Can you mix two types of sofa in one room?

Written by dana sparks
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Can you mix two types of sofa in one room?
Monochrome colour and matching styles aren't as important in modern design as they used to be. (Getty Images)

If you look at old photos of early-1960s living rooms you may notice that everything seems to match, from the fabric on the furniture to the accessories. Design styles have exploded since that time, introducing alternative touches that stem from decades of flower power and bohemian revival. There's no rule that says you can't mix two different types of sofas in one room. In fact, with a little planning, the outcome can be a more visually interesting space.

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Find common traits

The challenge of working two sofas into one decor involves figuring out what they have in common. This can be particularly difficult if you're working with a country-style plaid couch and something formal, like a leather Queen Anne. It may be that the only common trait is that the same reddish-brown that covers the leather sofa can also be found in the plaid. In the event that one or both of your sofas features an upholstery or colour that you find especially unattractive, consider covering them in coordinating, inexpensive slipcovers. Even if the sofa frames are quite different, coordinating slipcovers will unify them.

Use wall colour to unite

Wall colour can become the great unifier when it comes to mixed sofa styles and colours. For example, if you have one teal and one navy blue sofa, paint the walls a soothing, neutral shade of beige. If you have one burgundy and one olive green sofa, paint the walls mint green and use burgundy coloured accents on the olive green sofa. If you have two heavily patterned sofas, cover one with a neutral coloured slipcover. Choose one of the lighter shades in the pattern of the exposed sofa as your wall colour.

Tie It together

Scatter pillows, throws, lampshades, artwork, flower arrangements, picture frames and painted pieces of wooden furniture all offer an opportunity to tie the different sofas together. For example, in the case of the burgundy and olive green sofa combination, a small accent table that has been painted burgundy can be placed next to the olive green sofa. The sides of a standing bookshelf can be covered in burgundy, olive green and creamy white striped wallpaper. A wall painting that incorporates both colours will also unite the space.

Anchor the space

Once you've decoratively tied the two sofas together through the use of wall colour and accessories, anchor the space with an area rug. If either of the sofas has a pattern, use a solid coloured area rug that features one of the primary colours. If neither has a pattern, introduce an area rug that incorporates at least one colour from each sofa. For example, if one of your sofas is green and the other is brown, a brown and green patterned area rug will anchor the space.

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