5 Ways to Decorate a Living Room with a Dark Brown Sofa - post image background.

5 Ways to Decorate a Living Room with a Dark Brown Sofa

The popular and timeless dark brown sofa style blends well with many colour palettes and design techniques. Yet it’s important to consider these aspects when decorating a living room, as dark brown sofas are likely to have an impact on the atmosphere and energy of the room. 

In this design guide, discover five of the key techniques employed by interior designers when decorating and planning a colour scheme for a living room with a dark brown sofa.

Understanding Colour Schemes for Living Rooms With Dark Brown Sofas

Whether the upholstery is leather or fabric, dark brown sofas often bring earthy tones of chocolate and coffee to a space, which pair well with a wide array of other colour combinations. Understanding such combinations is the key to designing a living room that feels warm and welcoming. 

While wondering what colours go with a brown sofa, one might consider embracing its earthy tones by bringing natural colours of olive green, bronze and red into the mix. Earthy wall colours and neutral throws will also add to the serenity of the space.

Whether opting for earthy accent hues or large statement accessories, considering the overall colour scheme of a living room will help create balance and harmony within the space. 

5 Ways to Style a Living Room with a Dark Brown Sofa

Dark brown sofas, while stunning, need careful consideration to ensure that they work to complement the interior. This is good however as it means there are plenty of opportunities to personalise the space and the sofa itself.  

Regardless of the pattern and shade of the brown sofa, there are colours and accessories that can create light and space to brighten a living room and bring focus to a brown sofa centrepiece. 

Such accessories may include delicate curtain materials, mirrors and indoor plants. There is, however, much more to styling a room than simply accessorising. In this section, discover some of the most popular design techniques and colours that go with a brown sofa. 

1. Create Contrast 

minotti pollock sofaThis Pollock Sofa sits on a rug of contrasting and neutral colours to create balance and harmony in the room | Designed by Rodolfo Dordoni for © Minotti London

Creating contrast in a living room with a dark brown sofa can bring out the best in the furniture. To achieve this, consider placing fresh and calm shades throughout the room, which will become the perfect backdrop for dark staple pieces.

Some of the best colours that complement dark brown sofas include cool tones of blue and green. Such a pairing can bring a balance of warm and cool accents that work to make a room feel complete.

There’s no need to worry about blue overwhelming the brown as blue curtains, walls and throws will actually emphasise the lush richness of brown materials. Furthermore, the room’s overall ambience can be considerably enhanced by strategically layering colours.

2. Introduce Brown Tones

minotti virginia indoor sofaThis Virginia Indoor Sofa has been placed in a room boasting many brown tones, such as those seen on the walls, the floor and the matching brown armchairs | Designed by Rodolfo Dordoni for © Minotti London

While creating contrast in a living room with a brown sofa may suit some, complementing a brown sofa with other brown hues can work wonders and because it’s such a versatile colour, there’s little risk of clashing. 

Through the use of wooden floorboards and wall panels or even other brown pieces of furniture, a variety of brown tones can be used to create a space that feels warm and united. 

Repeating the brown tones and materials also helps to ensure that the brown sofa doesn’t seem out of place and helps it sit naturally in the space.

3. Opt For Bold Colours

Bringing vibrant colours, such as oranges and yellows, into the living room can bring out the best in a dark brown sofa. The soft caramel tones of dark brown sofas are particularly highlighted with such bold colours.

Some ways in which to incorporate bold colours into a room might include placing brightly coloured throws, cushions and framed prints around the room. A selection of luscious yet simple green plants can also work to accentuate the richness and depth of a brown sofa.

Dark brown sofas typically work well with peacock blue, red brick and sunny yellow, but one shouldn’t be dissuaded from exploring different colour combinations or even introducing multicoloured elements into the room. 

The use of bold colours can also bring light and energy to a space that might otherwise be overwhelmed by the darkness of the sofa.

4. Combine Patterns

Brown sofas are primed for mixing and matching decorating styles and thanks to their neutrality, they can be paired with various shapes and patterns. 

Showstopping fabrics make for spectacular focal points and can bring character to a space, but it’s important to distribute them well. If the patterns aren’t spread out, the room will seem unbalanced. 

To combine patterns in the best way, consider bringing different textures and materials into the living room. Patterned rugs, geometric coffee tables and wallpapers are all effective ways of layering patterns. 

5. Lighten & Brighten the Living Room

minotti white saddle sofaThe lush green of the plants outside and the bright blue armchair, as well as the cream tabletop perfectly off-set the dark brown of this White Saddle-Hide Sofa to create a space that feels bright and airy | Designed by Rodolfo Dordoni for © Minotti London

Despite their virtues, dark brown sofas do have the potential to overly-dominate a space, particularly in living rooms with lighter features. To strike a balance that allows the plush sophistication of the sofa to shine, light must be considered. 

With this in mind, wall colours will benefit from pale tones, as will accent furniture and artwork – though colourful hues will bring life to the room as well. One might consider grey, cream and white-coloured accents to deflect the natural heaviness of a brown sofa. 

With careful consideration, these paler shades will be anchored by a dark brown sofa, rather than overwhelmed.

How to Decorate a Living Room with a Brown Sofa

There are plenty of ways in which to decorate a living room featuring a dark brown sofa.  As discussed in this guide, some of the design techniques one might consider using include: 

  • Creating Contrast: To emphasise the richness of the brown material
  • Introducing Brown Tones: To tie the room together 
  • Opting for Bold Colours: To make the sofa pop
  • Combining Patterns: To bring character and texture to the room
  • Brightening the Living Room: To bring balance to the room

With many of the tips discussed in this guide, there is always room to take a few risks. By experimenting with different styles, one might be surprised at just how well a room comes together through the use of their own instinct and ingenuity. 

Once the colour scheme is set, there’s no limit to how a living room can thrive in harmony with a brown sofa.

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