How to Make Mismatched Furniture Work in Your Space


Creating a space that feels sophisticated and pulled together doesn't mean that you have to go out and buy a matching sofa set or a 4 piece bedroom furniture set. A collected, layered space can be created by pairing previously owned furniture pieces with budget buys or thrifted finds, and it can still feel like a unified space. By taking note of 5 simple tips, you can create a sophisticated space without breaking the bank or looking like your parents off-loaded their entire attic's contents on you.


Inventory what you have in your space and decide to either keep it or leave it. Maybe you have a sofa you love and saved up for, or maybe it's a piece that was handed down from your parents or grandparents that has sentimental value. This is your base piece. It is the one thing you are sure will be in your room for the foreseeable future. Once you know which pieces will be sticking around with you for a while, then you can accumulate other pieces to work cohesively with it. It helps if this piece is the larger of the pieces going in the room, so smaller end-tables, chairs, etc. can be scooped up over time.


If you are going to go out and buy a piece to start building your room off of, think neutral and small-to-medium scale. If you are purchasing your main piece as new, then you want to make sure it is versatile and functional enough to work in your home down the road. Of course you don't know what the make-up of your future space will look like, but it's best to err on the small side of the furniture spectrum. Don't cram a large sofa or sectional into a small room. It will only crowd the space and result in a room that feels even smaller! Negative space or open space is actually quite necessary. 

For example, a neutral colored, small-scale sofa that will work with different styles of furniture, and one that can fit into various room sizes, is a smart purchase. This sofa will get mileage and with its sleek, clean lines it mixes well with various styles, seen here paired with a more traditional coffee table and bookcase.

Image: This Is Our Bliss

A neutral space filled with pieces in a similar color palette is going to feel more pulled together than a space that has mismatched furniture in all different colors or wood tones. Not to say a bold accent color can't be used to make a statement, but the majority of the pieces should be in the same color family or varying shades of the same color. Try to keep the color scheme unified! 


There is nothing like finding the perfect piece of furniture for a killer price at the thrift store. It feels like you won the lottery! Thrifted finds allow for more versatility, especially since housing situations can fluctuate over time. You won't feel as guilty if you have to ditch the piece of furniture down the road if your future space doesn't allow room to house it. Other reasons, thrifted furniture finds can be a wonderful thing:

  • Opportunity to personalize it and make it "custom".
    • You're in charge. There are no rules when it comes to the fabric you choose or the paint color you select for your piece. Make it your own! However, keep in mind DIY supplies can add up quickly so remember that when you are getting ready to pay for your "bargain" find. It never hurts to make an offer for lower than the ticketed price.
  • The ability to sharpen your DIY skills.
    • Practice your painting skills. Try sanding something. Maybe even pull out the sewing machine you've tucked away in the closet for years! DIY furniture pieces are an excellent way to bring new life to something old. There are beautiful examples floating all around Pinterest!
  • Go bold with no regret!
    • Ever wanted a fun, bright piece of furniture but weren't sure if a bold color choice was a good investment? Well, snag a colored piece of furniture at the thrift store or paint it the color of your choice when you get home! Even add some fun details with corner brackets or new hardware.

Image: Southern State of Mind

  • A bargain is good for the soul!
    • Test out your negotiating skills. If you are able to walk away with a new-to-you piece of furniture after paying less than what it was listed for, it can give you a big boost of confidence and that "I did it!" surge of energy! Saving money on your thrifted piece also means those savings can be put towards something else for you or your home---paying off a bill, a household repair that you've been putting off or simply putting in the bank for a rainy day.


No, seriously. When in doubt, head to IKEA! When you think of IKEA, that image of a fully loaded warehouse filled with the savvy shopper's dream furniture, home decor and organizational finds instantly pops into your head. With a so many items retailing at an affordable price point, one key factor here is that while so many items are highly-recognizable as "IKEA", they can so easily be transformed into something unique and custom. These pieces are often times referred to as IKEA hacks. Those makeovers so many of us find ourselves wanting to attempt upon first sight. IKEA furniture items are typically small-scale, low-profile pieces that can be seamlessly mixed in with various other retailer's pieces. Pair an IKEA chair with your parents' hand-me-down desk for an instant modern look. 


Float an IKEA built-in unit on the wall to house toys, desk accessories or clutter. This will free up valuable floor space to be able to store other items.