How to Mix and Match Your Living Room Furniture by Geneva Vanderzeil

How to Mix and Match Your Living Room Furniture

Guest blog by Brosa friend – Geneva Vanderzeil.

Editor of Collective Gen, author, stylist, maker and photographer. She grew up in Australia and after moving to London in 2008 started her first blog, which quickly became one of the most popular websites in the world, with millions of readers and features in major newspapers and magazines. Geneva is a published author, designed a number of product ranges and been able to turn her passion for creativity into a career. Collective Gen is the next step in her commitment to creativity, a community that brings together creative makers and stylists from all over the world to share their experiences and ideas. Let Geneva provide you with her wealth of style wisdom as she talks all things living room. 

Geneva with her Ada Swivel Accent Chair

Tips and Tricks

I must admit, I’m a living room lover. Not only is the living room a key focus of the house, smack bang in the centre for us, but it’s likely a space in your home where you do most of your living – lounging, entertaining, playing and relaxing. Because of that, a living room needs to be designed to be one of the most versatile and comfortable rooms in the house, but also be welcoming and aesthetically pleasing. There’s a lot going on! But don’t worry, it needn’t be complicated. For me, creating a beautiful and comfortable living room is all about choosing a good mix of furniture pieces that complement each other and are also really versatile. Recently my friends at Brosa asked me to share my secrets to mixing and matching living room furniture, and after a few years of working to create the perfect space for us at home, I’m excited to share what I’ve learnt!

Define What Your Space Needs

It’s easy to get drawn into choosing the nitty gritty of the decor of your living room – the rugs, the textiles or the art – and not think enough about the foundations of the space itself. But by doing some simple planning to review what your space needs, you’re much more likely to create a room that not only looks great but is functional too. For me, the first place to start is with seating, given that a significant function of the room is about gathering and relaxing comfortably. You and your family may need a sofa and a few occasional chairs, or just a large L shaped sofa. Choose your seating based on how you will actually use the space, and keep comfort in mind. Once you have determined the seating arrangement, think about how you can add in other furniture like a console table, book shelves, main coffee table or smaller side tables to make a space that’s easy to use.

Connor Armchair

Consider a Colour Palette

Creating a cohesive palette in a living room will go a long way to making it feel well designed and welcoming, allowing you to mix a broad range of furniture styles together. As a simple rule, the more furniture styles I go for the more simple the palette. I like to think about the elements that exist already such as the walls and floors, and choose a few key tones that go with that. Keep in mind that larger pieces of furniture like a sofa or occasional chair will have a bigger impact on the palette, so it’s worth considering that when you make purchasing decisions. I usually opt for neutral colours for large pieces of furniture then add colour using cushions, art and rugs. Doing this will ensure your space is coherent, even with a range of different furniture styles in the room.

Drake Modular Sofa

Don’t Be Afraid Of Mixing Eras

For me, one trick to creating a space that feels layered and lived in is to mix furniture styles. It may seem like a room will look better if all the furniture and decor is of the one era, but in truth that can feel a little staged. In my opinion you’re much better to experiment with hints of all different styles like Scandinavian, Boho, Mid Century Modern and Contemporary. Start by choosing one style, say for your console table or sofa, and then mix hints of other styles in. I also like to consider the shapes of the furniture and contrast them with other pieces. A vintage style console table complements a more modern armchair.

Dominic Narrow Bookcase

Let Your Favourite Piece Shine

In line with the concept of mixing eras, another secret I have to creating an interesting and unique space is not to overdo any single style or material. Instead, choose one stand out piece that you love, say a Hamptons cabinet, and then use other more simple pieces to complement it. Whilst you may think this will mean your favourite style could be a little lost in the space, what this actually does is allow that single piece to have a stronger visual impact. I’ve learnt through experience that a little can go a long way in a living room!

Bailey Arm Chair

Think About Layout

Another way to create cohesion in a space with a range of different furniture styles is to layout the furniture using symmetry. Consider the lines of the room – any walkways, key walls or the location of the windows. Locate furniture in a symmetrical way following those lines, like putting a sofa under a window rather than next to it. This makes for a space that feels organised and calming rather than chaotic.

Kubrick Armchair & Como Motion Modular Sofa

Consider Pairings and Repetition

If you’re a fan of organisation and a space that feels well thought out, one way to achieve this whilst still mixing furniture styles is to opt for pairings of furniture or some sort of repetition in the space. This leads the eye across the room and helps it make sense. For example, a pair of these gorgeous occasional chairs would be perfect facing a neutral sofa.

Sawyer Occasional Chair

Find Balance

At the end of the day, mixing and matching living room furniture is all about finding balance. That means how you find the right mix of the materials in the space, the textiles, the finishes and the negative space. Sometimes it’s useful to take a step back to see the space clearly and understand what’s needed. Take the time to envision pieces of furniture together and don’t be afraid to experiment.

Brosa delivers Australia wide, including Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Brisbane and beyond so make sure to check out the website for lots of beautiful items that you can have delivered to your front door.