Google+ House Revivals: 17 Pretty Ways to Decorate With a Brown Sofa

Friday, January 24, 2014

17 Pretty Ways to Decorate With a Brown Sofa

Now don't gasp when I say this, because I know brown sofas are so five years ago, but I have a brown sofa and I love it!  Mine is actually a giant sectional out at our beach house, and I never worry about it looking dirty. In the Pacific Northwest, our sand is kind of grayish brown.  Also, dirt is brown.... and so is chocolate...  and those are the three things most likely to get on my upholstery.


Another reason I bought a brown sofa? I knew it would be easy to convince my husband to buy that color, and I wanted a new sofa. Plus, it's super neutral, so I have lots of options for the rest of the space, and I can change up the look of the room with a thirty dollar can of paint and a couple of throw pillows!

I know white sofas are all the rage right now, and too many dark surfaces in a room can feel a little dreary, but don't despair if your sofa is dark! There are so many things you can do when decorating around the color brown. If you are feeling stuck, and not sure what direction to go with your brown sofa (maybe yours is leather?), here are seventeen ideas sure to inspire!


Tuck a blanket over the back, to break up the expanse of brown. In this case, a coral color is the perfect accent to the brown sofa.  Keep the walls light, and have fun with the trim work!


Hang pretty curtains that include the brown of your sofa -- then use the print as a jumping off point for choosing other colors, art, and textiles in the space.


The pink and orange end of the spectrum looks phenomenal with brown.  Just saying....

domino magazine

Use your brown sofa to anchor an assortment of pretty colors... and yes, you can pair black with brown -- beautifully!  Add accessories in white to balance everything out.

House  Beautiful

Embrace your brown sofa, and build the room around it, choosing a variety of prints in the same color. Add some punch with accessories.

Blues and browns get along beautifully. Enough said.


Choose a beautiful rug that includes brown. Pull your accessory colors from the rug colors. As you can see here, a rug that goes with your brown sofa does not have to be brown.


Lighten things up and add whimsy by adding a handcrafted garland to the space.  Use vintage materials that have patinaed over time, and the undertones will work beautifully with the browns in the space.


By keeping your sofa in the same neutral tones as other large elements, such as this hearth, you can allow the art in a room to shine.  In this case, the sofa takes a supporting role to a Platner table, a Noguchi table, and a Bertolli chair.


Use your rug to tie the room together, without being too matchy-matchy. Keep the walls white, to bounce lots of light around, and accessorize with gold metals. Gold looks amazing with brown. So does red, if you get the undertones right.


Use your sofa as a back drop for your collection of folk art textiles. Build your color scheme around one central textile (which also has a brown similar to your sofa).


Balance the light with the dark.... and throw in some sophisticated, but pretty accent colors.


Keep things from feeling heavy by painting woodwork bright white, and painting the walls a light pastel. Add punch and balance with a large bold piece of art.


Accessorize with vintage wine crates filled with fresh blooms.  The natural wood will tie into your sofa color, and the blooms will add a pop of color!


Build your room around one textile in all neutral tones, for a calm masculine space.


Have fun. Keep your sense of humor. Don't be shy. Surround yourself with what you love, and the room will come together.


Choose a classic print, containing your sofa color, and build your color story from there -- and remember what we said about black and brown working together? Here it is again!

If you love your sofa, and it works for you, and you have built a beautiful space around it, that's good design. And good design is timeless, so it just won't matter that brown sofas "trended" in year "x".  Good design is always current. What are your tips for working with brown sofas?