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Tricia’s Living Room Refresh & A Sexy Cognac Sofa

By 04/11/2021April 28th, 202147 Comments

Today’s post is a guest post by my Director of eDesign Tricia Firmaniuk! Enjoy!


Hi everyone! Not so long ago I was sharing a living room refresh with a practical, slipcovered sofa so I could avoid stress about the dogginess. Well, that sofa was also a sofa bed, and we needed to shift it downstairs.

SO! I decided to look for a sexier sofa for the living room. That prompted a whole reimagining of the space and an exciting collaboration with Article furniture! 

A leather sofa with dogs? 

I spent way too much time imagining life with a blue, green, claret, or peach sofa. Eventually, I realized I couldn’t decide because 

  1. I’m restless and like to change up my room A LOT, and
  2. I still have dogs

It’s funny how if I was looking at my room objectively as a designer, ie. if it wasn’t mine, I would have immediately recognized that a cognac leather sofa is the answer. But being my own room, I had to consider every single option first.

However, once the idea landed, I got really excited. I decided to hold off a few minutes though and get smart on the real story of paws and claws and leather. I’m sure many of you have opinions and experiences to share on this issue so please share!

I’ll tell you what I learned. If you have paws and claws in your life, and like mine, they tend to regard the sofa as theirs, what you need is aniline-dyed leather.  What this basically means in real life is that scratches and imperfections help develop a beautiful lived-in patina and not merely damage.


A sofa or an art sculpture? Both!

Next up, the shape of the sofa. Lately, I’ve been obsessed with pieces that have a sculptural silhouette.

I fell absolutely in love with the shape of the Texada Sofa by Article. AND it was high-quality leather. This decision was super easy. It was the ONE and I knew it immediately.

Article Texada Sofa in Taos Tan

It also helped knowing that because it’s from Article I could rest assured I was getting an amazing style AND value. Ordering was super easy and my husband and I really appreciated the Contactless Delivery they began offering last year.

Receiving and unboxing this sofa was like Christmas morning. Better, actually 😉 It only needed the legs put on and that was easy. We can tell from the craftsmanship that it’s a beautiful piece that we’ll have for years. 

And here it is in my living room.

Article Texada Sofa in Taos Tan  and Equa Brushed Brass Coffee Table

The cool channeled leather design and substantially rounded arms are balanced by the simple legs and space underneath the modern wood base. Perfection.

Why cognac leather is the perfect trending classic

The colour of this leather is indeed Cognac. And Maria has talked about this popular sofa colour here

For me, it relates perfectly to the warm wood tones in my room so that it remains neutral without being at all drab. Cognac is a warm lively orange-brown that functions almost like a colour despite being basically neutral. 

Wall Colour: Michael’s Moon by C2

The colour palette in the dining room is walnut, cream, green and yellow. I’m slowly working this palette into our vintage 50s kitchen too.

Here’s what makes cognac leather a perfect classic right now: if you already have a lot of grey or black in your room, cognac is the perfect warm counterpoint to enliven the palette. No wonder it’s trending.

A grounded colour palette

Speaking of the colour palette, after a couple years of pinks in this room, a colour pivot was needed.

Since like so many of you, we are living and working at home, spending SO many hours here, we felt it was time to change it up sooner than later. I wanted to try working with the warm wood tones and cognac as a colour, and add in some yellow and green (plants!) to create a more serene and grounded feel. 

Who else is craving new colours now that you’ve stared at your walls for an entire year?!

Article Burrard Chair and Ottoman in Forest Green

This Article Burrard Chair in Forest Green creates the perfect cozy reading nook. We painted the walls a deeper colour than they have ever been. It’s a muted, enveloping sage green, called Micheal’s Moon by C2.

Koepel Brass Table Lamp by Article

We are loving this organic palette.

The room is very calm and nurturing. And it’s fun that with the cognac sofa, you really could create a variety of vibes with a more saturated colour palette, or a deep and dramatic one if you wanted.


Handmade extra large wood Mala Beads by @entouquet

The important question of course is what do the dogs think?

They enthusiastically approve. And the leather is unbothered by them, which is fantastic because they live on it. It’s the snuggle station. Get on the pile 😉

This post is sponsored by Article, all opinions are my own

Love your new, cozy living room Tricia! Which piece is your favourite? Who has jumped onto the cognac sofa trend? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

Related posts:

Is a Cognac Leather Sofa Timeless or Trendy?

Is Cognac Leather Furniture as Neutral as Denim? Yay or Nay?

Three Best Colours for your Leather Sofa

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  • Anne says:

    Beautiful! Thank for sharing!!

    • Love the shape of that sofa. I have a client who has been waiting for over three months for a sofa from West Elm in that color who has dogs that trashed her 20-year-old sofa in the cognac from Macy’s as the guard dogs for the neighborhood. That sofa was supposed to be here already but it’s not yet.

      One suggestion that I would make about the bookcase since I inherited furniture in a similar color from my parents is to put a colored backing to hide the grain of the oak. I know some lady who has these painted boards who might help you pick the colors…. 😉

      • Ellie says:

        But why would you paint over that gorgeous wood grain? It’s beautiful!

      • Renee says:

        That’s a wonderful idea Karine. The grain on the back boards is very pronounced. Tricia, you don’t have to paint the actual back; just paint thin boards to put at the back of each shelf. We have such thin boards at the back of shelves to hide speaker wires and can’t even tell they are added boards.

        I like the sculptural cognac sofa a lot but I really hesitate buying seating online because I’m a real stickler for comfort. Modern seats tend to be too deep for short legs.

  • Bee says:

    Oh, it is so so beautiful!! My only worry isn’t the dogs, it’s the sunlight. I had an aniline dyed sofa about 20 years ago, in a beautiful shade of brown and it faded within a year to almost white on the back, due to the sunlight. Mine was in front of a window like yours, but I had shades on the window, thinking it would help protect the sofa from fading. It didn’t. The company we bought the furniture from actually replaced it, and we replaced the window glass with UV filtering properties. The new leather sofa (also aniline dyed) also faded, a bit slower, but it still faded. So my only advice would be to really keep an eye on the leather. I hope it works out for you because it truly is beautiful.

    • Sandy says:

      I worried about the light too, but for a different reason — the plants! I presume they’re either really-good faux, or moved to their unlit corners for the photo shoot, else not long for this world.

      • kj says:

        Worry not Sandy! I have that same type of plant in my house. It’s a philodendron and they do great in exceptionally low, indirect light. I also have one in a sunny window and it thrives there too. Believe it or not, the original philodendron went with me to college. The ones I have now are from cuttings from that original plant. I’m in my mid 60’s so the plants and I go way back. These are easy to water too. They handle over watering and under watering very well.

        We have an atrium with skylights and a few years ago I also planted a cutting of this plant in the atrium and the leaves are now 6″ across and still getting bigger. The person where I buy my plants said it’s because the roots aren’t bound by the limits of a small pot and that allows the plant to grow much bigger. She also said it’s a great plant for cleaning the air.

        This is probably more info than you care about but the point is the plant will do fine. 😉

      • Renee says:

        Devil’s Ivy is the easiest plant to grow – great for beginners. It doesn’t like direct sunlight. It’s in an ideal spot now.

    • Barbara says:

      Ha, about the plant. My hubby had one in university, it followed us to all our house and has been alive almost 40 years now. And never in bright light.

      Pay for the most UV blocking and expensive window film. You will never regret and the saving on furniture and flooring will make it worth every penny.

  • Janet R says:

    I love that sofa! If it only came in purple I would buy it today. The whole room looks great.

  • Teresa says:

    Lovely — warm, earthy, sexy. Thank you for sharing! Where is that marble-topped, brass-legged entryway table from!?

  • Christine Collins says:

    This is one of the most beautiful and unique rooms I’ve seen lately!! Stunning! Could you please tell us what your wall color is? It’s beautiful!!🤩

    • Liz says:

      She says in the post it is Micheal’s Moon by C2. I think Grey Wisp or Palladian Blue by Benjamin Moore would be similar.

  • Cherrie says:

    I think it’s beautiful. The style is not mine, but I do appreciate all styles and can certainly understand why you love it. And I think all the colors in the room work great together. Enjoy your new sofa!

  • Anneli says:

    The sofa is so nice in that room. And I do understand why you chose leather as a dogowner, did that myself when I had dogs(3). Now I live without them and can chose whatever I want 🙂 even fluffy blankets :D.

  • Min says:

    Sigh, I had a cognac leather sofa. It was ridiculously oversized and I surrendered it to a family member many years ago when our frequent moves made having such a large sofa untenable, but it looks just as good as the day we bought it over 20 years ago, and it’s endured college, pets, cross-country moves, babies, and a billion movie nights. The tag under the cushion had the unpretentious name “LeatherTrend” and the company seems to have gone out of business … otherwise I’d have bought all my furniture from them. The only thing about leather that sucks is how well it absorbs oils, so if you have a high-back leather anything, the spot where the head rests will become a darker shade over time. I like patina but … somehow that one seems less classy than the scratches or even the darkening of the armrests. We have finally settled in our forever home and have a cognac leather midcentury recliner and I keep one of those Pendleton national park wool blankets over the back where the head rests to try to prolong it’s life. When we were buying the recliner, the salesperson mentioned that they were ordering a similar one for a gentleman who was treating himself to a new recliner after beating cancer. His old leather recliner had turned green in the spots where his skin made contact as a result of the chemotherapy.

  • Kia says:

    If orange is a neutral, then i don’t think the “neutral” category excludes any colors. Having lived with my cherry kitchen cabinets, which are the same color, I cannot consider this color a neutral. I just don’t see how this fits in with maria’s classic v bossy general design advice.

  • Ana Maria Suarez says:

    LOVE IT Much more classic. The whole room fells and looks beautiful and classy.

  • Lisa says:

    I love Article! I used to sell fine furniture and looked online for weeks for something quality. Ordered a deep slate blue velvet ottoman there a few months ago. So happy with their quality and customer service.

  • Connie says:

    That sculpture!

  • Ryan says:

    Tricia, it’s a beautiful room! I find it interesting or maybe very appropriate (with how life is now)that a lot of us are leaning towards calming interiors- I guess that steers us towards a more grounded or neutral color palette? I’m still loving the yellows and blues in my home but am finding myself drawn to more toned down versions lately. I am definitely loving that cognac color!

  • S says:

    I love the sofa but please comment on the sculpture.

    • Nicola says:

      It’s by Alberta based artist Violet Owen. You can also see Violet’s figurative piece on the wall behind the chandelier in the dining room.

      Violet’s daughter, Susan Owen Kagan also has work is also featured in the room, the white sculpture on the credenza. Tricia is very lucky to have so many amazing pieces of art in her home.

  • Sandy says:

    The selection and placements of the artwork are fabulous (love the arrangement of stems with orb-like ochre ‘blooms’ that’s positioned in front of the black and ochre painting with Kusama-like dots!) But how do you protect the sculpture and other arrangements from rambunctious dogs?

  • Thanks for the lovely feedback everyone! The black and white clay and papier macher sculpture and the figure on plexiglass are by Violet Owen. And the plaster piece on the credenza is by Susan Owen Kagan. The encaustic dot piece at the front entrance is by Jennifer Berkenbosch 🙂

  • Jill Buckingham says:

    My goodness, my Grandparents had a very similar sofa bought in the Art Deco period, it was the same colour as well. It should last for years and be a classic! lovely room!!

  • Lorri says:

    I have a blackberry-brown leather sofa that’s over 15 years old.

    I’ve moved a lot during that time and it sat in fierce full sun for five years in one house without fading. It has no stains. Other than some small scratch marks on an arm from a cat, it still looks new!

    Leather is complicated. Since it comes in different finishes by different manufacturers, people can have opposite experiences.

  • Nancy says:

    Love, love, love, the three lamps in the bookcase!

  • Debra says:

    Looks great but I would love to know if it’s comfortable? If this is the room you use most of the time comfort is just as important as design IMO.

  • Ann says:

    Can you tell me where you got the rugs? ( I have a similar living room and I can’t find the right rug)

  • Therese says:

    I love the beautiful muted sage green walls! Alas, I looked on website, but cannot find a color called Micheal’s Moon. They do have a color “Blue Moon – C2-764”, but that is really blue color. Could you post the name of beautiful green color used on your walls? Or maybe the color is discontinued?

  • Therese says:

    Update: I just now located the paint color “Micheal’s Moon”. It’s listed under Barry Dixon C2 colors.

  • Nancy says:

    How the beautiful colors are all pulled together is
    truly an art form!

  • Marilyn says:

    Beautiful color of sofa, but the style is not for me. 🙂

  • Jana Mills says:

    Refreshing and interesting! I hated giving away my old leather sofa for a living room refresh. It still smelled lovely, like a new leather purse, after 3 dogs and 15 years.
    Enjoy your new sofa.

  • PursuitofPerfect says:

    Such an inviting room. I agree that cognac is neutral and think it’s because it is reminiscent of wood. Love this transformation! Thanks for sharing.

  • Frieda says:

    So lovely! I have a similar wall colour (BM Grey Mirage) in my living room and was looking for a greige or cream for adjoining rooms. I was toying with BM Pale Oak (too cool?) or Edgecombe Grey. What cream colour are you using?

  • Fran says:


    Greetings from Calgary! I love the shape of that sofa. I’ve been dreaming about a cognac sofa for a couple of years now. It’s always been my favourite leather color. It makes me think of saddles! I like the Reverie from EQ3 and think it will work well in my earthy, mid-century modern “rumpus” room. I don’t have pets or kids and I prefer leather that doesn’t scuff because I can’t handle anything that marks too easily.

  • Amy Bartelt says:

    This is a lovely article, no pun intended. I’m knocking myself out deciding between the Article Sven Charme Tan and the Chocolate. I plan to paint my tiny den (11 x 11.5) in Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal. Room faces East/North East. The room has thick frieze carpet in sort of a butterscotch meets golden retriever color, and sports honey oak trim.
    I agree the bourbon is lovely with gray; but it reminds me of the Naugahyde sofa in my first apartment. The chocolate is well, brown like the brown couch of death.
    I get a sophisticated feeling placing the chocolate leather sample from Article and the paint chip from BM above the carpet, which breaks up the dark. We are of course going for a cozy TV room.
    So what do you think between the 2 neutrals ?

    ps. I’m not afraid of color, but the white cat hair would really bug me on the velvet, and I don’t want gray or anything light.

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