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6 Design Tips for Creating an Instaworthy Living Room

“I just want my house to look like grownups live here,” a client recently told us. We totally get it. Life happens on a couch. That’s why we are so dedicated to helping people create furniture that is designed just for them. Perch specializes in custom upholstered furniture—clients get to choose the exact size of their couch (to the inch!), the firmness of the cushions, the fabric or leather, and all the little details like buttons and leg style. In our nearly nine years of business, we've designed couches for thousands of living rooms, man caves, guest nooks and dens--and gathered a few key tips along the way.

Be Honest With Yourself

Start by thinking about how you want to use your couch—and who will sit on it. Do you like to eat on the couch? Does your sofa double as a playroom? Do you have a cat that likes to scratch? Making a smart fabric or leather decision now has a big impact on how your couch will look in five years. Designer Kristen Siefkin of Interior Design Alchemy transformed a corner of this SW Portland living room into a comfy nook by placing a custom teal velvet Charlie sectional in the space. The bright, playful fabric also happens to be extremely durable and easy-to-clean—important characteristics for a couch that plays host to the family’s two girls and a pair of adorable dogs.

A modern Verona sofa from Perch Furniture pairs well with a vintage midcentury arm chair.

Lift Off (the Ground)

Furniture that sits up off the ground on legs takes up less visual space than furniture with short block or bun-style legs. In this mid-century living room, designer Annie Wise created a cozy sitting area by pairing a neutral Verona sectional from Perch with a colorful, flat weave rug. The sectional provides plenty of space for seating and the style’s low profile helps enclose the space without dominating it.

Perch Furniture helped a client fit a big sectional into a tricky basement space by breaking it up into many modular pieces.
Divide and Conquer

This cozy media room is located at the bottom of a narrow, steep staircase. How do you make an expansive couch for a room with a tight space restrictions? Break into pieces! Perch created a modular Hoyt sectional that is big enough for movie nights, but small enough to fit down the stairs.

Dark colors can make a small space seem cozy, not closed in.
Go Dark 
It may seem counter intuitive, but painting a small room a dark color creates intimacy and an opportunity to lighten things up with accents. In this long, narrow Alameda Ridge living room, Perch Furniture’s resident color expert, designer Trish Grantham, chose a deep blue for the walls and the fabric on the Hoyt sofa. The monochrome palette allows the family’s heirloom rug and accessories to shine.

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