Matching Furniture – Avoid the Matchy-Matchy Look

What do we think about matching furniture sets? Please, no! The hallmark of good interior design is the coordinated balance of materials – creating a symbiotic relationship between all the elements. Each piece should complement the other. But, matching furniture sets – particularly upholstered sets – are too much and really quite boring. Even if you absolutely love the look and style of a particular “suite” of furniture, select only one or two pieces from the set and then mix in some coordinating pieces. No matter where you shop, there are many ways to customize the look of standard furniture sets – from changing out the throw pillows to adding or removing tassels or trims to upholstering pieces in coordinating fabrics – don’t limit yourself to what’s on the showroom floor! With a little bit of time and thought, you will create a more interesting space overall.
©2005 Linda Merrill This originally was published in THE BOSTON GLOBE‘S “One Strong Opinion” column in March of 2005 (no longer online)

Linda Merrill Decorative Surroundings Hingham Sitting Room and Home Office Work From Home matching furniture
Living space interiors by Linda Merrill

This empty bonus room space needed a major lift and careful space planning as it’s used for both a home office and library. The combination of furniture styles and materials – all in a traditional mode – make this room pleasing to the eye without being boring or run-of-the-mill. A matching furniture group of the same sofa and arm chairs, or worse, a matching ottoman would have turned this elegant space into a boring big box furniture store vignette. (This post has been updated since originally published in 2005).

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