Beyond the Living Room with Couches and Comfy Chairs

When it comes to comfort, few things can beat a cushy couch or an overstuffed chair. The desire for comfy furniture has long made these two items staples in living room decor, whether you’re big on entertaining guests or prefer your own cozy spot where you can relax and watch your favorite TV shows.

The living room of a home should feel inviting to guests as a place to gather and unwind. While comfy living room furniture is nothing new, that comfort has become so ubiquitous that chairs and couches are making their way to other parts of the house as well — even to unexpected places like the kitchen.

Diana Hathaway, interior designer and blogger at Gorgeous Color, says the migration of furniture into the kitchen or dining room isn’t that unexpected. “We’ve all joked that every party in the home ends up in the kitchen,” she says. “With the ongoing trend of open kitchens and dining spaces, that has become the undisputed center of our homes. Why not make it more livable? Comfy chairs are the perfect addition to our favorite space in the home.”

Making It Fit

Placing a couch or chair in the kitchen isn’t necessarily the same as making sure it fits the look. Hathaway says that some styles certainly work better than others, so put some thought into what pieces work best for your space.

“The best way to tie in a couch or oversized chair is through color,” she says, adding that this new piece should work with the color scheme of the room. “The great news is that when you use color as your guide, you can choose a floral, stripe, or texture — as long as it works with your color palette.”

With this style philosophy, the design possibilities are plentiful, even making way for you to bring in a quirky or unique chair you’ve been eyeing that simply doesn’t fit anywhere else in the house. The more important consideration is how much space you have to work with as you bring aspects from your comfy living room into other parts of your home.

“The trend is new enough that there aren’t specific rules for adding a couch or chair to a space like a kitchen, closet, or dining area,” she says. “Use the basic rules for any space by anticipating the size and scale of each piece.”

You want to leave at least 18 inches of clearance between the front of a sofa and any other objects and at least 36 inches from the back of your kitchen table or dining room chairs to an accent chair, bench, or sofa. It’s also important to make sure your furniture isn’t out of scale for the space, Hathaway says, emphasizing that scale is about more than size; it’s about how the piece looks in the room and how it affects the overall flow. Does it look like a welcoming addition, or does it stick out like a sore thumb?

“You want people to see your beautiful kitchen, not be disgraced by the giant sofa in the corner,” she says.

Living room with visible dining room, featuring a blue couch, green carpet, wooden coffee table

Finding What Works

As with any other room in the house, certain pieces and styles are going to work better than others. Making sure your new comfy chairs or sofa works with the design lines of the room is essential, so Hathaway recommends keeping it simple.

“It’s tempting to add the most overstuffed and plush pieces to maximize comfort, but the kitchen and dining rooms are, first and foremost, for cooking and eating.”

Because of that, she advises staying away from fabrics that are light-colored or hard to clean. If you’re not sure how well the material can weather the daily use of a kitchen or dining area, opt for washable slipcovers.

The only limitation to trying out this growing trend is the available space in your dining room or kitchen, but with a little imagination, you can work around that. For example, replacing two dining chairs with an upholstered bench can create a sense of relaxed comfort without the loss of any seating or space.

Comfortable grey couch in a clean living room with wooden coffee and side tables

Take It Outside

If you’re ready to try out comfy furniture in a new space but simply can’t find a way to make it work in your home, it might be time to look outside. Kay Cementina, a California-based staging and design expert, says that in addition to moving into kitchens and dining rooms, couches and chairs are also moving outdoors.

“Particularly in areas where you have mild weather year-round, you can use the outdoors as another room,” she says. “There are a lot of ways you can use furniture groupings now that go beyond the living room.”

A comfy brown couch is positioned on a sunny outdoor patio

Whether you’re looking for comfy chairs for a living room or comfy furniture for other rooms in your house, CORT Clearance Furniture has a wide selection of couches and chairs that can fit the style you need at discounted prices.