MEH TO THE MATCHING
Which is a not very elegant way of saying that buying a three piece suite is lazy and looks like you haven’t thought about it. It gives the impression that you just loaded the whole thing into the cart (virtual or otherwise) and didn’t give it another thought. You don’t need a three piece suite, you need a sofa and two chairs. You can have two matching sofas and a different chair if you like. But the point is that it should look like three individual pieces of furniture that you thought about, cared about and made a decision about.
Now, in recent years, this has become a bit of a trend when it comes to kitchen chairs with a passion for all differents sorts that look like they were salvaged from various different skips in the neighbourhood. That was probably charming when the first few people did it but it’s become rather a cliche and now looks like you are trying too hard to be fashionable.
I know, it’s a minefield this decorating lark. So here’s the thing: you can have say two matching Eames chairs at the ends of the table (reasonable because more than that would cost a fortune) and four different chairs round the sides (two might be more realistic looking at the size of my own table, but you get the drift). Or have six matching chairs in different colours. In other words, six mismatched chairs is a cliche, one pair and four others is better.
Back in the sitting room, try to have theme of shape or fabric to tie your furniture together. A grey sofa, a grey and white patterned armchair and a plain chair with wooden arms. For example. Something that basically – and this is another rule – looks like you meant it.
You can have two lamps at different heights and styles with matching lampshades. All your cushions can be different. If you have a pair of chair you can paint the legs of one of them a different colour. I have a pair of chairs in my house which I bought specifically because they came with different coloured legs. They don’t sell them any more but you could DIY it.
By which I mean: you can be as mismatched as you like but it has to look like there was a decision, a thought process, a reason for what you have done. Otherwise it’s just lifting from the catalogue and now that there’s so much choice there’s no need to do that any more.