How do I Choose the Best Formal Living Room Furniture?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 07 November 2019
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When choosing formal living room furniture, it is important to remember that formality should not translate into discomfort. It is possible to create a classy look without sacrificing comfort and functionality. The first step in choosing the best formal living room furniture is understanding the space in which the furniture will be placed. Too much furniture will make the room feel cluttered and claustrophobic, while too little furniture can make a visitor feel isolated. One must consider the space before choosing the furniture; then, move onto choosing the style of the formal living room furniture.

Finished woods provide a sturdy and beautiful option for formal living room furniture. Avoid particle board furniture, which is common in lower-end furnishings. These pieces are designed to be affordable, but they are not durable and their looks reflect their prices. Solid wood furniture will last much longer, and it can be stained or finished to create an elegant look that will complement other formal living room furniture. An added benefit is aging; often, as solid wood furniture becomes older and more used, the look changes, becoming antique.


Just as important as actual wood are wood tones. Subdued colors create a comfortable atmosphere and can bring out subtle accents, which are important in formal living room furniture. Intricate carvings in the wood, gold leafing, or even fine fabrics are accented by the subdued colors of the wood tones. Of course, this does not mean dark tones are the only ones permitted in a formal living room. Striped patterns can accent a formal room if the colors are chosen correctly — not too loud or harshly contrasted — and coordinated with other colors in the room.

A good alternative to the typical recliner in a formal living room is a wingback chair. These types of chairs lend an antique feel to the room, especially if the chair is upholstered with finer materials. Ornate wooden legs are a nice touch as well. When choosing a couch, choose one made from comfortable and attractive materials, such as leather. The couch is often the largest piece of furniture in the room, so it is important to choose one that fits the color scheme. While floral patterns are acceptable in a brighter room, it is important to consider that such a pattern will stick out like a sore thumb in a more subdued setting.


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