Nothing beyond towels, dishes, pots and pans, and flatware should be bought as a full set. The plucked-from-the-catalog-look lacks charm. Ideally, you want things to coordinate and complement, but not match. As decorator Phoebe Howard puts it, “You want cousins, not twins.” While it’s smart to invest in a quality sofa and coordinating upholstered chairs, never buy a suite of furniture unless you want to live in a furniture show room. Instead, mix different styles together.
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