Leanne writes:

Dear diva, I’m having a terrible time deciding on new furniture. Not too long ago I bought a gorgeous red couch and now it’s time to get an arm-chair and love seat. The problem is that the pieces to match my couch are no longer available. Should I try to match my couch or should I go with something completely different? I need help!

Leanne, matching existing furniture can be difficult. Especially if you’re trying to match the exact color of your existing couch, not to mention finding something with similar lines and cushion style. This doesn’t mean that it can’t be done, rather it simply means that you’ll need to be prepared before you go out and try to match it. What you’ll need to do is to take a picture of your couch and bring a cushion or pillow in with you when you go furniture shopping. This way you’ve got the exact color to match to new furniture and you’ve got a photo to look at to compare styles.

A quick note on the subject of color matching to an image or screen:

Please don’t just take a photo and try to match the color to that, because it wouldn’t be very accurate! A lot of times people take a photo and either bring in the device the photo was taken on or a paper photo and try to match colors. This doesn’t work well because it’s only a mere representation of that color and not an exact color match. Several factors affect how the color looks in the photo, from lighting to the device itself. So the only accurate way to get a proper color representation is to bring in a piece of the couch; i.e. a cushion or pillow.

Should I Try To Match My Couch?Now finding the exact color to match your couch could be difficult. This is especially true for the color red. There are so many different shades of red that finding an exact match won’t be an easy task. Especially if you purchased your couch long ago. The furniture industry is a little more stable than the fashion industry in terms of keeping fabrics and colors longer, but not by very much. So if you’re lucky, the color is still popular and you will be able to find something that matches close enough for your liking. The same applies to the style of your couch, as well. You will likely have to decide what features of your couch are the most important and then try to match them when looking at the new furniture. How easy this is to match will be determined by how ornate or fancy your existing couch is. Typically speaking, the more modern and plain pieces are easier to clone.

Sometimes it’s not easy to find the exact color or style you are looking for. If this is your situation, then you’ve got to make a decision: are you going to match as close as you can, or go with something completely different? Which one of these options you choose is based on your own style and preferences. Can you find something different that also goes with the theme of your living room? Maybe you’ve chosen a different color but in a similar style? Perhaps the new furniture is both a different color and a different style. Either way, it’s important to point out that you can still have a cohesive feel without becoming all “matchy-matchy.”

A while back, I was in a similar situation and decided to go with something that went with my decor, but was completely different from my couch. I decided to go this route because I couldn’t find anything that matched the style of my existing couch.  After agonizing over loveseats and armchairs at several furniture stores and websites, I finally decided to scrap my initial plan and chose something that would compliment my couch instead. I understand this may not be as easy for other people to do themselves as it was for me, because I have a design background. So if this is something you can’t do yourself, then I’d suggest working with a design consultant or design professional of some kind to help offset the challenge of coordinating furniture. Some furniture stores even have consultants on-staff to help customers and of course, some sales people are also very knowledgeable. So don’t forget to ask for help! Just make sure in the end, you’re the one making the decision and not a pushy sales person. Remember, you’re the one who will have to live with your final choice on which furniture your taking home!

And of course, that is another instance where taking a photo of your existing couch and bringing in that couch cushion or pillow would be helpful! The photo helps with the style while the cushion ensures the colors are clearly taken into account.

Do you have questions about the selecting or the installation of: tile, carpet or wall treatments (window blinds, etc)? Then email me your tale of woe (diva(at)homemakeoverdiva.com) and perhaps I will be able to answer your questions right here at the Home Makeover Diva Blog.


Written by Amanda Hartley