Rookie Mistake: Matching Furniture

Rookie Mistakes: a series of common decor mistakes made by rookies… aka US. And no we are not judging because, we have made (and continue to make) these mistakes too!

Remember the Rookie Mistakes series is a NO JUDGEMENT ZONE. We’ve both made ALL of these decorating mistakes in our own homes (evidenced by today’s post) and simply want you to learn from us so you can make your home look amazing without having to make the mistakes we did!

Rookie Mistake – Matching Furniture Sets

Back before we were ever interested in home decor, we purchased furniture a bit differently. For example, if we were in need of furniture for a bedroom you might find us heading to a big box store to pick up a matching bedroom set for a bargain. The bed, dresser, nightstands, side tables….all of them matching and ready to fill up the room! I mean who doesn’t love one-stop shopping, right?!

Jans-House-2017-11Now we realize why those rooms always felt a bit flat to us. The lack of variety in woods, colors, and textures made the entire space one-note. (Psssst. This is a guest room in my mom’s house. She agrees that it would look better without all of the matching pieces, so she graciously allowed me to use this photo for the post… thanks Mom!!)

We understand that those bedroom sets are a deal and that can be hard to pass up! Especially when you have a room to furnish and you just want to be d-o-n-e. We totally get it. Having some matching furniture is not a bad thing. But you probably don’t want your loveseat, couch, coffee table, and side table to all match. Some of them can match to keep a cohesive look, but if everything is the exact same…you’re going to end up with a cookie-cutter look that lacks personality.

But even just swapping out one of the matching pieces could make a big difference in the space. Here’s the proof…

Bridget’s Matching Furniture – Rookie Mistake

When Bridget first furnished her dining room (left), she made this rookie mistake by buying all matchy-matchy decor. A dark table, paired with dark chairs, next to a dark mirror then accented with a dark light fixture. This matchy-matchy look lacked depth and made the space look & feel… well, ugly.

After realizing the rookie mistake she had made, we approached this space in a very different/much LESS MATCHY way (right) and are SO much happier with the new look.

She sold the set of chairs that came with the table on Craigslist and used that money to buy these new ones that added a lot more contrast. Immediately the space felt a whole lot less matchy and far more light/bright! Since learning that lesson the hard way, we have approached buying furniture and decor in a whole new way.

Create a Layered Look!


Take a look at Casey’s bedroom. It’s a mix of a gray upholstered bedroom, shiny white campaign style nightstands, and a wood dresser. If every piece in the room was the exact same it wouldn’t look as layered and interesting. lowes-makeover-bedroom-reveal

Or take a look at the bedroom we designed for the Lowe’s Home Makeover. We loved the large upholstered bed, and knew that adding in some wood elements would add some warmth. So the matching wood nightstands worked out perfectly! lowes-makeover-bedroom-reveal-wide-windowBut we didn’t feel compelled to choose a matching wood dresser for the room. Instead we built a wood & white floating credenza to combine elements of both the white duvet and the wood nightstands.

round_modern_coffee_table-family_room_couchIf you do have matching furniture all over your house, we’re certainly not telling you to get rid of everything. No way! Instead, think about moving things around a bit. Bring a dresser from one room into another. Or swap your nightstands for ones in a different room. We promise that you just might love all of your gorgeous furniture a bit more when it doesn’t get lost in a sea of it all being matchy-matchy. DIY_Curtains_Office_Bedroom-6

Or think about selling a few pieces that you don’t absolutely love, and use that money to find items that you do love! The search for a new piece of furniture that is just perfect will be a lot more satisfying than it felt to buy a bunch of furniture in one swoop!

Room-4So learn from our rookie mistake and avoid buying all matching furniture sets. You’re not a cookie cutter person, and your home shouldn’t be either! Search for pieces that you adore so you can create a home that is so YOU!bridget_and_casey_sig




  • Erin

    this is definitely a tricky thing! fortunately we never really set out to do any of that. Our bedroom was always a piece of work. None of the furniture in there matches, but it’s all authentic mid century modern furniture — except the bed is from room & board but everything feels like it goes together! our couch and 1 1/2 chair are matching pieces, however, we got both of them upholstered in different fabrics. though for the 1 1/2 chair piece– we would like to get it reupholstered for sure.

    • Sounds like you’ve got the perfect look of mix & match furniture, Erin! Good idea to get the chair upholstered in a different fabric!

  • Kara D

    You should do a post on how you sell your items – how do you decide on a price, how you advertise, how you meet strangers (this is the part that makes me most nervous), and how the (heavy) item is transported. I never sell my pieces because I get creeped out by all the Craiglist horror stories. I don’t want to ask for a friend to come over every time to be sure I’m not meeting anyone alone.

    • We actually JUST added this to the calendar over the weekend after looking at some of the survey results. Lots of people are interested in how to do it! We’re not pros, but we’re excited to share what has worked for us

  • Loveland Lodge

    I do think we’re sometimes programmed to think matching furniture set = being an adult or a feeling of “I’ve made it bc I can now afford all the matching pieces instead of just one!” It’s like the step up from hand-me-downs, but the hand-me-downs or thrifted furniture pieces often times looks better with more visual interest. Personally, I prefer the mismatched look too.

    • I never thought about it like that, but you are so right! What an interesting way to look at that!

      Love the mismatched look too! Thrifted pieces & hand me downs are sometimes the best.

  • Stephanie

    Love this! What would you suggest in terms of bedroom furniture colors to coordinate with a dark brown headboard? My husband hates upholstered headboards (very tragically, in my opinion!), and I’ve been struggling with the best way to incorporate nightstands and a dresser without it looking to matchy-matchy.

    • Good idea to switch it up and go with something other than dark brown! White or gray are always great options, or even a really light wood tone could work too. As long as you steer clear from the exact same wood color in the dark brown headboard, you should be good!

    • Stephanie

      Perfect! Thanks so much.