because I am not a matchy matchy person. I did want to ask if the rug you have in your living room, that I think really brings it up to date with now decorating, do you think those patterns are going to be a trend? I have seen them and would like to purchase one for an update to my house but am afraid it will go out of style and I lean towards very traditional things. My sister was also trying to tell me with my style of room I needed certain lamps shades, because… Read more »

Paula Van Hoogen
Guest
Paula Van Hoogen

Hi Kristie, I love the fact that you THINK about how a room makes people FEEL, not just how IT LOOKS.
That’s your basic psychology background kicking in! That depth of thought is what attracted me to your site in the first place….that you care about people….not just things.
This mindset will bring you blessings–unexpected! Have a great day!
Paula.

Kathleen Steenson
Guest
Kathleen Steenson

Isn’t it great when our kids get big enough/strong enough to do some of the heavy lifting?!

Kathleen Steenson
Guest
Kathleen Steenson

BTW – love your new arrangement with the new chairs and loveseat – I think the room breathes better, if you can understand what I mean.

Terry Murphy
Guest
Terry Murphy

I have a very large living room (both long and wide) with a fireplace at one end. I actually have two full-sized sofas facing each other and centered on the fireplace. One of the sofas sports a tapestry pattern, and the second sofa is velvet in a shade that picks up one of the colors in the tapestry upholstery. There is a large, round glass coffee table between the two seating pieces. I love this look, which allows for seating up to six people. There is also an armchair on each side of the fireplace. These chairs can be moved… Read more »

Roya
Guest
Roya

I like both the “lofa” and the mismatched sofa you utilized. The carpet looks so “typical” though. I think your living room would look better with a Persian-type rug underneath.

Jenny B.
Guest

I’m revisiting this post. Just love your blog so much! So glad I found it!!

I am so drawn to that portrait of the woman near the unicorn. Is she someone you know, or was it an antique find? It reminds me of portraits that hung in my grandmother’s and great aunt’s homes. 🙂 I have a hard time with art. I’ve bought several things I like at flea markets, but figuring out where to place them on walls is tough for me.

Joey
Guest

I know what you mean about the lofa, and I’ve read many times about how you despise(d) it. I can see how it can be tricky to make the lofas work in a space, but we love ours still. They’re a shade of steely light gray and very comfy. We downsized to these from two over-sized sofas (we have a large family.) Personally, I don’t like sectionals. I find them limiting, and can keep guests standing for fear of being squashed into strangers. I always place some chairs when entertaining, but two houses in, I’m happy to say, my lofa… Read more »

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Maria
Guest
Maria

Hello Kristie. I am in the process of fixing my house now and trying to decide the colours and the style of the furniture in my living room. My house is in a greek island and since i am in love with the mix and match style, i found your post while searching for mixing sofas. I love you living room by the way, all of it! I am not sure i have the imagination to be able to match different patterns and colours, but that is why there are blogs and websites like yours, right 🙂 ? Can i… Read more »

Georgean
Guest
Georgean

Sorry but thought the room looked very unbalanced with the addition of the yellow mini sofa! I do like the idea of mismatched but didn’t think this was a good example