When you’re decorating a living room, it seems like the smart move is buying a neutral sofa that’ll work with whatever other decor comes and goes in your life. Everything goes with gray, right?
That’s technically true, but if gray just doesn’t get you excited, don’t worry. Your sofa is like a huge sculpture for your living room, and if you want to make it a splashy, colorful sculpture, consider this full permission to go for it. Whether you dig rainbow hued homes or white minimalism, you can make a colorful sofa the star of your space. These seven homes just might convince you to get your ROYGBIV on, sofa style.
Despite what the world has told you, red isn’t the color of stress and anger. If you pick the right shade and surround it with complementary colors, this hue will look great on your living room sofa. Take Sophie Donelson’s Queens living room as proof: The sofa is fire engine red—no doubt about that. But paired with light pastel blue walls, baby blue window frames, and a variety of white and neutral accents, the room as a whole has a pretty calm vibe to it. The carpet’s patches of rust, mixed with natural tans in the lamps and leather accent chair, help neutralize the room and tie it together.
Of all the sofa colors to choose from, orange seems like the riskiest pick. What can you possibly pair with orange without making your living room look like Halloween all year long? Quite a bit, it turns out. This Montreal homeowner let the rust-colored velvet couch steal the show in her bright white living room by pairing it with a shell pink chair, a sculptural table, some greenery, and a few hits of black to add a little edge. Letting the orange be the main event and complementing it with otherwise quiet colors keeps things from feeling too loud or retro—or, should I say, groovy? And you’d never see this room and think Halloween, even though orange, black, and white are the predominant colors in the mix. It’s all about how you balance and accent them.
Hello, sunshine! Yellow is such a great color to use in your living room to add some brightness and warmth, but it doesn’t have to be relegated to small pieces only. This England living room leans into cheery, sunny vibes with twin yellow sofas paired with tons of colorful accents. Hot pink Roman shades hang over the windows, yellow and green cabinets line the walls, and a graphic pink-orange flat weave rug brings it all together. Some of the shades are softer—the sofas in particular, and there’s plenty of neutral “breathing room,” from the exposed neutral carpeting to large wood ceiling beams, and that keeps the overall look grounded.
Don’t let a small space home keep you from having fun with design. The couple living in this Brooklyn apartment didn’t have a lot of room or freedom to add bursts of color to their rental space, so they let the furniture do the talking. The velvet emerald green sofa immediately catches your eye, livening up the clean white room. A watermelon pink armchair completes the tried-and-true pink and green color combo, and the palm print ottoman and accent pillows marry those same colors together while adding even more visual interest to the room.
Blue sofas are a solid decorative move. So many colors pair well with blue that the opportunities are basically limitless. Make a blue couch your one bold design piece or let it be your jumping off point for adding all the color to your living room. The latter is the route these Los Angeles renters took. A blue sofa and ottoman serve as focal points in the room, but there is so much else going on—namely, lots of pink and purple. A huge pink mirror over a pastel lilac sofa, a bold pink, purple, and blue rug, and tons of colorful wall art adorn the space. It’s maximalism at its finest, and it looks great.
Indigo is kind of like blue in its versatility; there’s a lot you can do with it. The owner of this small London flat bought this plush indigo couch from the flat’s previous owners. (She fell in love when she saw it; plus, it saved her money and a difficult trip up a flight of stairs.) She turned it into the anchor piece of her eclectic living room, accenting it with a mix of colors, including plenty of pink and turquoise. Because indigo is a pretty dark hue already, going full throttle with dark accents could overwhelm a space. By leaving the walls white and letting the light hardwood floors shine through, this homeowner kept the atmosphere bright and airy but far from boring.
A pinkish-purple hue, violet might seem a lot like orange—a bit of a dangerous move if you’re not an expert designer. But as this Los Angeles living room proves, violet lends itself to lots of pairings, especially if you choose a subtle shade. This living room features mustard yellows, mint greens, stone blues, and tons of patterns, and none of it looks out of place. It’s all peppered into the white-walled room in little touches, so no color is too abundant, and you don’t feel completely overstimulated.