Why The Decorologist Says “No” to the Sofa & Loveseat Combo

If you are in the market for new living room furniture, I urge you not to be a zombie.  You know, the zombie that follows the hordes of people that mindlessly purchase the ole sofa/loveseat combo. 



Have you noticed that you don’t see a lot of sofa/loveseat combos in design magazines?  You only see them in furniture stores, where they are trying to hock them as a set (matching set = easy commission for furniture store salespeople).  The sofa/loveseat combination limits your furniture arrangement possibilities – the only way it looks “right” is to arrange them in an L-shape in a rectangular room.  And it still looks like something out of a newspaper ad for a bargain furniture store.




It’s so much better to buy a pair of matching sofas – your arrangement options will be so much more flexible. 

Madeline Stuart


In a very large room, matching sofas back-to-back create two seating areas.  I love this arrangement with a sofa table and a pair of lamps in between the two sofas.



The most flexible option is doing a sofa and a pair of matching upholstered chairs.  You can arrange them in so many more ways – chairs facing each other (like below), chairs across from and facing the sofa, chairs side-by-side to one side of the sofa . . .

 House Beautiful


When shopping in furniture stores, don’t rely on furniture store salespeople who want you to buy a matching set so that they make a bigger commission in less time.   Bring a trusted decorator with you to help you make the best design choice for your space and your individual needs.   Your decorator has a vested interest in the outcome of the design once you leave the store – the salesperson doesn’t!



If you already have a sofa – loveseat combo, you might want to consider moving one of the pieces to another room and bringing in a few chairs to mix things up.


If you want to have the matching-sofa-look with your existing sofa and loveseat, try this designer secret from The Decorologist:   place the sofa and loveseat facing one another, add a large side table and table lamp to one end of the loveseat so that the other end is in line with one end of the larger sofa.  This evens out the arrangement – then add in an odd chair, a fun coffee table, and a sofa table with a pair of lamps behind the larger sofa.  I don’t have a photo of this, but I did this in a client’s home and it worked great.


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111 thoughts on “Why The Decorologist Says “No” to the Sofa & Loveseat Combo

    • Dixie Stine says:

      Hi, I want to use two different sofa styles in my formal living room. Is that OK? Are there any rules for using different styles of vintage sofas in one room? I’m having both of them upholstered in white linen and having the wood stained the same color. What do you think of that idea?

      • Kristie Barnett says:

        That could work, Dixie. When you are mixing sofas, it can look really good if the scale is right. Especially if they are vintage – and upholstering them in the same color is a great way to unite the 2!

  1. Katie says:

    I love all of the photos! I will be shopping for a new sofa and chairs very soon. Once I can figure out how to keep my kitty’s from thinking my ” now sofa” is their very own scratching post! UGH…

    • Carole says:

      Oh, the travails of trying to keep a house nice with pets are ones I know well. From what I understand from my cat rescue friends, the most important factor is a really good scratching post – the expensive ones with, like, seven different types of surfaces. That, plus liberal use of the spray bottle, plus catnip for the scratching post and that cat-repellent spray for the furniture, seems to usually work.

  2. Carole says:

    Ooh, I like this series of photos (and I totally agree with the post of course – nothing more boring than a bunch of identical stuff, plus you get tired of it more quickly). Since you’re starting on my living room design this week, I figured I’d pop in here to point out my favorites – the Madeline Stuart (3rd photo) is number 1; what a showstopping mantle! Adore the art and lighting, but I prefer a bit more color. The House Beautiful (5th photo) is my close second favorite – those particular colors aren’t my cup of tea but they work together nicely, I like the mix of patterns, love the art, and most importantly it’s got the old-new thing going on that says “homey.” Mismatched granny furniture + contemporary fabrics = win. The Casa Cullen (4th photo) is 3rd – it’s got my favorite use of color out of these; I like the use of a couple of bright but not day-glo colors and an unexpected neutral like that caramel color. Honorable mentions for the first and last photos – I hate that stark white everywhere + tiny bits of ultra-vibrant color thing that’s so popular in design magazines (I find it not only ugly but also impractical), but I adore all the furnishings, especially those coffee tables!

    Also, on the post topic, I just wanted to mention that it’s relatively easy to find nice living chairs secondhand if you like traditional or antique furniture. I’ve lost count of the number of lovely pairs of Queen Anne chairs I’ve seen in ReStores and consignment shops for $40-$200, depending on the fabric condition. Even antique sofas usually go for $150-500; they’re not nearly as common, but I see them periodically on Craigslist. You can buy quality antique furniture, have it upholstered and filled with down, paint the woodwork if you want, and hire a decorator to pick coordinating textiles for the same cost or less than an overstuffed sofa-loveseat set from a generic furniture store that’ll last 15 years if you’re lucky. Though sadly I’m in the market for slipcovered furniture these days (my upholstery suffers the unholy trifecta of dog hair, drool, and stinky paws), so I can’t follow my own advice.

    • Carole says:

      Of course you know all that about antique living room furniture, but I thought it was worth mentioning because new living chairs are kind of expensive. Just for the folks who may be thinking, “Yeah, but I could buy a new sofa with that amount of money.”

      Speaking of which, I love your posts about decorating with antiques, mixing old and new, stuff like that. This reader wants more!

    • Kristie Barnett says:

      I’m a vintage chair junkie, and i find them at estate sales in near-pristine condition for around $100. Works great for me, but most people don’t want to bother with the all the steps and time that reupholstering takes – all the more for me!

  3. Kelly says:

    Your post is so right Kristie! My last client wanted a sofa and love seat. I talked her into loveseat and two chairs for her space. Much, much better! Great post!

  4. [email protected] says:

    I love this post! So true and the same rule applies to the dreaded sectional! And yes, I love mixing the old and new. I started looking around the house recently to realize that most everything is as old or older than me! I’m in good company!

  5. nicole says:

    Great topic – I made this mistake and have lived with it for too long. And now ready to move on. Any way while on the topic can you suggest a lounge seating layout that would work for say 10 couples when entertaining, ie pre/post dinner drinks and fire side chats?

  6. [email protected] says:

    When we moved to our current home I had a friend who was a designer come over to give me her thoughts on what furniture pieces I should choose. She, like you, urged me not to buy a loveseat. Her words: They are a designer’s worst nightmare!

    • Kristie Barnett says:

      I actually like a loveseat as a get-away kind of seating – in an alcove, a bay window, or an entry hall. It’s the sofa/loveseat combo that looks a bit dated. I usually try to get people to break them up and use one of the pieces in another room.

  7. [email protected] says:

    I would for sure rather see a couple of club chairs with a sofa rather than a loveseat, but that isn’t always functional for family living. When you have 3 kids, a dog a mom and a dad, have a sofa and a loveseat really meets their needs for lounging in front of the tv. I know I dread when I am left with the club chair and want to spread out on the sofa. So I agree, but not 100% {oh by the way, I am an empty nester, so now I get the sofa to myself 24/7!}

    • Lara says:

      I agree! As nice as the love seat plus chairs combo looks, my husband and I are both tall people, and it is miserable trying to recline on a love seat while your feet stick a foot off the end. Is there a compromise? While the side chairs look smart, they aren’t very comfortable or practical.

  8. Sally SMiles says:

    I have just found your site – great advice and ideas here. I am with the idea to nix the matchy matchy of sofa and loveseat – ours is leaving this weekend! We will move another loveseat into an entry side nook. I like the look of chairs, but we are loungers and have to have something big enough to stretch out on, sofa or daybed (I like mixing old and new = eclectic) Empty nesters have opportunity to ignore some of the rules.

    My problem is a long room with lots of windows, one wall for tv and a corner woodstove – – not going for club chairs – the “it looks like a showroom’ thing is just bad.

  9. v says:

    Thank you thank you thank you for this great article! I’ve been desperately trying to figure out what to do with my sofa-loveseat combo and you’re right…didn’t see one in any of the design magazines out there! I’d love to see a picture of the client’s house that you did the sofa-loveseat combo.

  10. David says:

    How do you arrange furniture in an open concept Kitchen/FR where the entire rear of FR and kitchen is a bank of windows. In FR specifically this window wall connects to a wall that has a Fireplace (which faces to the kitchen) and wall opposite of the window wall is blank. (blank wall is 19′ long opposite the wall of windows). Do we put TV arrangement on blank wall with sofa opposite? Now back of sofa is ~6′ off the windows not against the wall. Down side here is that when you sit on sofa your back is to the rear window wall. What would you suggest in this environment (lesser of all evils)? We want to be able to view TV, FP and rear window wall in the seating arrangement. If we use an L shape sofa set I envision we can have one side facing the fireplace and the other side facing the TV. The side facing the TV will mean your back to the windows. I imagine we will have to compromise somewhere. Plus, we refuse to put TV over or to side of fireplace. So, long blank wall opposite windows seems like only option here.
    We definitely want to add chairs but would love a comfy couch directly in front of TV. Do we stay away from L shape and go for single sofa with chairs? We were thinking of adding chairs behind sofa against window walls as well as 1 chair off side of sofa near FP wall facing TV. Seems there are many
    options. Our taste is transitional combining some tradition with contemporary elements.
    Thanks for listening and for any suggestion.

  11. Barbara Smith says:

    Not ALL furniture salespeople are just after the quick wam-bam-thank-you-maam sale when selling furniture. Some of us furniture salespeople genuinely care about the customer creating a room to be proud of and happy with in the long run. So, I think it would be fair to say that one should find a furniture store that cares about the customer and their needs, not just a quick sale. And sometimes a sofa and loveseat combo IS the best way to go in certain situations.

    • Kristie Barnett says:

      Of course, you are right – I apologize for making that generalization! People are always making generalizations about decorators and designers, which irks me – then I turn around and do the same thing! Thank you for your input, and you are right about finding a furniture store that cares about the customers’ needs and not just making a quick sale. That being said, I still say “no” to the sofa and loveseat combo 🙂

  12. Bish Rolo says:

    Do you have any pics similar using leather? I have a dark brown lether/vinyl coach and want to try two or three chairs?

  13. Michelle says:

    Okay…does this count for a sectional and large chair combo? I have a very large/long family room to furnish. I was considering a sectional with matching large chair (called chair and half) in addition to other non matching pieces. I thought this would help integrate/pull together the room. Needs to be family friendly and comfortable space, but would also like it to be attractive. I’m looking at the Crate and Barrel lounge sectional and chair. Is this a bad idea from a design perspective?

    • Kristie Barnett says:

      I am not a big fan of most chair-and-a-halfs, mainly because they take up a ton of space while still only providing one seat (unless you are piling up there with a child). I would opt for a comfortable pair of chairs that aren’t quite so large – much more flexible and functional!

  14. SHARON says:

    Well, this caught my eye. I have to disagree with the majority of you. Sometimes in a rectangular room with a wall of windows and a FP and TV wall, I believe a sofa loveseat makes perfect sense. I don’t want to have 2 lounge chairs, we both like to curl up on the couch while reading or watching tv. In an open concept room the corner design helps define the area. 2-3 more chairs help make it feel like a cozy, inviting place. When you have a crowd, there is plenty of seating. I have tried to use a sofa and chairs on paper but they don’t feel as warm as a corner arrangement. You can break them up at a later time. You can put a square corner table between or not. I think it lends to many configurations. Never say never!

  15. Pingback: Sometimes a Pair of Sofas Is the Right Choice For Your Seating Arrangement

  16. Brina says:


    I actually just purchased two loveseats and will be pairing them with two chairs in a small den for a cabin.  I am choosing this rather than the sofa loveseat and one chair combo for 6 folks which is the most common arrangement that you see.  Three couples are more comfortable sitting paired together or in their own seats rather than the threesome sitting close on a sofa and the odd man out in the chair.  You can still lounge on a loveseat as well when there are no guests.  I think this is the best arrangement for a space that will not accomodate two sofas but you want more seating- not one sofa and adding more chairs . . .

  17. [email protected] Nikiforoff Designs says:

    When we bought our furniture eons ago, I only wanted to buy the loveseat in the loveseat/sofa combo. The store wouldn’t break up the ‘set’ so we bought them both. I struggled for years to make it work out and yes, in our former home I had to do the L-shape because the living room was so small. However in our current home I did place them opposite each other and balanced out the line with an occasional chair at the end of the loveseat. It worked out quite well and looks very balanced. And truth be told, we do enjoy the loveseat and the couch because when my hubby and I take naps in the living room, he fits the sofa and I like the loveseat 🙂

  18. Pingback: And Again on CL, March 23, 2013 | Vintage furniture with a modern twist

  19. Caroline says:

    Hi Kristie,
    I really like this post, I came across it as I also can’t stand matchy matchy furniture! However I would really like your advice. I bought my first sofa 2 years ago, It is a three seater, neutral couch. I only bought the one piece as that’s all I had room for in my small apartment. I am moving to a larger home soon so I have been giving a lot of thought about my new living room. My colour scheme is very neutral with light greys and duck egg blue throw cushions. I have considered a contrasting arm chair but my partner likes comfort over style, so as a comprimise we have been looking at the Snuggle Chair/ Love Seat. Do you think it will be ok to have a contrasting style and colour Love Seat to my sofa, tied together with thow cushions and throws?
    Really appreciate any advice.

    Many Thanks

    • Caroline says:

      I just thought I should add, the shape of my new living room is almost a perfect Square with a fire place in the centre.


  20. Ashley Martinez says:

    I was wondering if you can pair two matching sitting chairs with a sectional sofa. They would be the same color. I’m looking at the charcoal sectional and charcoal sitting chairs at world market. Do you think that could work? All I seem to find for inspiration is a sofa paired with chairs.

  21. BillG says:

    Ugh! This is so true! I wish I would have seen this post before we bought new furniture last week. We went with a super-comfy couch/love seat combo for our small living room and I’ve had a a heck of a time arranging them!

  22. Jennifer says:

    Hi! This is a great article – something I wish I had known a few years ago when I still owned my house! 🙂 Unfortunately, I’m about to move into a small apartment and purchased two leather armchairs (that are probably too big for my space) from Ashley Furniture. There was no matching sofa available. What sort of sofa options exist for someone in my predicament???


      • Jennifer says:

        Thanks! I’ll keep an eye out for light neutral or solid color when I go shopping this weekend. Do you think the style or fabric matter? Since the armchairs are so large and my space is so small, I don’t think I can buy a sofa that would be proportionate to the size of the armchairs, which means they’d probably be a different style/feel. What do you think?

        Thanks again, Kristie! 🙂

  23. Syma says:

    Is it ok to mix and match two different styles of Sofa in one room? Both are leather, one is traditional style, rounded arms and dark brown. The other is beige, straight lines, with tufting. Would love your feedback! Thanks.

  24. Heather Wojteczko says:

    Love your post! It totally confirmed that I will NOT be buying the matching loveseat to my sofa for my upcoming move into a bigger home. One question though. I currently have a couch and a club chair (in a vibrant fabric to add a little style to the room). If I wanted to add another chair for more seating, is it weird to place two chairs next to each other that are not the same exact chair? I was thinking of angling them towards one another and placing an accent table between the chairs. I’d love your opinion! Thank you!

    • Kristie Barnett says:

      It’s fine to do that, Heather, it’s just not as ideal as a pair of twin chairs. If you have enough room, sometimes a twin pair of chairs + couch + a fun accent chair is really nice in a seating arrangement. Do you have room for that?

  25. Amber says:

    Hi, I love this article and the photos; its good to know that you don’t have to get a loveseat and couch. I have a question and a comment though.

    1) I want a loveseat and couch, the loveseat is more of a theatre feeling, Palliser, with recline chair and a console (High Park from Sears), but we want to save money and not get the couch which is a recliner too… the question is, does the loveseat and couch “have to” match if you go for them? The loveseat is more boxy, modern, low to the floor, will be espresso, about 69X44, but we want a couch for snoozing on, any advice?

    2) I volunteer for the Red Cross, they try very hard to maintain the integrity of their program so when you see the Red Cross you know it is a safe place, more information can be foudn at the link below, but I’d just like to say that the Red Cross Emblems are protected and although it is displayed correctly above, it doesn’t say if it is in a Red Cross Location or another approved location, i just thought I’d let you know.


    Here is some of the infomration I pulled from the Link:
    The red cross, red crescent and red crystal are the symbols recognised and protected by international humanitarian law. The adoption of domestic measures to ensure their respect is a fundamental step in maintaining the impartiality associated with the providing of humanitarian assistance. Consequently, the care and protection of those receiving aid is enhanced. The failure of a State to take the appropriate measures can lead to the misuse of the emblems and lessen the respect and confidence which they enjoy. In addition, the failure to suppress abuse during times of peace will contribute to abuse during armed conflict. This will erode the protective value of the emblems, endanger the lives of those legitimately entitled to employ them, and interfere with the care and protection of civilians and
    combatants alike.

    besides that, I love this article!!! Thank you!

  26. Nicole says:

    I am looking at purchasing 2 chairs for my living room. I have a mod grey unpholstered couch. There is a chair that matches it that I’ve been wanting. I’ve also had my eye on a walnut chair with black/brown leather. My question is- should I get 2 walnut chairs or 1 walnut and 1 grey upholstered?? I can’t decide. I definely don’t like matching couch and love seat. Help!

  27. Radhika Anand says:

    Hi Kristie- I am so glad I found your site. I am in the market for a new living room and have recently bought a sectional from Pottery Barn- I am planning to keep twin chairs to go with the sectional. I haven’t found any decent chairs though- my sectional is performance tweed ecru color, please can you suggest what color chairs and rug will go best with the sectional? My living room space is not very big and it doesn’t get a lot of light either, trying to give the space a bright and airy look…your suggestions will be much appreciated…

  28. Natalie says:

    Hi Kristie!

    I’m so thankful I found your site. I am buying my first place, and it is a cool, spacious loft. I currently have an apartment, and I have a cream leather loveseat and a red leather chair in the living area (it’s a small apartment). I don’t have the budget for a completely different living room, but would it be a good idea to buy a cream fabric sofa to go with the cream leather loveseat I already have?

    • Kristie Barnett says:

      You will never find a cream fabric sofa that exactly matches your existing leather one – go for a sofa in a solid color instead. Maybe a dark charcoal or even a modern yellow for the sofa? Think about the color scheme you want to establish in the space, considering the existing red and cream, then choose a new sofa that fills in the color you are missing in your scheme. Good luck!

      • Natalie says:

        Thanks, Kristie! The yellow is a very good idea. I did see a very cute loveseat that was yellow that I liked. My color scheme has essentially been neutrals (cream, off white) with pops of color. Would another cream loveseat not be a good idea?

  29. Ntebaleng says:

    I have a fawn fabric sectional and would like to pair it with a dark brown leather two-seater couch. Would this work? I have been seeing sectionals mostly paired with chairs. This is for an open plan TV room and the leather couch is to accommodate an eight year old, who I think will be uncomfortable watching TV from a leather chair.

  30. miriam says:

    Hi I want to go with the loveseat sofá combo but do them in different colores and bring them together with pillows and an Accent chair that has the colors of it all. In an open concept appt kitchen dinning and living only separeted by a bar or counter.

  31. Jeanette Barnes says:

    Hello. I am getting a oversize cream or maybe more of a beige microfiber sectional. I would love to add a pop of color. What color should I use as far as accent pieces? Also I would like to another chair in the room. What style chair would go? Can I mix it with a chair that isn’t microfiber?

    • Kristie Barnett says:

      You can totally mix fabrics – in fact, you should. If you are just doing one chair, make sure it’s a decent-sized upholstered club or wingback style chair – fully upholstered. As for colors, you could certainly do blue or green or coral/orange. Any of those would be great with beige. In fact, I really like a beige/blue/coral combo. Good luck!

  32. Lori says:

    I have a navy blue leather sectional and would like to add a love seat. Chairs will not work due to shape of room. My questions are: should the loveseat be leather and what color. And could a fabric loveseat work and what color
    Thank you

    • Lori says:

      Thank you for response. Believe me if I could do it over,I would do differently. Unfortunately, I can not replace my couch (which is a sectional). So any thoughts as to the loveseat, leather, fabric, color.

  33. Leah says:

    Heellllpppp!! I purchased a set that I absolutely love, sofa, loveseat, and chaise. Only to have it delivered and the sofa doesn’t fit through my foyer. I would love to keep the chaise and loveseat but I don’t know if I should purchase another loveseat, do the 2 matching chairs, our just return the whole set all together. I need some decorating advice, would should I do. Three walls I need cover, the sides of the fireplace and the front.

  34. Olivia says:

    I have a small NYC apartment and my living/dining room is V-shaped. I use the widest part of the space for my couches, etc. The entire room is 28X13, but of course it narrows as you move toward the narrow ;art of the V. Anyway, I can’t figure out how to put a sofa and two chairs in the space without it looking weird where my dining room table is. Right now my dining room table is behind my love seat. I wanted to put two chairs there but couldn’t make it work because the space is not big enough for two chairs. Any suggestions? Right now I have that couch/love seat combo going on and I want to get rid of the couch and use two chairs. Any ideas? Currently, my couch is under a very large window (about 84″ window). Obviously it is in the widest part of the room. The love seat is not against a wall. It’s in the middle of the room. I want to move the love seat to where the couch is (couch is too big), and then get two small scale chairs to place where the love seat is, but I cannot see it in my head. Any suggestions?

  35. getmotivated says:

    I am working on family room. When you first enter the room you see a wall of windows with 2 computer desks and computers. To the right there is a sofa. To the left is the Tv and printer. Also there is a loveseat that faces the computer . Currently the sofa and loveseat and computer chairs are all black leather. I would like to move the sofa out and replace it with a fabric striped sofa. The stripes are black and beige. The carpret and walls are beige as well. Is there a way to have a sofa and loveseat in two different fabrics in a room? Also can I add an ottoman to the space? What shape should it be? How much space do I need on each side of it?

  36. Sara says:

    I found a new sofa I love for my living room. I am wondering if I should get the matching loveseat for the family room, which is right nextdoor.

  37. John says:

    Hi Kristie, we are just discussing furnishing our new living room and i would appreciate you advice. The current thinking is that we will get a wingback in a red and grey tartan pattern and then a chesterfield in grey, we will have space for another sofa should we get another matching chesterfield or go for a 3rd different style and fabric in the same room?

  38. Amy says:

    I need some guidance. I have a Restoration Hardware sofa in charcoal vintage velvet in my living room and I am thinking of adding a second sofa to face it on the opposite side of the room. I am seriously considering doing the other couch in linen fabric to mix it up. Will that fabric mix work for entire sofas? (I have seen it in accent chair combos and it looked nice but unsure if sofa mix works) If so, do the couches need to be the same style to look right or can I do a tufted couch in linen and still look right? Also, what about color? With the charcoal (it’s dark gray..but not really super dark) can I do the other sofa in ivory or should I do a lighter gray (like RH’s Fog for example) in the linen?
    Any pointers would be helpful…I am so stuck!

  39. Kristen says:

    I am new to having my own home and have some hand-me-down furniture, the couch and the loveseat are a matching set and the pleather is wearing away. I was thinking of buying some fabric to re-upholster the two, for the time being. Would it work to find a brown or eggshell colored fabric for the couch and a patterned fabric for the loveseat?

    • Kristie Barnett says:

      Yes, just make sure the two fabrics work well together. If you do eggshell on the sofa, maybe the patterned fabric has a background that’s similar to the new sofa color.

  40. Sheri says:

    Kristie, you’re good!!! I’m in the market for two sofas. I recently painted my walls Rainwater by Marth Stewart. I’ve been considering buying an off white sofa and a blue/grey color sofa. Hesitated, but now that I read your blog I’m feeling more confident with the idea. It has a fresh feeling. However, this is the first white sofa I’ll own, my concern is keeping it clean. Is it difficult? These sofas are for the family room….food, drinks, and sometimes my grandpuppy comes to visit.
    Also, not a huge fan of microfiber but something with texture. Is that harder to clean than microfiber. I’d appreciate your thoughts. Thank you!!

    • Kristie Barnett says:

      I’m not a fan of microfiber. It’s important to look for a fabric that is more synthetic and less “natural” when choosing a light colored sofa. Rayon, polyester, and polypropylene are materials to look for – not cotton, wool, or linen (which stain more easily and are difficult to clean). You might also look into a stain guard protectant that will give your sofa extra protection – many stores offer that for a small fee. I hope that helps!

  41. Jodi says:

    Hi Kristie,
    I really like this blog. I just purchased a cream leather couch with espresso legs. I’m moving and debating on whether to keep my love seat couch for additional seating. Is is alright if the love seat in not leather? I was going to buy a slip cover for it but not sure what color to get either. Thank you!

    • Kristie Barnett says:

      I think you could do a solid color (maybe med blue?) on a loveseat and use throw pillows to tie the two sofas together. For example, find pillows in similar blue solid or pattern and put on cream sofa.

  42. Rene says:

    Hi Kristie,

    You are really creative and i love your site. I need your help as I am moving into a new apartment which has a rectangular living room with white color walls. I already have 2 suede recliners in beige color and I plan to buy a new sofa but am not sure which color and which fabric and style it should be. Can you please help me decide that?

    Thank You!!

  43. Daniela says:

    I have a leather club chair and need a new sofa. Should I go with a leather sofa or would that be too much leather in a small living room? Do you recommend upholstered??

  44. Christy says:

    Hi, I have a large room, with fireplace and TV on one wall. I am looking for furniture to make a U shape in front of the fireplace. I found a large sofa (100″w) and two oversized chairs (52″w). I vision the couch in front of FP and the chairs in front of couch, facing each other, to make the U with couch. They are all chocolate leather. I would add a big, upholstered ottoman in the middle. Is it too much leather? Is it OK for chairs to match the couch? Thank you!

    • Kristie Barnett says:

      Yes, Christy, that is TOO MUCH leather! You could do a leather couch, 2 matching upholstered chairs, and a coordinating ottoman. But please don’t default to the huge matched leather set – then your room is a see of dark, depressing brown.

  45. deb says:

    Love your website-information and pictures. Love decorating, shabby look, off white, cream with touches of burgundy. Have natural wood floors and window trim. Question: can you recommend living room furniture that would look good in small living room? I like cozy English pieces, velvet, cotton. Live with husband and 2 very tall adult sons- all love books, reading, relaxing, and conversation.
    I have a feminine style, but want to accommodate all!
    Thanks for any ideas, your help is appreciated!!

  46. Staci says:

    Hi Kristie,
    I really like this blog and found helpful. We are moving into bigger house and getting new living room furniture. We just purchased a leather reclining couch and love seat with accent pattern chair in fabric that matches. My husband a fan of mostly leather where I would like to have main couch in leather but want the love seat to be in a linen type fabric in neutral beige/tan color with patterned fabric chair also. I like mismatching pieces to break up look of so much leather. Do you think all 3 pieces would work together. Thanks so much…

  47. Debby says:

    Hi Kristie,
    I would like to maximize seating in my large rectangular family room. I am considering getting a sectional and separate loveseat or having a sofa and two loveseats to create a u shaped seating area opposite the tv. What are your thoughts? And if either would work should I use different fabrics?

  48. irene says:

    HI Kristie,
    Love the article. I am in the process of furnishing our family. The main wall has a fireplace with a space for a tv. That wall is painted a deep blue for an accent and the rest of the walls are a natural. The wall to the right has large glass sliding doors. I was planing on putting a cream chaise couch facing the fireplace and I wanted to get a chair to accent the other side. It would be angled towards the coach but on the blue wall. Do you have recommendations for colors/patterns/fabrics or some general rules i can follow since the wall will already be a big pop of color?

  49. Julie says:

    I am so happy that I found your blog! Sharing with my sisters! I have a huge family room and wondered if 2 full size sofas will work together giving me added seating. I am not thinking a sectional will look good pushed into the corner with window. Please help!

    • Kristie Barnett says:

      Yes! 2 full-size sofas are a great option – if you have enough space, add a pair of chairs as well (think U-shape). Do the sofas in the same neutral or solid color, then do a pair of matching chairs in a pattern or color. Thanks for reading!

  50. Beth says:

    I just purchased a townhouse with a very small family/living room (10’6″ X 13′) with the fireplace and TV nook on the shorter wall. Since the space is so small I was thinking of putting a 75″ love seat instead of a larger sofa on the opposite shorter wall with 2 side chairs along the open walkway between the dining room and family room. I would center the sofa on the the 76″ window and it would leave me 29 inches on one side for a side table and 21 inches on the other side for a small table or floor lamp. Do you think this would work or should I try to use a larger sofa?

  51. andrea says:

    Hi kristie, I am glad to found your recommendations and all the comments.
    I have a big couch light gray with texture gray/white on it, with a little accent chair and I would like to get another couch. Its ok to have it white and different style like slipcover sofa (denim white slipcover)
    Thank you and I appreciate your advice,

  52. Marta Warner says:

    Hi Kristie,
    We are updating our living room. We have purchased the Mitchell Gold Tasha Sofa in their Seraphina silver fabric
    (textured velvet with a short pile) as well as 2 Mitchell Gold Cooper full swivel chairs in their Boulevard deep blue fabric (plush velvet – beautiful blue color).

    Our house has a more contemporary direction. The color palette in the living room is grey, blue, silver (still need an accent color possibly yellow) with white oak wood floors. We will be incorporating several large Gray Malin photos and another abstract blue watercolor above the sofa. Hope this helps give you an idea of the room. thanks

    We have been struggling with finding the correct “coffee table”. We are now considering having an ottoman custom made. similar to the style attached here. We might have 2 ottomans made for the space as the room is very large and the sofa is 96 inches long.

    Can you offer any direction on what fabrication we should use on the ottoman? At first we were considering a grayish leather now we are thinking we should find another velvet or another fabric either with a texture, print or maybe even a stripe? Any suggestions?

    thank you

  53. Rebecca says:

    Hi, I just recently found your blog and would like your opinion. I currently have one chocolate reclining sofa and a patterned glider in my living room. We have a light gray rug and I am searching for more furniture. We do not have enough seating for friends & family! What would you recommend? The glider upholstery and pillows I have are shades of warm blues and greens and some cream. I found a coordinating ottoman (Ina blue gray color) and I am wondering if I should go for a full size sofa and chairs? That is my preference but I can’t do both right now, should I do chairs first?

  54. Jennifer says:

    I have a neutral colored couch, a club chair in an ikat design (chocolate brown, gold & rusty red), a brown leather ottoman & a brown love seat. I want to replace the brown love seat with something else. I know you recommend having matching chairs but I don’t want another chair just like the one I have. Any suggestions on what I can replace the love seat with? Oh & I just bought a dark red leather recliner. It goes really well with my club chair.

  55. Karen says:

    Hello, I am moving to a home with a larger family room which allows me to add another piece of furniture. As a house warming gift from my parents in the current home, I received a large burgundy velvet microfiber couch and matching plus sized chair. I would like to add another chair, lounger, or something similar to compliment (as much as can happen) the current furniture. Is there a suggestion you could make regarding furniture type, fabric/material, and color. The walls are a taupe type mushroom color if that helps.

  56. Renzo says:

    I just bought a sofa, charcol, very clean lines, narrow arms, simple metal tubular legs. Now, I want to buy an accompanying arm/club chair. Should I contrast with a light grey club chair, does it matter that the legs are, say, wood. Don’t want the matched look but don’t want to seem like a “thrown in there” chair. Leather club chair (short wooden legs)? Would a modern wing chair go? Help.

  57. Shirley Richard says:

    Question: My family room is not large enough for two matching sofas. It is an awkward room. It will work to get one regular sofa and one loveseat and put them in the L-position. I am thinking of leather. If I do leather, what should I do about an occasional chair (more leather or fabric?) Also, I am thinking of using an ottoman and tray instead of a coffee table. Should it be leather or fabric?? Help.

  58. Jennifer Torres says:

    My husband would like to add more seating to our family room. We currently have a matching sofa and loveseat in a tweed gray. I found a similar style sofa in cream/ivory with the same tweed material and it also has gray/silver nailhead detail. We definitely have the room, but I’m curious to know your opinion of adding the third sofa in the different color. They seem to blend well, but I’m just so used to seeing the matched sofas. Also, we have two accent club/barrel chairs in a teal blue. Opinion? Thanks

  59. Angie says:

    Hi!! A good friend of ours just gave us a sofa combo. They are brown leather. I have been having the hardest time arranging them. Our living room is rectangular and is facing the front door so I like to keep it open and keep everything on the sides or torward the back wall. I did purchase a small white accent chair and placed it after a decorative item and the love seat. The sofa is against the side wall. They are in the L shape. I have two baskets in between the two couches that helps blend them somewhat. If I was to get rid of the love seat, how could I fill the rest of the room? I have a large wooden chest or a coffee table and there is a corner fireplace in the front of the room next to a TV stand.

    • Kristie Barnett says:

      You should always consider the furniture arrangement and how it appears from the entrance of the room – as well as its relationship to the focal point/s of the room (like the fireplace). You could balance the large sofa with a pair of chairs (vs. the loveseat). You certainly don’t want the sofa to be the only place to sit in the room, plus you want it to be a conversation area. Sounds like you have a challenging living room layout. I have an instructional video with specifics about laying out furniture for rooms with multiple openings and corner fireplaces, you can check that out here: https://thedecorologist.com/product/psychological-staging-living-rooms-video/

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