12 Ideas for Decorating with a Colorful Sofa

I recently purchased a teal sofa (after waffling between teal and pink for a bit) and many readers commented that it was too bright, too tricky to decorate around. Color on such a big piece doesn’t have to be overwhelming though! It all depends on what else you put with it. I’ve gathered some inspiration for decorating with colorful furnishings — you know, so we can discuss.

  • Decorating with a Colorful Sofa 1 of 13

    A colorful sofa doesn't have to rule your living room. Here are 12 great ways to show it who's boss.

  • White it Out 2 of 13

    Here, this trick repeats throughout in several ways. The blue is repeated in the large scale art work, but the white walls and light carpet stop a small space from feeling too dark. 

    From West Elm

  • Dark Walls, Bright Furnishings 3 of 13

    With the cheery rug and bright furnishings here, the colors work together so that the sofa doesn't scream "Hey, I'm teal!" Um, because the chair is too busy shouting "Hey, I'm orange!" The colorful mix works because of the charcoal walls and curtains, ensuring that you won't need your sunglasses indoors. 

    From CB2

  • Layers 4 of 13

    Emily Henderson is a master of colorful layers, and here she uses them to perfection. That bright blue sofa is the perfect foil for eclectic art and patterned pillows, while the white walls keep things contained.

    From Style by Emily Henderson. 

  • Sleek and Tailored 5 of 13

    In this transitional space, the navy sofa almost reads as gray. The brighter rug and gray curtains make the furnishings seem less colorful than they would appear in a different space. 

    From Room and Board

  • Pumped up Victorian 6 of 13

    Ok, I don't know that this is a Victorian, but let's say it is. There's something about the combination of bright and modern in a traditional home that just works. 

    From CB2

  • Teal Chesterfield, Look One 7 of 13

    This West Elm Chesterfield looks amazing with tonal walls and white trim. The artwork picks up the blue again, as does the rug. But that's not the only way to style it. Check out the same sofa in the next slide…

    From West Elm.

  • Teal Chesterfield, Look Two 8 of 13

    Here it is again, this time against a bright and neutral backdrop, with white walls and a beige rug and throw toning down the color. This one is like that great dress that goes from day to evening. Here we see the "work" look. 

    From West Elm

  • The Green Couch Stands Alone 9 of 13

    In this space everything is kept neutral to allow the emerald green to pop. The wood and metal keep the rather feminine lines of the sofa from taking over, while the touches of pink in the accessories create the perfect foil. Man, I love that little sofa.

    From Room and Board. 

  • Light it up with Pink 10 of 13

    This sofa makes no apologies. It is Pink with a capital P and it definitely makes the space. Again, liberal use of white keeps everything together. The boldly patterned, large pillows are perfect. Something smaller would just get lost. 

    From Design Sponge

  • Blending In 11 of 13

    Here's another way to make sure your sofa doesn't stand out - lacquer the walls in the same color. The bank of windows and lighter floors, as well as the sheen of the walls, keep the space dramatic without being overwhelming. 

    From Architectural Digest.  Photo by Thomas Loof.

  • Eclectic Color 12 of 13

    One way to make your turquoise sofa work is to surround it by light and color - pink chair, large plant, yellow accessories. Layering, (again, by Emily Henderson) within a color pallette makes it all work together. White walls and the white rug provide a place to rest your eyes. 

    From Style by Emily Henderson

  • Bright yet Neutral 13 of 13

    This sofa is yellow. Bright, sunny yellow in fact. Yet because of the dark bookcases and traditional rug, it appears almost neutral. Even the orange pillows seem muted. Lesson: Use dark furnishings and light to control how you want your other pieces to appear. 

    From House and Home, May 2009 issue. Photographer: Barbel Meibach. Designer: Tracey Garret Design

• Nicole Balch writes daily about living a stylish life and transforming the so-so on her blog, Making it Lovely. Catch up with all of Nicole’s other Family Style posts right here on Babble.

Article Posted 5 years Ago

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