Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Reader Decorating Dilemma: Matching sofas?


Hey Decorno,
You are the best thing that I read every morning while drinking coffee and contemplating working. I have a question for you because I trust you in all things decor. I have a large living room (20 x 22 feet) that i am trying to make into something that is great for when we have lots of family and or friends over. I am wanting to get 2 couches for the room. Where do you stand on getting 2 couches that are exactly the same? I am one for symmetry, so it naturally appeals to me BUT i am thinking that it may look too much like " I wandered into a big box decorating store and bought the display".

Where do you stand on matching couches?

Thanks
K.
Halifax, NS


I think the more the merrier. If you love the sofa, why not get two if you have the space. I think the key is to mix up other elements like the lamps and end tables.

But what do I know? I am no decorator.

What does everyone else think?

35 comments:

Designerbee said...

Depends on the layout.

I like the look of symmetry with two of the same sofas facing each other. ie. flanking a fireplace.

However, I am not a fan of sofa/ matching love seat combinations. I prefer sofa and two lounge chairs instead.

Anonymous said...

Hate the sofa/matching love seat action.

Anonymous said...

I love the look and have it in my own home. The couches are flanking a fireplace and there are two chairs facing the fireplace with a coffe table in between. I've seen this in lots of magazines as well.
S. Wheat

Suburban Pioneer said...

I have a bowling alley of a living room, 13X28, and when I asked a designer for a plan she suggested I get two matching sofas. At the time I wanted something with a mid century look, not chrome or metal and somewhere between a full-sized sofa and an apt. sized sofa. I ended up getting 2 Cisco Bros. sofas in a Kravet fabric (got the fabric stain treated at Kravet before the designer shipped it off) and I love them! There's no fighting for space, two people can stretch out with a book and the set up works really well when there's company. I'll be curious how others have made out with two sofas. Good luck and happy hunting

jen said...

I like the look if they are truly 2 sofas and not a sofa/loveseat. Not sure why, but the latter combination seems tacky to me. Two sofas in a neutral fabric would be a nice anchor to the room and a good base for starting your design.

DesignTies said...

Two sofas facing one another - like in the already mentioned fireplace scenario - is a great look. Another option, depending on the layout of the room, would be a sofa and a large (i.e., sofa sized) upholstered bench - also facing one another. So, for example, in an open concept space a bench wouldn't obstruct the view through the space to the sofa. Another cool thing - a person can sit on either side of the bench so it makes for great conversation areas during a party. I hope what I'm suggesting makes sense! I recently saw a fab example of this over on the Meade Design blog - here's a link: http://meadedesigngroup.blogspot.com/ You'll have to scroll through a few pics to get to the pic I'm thinking of (but there's no pain it it I promise - beautiful rooms!).
Victoria from EdinDesigns @ DesignTies

Ivy Lane said...

I am thinking sectional ....

Anonymous said...

Keep in mind that regardless of the size of the couch, it's rare to have more than three sitting at one time. It's better to get two loveseats rather than two couches. Often you imagine that you will have 4-5 people sitting on a couch during a gatehring, but that's rarely the case. It makes conversation very difficult.

Two matching sofas or loveseats are fine, however no more than that. Mix it up with accent chairs and chairs with complimentary upholstery

tartanscot said...

I would recommend going the two-sofa route. As far as I'm concerned, it would be FAR superior to the sofa/loveseat combo which feels dated.

But, if you're going to proceed with the flanking sofa idea, yes, mix it up from there with amazing side chairs, cool lighting, and interesting side tables.

I've also used the double sofa concept for a client's 'bowling alley' living room by using them back to back (with a huge sofa table between them) and created two conversation areas facing the fireplace on one side, and a huge library bookcase on the other.

depends on the room, but it could be an option.

Jennifer said...

When we purchased the Manor a few years ago, we put two sofas across from each other in our family room. It's the best thing we ever did. We eventually got a huge coffee table to go in between. Great for entertaining. And tchtchkes.

Anonymous said...

Here is the deal with pairs....they settle a room, BUT you have mess it up with some quirk...or it will look like a hotel lobby.

Anonymous said...

I went through this decision-making process last year for our large living room. I went with two identical sofas and ended up using them at a right angle to one another. I almost purchased different sofas and I am glad I did not because I think the room would have looked disjointed. I also considered buying two of the same sofas and using different fabric on each but the nice man at Mitchell Gold told me NOT to do that. Thank you nice man, you were right. We have 4 other fairly large chairs in the room and a couple of small chairs and I mixed those up a bit. I agree with the comments on using interesting side tables and lamps to play down the matchy-matchy of the sofas.

Anonymous said...

"It's better to get two loveseats rather than two couches"

Cannot disagree more. Who gets a great nap on a loveseat?

And they're stingy in size. Sofas signal generosity, hospitality, comfort. Loveseats? Not.

Jules said...

Anon 5:12 has it right-

we made a mistake and went with 2 love seats. every weekend, and i mean every weekend, everyone complains that their legs have to hang off the sofa arms.

take measurments!

Anonymous said...

I like what Anon 5:04 had to say, and may I add that if you do get two matching sofas, get them in a smaller size and in a somewhat subtle color so that you: a) aren't overwhelmed with SOFAS, and b) you can easily uypdate the look of your room with out the dreaded "what do I do with that monster of a sofa?" problem.

What about a sectional? There are some really nice styles out there now (finally).

THE BRICK HOUSE said...

Just never buy the sofa pictured (the Byrd from EQ3)

ESPECIALLY not 2 of them.

matching facing sofas - yummers.

Anonymous said...

Mixing sofas is hard to pull off. If you even have to ask whether or not they should match, you probably don't have the mad decorating skills to make it work

Anonymous said...

I am a designer and I think if you like symmetry two matching sofas facing each other are great. The space is large so I'd probably not do loveseats. I'd not do loveseat/sofa because your room is almost a square. That config works better when you have a rectangle and you don't want to do a sectional. Using a daybed in the center and doing a grouping on either side would also work. A "U" shape is also very nice and you could achieve that by adding two chairs to the end of the facing sofas. Furniture placement is unique to the space plan and function. Rules were made to be broken.

Creme de la Mode said...

I don't like anything that looks like it was a "set" - that goes for sheets/comforters, chairs/tables, dresser/sidetables. I suppose if they were the base of the room, and could be spiced up with other elements it would be okay. I just don't want my house to look like the design team at Sears came up with the look.

Anonymous said...

In a room that size you need some matchy furniture. Two standard-sized identical couches (each long enough for a 6' man to lay on) would work.

Blankets, pillows, and stains will make each unique in time.

If you have tall ceilings, you'll want a higher backrest than the one pictured.

amymezzell said...

I just got a second couch for our otherwise seatless living room, and it was so hard to find a complimentary couch - BUT I would much rather do that than have 2 exact couches. If that's your thing, though, then do whatever you like. I ended up getting the same exact brand/style of couch, but in a different fabric and color. (They aren't facing; they're perpendicular.) That way, they go together and match in style, but they're completely not matchy at all with one being creammicrosuede (sue me) and the other chocolate leather, which makes for a more interesting room (in my measly opinion).

David said...

I'm with everyone else. A pair of matching sofas brings some unity to the room and you can still mix things up with accessories.

As for love seats...one, at the foot of the bed. I dislike them anywhere else.

Angela Todd said...

The look of two sofas works best if they are 1.) directly opposite one another in the seating arrangement, or 2.) if your room can accommodate two seating areas, and they are placed in opposite seating areas. In this case the seating areas should not be symmetrical to one another. (Don't place the sofa in the same place in both arrangements, be creative.)

I do not think two identical sofas work well when the sofas are placed perpendicular to one another. If you really want to use this layout, at least vary the fabric and look.

If you aren't sure what layout and pieces will work best, may I suggest you invest a small amount to hire a designer or decorator to come to your home for a consultation and ask him/her to sketch possible floor plans for you? This is always a good option BEFORE you shop for additional furnishings and case goods.

Laya said...

Definitely no to the matching sofas unless its a football field of a living room. Go with a couple of quirky Rattan chairs or two single crazy patterned sofas would be my suggestion, just to make the room pop just a bit.

Lolo said...

Not a decorator either, but I think it depends on the sofa style. It can either scream "big box" or hotel lobby or, best case, "oh these lovely old things? had them forever, they work perfectly"

A pair of slipcovered or chesterfield sofas are what would appeal to me. Enough presence to balance but still look like they're inviting me to rest for a while.

Now I'm going to go and glare at my teensy living room with its single, lonely sofa.

*moggit girls said...

We agree! (but we also think the couch shown is not good for snuggling or Sunday morning hangovers)

J&J

Tess said...

We have an enormous room we call the "great divide" and have always purchased 2 full size sofas that match. Just be mindful how many throw/accent pillows you put on them. Too many and it looks perfectly ridiculous. Why is it a full size versus loveseat is only $20-40 difference?

Decorina said...

I agree with most everyone else that two matching sofas would be fine in your room.  It is sort of squareish and a sectional could work - but I'm really not a fan of sectionals.  Who wants to sit in the ackward corner?  Not to mention that the coffee table required by a sectional needs to be football field sized to look right and to function for holding drinks et al.

Anonymous said...

Dear Reader-
I would only purchase two different sofas if they were used separately to anchor two DIFFERENT seating groups, otherwise the asymmetry would make me nuts! I think it's more fun to buy the one sofa if you can't separate them and use a collection of upholstered and non-upholstered seating to provide flexibility and a chance to express your personality.

Jennifer said...

I say yes as long as they face each other.

But I think everyone else already said that ...

Kristine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kristine said...

Excellent, thanks for the advice everyone. Really helps. For those of you whose blood pressure rose at the mere thought of love seats, you can relax. It is 2 couches all the way. Facing each other.

BRICKHOUSE- Do you have the Byrd couch? Why do you not recommend it? thx

susie q said...

We have two matching sofas and we love it! We've even arranged ours L-style and it looks great.

Anonymous said...

Just don't get too large a sofa! I made this mistake (like 90 something inches) - and the perpendicular matching sofas looked so wierd. FAux sectional - and lame. Have to be facing each other that is okay - kind of matchy matchy. I moved one upstairs and am purchasing two chairs instead. My two cents....

Anonymous said...

that u are no decorator.