Unless you can afford to swap out major living room furniture for a trendy one that pops up every season, there’s no need for you to carefully pick and invest in a living room set that can withstand being dated. But if you’re one of the many people on the lookout for long-term furniture pieces that are less likely to go out of style, you’ll find these tips useful.
Tackle Your Basics
The fundamental elements of a living room set include a sofa, a side table or two, a coffee table, and an armchair. Depending on your space constraints, you can add or subtract from these basic living room furniture pieces. Just make sure that your individual options are well coordinated and carefully put together. For example, traditional themes like rolled arms on wooden chairs do not match with contemporary industrial-style steel coffee tables.
Identify Timeless Lines and Silhouettes
Simple and sturdy living room furniture is less likely to look dated after a few years. It is also easy to update by incorporating relatively inexpensive decorative items such as lamps, pillows, wall hangings, and window treatments.
It is prudent to invest in classic living room furniture. Look for those that are supported by strong wood frames and gracefully wrought steel springs. To assess the strength of a wood frame, slowly lift one wooden leg of the sofa approximately six inches off the floor. The leg adjacent to the one you are lifting should also rise, otherwise the frame construction is deemed flimsy.
Timeless living room lines and silhouettes are characterized by solid furniture upholstered or finished in neutral colors. Avant-garde furniture pieces with bizarre, asymmetrical features may not be stylish in a few years’ time. Opt for clean lines and solid hues, which allow for more flexibility in seasonal accessorizing. An enormous sofa sporting brightly colored geometric patterns would be more challenging to mix and match compared to a plain one in a subdued color. When it comes to investment-grade sofas, cream, beige, dark brown, or dove gray are timeless choices. Websites like Gorman’s remain an excellent online source of living room sofas with neutral-colored upholstery.
Opt for Iconic Pieces
Iconic furniture styles don’t easily go out of style. Examples of classic living room pieces include the daybed-style Barcelona couch and comfortable Chesterfield sofa. For iconic contemporary options, you might want to consider the Wassily chair, Eileen Gray side table, Eames molded plywood chair, Isamu Noguchi coffee table, and the distinctive egg chair.
At First, Go for the Unadorned
When in doubt about the long-term appeal of your living room set, go for the plain option as you can’t go wrong with it. Think plain wood and beige upholstery. Or consider clear glass and crisp white upholstery. Prints, patterns, and bright colors can easily be added if you already have a timeless living room set in the usual traditional theme–which can consist of a dark wood coffee table and side table corralled with a brown sofa. If you choose classic white upholstered furniture, turn to Elle Décor’s article on decorating a white sofa or search Pinterest (using the keywords “white couch” or “white sofa”) for brilliant ideas on jazzing it up.