Choosing The Right Furniture For A Room

When I moved into my current home around 23 years ago, I knew almost nothing about decorating or furnishing a home. When first moving into a home, it can feel overwhelming and even a little intimidating trying to decide how to decorate all those empty or half-empty rooms.

The room that challenged me and perhaps taught me the most about decorating was my family room. I had never bought furniture for a room with judges paneling and it was definitely a learning process discovering what fabrics and wood tones looked best with the room’s honey-brown walls.

Family Room With Judges Paneling


What I discovered was the red tones you find in furniture made from cherry wood were a total no-go while furniture in warm brown tones, like those seen in this Villa Clare Armoire from Havertys, looked great in my family room.

Villa Clare Armoire


Furniture upholstered in jewel tone fabrics like emerald-green, navy blue and burgundy were perfect for the room.

Family Room With Judges Paneling


A leather wingback added a different dimension and interest to the space.

Den with Judges Paneling 2


A club chair like this would have worked great in this room, as well.

Cagney Chair

I love a comfy, leather club chair for a living room or den.

Lacey Accent Chair


I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the kind of home I’d like to live in when I move one day. I’m leaning strongly in the direction of a storybook cottage, something like this adorable playhouse below, only grown-up size. I love a cute cottage and it would be so much fun to decorate! I know the living room would call for very different furniture than what I currently have in my existing family room.


I would like for the furniture and fabrics to be light, maybe a neutral-colored sofa that I could change up with different pillows and throws for the seasons and holidays. I found several online at Havertys that are along the lines of what I would like.

Jessica Sofa

Seascape Sofa


The Veranda is probably the most traditional looking of the four I most like.

Veranda Sofa


I like all of these so it would be hard to choose! Which do you like of these four?

Melody Sofa


I’ve always loved how the designer Charles Faudree incorporated a bit of bamboo furniture into all of his homes, so the Hoko Bamboo floor lamp caught my eye. It would work well in both a traditional or cottage style home.


Of course, I’d need a few chairs to go with my sofa. The Melody Accent chair has that cottage feel I love.

Melody Accent Chair


I love the color of this chair, such a pretty soft-yellow. Reminds me of one of my favorite paint colors for walls which is a soft, buttery yellow.

Coral Bay Chair


I know we are continually bombarded with the latest furniture styles/trends on TV and in all the magazines. When I’m shopping for those pieces that are going to be a significant to a room, those that I know I won’t be replacing anytime soon like a sofa or an armoire, I try to stick with classic styles that I’ve loved in the past and know I’ll love for years to come.

I have never been one to worry about the latest trends when it comes to furniture or how I decorate my home. But if that is something you enjoy or feel is important and you don’t necessarily have the budget to support it, consider updating your room with a new chair, a lamp or maybe some new pillows. You can really transform the look of a room with just a few changes, especially if the larger furniture pieces in the room are classic, never-goes-out-of-style pieces.

Lauralie Wing Chair


Every cottage living room needs a side table to go alongside the sofa or beside a chair. I love the shape of this accent table. It’s not too traditional and not too trendy, just right for a cottage home or even a beach house. It kind of reminds me of that fabulous table in Erica’s bedroom in the movie, Something’s Gotta Give. Do you remember that table?

Kensington Accent Table


Those are just a few of the ideas and dreams I have for the living room of that cottage home I see myself living in one day. Do you have plans for a dream cottage or dream room in your heart? Leave me a comment and tell me how it would look. I bet you have it furnished down to the last pillow and picture frame! πŸ™‚

I just noticed this evening, Havertys has a big sale going on for the 4th of July, it runs through July 6th.

Havertys helps you bring your vision to life. Visit to find a store near you, detailed product information and design tools to guide you in your home decor purchases.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Havertys. The opinions and text are all mine.

*If a post is sponsored or a product was provided at no charge, it will be stated in post. Some links may be affiliate links and as an Amazon Associate, I may earn from qualifying purchases. *

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  1. Hi Susan I visited Nantucket several years ago during the Daffodil Festival. The island is one of America’s jewels with cobblestone streets, charming cottages, whaling museum and wonderful shops. Nantucket Christmas is a good read. Many wonderful decorating books have been written about the island. My choice for your cottage would be the wing back chair. Wing backs just add something to any room. Love BNOTP- Check your site everyday. Thanks for a great job.

    • I’m afraid if I ever visit Nantucket, I’ll never want to come back home. It sounds wonderful! Thanks, Ruth…I love your suggestion of a wingback chair especially when it’s near a cozy fireplace.

  2. Belladonna says

    Hi Susan I have a house on pinterest , I just redecorated the sitting room with a beautiful soft purple button back couch from the Laura Ashley range , I like it next to the beige chairs with their darling little turned feet and the huge oval shaped ottoman covered in a colefax and fowler fabric with these tall lacey type flowers in duck egg blue and black. On the end table is a beautiful table lamp in a slightly darker purple and beige . The floor rug is beige with a black edge , there are two throw rugs one folded over the arm of the couch and one draped in an inviting dishevelled way over an arm chair , they are the colour of oatmeal and textured on the couch are two plump cushions one in lavender one in a ruffley black cover.

  3. I like all your choices, but for me the bottom line is it has to be comfortable. I’m short and I totally dislike sofa’s that rely on loose pillows for the back and ones that are real deep. I need support and don’t want my feet dangling off the floor! Funny too I just told Dan I’ve always loved the idea of having a cottagy style home in yellow! When the little trike planter got re-painted in yellow I pointed out how much I loved the color and could see my home like that. We even painted our doors a golden/yellow but it got changed when the house was re-painted. I got a new sofa last year and went with a plain fabric so I could mix it in easily with new looks. I always bought patterns before that but finally decided it was smarter to go plain so I’d have the flexability. I favor the Melody sofa and accent chair. I like the soft curves and the style of the feet. They both could easily lend themselves to the look you’d want.

  4. Christy Keyton says

    The best investment I have ever made in furniture is my slipcovered sofa, ottoman, club chair and rocker in my family room. It is made my Rowe. I have reordered slipcovers a couple of times, but they have all washed like a dream and held up for years. With eight children, slipcovers was the way to go! The colors are very light neutrals except for a print on one chair. I never tire of walking into that room – even after 15 years!

    • Christy, that’s a great point! I remember reading a post a while back about white slipcovers and how easy they were to just wash with a little bleach when they got dirty or stained.

  5. I have that picture of the playhouse saved as my “dream house” exterior. I LOVE cottages and cottage dΓ©cor.

  6. Ooh, love the Jessica sofa! As for bamboo, I have a bamboo shelving unit I inherited from my Aunt. It has a top shelf with a rounded arch that I really like. I have debated many times painting it, but I’m glad I left it as is, natural bamboo. I’ve tried it in nearly every room in the house, currently it lives in the family room. I do dearly love cottages. Of course, some people’s idea of a cottage….is clearly different from mine seeing as how I am not a Vanderbilt or Kennedy. Hehe. I currently live in a hovel, but it’s MY hovel. Mine and the bank’s. Until I finish paying off the remodeling loan we took out. ; )

    • Denise, that bamboo pieces sounds beautiful! Oh, I’m so glad you didn’t paint it…love the warm color of bamboo! I remember when Charles Faudree was talking about the bamboo piece he had, he said it was one of the very few pieces that he had kept through all his moves. He said it had been used in just about room you could think of, he even had it in the bathroom in one of his homes. He was big on buying new furniture but there were a few pieces that he never got rid of and that was one of them. It was a beautiful piece. If you ever see any of those old Traditional Home magazines showing his various homes over the years, you’ll see it. Trad. Home used to feature him every two years and I think I have every one of those issues. I loved the way he decorated! He sadly just passed away a few months ago. He will be missed! I still love all his books, so glad he wrote those for us to enjoy.

  7. Hmm…….I have been agonizing over this! Did you hear me muttering about all the solid white sofas? Fussing and cussing about the white sofas everywhere! I really didn’t get it. See I am a sofa girl and I am always looking at and thinking about sofas. I absolutely loved the floral sofas that you don’t see anymore. Think Kitty Bartholomew and her fabulous floral sofa she had on her show. I would watch her show so I could lust over it and her matching chairs! I am serious. Later she had slipcovers made for it in a red floral and a blue/yellow one. I view the sofa as the queen of the living room and everything bows to her. A sofa with lots of colors gives you so many options and it’s not boring. They also disguise stains and with these solids everything shows immediately. And white?! Why do we torture our selves?! That said I recently threw white quilts over my red floral sofas and I liked it immediately! Surprise surprise! (Gomer Pyle voice) So I really don’t know what I will do!

    • Jan, I remember those floral sofas…they were totally the rage back then! Oh, and I so remember that show! I miss it…wish they would do more of those type shows again. That is too funny about your change to liking white sofas. Maybe our brains just need a change every now and then, a break for the pattern. If your sofas are still in great shape, you may want to try one of the really nice fitted slipcovers…until you decide what direction to go.

  8. Charlotte says

    I really like the Veranda sofa, it looks to cozy. Now the yellow Coral Bay chair I am totally in love with! I love the shape, legs and especially the color! That chair is going into my Dream House book! I have vintage yellow & gold plates and blue & white plates to decorate with too, and I think 2 yellow chairs on either side of the fireplace would be beautiful! I am going with a white slip covered sofa so that I can wash it and change up with pillows. I can see the family room coming together.

  9. Charlotte says

    Ooops, forgot to say that I love the new lamp in your family room and you moved the dog picture from over the sofa. The changes look great! Your home looks so warm and welcoming!

  10. I love the Laurlie Wing back chair. I am having house funk at the moment. I want to lighten my rooms up too. Thanks for pics. I may have to pin a few.

  11. I live in a cottage in the Greenville, SC area. With real clapboard siding, wrap around front porch, and backyard screen porch— I was beyond thrilled when I found it FSBO 4 years ago! (Especially after having moved from picturesque Madison, Georgia.) It is 15 years old and in pristine condition and I’ve been having a ball decorating. Planted lime and pink hydrangeas, yellow daylilies, and hostas recently. What’s a cottage without hydrangeas? I miss Kitty Bartholomew’s show, too! And a shameless, plug for Haverty’s… I bought a custom Bernhardt sofa, the Jessica style above, and just love it! We have several great pieces of furniture from Havertys.

  12. Dear Susan,
    I love your wonderful site. My husband had a similar wing chair in a rich burgundy with down cushions. He finally wore it out after 20 years. I am looking for a replacement. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  13. Grandmom says

    That was fun! Our home (which we’ve bought twice during our 19 years here) is a brick cottage style but no porch. Would have loved to have found a cottage style house like you depicted above. Having zero ability to envision what ‘could’ be, we make very few changes in our decorating; just get what we like & it works for us mostly adding accent pieces. The Sofa I liked best above is the Melody because the arms look a comfortable arm-resting height, the back has added interest without loose pillows, & it’s slightly elevated making cleaning easier especially if it’s on hardwood flooring. The Coral Bay Chair just looks like a soft hug; the Melody Chair is a bit more formal but love that style too. Happy Dream House Hunting! Love Belladonna’s idea of a Dream House on Pinterest.

  14. That pale buttery yellow is my fav for wall color. I like the Jessica sofa, because of the arms and the tulip feet, its upscale without being too modern, I am into traditional. However, comfort is the main ingredient!!! Being on the tall side, I prefer furniture that is higher so my chin is not resting on my knees, and its so difficult to get up again and being in a graceful position!!! I also prefer a solid back with no loose pillows. My sofas have always been a floral, however my present sofa of 25 years is a solid red, camel back, Chippendale style, that I love and needs to be re-covered as soon as I win the lottery!!! I will go with red again.

    My philosophy is whatever solid color you choose, it becomes your neutral and will go with anything. I’ve used, blue, white, florals, checks, some yellows, some greens and even purple with the red. Just change the accessories and you’re done !! My current club chair with matching ottoman is in a red floral linen fabric and love it , similar to the Melody chair. My living room makes me the happiest, it is always cheerful, bright and fun!!

  15. Often those who move a lot have to have furniture that adapts. But I think mostly, a house “talks” to you and certain houses really NEED certain kinds of furniture. Instead of counting sheep at night, I sometimes take my furniture in my house today and put it in houses I’ve lived in in the past. I usually drift off before I get to the house before this, but I must admit that I am able to make most of it work. I haven’t done walls and window treatments and art on the walls and stuff on the table — just furniture placement. Perhaps if I can’t go to sleep as easily, I’ll do the other stuff. LOL

    • I so agree! The times I tried to make furniture work instead of going with what the room really needed, I regretted it. Oh, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve fallen asleep decorating a room! lol I haven’t done that in a long time now but the first few years in this house were just like that. My husband would awake sometimes at 3AM to find me standing in the hall just staring into the guest room…I would wake up in the middle of the night with an idea. It’s a sickness! πŸ˜‰ It is fun, isn’t it…to plan the rooms? I love to do that on home tours, rearrange the furniture in my mind or think of how something else would look instead of what I see there.

  16. Yes, I dream of a cottage home too (had one before I married Mr. P and still love that house!). I’m sure glad this was a sponsored post, though – I was thinking, “wow, she’s already picking out the furniture for her cottage!” In our tv/family room, I took Mr. P.’s bachelor wrap around couch and broke it into a love seat and two slipper chairs, leaving the corner piece in the basement overflow. It’s a very light ivory on ivory pattern, and although I loved the fabric and lines, I didn’t love the sectional. I now love the sectional in sections. My trouble is, Mr. P. has his new favorite chair (part of our deal in my makeover for the tv room), but it will make any cottage look like a Hobbit house, it’s so big, so my cottage will need to be open rafters, lol. I do really like that Coral Bay chair, and I think the Jessica would look great with it for similar lines, legs and piping (only I would prefer an even light fabric than shown for the sofa). I like both the Melody sofa and chair looks, but dislike the fact that the cushions appear to be stationary. I love virtual shopping, but furniture is a hard one. Mr. P and I took almost four weeks seriously scouting out chairs when we restyled our tv room.

  17. Rita, you made me laugh with that hobbit comment! I know what you mean, takes me weeks to find the right piece sometimes. Well, with each passing day, I do think about moving. My son and DIL have been encouraging me to move to Ohio where they are and there’s a sweet grandbaby up there I’d love to see more of, too. It’s just hard to move when you have lived in the same house for 23 years. I’m a Georgia girl and love hot weather so I just don’t know about those Ohio winters. Dread the idea of getting the house ready to sale and moving. Need to renovate all my baths first. Ugh. Was thinking if I move, I would love to build that cute cottage. Just think of all the blog posts bathroom renovations and a new house would bring. πŸ™‚ Havertys does have some beautiful pieces…really love the sofas!

  18. You had me at Jessica sofa!

  19. bobbi duncan says

    Oh, Susan, I just had to chuckle thinking about you already decorating your future house–not laughing at YOU, but at myself because I do that all the time. Problem is, the house I’m in right now needs so much decorating still, so I don’t know why I’m always thinking of how I’d decorate a future one. There are so many styles of furniture I love, which makes it hard for me–makes me wish I had tons of money just so I could pull together some of the great rooms I see in magazines, whenever the change-out decorating addict in me surfaces. I think I’ll always love Traditional styles though, like your family room, which is so beautiful. I love all the different lamps you incorporated into the room, and I have the same color fabrics in a couple of our rooms as well. Love the paneling–had the same one when I lived in Marietta, as did a couple of friends of mine. It was a real upgrade when I lived there in the early ’90’s, and gave the homes that cozy “library” feeling, where you just wanted to curl up and read by a roaring fire. I’m quite certain that if you get your cottage home, you will have no trouble turning it into another showplace. Ohio has some lovely villages and tons of antique shops throughout the entire state. I lived in Chagrin Falls and Columbiana years ago and loved week-end antiquing excursions while there. I do have to say it was very cold there–much colder than where I now live in southeastern PA. The first snowfalls came in October–way too soon for me, but it did look like a winter-wonderland with that much snow.

    • LOL Bobbi, it’s all done in my head! I can even see the built in bookshelves on either side of the fireplace in the living room. πŸ™‚ That is great to know about all the antiquing in that area. You scared me though saying it was colder than southeastern PA. Yikes! Guess I’d be spending A LOT of time indoors! I don’t like cold one bit. Bobbi, I so agree…paneled rooms are just built for cozy fires and good books! Love that imagery!

  20. Hi Susan, Like the Veranda sofa best. Good, classic lines and very comfy looking. I think I pinned that little yellow cottage a couple of years ago as my retirement dream place. So cute. Didn’t realize at the time that it was a child’s playhouse. Lol!

    • Well, we could build it big size, couldn’t we? πŸ™‚ I would make a few changes, namely adding a fireplace and increasing the length of the windows on front…adding another one here and there. Oh, and a big screened porch on the back. πŸ™‚ But it is perfect isn’t it? Some builder needs to start building this cute thing in real life, they would definitely sell!

  21. I think so too. It’s quaint and charming and not cookie cutter. I’d buy one.

  22. Oh the yellow chair is soooo me. I have never gone along with trends but because of that I have always had a difficult time finding the upholstered pieces I like/love. I too have ALWAYS wanted just a little frame cottage to live in. Old hardwood floors and glass front kitchen cabinet doors and of course an old gas range. It sounds like such a simple request but those kind of house once so popular are few and far between or in a neighborhood no one would want to live in anymore. I have never liked brick homes and my last two have been just that. I would love to just paint the brick to make it more cottagey, with panel windows and white shutters. Guess I can dream cant I?

  23. Elaine in Laguna says

    I live in a tract house that over 28 years I’ve given a cottage makeover in shabby chic style. The biggest interior change was installing a planked ceiling in the living room and having it painted in a light wash. So I love this post! I really like the cottage you selected and all the furniture – especially the Melody chair. I hope you don’t mind this suggestion – could you possibly rent out your home and rent in Ohio as a test run? If not, the cottage you selected is so cute and would make enjoyable reading if you build your own!

  24. Susan, since you are dreaming of another house, thought you might want to check out the $19 M Beverly Hills house I saw at Yahoo. It has ads in it, but being so computer smart you might know how to remove those if you ever choose to post any part of it. Here it is–dream on!–19-million-beverly-hills-mansion—i-used-all-of-what-europe-has-to-offer-183106468.html

  25. I really like the Melody sofa and chair! Recently I was playing around with furniture place in my odd shaped (and very small) living room, dining area. A friend was helping via text. I was wondering aloud about all new furniture when she asked how long I’d owned the couch and love seat. I think she was shocked when I said, “Since 1989”!! They are high quality so look almost brand new but are very dated now. I am thinking of keeping the love seat, however, and buying 3 or four comfy chairs. I am keeping my blue and white color scheme with some fresh new color accents. Fun subject, Susan – thanks!

  26. bobbi duncan says

    Hi, again. I didn’t mean to worry you about Ohio being cold. Everything is relevant; my idea of too cold may not be someone else’s, and different parts of any state can have very different amounts of snowfall as well. Being in the lake- effect snow belt, the town of Chardon, OH.(very near to where I lived in Chagrin Falls) averages 108 inches per year–felt like it just snowed continually from Oct. to mid-April, and because there was such accumulation with each one, I felt cabin-bound most of the time. It’s also very rare to see the sun come out during the winter, and no visible stars at night. We couldn’t handle that, and that’s what prompted our move to Atlanta. A funny story about the lack of winter sunshine: shortly after our move to OH., I was coming out of a shop, when before me were probably 50 people who had all left their shopping to come outside, all of them standing in the parking lot, all of them looking up at the sky. When I asked a woman what everyone was staring at, she laughingly said I must not be from the area or I’d know that to see a sunset over the winter might be a one time great event. That immediately scared me as I love sunshine and sunsets–we only lived there for 8 months. LOL. As your son is familiar with their part of OH., he’d have first-hand knowledge of local weather patterns, and if you’re still uncertain about a permanent move, Elaine’s idea of renting may just be the ticket. I know how you feel about wanting to live close to your son and Grandchild (I feel the same, but Michael is happy with his bosses here and it’s too hard starting over at our age). But, if you can do it, that may just out way the cold weather.

  27. SharonFromMichigan says

    After my divorce, I moved into a tiny 700 sq ft brick home with my son. It was so tiny that I treated it like a cottage. Even the landscaper I hired put in this wonderful winding tumbled brick walkway to the front door and then did a cottage garden along both sides of the walkway and in front of the house. It took me 10 years to get the inside of the house and the backyard to where I liked it. My bedroom was totally soft shabby chic-ish with an antique chippy iron bed in white. All the linens were soft grays and soft blues with hints of pink. Then I got married again and had to sell my little house. We’ve been in our current house for 5 years and I still haven’t made it to redecorating our bedroom! I’m leaning toward country/primitive/cozy like the rest of my house. I think decorating a home is a continual evolution of our tastes. I do always seem to lean towards the country/primitive and cottage designs.

  28. Hey, Susan! My-oh-my, you’re an excellent decorator! Maybe I should take some tips from you? I’ve been looking for some new custom furniture for my newly remodeled living room, but it’s been very difficult to find the colors I like. I’ve looked through some of the sofas you’ve listed, and I think I’ve found one that would match my room well: the Seascape Sofa. Do you know where I can find something like this? Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks, Lily! The Seascape Sofa was available at Haverty’s last summer when I wrote this post so it may still be available. Probably the easiest thing would be to just call them and have them check to see if it is still being made. Hope you can find it!

  29. They’re similar, but I lean toward the Melody sofa, partly because it looks deep enough to double for sleeping for a grandchild. Bulky furniture like this can be a problem for cottage sized rooms and full sized sofas are really a bugger for many rooms. SOmetimes ya’ have to opt’ for love seats. πŸ™‚

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