What makes a living room a place where you want to lounge and entertain? I always thought that the secret to the perfect living room is a comfy, sinkable, statement-making couch. After all, your living room should be comfortable but presentable, since it’s one of the first places you walk into when you get home.
Once you have the perfect sectional, you can build the rest of the living room around it. End tables, rugs, curtains, and plants all bring your living room together into the perfect haven from the outside world.
Putting together my dream living room started on the BenchMade Modern website.
Buying a couch from BenchMade Modern is an experience designed to give you complete control over your furniture purchase. All the furniture is made custom in the United States, and the frame comes with a lifetime warranty. BenchMade Modern allows you to customize the material, color, length, orientation, and the whole thing gets handcrafted in just six weeks.
Start by choosing the style of couch or section that you’d like to buy from the over 14 collections available. Next, “a life-sized printout of your design [is] delivered straight to your door so you can be sure the size and orientation fit seamlessly into your life, not just on the delivery truck,” Brooke of BenchMade Modern tells me.
Once you’ve decided on a style, it’s time to choose the fabric and the color, from 98 colors and 16 fabric and leather options. BenchMade Modern will send you swatches, so making a choice is just a little bit easier.
If you have kids or pets, you’ll want the company’s performance fabric. “Unlike, say, the fabric of your jeans that suck a stain in, a performance fabric will keep a stain on its surface, beading it up so you can easily blot it up, says Edgar Blazona, the founder of BenchMade Modern. “It’s an incredibly durable fabric from a wear-and-tear standpoint, and the days of super scratchy polyester blends are gone. Performance fabrics now come in all colors with an extremely soft and comfortable feel.”
I’ve been testing my pink velvet sectional for almost two months, and I can confidently report back that it’s the most luxurious, comfortable sofa I’ve ever sat on. It’s a gorgeous centerpiece for my home, one I’m excited to show off at dinner parties in the (hopefully!) near future.
Shopping for a sofa online can feel a bit more complicated than just going into a furniture store, but BenchMade Modern makes the process seamless. Blazona tells me, “Look at the “three F’s” when researching the quality of a sofa.” Quality of fabric, the density of the foam, and quality of the wood of the frame. Blazona says that a BenchMade Modern sofa is intended to taste 10 years or more, no the average 3 - 5 years of a regular sofa. They are so confident in their product’s quality, and the company offers free shipping and a 100-day trial.
Once you’ve found your perfect couch, it’s time to get all the other pieces of the puzzle. You, of course, will use some of the furniture you already own, but you might want to find the furniture that fits the unique centerpiece you’ve purchased.
Let’s talk end tables.
I wanted a contrasting look with the plush couch, so I choose these metal gray end tables from Raymour and Flanigan. It adds a contemporary edge with the round design and geometric details. The end tables arrived fully assembled and fit my living room perfectly. I prefer to avoid clutter, so I didn’t get a coffee table, but this set has a matching one if that’s your cut of tea.
Since I started with nothing, I also got a compact gray push back recliner from Raymour and Flanigan. It’s the perfect muted fit with the brightly colored sectional and keeps the focus where it should be but provides additional seating when needed.
Once you have your furniture selected and ordered, it’s time to add those touches that make a house feel like home. This starts with family photos. My family is made up of myself, my wife, our cat Stripes, and tortoise Polkadot. I used Printique, a Brooklyn-based photo printing company, to print photos on canvas of our weddings and, of course, of our pets!
I have to admit that my expectations weren’t super high, but Printique blew me away with the photos’ quality. The color saturation, quality of the canvas, and simplicity of the website were top notch. I couldn’t hang them on my wall fast enough! If you haven’t printed family photos, Printique has many different options besides canvas, so definitely check them out and don’t put it off.
A house is not a home without plants. Start small with the fabulous mini succulents from Costa Farms and then upgrade to bigger plants. They come in glorious pots and are extremely well packaged, so you don’t have to worry about them breaking on their way to you.
Of course, you need a beautiful book that deserves to be shown off. The Man Behind The Maps features maps of over 200 ski resort trails that are hand-painted by James Niehues. The book is a glorious 292-page hardcover coffee table book that is 11.5 inches tall and truly is a show stopper.
It’s amazing how curtains bring a room together. On the advice of Hannah Fofana from Spruced Milwaukee, I got dark gray curtains from The Company Store. “These dark light-filtering curtains will be a bold contrast to the bright couch and white walls,” she told me. “Sometimes, negative space is just as powerful.”
Depending on the lighting in your space, you might need to invest in a lamp (or two). The Jonathan Y lamp collection at Target features a wide array of unique lamps that will complement any space. A floor-length LED lamp is perfect for those who want to add a little romance with a dimmable light or a simple gray lamp for those that want a functioning reading light.
I live in Wisconsin, so getting a throw blanket for the couch is a no brainer. This bamboo one from Simply Organic Bamboo is wicked soft and the perfect wintertime (or anytime!) cozy throw. The bamboo fabric makes it super lightweight, so I don’t have to switch out the throws at the end of the winter, and is naturally antibacterial and hypoallergenic.
Finally, choose a rug that ties all of your colors together. Raymour and Flanigan are again my go-to, with a gray and teal rug that allowed my sectional to shine and gives my living room that cozy yet elegant vibe I craved.