A Guide to Choosing Furniture Colours - post image background.

A Guide to Choosing Furniture Colours

From neutral and earthy to bold and extravagant, furniture colours play an important role in the interior design of a space. Picking a cohesive colour palette for the furniture is essential to create a sense of style and comfort in a room and finding the right colours can be a key factor in achieving this.

The overall interior design of a room and the size of the space both come into play when making decisions about furniture colours. However, choosing the right furniture colour can be difficult as it’s easy to get caught up in the wide range of options that suit different interior designs.

In this Minotti London design guide, discover how to select the best colours for furniture in any setting.

How to Choose Furniture Colour

Colour can open up a space and add warmth, or close it in and create intimacy. A well-chosen colour scheme for one’s furniture can make the room’s existing components look and feel more unified.

How to choose the right furniture colourThis living room has a varied colour scheme featuring greens, golds, husk browns, grey tones and a standalone off-white sofa, yet everything works to create a cohesive look | Designed by Rodolfo Dordoni for © Minotti London

When choosing the furniture colour for a space, there are several factors one should consider, including:

  • The size and shape of the area
  • The style of the room
  • The atmosphere one wishes to create
  • The amount of natural light
  • Other colours included in the room’s decor

Colour is a powerful tool that can be used to set different moods in any room. As such, a good starting point when choosing furniture colour is to consider the mood and atmosphere one wishes to create.

Deciding on the purpose of the space before committing to a specific furniture colour scheme is essential to creating a cohesive aesthetic and harmonious atmosphere.

Colour Psychology: How Colours Affect Space

The psychology of colours in interior design is important when choosing sofas, armchairs, coffee tables and other furniture, whether that be for a home, hotel or an office.

Here’s how different furniture colours affect the mood of a space:


How to choose the furniture colourA red piece of furniture, whether it be an armchair, ottoman or Freeman Sofa, is a striking addition to a room | Designed by Rodolfo Dordoni for © Minotti London

Red is a powerful colour often associated with passion and intensity. Since ancient civilizations, the colour red has been used in royal palaces, by royalty and nobles around the world. Red can also stimulate conversation in living rooms and other social areas, which is why it’s often a popular choice for sofas and armchairs.


Yellow is a colour that universally symbolises happiness and optimism. It is the colour of the sun, hope and renewal. Yellow can be bright and cheerful or warm and inviting.

Yellow can also help to brighten dark spaces and make them appear more expansive. For example, a yellow sofa can liven up a living room, while yellow armchairs and ottomans add an accent of brightness to an otherwise neutral space.


Blue is a calming colour that helps people to feel comfortable and relaxed. It’s one of the most popular furniture colours in interior design because of its versatility. It is a perfect furniture colour for bedroom furniture and living room sofas as it creates an atmosphere of tranquillity and relaxation.

A popular colour choice for walls, blue is a hue that works well with many different furniture colours. When deciding what furniture colour goes with blue walls, it’s important to consider the undertones in the blue wall colour.

For example, a light grey-blue may have subtle green tones that can be played up by pairing it with teal furniture or make the most of its blue-grey tones by introducing purple-blue accents.


The black sofa for a perfect choice of furniture colourThe black sofa is a decadent and timeless piece that works to complement and elevate the aesthetic of virtually any living room | Designed by Rodolfo Dordoni for © Minotti London

Black represents strength and elegance. This colour complements a sophisticated environment adding an air of elegance to any room. Pairing black furniture with light walls will create a modern and elegant feel.

As a particularly striking yet neutral colour, black is a popular colour for sofas, especially leather ones and can be used to create a variety of styles and atmospheres. Thanks to its versatility, a black sofa can be used both in modern and classic homes and works well in practically any room.


White is often associated with cleanliness but is also connected to feelings of calm and serenity. This makes white ideal for bedroom and living room furniture, such as beds, sofas and bedside tables.

White is a popular colour because it is timeless and allows for many different styles and other colours to work together. White furniture can be dressed up easily with decorative accessories to add vibrant splashes of colour and liven the space.


Grey is a great colour for adding depth to rooms without becoming too overpowering. It can also help neutralise any powerful tones in the room, creating a calming atmosphere that feels harmonious.

Grey furniture, such as grey sofas or armchairs, is most commonly used in contemporary homes and works exceptionally well when paired with white or pastel finishes.

5 Ways to Choose Furniture Colours

The colour of furniture has a significant impact on the atmosphere of a space. While it’s no secret that some colours are warm and inviting, while others are cool and relaxing, there is an art to knowing which colours work well together.

Colour theory is regularly employed in the world of interior design and a thorough understanding of it can go a long way when planning a project.

Consider the Overall Design of the Space

When choosing the furniture colour, it’s important to consider the colour of the walls and floor materials. A general rule is to choose furniture colours that are different from the wall and floor colours in both character and intensity.

For example, light-coloured furniture paired with wooden floors will create a smart and polished space. However, if a room has very light walls, then dark furniture will make it feel dignified and harmonious.

Understand Lighting and Colour

Natural and artificial lighting play an important role in the perception of colour. It is important to understand how lighting affects furniture tones before committing to a specific colour.

For example, warm colours such as reds and yellows will look brighter in natural sunlight than in artificial light. In addition, different types of artificial light can change the way a colour looks: incandescent bulbs tend to make colours warmer, while fluorescent bulbs may make them look cooler or bluer.

Choose an Analogous or Complementary Colour Scheme

An analogous colour palette uses colours in close hues and shades that work well together because they naturally complement one another and is often used to create a warm and inviting atmosphere. Such a scheme can be introduced through the introduction of a red sofa, an orange rug and yellow decorative elements.

On the other hand, a complementary colour scheme tends to be more vibrant than an analogous scheme. Contrasting furniture colours create a dynamic atmosphere in any room. For example, the complementary colour scheme can be implemented by a navy blue sofa decorated with mustard yellow cushions.

Use the 60-30-10 Rule

The 60-30-10 rule states that the main colour should represent 60% of the room’s colour palette, the secondary colour should represent 30% and the accent colour should represent 10%.

When using this rule, the dominant colour is usually found in walls, large furniture and flooring while the secondary colour is used for upholstery and window treatments. The accent colour then is used in accessories such as pillows, artwork, flowers and other décor.

Implement the Rule of Three

​​The rule of three can be used to create beautiful and harmonious colour schemes in a space. It is a simple concept consisting of choosing three colours for the walls and furniture of a room and using them in equal parts.

Furniture colours from the same colour family but in different shades and levels of saturation, such as a navy blue sofa, with aqua blue cushions and sky blue ottoman, work best when implementing this rule.

Conclusion: Tips to Choose Furniture Colour

Furniture colour can be used to introduce an extra touch of joy and warmth to any room while highlighting specific elements and evoking certain feelings and emotions.

As an integral part of interior design, colours affect not just the look and feel of a room but also the mood of its inhabitants, which is why it’s so important to find the right blend of colours for a specific space.

To summarise then, one may consider using the tips covered in this guide when selecting the colour of the furniture in a space:

  • Consider the overall design of the room
  • Understand how lighting affects colour
  • Choose an analogous or complementary colour scheme
  • Use the 60-30-10 rule
  • Implement the rule of three

Minotti London offers a wide range of furniture collections for a variety of interior design styles. Visit Minotti’s showroom or get in touch with our team to discover the entire furniture collection.

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