It’s no secret that dark colours are quickly becoming the new neutral, and this may be tempting you to buy a black sofa. But, here are a few decorating tips you should consider before you introduce the darkest colour in the largest piece of furniture in your room.
If black is the new “it” neutral, should I buy a black sofa?
Since black is the new trendy neutral that’s quickly replacing grey, I thought it was time to talk about black sofas.
During the tuscan trend, brown was the most common sofa colour.
During the grey trend, charcoal was the IT sofa.
Now, it’s back to the 80s with forest green and black sofas.
Now that Tuscan brown (including gold beige) and grey sofas are looking dated. And white sofas are not practical for many of us, even though I know some of you have considered it. So, I thought it was time for me to share my thoughts on the black sofa.
Scrolling Pinterest for images and inspiration for this post, I found some elegant looks like the channeled velvet sofa above. But overwhelmingly, most felt stark and minimal. And I really think the trends are moving towards softer, more layered looks.
So, as you know, it is my mission in life to help you live with more colour.
As I’ve said many times before:
Colour is way more timeless than the current, trendy neutral.
A black sofa is a contrast problem
I think the challenge with the black sofa is that it makes it even harder to introduce softness and especially colour into your room.
Black is by definition high contrast and graphic. Black is also the absence of all colour. And sofas are LARGE – this is a very HEAVY place to introduce black. That’s why black sofas are riskier than grey or even brown ones. They are a big commitment to the heaviest colour on earth, smack dab in the center of your room.
Lots of white, including white walls, are being used to balance a black sofa in the images I’m seeing. Opposites balance and attract right?
Well yes, but black and white are EXTREME opposites. And the distance between them is so vast that the look is cold and stark most of the time.
Contrast is one of the most important and challenging aspects of design, and the return of the black sofa brings the issue to a head.
What is the best colour for a sofa?
I’ve always said that buying a sofa in your favourite colour is the most timeless choice.
It’s trendy neutrals that date the fastest. Especially dark neutrals.
But buying a large item, like a sofa, is where people typically get really conservative about colour.
And that’s too bad. Because when you’re putting together a room, you only have so many places to make a well-proportioned injection of colour. The sofa, the area rug, accent chairs, the walls, and large scale art. That’s pretty much it. You’ll notice that none of these are really small and easy purchases. And that’s why so many people end up with rooms all in the “safe” trendy neutral of the moment.
Yikes! The safe-neutral-everything design rut was bad with brown, drab with grey, and it’s sure to be a disaster with black! Just like it was in the 80s.
I’m just saying that a large black sofa is an especially challenging design element to work with. I’m willing to bet you will be much happier to curl up on a sofa in your favourite coral, green or blue in the long run, rather than black.
With your largest piece of upholstery in black, you will feel compelled to create a room that looks like a desaturated photograph.
A black sofa is bossy
Black enjoys its own colourless company. You’ll have to work harder to introduce colour into your palette.
There are, of course, rooms that look good with black sofas. But they are so specific and far from simple to pull off. Some of the best ones I found had dark walls that made the black sofa recede into the whole.
If you are creating a glam room, like this black, white and brass room above, this is where a black sofa in a sleek shape works best. But if you prefer a casual, cozy look for day to day living, a black sofa is going to work against you.
How to decorate with a black sofa
Help Maria, I just bought a black sofa!
So, you already have a black sofa and you want to introduce some colour? You’ll need lots of white, plus you can use warm cognac browns, deep and leafy greens, as well as gold to balance it.
Pink is a great colour for warming up a black and white palette too.
With a black sofa, it’s a good idea to use a light rug. A dark rug will make the room look bottom heavy.
Leopard print is a great way to repeat black and layer in some warm gold and cognac tones.
Is the black sofa trend here to stay?
If you would like to indulge in the black and white trend, I recommend that you introduce black in smaller doses rather than a full sofa.
Because here’s my prediction: you are going to be just as desperate to get rid of your black sofa in ten years as you were to ditch your espresso brown one. . .not that long ago.
Over to you my lovelies! What do you think of this new black world? Black exteriors and interiors, what are you thinking of painting or buying in black next?
PS. Here are my Boston True Colour Experts from last weeks workshop! I have one more day here with my Orlando group! My Spring dates will be announced shortly!