Combining different textures and surfaces in living room furniture can be a tricky business. When done right, it can create an engaging and visually compelling composition. When done poorly, the result can be jarring and unpleasant. Consider the effect of different fabrics on each other carefully before spending a lot of money on upholstering.
Whether a leather sofa and a fabric armchair will work well together depends largely on their context. If they are placed in a formal room in which everything else in the room matches either the sofa or the armchair, the piece that is mismatched may appear out of place. In a more eclectic setting where there are a wide range of surfaces, fabrics and styles, the sofa and armchair can work very well together.
The very different characteristics of leather and fabric can be brought together by carefully matching their colors. For example, if the sofa is brown leather, the fabric of the armchair can be tied into its scheme by choosing a pattern that has tones similar to the color of the leather sofa. Avoid a plain brown fabric that is the same color as the leather, which will look as though you tried to match the leather exactly, but they are bound to be slightly different. Celebrate the differences between the leather and the fabric while simultaneously having them work together through color.
You can tie the leather sofa and the fabric armchair together by using carefully chosen accessories. For example, several throw pillows that are done in the same fabric as the armchair and put onto the sofa will create a visual echo of the armchair on the couch and will trick the eye into seeing the two as related. You can also integrate the sofa and the armchair by using a rug between the two that shares colors with both of them.
Texture is a subtle but important element in any room decoration scheme, which is particularly true with both leather and fabric. Leather and suede may be nearly the same material, but their different textures give them very different qualities when used on furniture. When choosing fabrics to use with leather, avoid high-sheen, sleek fabrics like satin, which will clash with the leather. Durable fabrics with a noticeable weave will more successfully complement the leather of the sofa and create a diverse but harmonious theme in the room.
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