How to Match Your New Sofa to Your Living Room

By on September 1, 2013

By Nick Gibson –

Choosing the perfect sofa for your living room is almost as difficult as picking the perfect shoes for your favourite outfit. With so many choices available, choosing a combination of sofa, floor, walls and furniture isn’t always simple.

Luckily, there are four simple tactics that you can use to simplify and speed up your search for the perfect sofa. These simple design strategies, courtesy of, will help you create an effortlessly stylish living room.

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1.    Pair warm colours with warm, and cool colours with cool

Certain types of upholstery suit certain floor and wall colours in much the same way that certain clothing colours look best on certain skin tones. When you choose a sofa for your living room, it should match your room’s warm or cool colour scheme.

Rooms with harsh, contrast-heavy colours – for example, a dark floor, white walls, and grey furniture – are cool. These environments benefit from furniture that uses equally harsh colours, particularly very powerful dark or light tones.

Living rooms with softer colours – for example, light wooden flooring, beige or light blue walls, and natural wooden furniture – are warm. These rooms suit colours that aren’t so hard – pastels and medium tones tend to suit this type of environment.

This introduction to colour theory is incredibly helpful for picking out a living room set that matches your home’s colour scheme.

2.    Avoid buying modern furniture for a classic living room

Mixing and matching modern furniture and a classic living room is like mixing retro trousers and a slim fit, ultra-modern shirt. If you’re furnishing a classic living room, stick with furniture that matches the aesthetic style of the home.

In the next tip, you’ll learn more about how to mix retro and modern in a style that doesn’t become a distraction. If you have a classic living room, however, it’s best to choose furniture that matches its overall design era.

3.    Retro-modern design works, but only in certain settings

When retro-modern matches are done well, they become an interesting statement that can add flair to an otherwise dull living room. When they’re done poorly, they become annoying design clashes, distracting people from your room’s style.

Here’s the key – instead of using modern furniture in a classic living room, try to use classic furniture in a modern living room. A minimalistic leather sofa doesn’t match a classic living room, but a classic sofa can look great in a minimalistic living room.

4.    Leave plenty of open space for movement

One of the most common living room design mistakes is choosing furniture that’s too big for its environment. If your living room is small and cosy, furnish it with a sofa that leaves plenty of room for yourself, your family, and your guests to walk around in.

Unless you’re buying a corner sofa, you’ll want to leave at least two feet of walking space on either side of your furniture. Even if a space isn’t used for walking, leave a gap between your sofa and the wall to prevent the room from looking cramped.


This article was written by Nick Gibson on behalf of AHF Furniture – the leading regional furniture and carpet retailer in the UK with a heritage as part of the family of co-operative family.

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How to Match Your New Sofa to Your Living Room