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The matching furniture mistake. Haven’t we all done this at one time or another? You buy a new house which means you need to fill it with furniture. But what should you buy? Furniture shopping can be a big financial investment and puts a lot of pressure on the consumer to make the “right” choice. An easy way to fill our homes is to go down to the big box store and purchase a matching set of furniture. It’s a one stop shop where you can throw together a room with one swoop of the credit card.

A white dining room filled with windows and curtains, chandelier, table and chairs, buffet table topped with lamps and mirror.

Should You Match Furniture?

One of the biggest struggles newbies at interior design make is whether or not they should match their furniture. The problem with matching furniture is that you often end up with a box store look. No offense to the box store look but it ends up looking very common, not unique, and a little boring. I don’t know about you, but I don’t particularly enjoy boring things.

If you love interior design like me, then you can appreciate the beauty in having unique items that add interest to a room. Interest comes in many different shapes, textures, colors, sizes, and scale. With the way things are trending these days, there’s no need to have matching furniture. In fact, mixing and matching within the design of your home is a good thing. This goes for not only furniture, but other finishes as well. Take a look at how I’ve mixed metals in our primary bathroom remodel.

Can You Mix Painted Furniture With Wood Furniture?

Mixing wood furniture with white or painted furniture is an easy way to combine different colors and tones. If you notice in our living room, we have a yellow painted cabinet that doesn’t match, but “goes” with the unfinished wood end tables. How many of us have pieces of white furniture sitting around our house? I know I own plenty of it as it’s a great neutral color that goes with everything. Mixing wood furniture with white furniture will instantly add interest to an overly matched room.

For a soft palette, combine white painted furniture with a lighter stained or bleached wood. For a bold statement, incorporate white with a darker stain or black painted pieces of furniture.

Is Matching Furniture An Outdated Trend?

The 80s and 90s were notorious for their matching furniture sets. These days the trend has moved towards a more eclectic look. Curated rooms with pieces that "go together" rather than match, tend to be associated with a more high end and exclusive look. With bloggers, Pinterest, and influencers paving the way for what's on trend these days, people now try to create that one of a kind look.  We find ourselves searching for hidden gems in unassuming places such as our local thrift stores, antique stores and Facebook Marketplace.

How do we create that one of a kind look without matching furniture? Keep reading for my tips on how to mix and match furniture beautifully.

5 Ways To Not Match Furniture

A dining room filled with windows and curtains, chandelier, table and chairs, buffet table topped with lamps and mirror.
  • Repetition – Choose 2 or 3 different colors or tones and duplicate them throughout the room. In the picture above, I’ve swapped the white farm style chairs the these brown French cane back chairs. The brown chairs have the same golden tone as the gilded mirror over the credenza. The white table and white credenza are also the same color. Now the dining room has two different colors, a neutral and a warm. The two of them work cohesively since they’re repeated throughout the room.

  • Paint Your Furniture – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Mixing wood furniture with white, whether it’s stained or unfinished almost always look great together! If you have a matching bedroom set and would like to add more interest to your set, paint a few pieces! It’s much more affordable than selling pieces from your set.

  • Know What Style You’re Drawn To – I still struggle with this myself as I have so many different styles I love! Committing to one is so hard. However, if you know your style and can keep your furniture within it, then mixing and matching colors will appear much more cohesive.

  • Keep The Style The Same – I had to mention this again. If you keep your styles the same, it’s much easier to end up with a cohesive yet, “I just threw this together” look. There are times when mixing old antiques with modern furniture can look great. But for newbies, I recommend keeping things simple and keep your style the same.

  • Make Small Changes – You don’t need to throw all your furniture out at once. You spent a lot of money bringing it into your house. Don’t waste all that hard earned cash because you’ve suddenly changed your mind. Begin researching what pieces you want to replace and with what. Take your time searching Facebook Marketplace, antique stores, and vintage fairs. Hold out for that perfect piece and make sure that you truly love it! Taking things slowly will give you time to research and discover pieces you truly love.

Make Furniture Look Cohesive, Not Hodge Podge

If you want a cohesive look that appears more curated rather than eclectic, it’s important to have two or three wood colors that match one another but that don’t all match.

If that seems a little confusing to you, let me explain. Let’s take a look at my dining room again.

A dining room filled with windows and curtains, chandelier, table and chairs, buffet table topped with lamps and mirror.

I have the brown chairs, whose warmth match the mirror. Then there’s the white table with the white buffet. So we have two colors, white and warm golden brown (or golden) and they all go together cohesively.

I know metal fixtures aren’t furniture, but the same concept goes for these as well. I have brushed nickel handles on the buffet which match the brushed nickel chandelier. I’ll admit brushed nickel isn’t my favorite choice for a chandelier, but it came with the house, so for now, we are living with it. The point is I have two metals in that finish, and the gold mirror goes with the gold chairs. See where I’m getting at here?

Don’t Be Afraid To Mix Things Up!

Whether your style is traditional, modern, transitional, or boho, any of these matching furniture tips I’ve mentioned will work to give your home a beautiful and curated look. It’s definitely something I’m working on improving in my home as well. Having non-matching furniture adds warmth, coziness, and interest into any living space.

I hope that some of these tips can get you started on your mixing and matching journey. Mistakes are inevitable, but it’s how we learn and grow as a person and decorator! If you are interested in exploring other rooms in my house, click on the links below.

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