The right living room set will outlast your widescreen by years. More than any other element, furniture defines our living spaces. These larger elements are the parts of a room that contribute most to creating its atmosphere and giving the room life. After all, the furniture is the part of a living area that you actually use, so it’s important it be usable.

When planning out your ideal den, comfort is key. Pairing a living room set with other furnishings can be tricky. However, an easy, simple way to tie a room together is to opt for neutral furnishings and emphasize a single statement piece instead. Another great option is to use accessories or comfort items like throw pillows and blankets or patterned area rugs to unite a space. Unlike some other rooms of the house, however, the den or living area should feel like home to you.

This looks a little different for everyone. For a family with teens, it might mean nothing breakable and a couch easy to push out of the way on game nights. Your space might look quite different. It’s important to remember that your dream space should be built upon more than just images of curated interior designs from professional publications. To feel truly right, your space must feel like your own.

What many people don’t realize is that this comfort often springs from functionality. What we think of as comfort is generally a combination of fit and durability. If your set doesn’t match its use, it will feel out of place rather than feeling comfortable. This isn’t to suggest style doesn’t matter. Most of us still have nightmares about some great-relatives orange shag carpet. However, in the case of furniture, style isn’t worth much without function.

In terms of fit, matching the total size of your living room set to your space is important. A set with too many pieces can make even a large space feel cramped. Fortunately, furniture sets come in all shapes and sizes to match exactly what you need. For small rooms and apartments, sets often make even more sense than bulkier sectionals.

Design Your Dream Living Room

When thinking about your space, keep function in mind. Durable furniture will last years, which often makes investing in a quality set worthwhile. This well-loved furniture quickly develops close associations with family memories, too. Look for materials that match your lifestyle. A family with rambunctious kids and two dogs, for instance, will require heavier, tightly woven fabrics like canvas that will resist wear and staining. Leather is also a great choice, since it’s tough and easy to clean.

Of course, one of the best things you can do to extend the lifespan of your furniture is to maintain it as appropriate, whether this means refinishing or waxing wooden legs or, once enough time passes, even reupholstering. Ideally, a dream den should hold up long enough that your dream evolves, and you can take the time to shift arrangements around or change up your color palette with new accessories. A truly well-chosen set of furniture is adaptable and, more importantly, one you want to adapt to match your evolving style.

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