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What’s Next after the Cognac Sofa?

We are in a phase of transition when it comes to the overarching colour trends right now. Which can make it extra confusing when you need to commit to a big purchase for your home like a sofa.

So, which colour of sofa would I recommend right now? Keep reading to find out.

Colour is back and I’m pretty happy about it!!  | If you have the Killam Colour System large colour neutral samples you might love the COLOURS. Your clients certainly will, get them here!

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Terreeia went to Mexico with her sister-in-law, so my friend Jan came over for a sleepover on Friday night.

During our evening together she mentioned that her nephew was looking for a new sofa and she said, “Now that grey is over, what’s your take on a good sofa colour?” 

Spring at the greenhouse

My friend Jan is so stylish

(by the way if you need a project/manager designer for a reno she’s the one, based out of North Vancouver)

Colour is timeless

Spring is coming, and with it a fresh look at things. So I’m also here to announce that colour is back in a BIG way. I think we are going to see a lot of colourful sofas coming soon, which is perfect, because that’s exactly what looks the best with black and white!

Throughout the major colour trends of the last few decades I have held onto my stance that a sofa in your favourite colour is still the best way to go! Colour is timeless.

It’s the trendy neutral of the moment that looks dated when the new trend comes in!

What’s the best neutral sofa right now?

However, in case neutral is still your jam, let’s start with the less than obvious colour for a sofa since I think we needed 20 years in between the brown trend for it to be cool again but you could choose a chocolate brown sofa.

After all, we are at the start of a new warmer neutrals and brown trend, so a brown sofa in a sleek, current shape will look on trend for at least a decade if you buy it now.

Chocolate brown sofa

Becca Interiors

Hmmm. . . I just noticed there isn’t a single lamp in this room and the overhead lights have been photoshopped out (above).

To be clear, the cognac sofa is still trending and is also a good way to warm up a neutral interior.

How about a green sofa?

Green (below) is always a good colour for a sofa because it’s the colour of nature, works with plants and many other greens. Not to mention it’s fabulous with black and white! Plus it’s an easy, soothing and uplifting choice too!

Green sofa

House Beautiful

A blue sofa is classic

If you love blue, there’s never been a better time to add a blue sofa to your world.

I think we will see rich electric cobalt and ultramarine blues in the coming years instead of more muted navy tones. But there is always some kind of blue trending and if it’s your colour, it will always be a good choice.

Electric blue sofa

Bethany Adams Interiors

LAMP ALERT: By the way, if you have a sofa or a sectional up against a wall, it needs swing arm lamps like this (below). Here’s a post I wrote about them.

Light Blue Sofa

Elle Decor

Softer blues, are always a great choice too. Beautiful with neutrals and brass, soft blues are the perfect way to freshen up pink beige and brown schemes. 

Red sofas are back!

Red is becoming such a huge trend! Likely because people are looking for a warmer feel to their rooms, I’ve helped many clients update their dining rooms by removing burgundy, a color that peaked in the 80s. Perhaps now after all this time it’s ready to be appreciated once more. 

The trending reds are a rich with a touch of earthiness, leaning into burgundy and oxblood. This range of colours are excellent for warming up spaces with plenty of white, grey and black. 

Earthy red sofa

Soho Home

Orange Beige and Cognac Sofas

Good news for anyone working with warm orange red wood floors. Warm orange neutrals are here to stay for a good while. A cognac leather sofa is a good colour to consider if your floors are on the more golden side (less so if they lean into a deeper burgundy red, those need lots of blue!). 

Here’s my best tip for working with orange or red floors:

Embrace them

My sister when shopping with her mother-in-law yesterday, found this chair, which worked well with her orange/terra cotta area rug.

When she sent me this photo to ask if it worked I said the colour was perfect! And look how pretty it is with her Brazilian cherry floors.  

Orange beige chair

Not only is this griege sofa brought to life with the orange cushions (below), they perfectly relate to the orange floors. So embrace the honey and orange tones of your floors and repeat them like a colour in your decor and you’re golden!

Honey gold accent pillows

If you’re decorating or redecorating your living room, the very best tool you can use is a good mood board.

That’s when you can see what’s working together and create a plan that will give you the confidence to make a bolder choice. It’s waaaay better to do this than to walk into the furniture store and order a random sofa in not-so-versatile-neutral.

Check out my ‘Learn How to Create Mood Boards‘ self-guided online course! It’s full of decorating tips and comes with a free mood board template.  Learning how to work with colours on the mood board ALONE is a complete #gamechanger.

“Overall, useful tips to make informed choices. Loved the examples of both correct and incorrect choices.” Anne M.

“This will be very helpful in my endeavours to choose the correct colours and materials for my renovation.” Brenda F.

My February ‘Create your Dream Home’ virtual course for homeowners is sold out, email here if you’d like to get on the waitlist. However, there are still seats left in the April 26th & 27th course

If you are a design professional OR you’ve decided 2024 is the year to start your dream career as a colour designer my True Colour Expert training will be in LIVE in Chicago May 16 & 17, 2024. register here.

Ask Maria: Will my Cherry Kitchen with with a Cognac Leather Sofa

Should I Match the Wall Colour to my Wood Flooring Colour?

Help! My Sofa Clashes with my Paint Colour


171 pins


  • Janet Romanuk says:

    Fabulous post and so timely. Thanks for the plug.

  • Rebecca says:

    Based on your advice I bought my blue (fav color) sectional couch in 2020. I absolutely love it and would buy it all over again 4 years later.

    • Jessica says:

      I am also looking for for a blue sectional..would you mind to share which one you choose?

      • Rebecca says:

        Hi Jessica, I found it at Macys. If you’re able to visit a store they have even more colors/fabrics than what’s shown online. It took a bit longer to arrive, since it wasn’t an in stock fabric but there’s no extra charge. Good luck!

    • Stacee says:

      Same here! Went very bold with a large yellow sectional for our bonus room with dark navy blue walls and white wainscoting because of Maria about 3 years ago and we love it!! Absolutely makes the room.

  • Sigrid says:

    Great post, since I started following you, everything has changed how I see design and colour. 👏

  • Paula Jolly says:

    I’m a Colour girl!! I love all of your tips and ideas.

  • Robin Mansfielc says:

    Loved this article and photos are great. We have had a red(not burgundy or ox blood) for our entire marriage of 42 years. And it always looks great in our home. The second sofa was a navy, then cognac leather, emerald green, golden yellow, and oatmeal. Needless to say, you can see why Maria Killam is my favorite designer, Facebook, Instagram, expert of color!!!!!

  • E says:

    Green upholstery had been difficult to find as an option until recently. I’m so glad it is coming back into fashion in fabrics other than velvet. I was able to order my dream sofa in a deep forrest green several weeks ago ajd can’t wait for its arrival!

  • Diane says:

    A year ago I bought a blue sofa. A grayish blue but, to my eye, definitely blue. In fact the official description called it blue. Shortly after I brought it home a friend walked into my house and said “you bought a gray sofa.“ AARGH. Now I am worried that’s how other people perceive it, not blue as I do. I have a blue floral area rug and blue pillows that I hope emphasize the blue color of the sofa.

  • Cate says:

    I’m so happy these colors are returning. I’ve looked for green upholstery choices for a few years without luck. Hoping that will change now!

    Thanks for all the expert information and inspiration you offer!

  • Julie says:

    It is great to see more color options in the upholstery world! I inherited reddish-brown stained wood plank walls in the LR/Dining area which of course hubby cannot fathom painting and actually it’s grown on me. You are right about blue looking amazing with this shade (and a good dose of cream to lighten things up). I have a big cloud painting on these walls with a lot of saturated blue sky and it sings!! My accent chairs are blue too, with my dark gray-green sofa taking a secondary role. Not sure what color sofa I will get in a few years as this one nears its end, since there is already a lot of brown and blue in the room and my young family is too dirty for light upholstery!

  • MKPittsburgh says:

    We just bought our first “empty nest” sofa and it’s navy blue leather. Our hardwood floors tend a little orange so it looks great in the room (no chance of refinishing them to a more neutral brown, we won’t be here long enough to make that hassle worth it). Having had beige for years (no comment on what we had before that, needless to say it was a pattern that I look back on in horror…) it’s such a breath of fresh air. We are still working on some of the other pieces but now that I know all about undertones I feel confident that eventually my living room will look the way I want.

  • Bette says:

    Your sister’s mother-in-law’s chair is perfect in that setting. It complements the existing wood furniture and floors beautifully. They must be thrilled to have found it. Re sofas: I have a purple sofa I absolutely love. It’s been amazingly timeless and works well in the three places it has lived. It was such a bargain, too, because no one else recognized its beauty. 😉

  • Kathi Steele says:

    I am so very sad to see plain upholstered furniture in rooms. The Becca Room is very boring, IMHO. It is all the same color just in different tints and shades. There are no patterns, no colors. It just looks blah, boring and univiting, IMHO.
    There are a few rooms shown that have a patterned rug, but when you look at each room, they are the same, IMHO.
    Why are people so afraid of patterns?? I have a flowery chair in my family room and it still makes my heart glad to see it after 10 years!!
    I would much rather have patterns on my sofa and chairs than load them up with pillows that make furniture unusable.
    I love looking thru Southern Living living room photos that have patterns and color and are inviting and lived in, but are not obnoxious with patterns and colors.

  • Lorri says:

    I have a 19-year-old bittersweet-chocolate-brown leather sofa that still looks new. It won’t die. I have golden-yellow velvet throw pillows on it, which ties in with some yellow and green accessories. I’m currently renting and the walls are a light gold-beige, so it works perfectly.

    But I really want a soft turquoise sofa and aqua walls when I buy a house. 😉

  • Maisy says:

    I’ve “leaned in” to my blond/orange floors because I love the warmth. I’m thinking about taking Maria’s advice and getting a sofa in a favorite color – soft turquoise. That would complement the orange!

    I also remember the blue sofa she did for her neighbor. THAT was a stunning room. I want to say it was a cornflower blue.
    So either one of those colors would make me super-happy. I’m learning ever-so-slowly:)

  • Debi says:

    I would love to have a sofa in a fun color but when I go to look for one most of the choices for custom furniture are in neutrals or if in a very muted color. Any suggestions on where to look? Thanks!

    • Sandy says:

      Are you looking at ones where you choose the upholstery separately? It’s been years since I bought a sofa, but there were lots of patterns among the sample books.

      • Debi says:

        Yes, I have been looking at sofas where you choose the fabric separately. Maybe I’m looking at the wrong manufacturer, Sherrill, Kincaid, century.

    • Rachel says:

      I have wondered about this too. I grew up buying furniture at yard sales n mark down stores.

      I don’t even know how to pick what I actually want, and I guess the first step is knowing where to go. 😉

    • Lorri says:

      C. R. Laine or Lee Industries are both beloved by designers.

  • Patricia says:

    I would like to choose a coloured sofa and love the rich-coloured examples provided but not so much when the sofa colour becomes a pastel. As far as I can tell, the neutral sofas are light and airy whereas the coloured ones are heavy. Any tips for choosing a light and airy coloured sofa?

  • Judy M says:

    Great Post!
    Thank you!

  • Loribeth says:

    Twelve years ago, I bought a green sofa that was kind of a moss green. I had wanted a green sofa with a tufted back, and the moss green was all I could find. Then six years ago, I had it reupholstered in a rich olive-green velvet. I absolutely love my green sofa now. I had the upholsterer make the cushion thicker and add more padding to the tufted back, so it really looks luxurious. Like your yellow sofa, I don’t see myself ever getting tired of my green sofa.

  • limo says:

    I will wait until the cognac sofa is dated and buy it on sale. I think it is timeless and it fits into my modern organic room.


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