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Which Colour Sofa Should You Buy?

By 06/20/2010July 27th, 201984 Comments

Which colour sofa should you buy? It’s been a long time since I have picked out a new sofa. I bought my first one when I was 21 and it was black with white stripes.

When I got married at 27 my husband and I bought a sofa and love seat in forest green leather, back when we all thought this colour would be timelessTwo years later when I got divorced I left the forest green sofa behind — so much for timeless!

Then I bought a beige-on-beige patterned sofa in a tuxedo style. I rag-rolled my walls to match the sofa, because that was what we were doing then. The beige tones on the walls were different from the sofa (so they didn’t actually match) and it always annoyed me. Now I know that the undertone of the beige paint I chose was pink (common mistake) and the leaves in my sofa were a yellow-beige.

Before you end up with a room that’s all white because you’re afraid of colour, let’s go through the colour options you could consider for your sofa. 


Let’s start off with the neutrals:

Eggshell Colour Sofa

What colour sofa should I buy?

Right now everyone seems to be coveting either a white or gray sofa like the ones above. The reason? Colour is moving to fresh and happy! And all those colours look good with the Belgian inspired warm gray tones and whites. White is crisp, so it looks good with fresh colours.

Yellow-beige Colour Sofa

Yellow-beige or sand (above) is also a good neutral sofa to choose. Yellow-beige looks good with blues, purples, yellows, garden fresh greens, black, brown, as well as cream or white (think English Patient). You can’t go too bright with these coordinating colours though. Lemon yellow, for instance, will look too bright and can cause the sofa to start to look dirty.


If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know that pink-beige/coffee or mocha are like dirty words for me. That’s partly because I have seen too much pinky-beige broadloom (from the 80s) in my time. More than that, pink-beige is a dirty word for me because it’s such a bossy colour.

The problem with a pink-beige/mocha-coloured sofa is that the only colours that work with it are greeny-grays or taupe shades. Unless you want more pink-beige on the walls. Blue and purple can also work with pink-beige, but I don’t consider either of them a neutral option for wall colours.

In the photo above you can see the arm of a chair upholstered in a clean yellow and white pattern. This doesn’t work well because a clean colour like any fresh or yellow greens makes the sofa look dirty.  So your decorating options with a pink-beige sofa are very limited indeed. I would run far away from this colour!

Nate Berkus

 A greeny-beige or mushroom coloured sofa (above) was a big look right before the brown trend came on so strong in 2002. While green-beige looks dirty with most fresh and clean colours, it can look good with greenlike in this photo. Ideally it should also be repeated to really pull it off.

If you like rusty oranges, golds and muted reds, green-beige can be a wonderful color option. I simply adore gray-greens with purples! By the way, this is the style I’m getting for my next sofa — two cushions and a tight back.


Many of you probably have a brown sofa since this has been the hot trend for the past eight years. It’s not that I don’t like brown; my issues are that we went too far with it. I have been in too many homes where all the cabinetry, including the granite and backsplash are BROWN! It’s too much. A brown sofa alone is fine, but I would still paint your brown cabinets white (or whichever colour is appropriate) even if you’ve just moved in.

If you have kids brown is a good colour because it disguises a lot of dirt. And, if you loved brown before it ever became hot — you should buy one.

But if you are loving it now because it’s trendy, you might love gray more when it really becomes mainstream and then you’ll be cranky with the brown one you selected. Basically, like I said in this post about kitchen cabinetry — brown looks best with creams and beiges while black looks good with white

That’s why black (below) is also hot right now (but NOT as a sofa colour — that was the 80s) because it looks so crisp and graphic with white and raspberry, turquoise, etc.

Black Colour Sofa

A gold-beige sofa (below) looks good with richer tomato reds, burgundy, navy, blues, rust, gray-greens, etc. I would definitely stay away from pairing turquoise, raspberrys, lemon yellows, fresh greens and any of the brighter, cleaner colours with gold-beige. Gold-beige is usually serious and works well for a more traditional look.Which Colour Sofa Should I Buy?

English arm sofa (above) from Williams Sonoma Home

 There’s one more basic neutral to discuss — charcoal (below). I would say the overall feel of a charcoal sofa is more masculine but it’s certainly a good colour if you have kids. Stick to brighter colours for accents though, reds, mandarin orange, yellow greens, and even lighter purples would look good here.

Slate Colour Sofa

Now for the colour options! A lot of my design consulting has to do with clients asking me which colour sofa to buy, because there is too much choice. My clients love the idea of incorporating more colour into their decorating but they are worried about pulling it off so it looks good.

Here’s where my online consulting help you (or if you live in Vancouver I can see you in person). Click here to email me for my rates and what the process looks like to work with me. You then you won’t have to stare at your empty living room any longer!

Red Colour Sofa

Victoria Hagen

Let’s go around the colour wheel, starting with red. Red, of course, looks good with gray-greens (but not Christmas green — unless it actually is Christmas) golds, gold-beige, yellow-beige (as above), purples and blues.

Orange Colour Sofa Credit

Be careful using too much black with an orange sofa (or it’ll remind you of Halloween).  Blues, purples, greens, browns and creams all look great with orange, as does yellow.

Mandarin Orange Colour Sofa Jeffrey Bilhuber

 I love this Mandarin orange sofa with the purple armchair! Isn’t it fabulous?! This room reminds of a post I wrote the other day on stone fireplaces and how they should relate to something in the room. Notice how the designer above matched the drapes to the stone, but they don’t appear to go with anything else?

Yellow Colour SofaNext is a yellow sofa. This is the colour of my new sofa (I know you’re not surprised). I can’t wait until it’s ready! I just don’t think you get tired of a favourite colour as fast as others which is why I think instead of opting for a “safe” neutral, you should go for a colour. All the fresh and happy colours look good with ‘colour’ (not just yellow).

Right now I’m thinking of accenting with raspberry, (I’m just loving pink and yellow together these days), I haven’t decided quite yet. But really, unless I wanted to start incorporating earth tones into this palette (which I won’t) all the fun and happy colours will work. And I love the drama of this colour, it’s what you would expect to see in a colourist’s house!

Green Colour Sofa Credit

 I love green, it would be my second choice for a sofa colour, just like in this loft I decorated for one of my clients. It’s also a great colour paired with browns, reds, orange, purple, pink, yellow and blues. So versatile yet calm and serene.

Blue Colour Sofa


I think blue is a totally timeless colour for a sofa. It is a majority favourite colour after all! A great choice if this is your favourite colour. It also goes with every colour, just like green!

Purple Colour Sofa Credit

If you love reds, fuscia, golds and Kelly greens, these are great jewel-tone colours to get. Purple is tricky though because it goes red or blue really fast. Make sure you carry around your purple fabric swatch with you when you’re shopping so you can be confident you’re buying the right accessories.

See in the above photo how the shag is more red? Unless you are going for that look, shop with your sofa colour swatch! Greeny-yellow walls would look so great with this colour scheme. Neutral colours die with a purple sofa so you need green-yellow to keep it sophisticated and happy!

Notice that I haven’t talked about a sofa with pattern (below)? That’s because unless you can afford to replace your sofa every five years (which is usually when we get tired of any look) I would stick with a solid colour.

Related post: Why A Colourful Sofa is as Timeless as Subway Tile

Which Colour Sofa Should You Buy Jeffrey Bilhuber

I hope I have inspired you to consider choosing a colour for your next sofa! What colour is your sofa right now?

If you would like your home to fill you with happiness every time you walk in, contact us! We would love to help you choose colours, select the right combination of hard finishes or create a plan to pull your room together. You can find our fabulous e-design consultation packages here.


Related Posts:

When to buy Leather Furniture

What Everyone should know about Beige

Warning; You are the Colours in your Home

Do you Dream about Decorating your House?

Do all Greens go Together?


New to this Blog? Click here; Become a True Colour Expert

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265 pins


  • Trish says:

    I loved so many sofas from this post, I ant wait to see you new yellow sofa in place. I have 2 that I use in my home the main soffa is ink blue which is great with the kids & then for my formal lounge I have a warm white one which I adore.

  • pve design says:

    We have one green velvet sofa, and the other is a comfy tobacco-ish tweedy chenille which is what we refer to as our "comfy" couch.
    I saw a beautiful white sofa the other day…..hmmmm, looked so summery!

  • Kat says:

    What an informative and interesting post!
    Right now I have a sofa that I want to recover, it was inherited, and its a print. Maybe after the kitchen. And the new one I am getting for the tv room off the kitchen is dark brown leather sectional, not big and puffy, very tailored.

  • marty (A Stroll Thru Life) says:

    I had a tuxedo style gold sofa for about 15 years and loved it. It seemed I could put anything with it. Then I had a beige with yellow undertones for the last 8 years. It is now going to the family room, I think it went with almost anything too. I have a new cream colored sofa and I absolutely love it. I really like to change accessories, so any of these sofa colors that let me do that is definitely my favorite. Your post was very informative. Thanks for the help. Hugs, Marty

  • Lissa @ After Adornment says:

    Great Post. It really gets me thinking…….I have a white sofa, which I love! I feel like you can't go wrong with white and it goes with everything. My sofa was made with a fitted slip cover and I can get another one made by the manufacturer. Since I have been working on getting more color into my home I love the idea of getting another slip cover in maybe a bright color. Thanks for all the info. This will help me narrow down the choices.

  • Marilyn G Russell says:

    I'm so glad you posted about sofas because I'm ready to change mine. You've just given me some inspirational ideas. I currently have a brown leather sofa, which I've had for a long time. It's still in pretty good condition. But I've grown tired of the color and the material. I love the green one you have featured in your post. Hmm, you've got me thinking.

    Have a great day!

  • Anonymous says:

    RED in family room; warm cream in living room. Being the biggest item in both rooms, the rooms are built around the sofa (that and the rug, natch!)

  • Tracey @ My House of Giggles says:

    As much as I love colour, I just find white so relaxing, and I actually love that room in the first picture 🙂 But I must say, I'm loving your choice of sofa colour!! Yellow will be so bright and cheerful.

  • Annie Wilcox Designs says:

    My sofa is camel colored and pairs with warm reds and teals, rusts too. You nailed it. I love your yellow couch also.

  • Cindy Sue says:

    well, afraid to say now, haha, it's a brown chenille with gray undertones. The walls are painted a gray called Whiskers from Porter Paints that has a brown undertone to it. As much as I love to decorate our home, sometimes I think I might just rather go run with the bulls… it might be safer, HA…

  • Alexandra Rae says:

    One is a perfect warm beige linen, the other is navy. Both work well with all my color changes. Loved reading this post! thanks!

  • Pamela says:

    Thanks for this very informative post Maria!
    We do not have a sofa right now having just moved across the country and i sold my last sofa. It had a pattern on it that i thought at the time was lovely but when it arrived my son said "Mom it looks like there's dolphins on the sofa!! I hated from that day forward.

    I am leaning toward white slip covered but still unsure.

  • Wendy says:

    My living room sofa is a very small black and pale tan houndstooth check and I'm still searching for the right bold pillows to jazz it up a bit. My den sofa is red leather and I still love it, just wish it were possible to shrink it a bit to fit it's new space.
    Loved this post.


    The green sofa has my name on it. Thanks for this great post with such practical information. You are a great teacher and coach. And I am listening and learning.

  • Abby & Her Boys says:

    Wow! I loved this post. You gave me so much to think about. We have had a yellow sofa since 2003, and I love it. The only downside is that it has faded over the years. First I paired it with Great Barington Green on the walls, and then when we moved I switched the walls to Boca Raton Blue (both Benjamin Moore) and the yellow couch worked well with both. People thought I was crazy when I ordered a yellow couch, but I wouldn't change it. I can't wait to see your finished pictures!
    You can see a couple pictures of mine here:

  • Windlost says:

    Maria, great post. So much to consider but good explanations of the why's and why not's!! xo Terri

  • Vanessa@decor happy says:

    Great post Maria and can't wait to see your yellow sofa!

  • Struggler says:

    Phew! So relieved that my blue (non-patterned) sofa is not a total no-no in Maria land!

  • Millicent says:

    Well…we live pretty casual, so our sofa is blue denim. I love it because it's comfy and casual and is easy to live with.

  • Anonymous says:

    The picture you're linking to isn't from the English Patient but A Very Long Engagement.

    A French reader. <3

  • heather @ what's blooming this week says:

    Uh oh, I think my sofa is too pinky/beige. No wonder I've had such trouble matching colours.


    As always, a truly informative post…and I just love the gray sofa….to me it looks very elegant. xx's

  • Annie@A View On Design says:

    guilty I'm afraid, light brown couch (tweed fabric – does that help!!) but with soft blue and hot pink cushions, there's my good old colour!! but I must admit, I would have loved to go for a soft blue sofa – damn it!

  • Sally@DivineDistractions says:

    Thanks for a great, informative post, Maria. It is so well thought out and instructive. I'm working with a client right now on sofa choices, and we've gone back and forth on color. I thought about her as I read this, and I know I'm going to be able to firm up a decision with her. You are a natural teacher, and I appreciate being able to learn from you.

  • DelBene Interiors says:

    Excellent post Maria and btw, my couch is yellow pinstriped couch!

  • Emom says:

    We have two large red sofas in the BATVR (Big A$& TV Room) and surprisingly they look very conservative. Of course, they are usually piled high with large young men (sons) but the deep red with blue undertones makes for a calm backdrop.
    Living room sofas….beige.

  • Maria Killam says:

    HI Anonymous,
    Thanks for the correction in the movie link. I fixed it! I just loved the white, cream, camel, brown and black colours in that movie!

  • Tricia says:

    Love the post on sofas. I had not had a sofa for 15 years. I used all chairs in my LR. Recently bought a sofa from a resale/NFP shop. The original owners donated their custom sofa as soon as it shipped because they realized it didn't work for them. Lucky for me. I love it but there was no forthought about surrounding colors. It has a tone-on-tone viney/leafy pattern. (not tight/leaves are small but repeat is large) The closest I can come to color is Porter Sweet Bay 6928-2 and Delta Green 6934-2 for the pattern. I'm leaning towards raspberry and turquoise accents. Will let you know how this turns outs. Thanks for such wonderful insights on color.

  • Lucy says:

    Thank you so much for this really informative post, you spelled it out for us and I like that! I really learned a lot which I will bear in mind for the future.

    Wish I'd learned it before buying our sofa 🙁

    I feel like I want to imagine the sofa away and decorate the room as if I had a different sofa, but what use is that..

    I think yes I would go for green and possibly blue in future.

    Looking forward to seeing your yellow one though!

  • Marlo says:

    I just learned why I am having a hard time decorating around a mocha sofa that I inherited. I'm going to try the blue as you suggested because the other colours I tried didn't work. I will get rid of this sofa in the next year but want the room to look half decent in the meantime.

    Thanks Maria.

  • Jane says:

    There is some valuable information here. Thanks so much! Right now, I have a warm creamy white sofa in our family room…and 2 club chairs in the same shades, plus one inky blue chair, and one wicker chair with a patterned blue seat cushion. I add color with cushions, throws, rugs, and my paintings. I am in my "summer" mode…blues and greens, with a little touch of red and orange in some of the paintings. It's a very "coastal" look…just right for my FL coastal home. I have been looking at a green sofa for my sitting room…

  • Anonymous says:

    I have matching pewter velvet sofas in the living room, a simeon walnut (dark borwn/black) leather couch in the family room and a dreadful muted gold/dark red patterned chenille couch in the office (eeeew, I loath that couch, but it's only from 2003 and I'm not quite ready to heave-ho it yet!).

  • Nicole says:

    I remember shopping for my first sofa- after a day of swinging wildly from one idea to another, as we walked through the shops, I turned to my husband and told him to go and buy whatever he wanted. We basically had no other furniture so this decision was the biggest one to make in terms of what our apartment would look like and I couldn't decide! I realized that it would be far easier to just be surprised and 'make it work', to steal a phrase.
    PS he bought a pale grey suede sofa with a very clean square shape. And I was happy!

  • CRICKET says:

    I was so afraid to read this post when I saw the title. I just ordered a sofa a couple of weeks ago. I had my last one for 15 years and my mom and husband did not allow me to move it across country. Granted it had seen better days but its linen color and fabric went anywhere.

  • Marcus Design says:

    Love that you chose a yellow sofa, it is going to be stunning, and best of all it is so perfectly you! I unfortunately have brown hand-me down sofas for now. But this post is full of great tips for when I get to choose my own sofas eventually, thanks for the info!!

  • pangaea says:

    Maybe we can get a ban on pinky beige. I do so very much hate that color. I find it a lot in carpets also. Horrid.

    Personally, no matter how much I might like to have a nice natural linen sofa or maybe a bright red-orange, I end up with dark colors because I have 6 cats and 2 dogs. Much of my own home's decor is dictated by what will withstand the "herd". That's why it's so nice to have clients with only a cat or two, through whom I can vicariously get my fix of other options.

  • ClaireMarie says:

    How ironic that your posting about sofa's today. When I'm trying to track down a gorgeous grey hued sofa from Urban Barn that I saw on clearance, and is now gone! I'm still searching, I don't mind paying full price, that's how much I love this sofa! Word to the wise, if you see something that your completely in love with and its on sale? Buy it!!

  • Susan says:

    Maria, this is such an excellent post. Alot of people miss the fact of how some colours can make clean colours look dirty. I like that you pointed that out.

    For me I have a pale sandy beige with a hint of yellow and quite honestly it goes with every colour I put on top of it. At the moment the tosses are blues, greens and creams. It also hides the doggie fur.

    Your new yellow one speaks to me of fun and personality. Great choice.


  • DesignTies says:

    This was a fantastic post, Maria!

  • micah @ the yellow front door says:

    I have a chocolate brown sofa – had no idea they were trendy! I do wish I would have gone with white though – they are so clean and crisp looking. I am loving those colorful ones too!

  • Mimi says:

    I've just recently started following your blog and I have to say that I have learned so much about colour. Thanks for that. But, I guess I came across it too late though because I made a terrible mistake. I have a pinky-beige sofa! It is almost the same colour of the sofa as in the picture above (with the yellow/white chair that doesn't work). My husband has been very forgiving of me with getting a few paint colours wrong but, a sofa…not so forgiving. So, we will end up having to keep it for a "little" while. In the meantime, Maria, could you suggest a few paint colours that I could use to tone down the pink in the sofa. Thanks in advance.

  • Maria Killam says:

    Hi Mimi,
    Well the only colour that will tone it down are warm taupes and grays or working with it so that it doesn't stick out. Depending on how pink it is I would try BM Stonehouse (which is a pink beige but doesn't scream pink), or lighter would be Muslin. Stonehearth is a good taupe that would be warm but tone down the pink, that colour should still be repeated in your decorating though to really pull it off right!
    Thanks for reading my blog!

  • Anonymous says:

    Just love your blog Maria-it is so helpful and inspiring!Thank you for sharing all this useful (and interesting) information!
    My husband and I bought our very fist(new)sofa four years ago.
    Because we have two little boys we wanted something practical…yep,a lovely brown,just the colour of coffee with a dash of cream in it.The walls ended up being BM'Cableknit'which I'm not too thrilled with as they do tend to look a little'skin-toned,(okay,pinky!)I learned first hand the whole pinky-biege mistake.
    But now I know better!

  • Donna says:

    Maria..that is just amazing! I would never have guessed in a million years that there was a particular set of colors that would be best to use so that you could paint to coordinate. I never thought about it before. I sure don't want to get stuck with a 'lemon'. We are in desperate need of new couches after eight years and five teens and adults. I was thinking we wanted to do a tan or camel color. White would be too light for our color schemes and brown would just be way too dark. Your photos really help illustrate what to look for. Thanks so much!

    Hugs :o),
    Donna @ Comin' Home

  • Mona Thompson says:

    Really great post. I have a chocolate brown sofa. Have had it for about seven years and am just now getting tired of it. I'm really loving that green.

  • Karena says:

    Maria, so behind in my posting, however you have inspired me beyond!! The images are all luscious and I adore what you chose for your sofa!!

    Come and join my giveaway!!

    Art by Karena

  • Ava says:

    I'm also shopping for a sofa this week so perfect timing(loving the Vanguard Furniture Whitaker Extended Sofa). I have a green sofa in my office a similar color to the one you've shown, but now looking for something darker for my family room that can handle a two year old (still loving brown).

    It seems like so many sofas these days have nail heads. How do you feel about nail heads? Trendy or timeless?

    Also, what kind of fabric should be avoided (i.e. ultra suede, velvet, etc)?


  • Maria Killam says:

    Hi Ava,
    I would avoid ultra suede like the plague. My sofa is cotton/poly velvet which is the most bullet proof, other velvets crush although some people love that look (I do too but I think it's more formal because that velvet is shiny too).

    My new upholstered headboard (that has not arrived yet) has nailheads on the linen that I chose and I like it.

    On chairs and sofa's I think it depends entirely on how they are applied on whether they work or not because I think they can go from formal to down right country.
    Hope this helps!

  • Christina says:

    I like the gray color sofa. my sofa is a chintz, but that is because i inherited it. I like free too! Good thing it goes with the colors i painted my living room. 🙂

  • Kim says:

    We went with a brown sofa last year primarily because of practicality. Although it's just my hubby and me living here, he's a pastor so we have LOTS of company, often with small children. I've learned the hard way that my beloved off-white (the color of our chairs) is a NO-NO of the greatest magnitude. I'm getting ready to recover the chairs, by the way 😀

    Anyway, back to the sofa. Not a lot of style choices here (we live in Argentina) and I was bound and determined to have a COMFORTABLE couch! I miss my overstuffed monsters from the U.S. 😀 We ended up getting a small couch (longer than a loveseat but smaller than a normal U.S. sized couch); the bottom, sides and back are covered in a faux leather but the cushions have zippered cloth covers (great because I can wash them!).

    The current cushion covers are chocolate brown with a modern swirly circle design in taupe. I'll be making (or having made) an additional set of covers this year. I want to find a lighter, more "summery" fabric (but not too light, because of the aforementioned small visitors). Since it's opposite seasons here, I have a few months to find something I like. I painted the walls a light green which I really like with the brown. I'm looking to bring red accents in for a pop of color. It's an ongoing process 😀

    We're also working on renovating a house in the country which is very close to a river. Eventually I'd like to get a blue couch for that home since we're going for the beachy cottage look there and I'm using lots of white with light greens and blues throughout.

    I really enjoy your blog and learning more about color!

  • Zazzu says:

    Red's been my favorite color my entire life. Last year, I finally got my red sofa. I LOVE it.

    You're gonna love your new yellow one. It will be so much fun to choose accents to go with it.

    Years ago, I had a white sofa. Never again! Huge mistake.

  • Rebecca says:

    Our sofa is a lovely shade of a sort of Wedgwood blue only a bit more aqua/gray with lots of shading. The fabric is soft and of a chenille.

    For the gal with the pink beige. There are some great looks that one can do with this color. Do not lose heart.

    I think when one goes with what they love rather than what is in style at the moment the item does what Momma always told me, "Darling, it should wear out, not ugly out. Your goal in life is not live with ugly."

  • Antique Oak Table says:

    A sofa with color cream should not be boring. It can be an asset to your home. Well thanks for the cool ideas…

  • Houses Gardens People says:

    I was shocked at how much I liked the orange sofa and the purple chair together! Great post.

  • Beverly says:

    With Georgia red clay being tracked in by two hound dogs and one baby with sticky fingers, we have a functional couch that is modular, and I can move the pieces around to clean.

    The couch is boring beige, but it's pretty against a wall that is over 20 feet high, which is painted a dramatic color in the deep red family.

    I am not a fan of the red family and am probably going to paint that tall wall something in the blue family, because the blue family is my favorite.

  • Anonymous says:

    Two years ago we bought leather Stressless sofa and love seat. We needed something quick for company, and we had a couple of toddlers in the family. I cannot decide if the sofas are yellow beige or pink beige. They seem like a dingy beige of some kind. I really wish I had gotten more of a creamy white, but like I said I took what was in stock.
    After reading this, I want a beautiful yellow, or green, or blue, or grey fun sofa so bad. We will not be able to get one until these wear out unfortunately.
    Thanks for all the info maria.

  • reptilegrrl says:

    I am personally so, so sick of seeing those mushroom-colored sofas. They seem to be popular still, and they make me retch.

    I just bought a sofa in a very dark gray microfiber velvet, and I am loving it. I didn't think I would; when I first bought it, I thought I would want to re-cover it in blue, but it's grown on me and now I think I can work with it.

  • Donna says:

    Oh Maria..I just re-read this post and had to chuckle. Here I actually had READ this article and left a comment..little thinking I would ever get to buy a new sofa.

    Then we went off shopping and what did we buy? A mocha couch of course! Ha! Well..I don't know what to say except that I was looking more for design than color because of our limited budget. The couch we chose was the only one that was not big fat and poofey. I wanted square-ish and retro-ish and hoping for a bit more modern. Does it help that I LOVE brown? I'm an autumn person..and I have always adored brown. I would have gladly chosen tan or gold..but that was not an option.

    One plus, is that I chose a couch that I could sew a slipcover for some day–on purpose! This is something that I could easily do with this couch. :o) When I'm more ahead of the game..I will certainly give that a try. Then I can pick any color I choose.

    So funny to read this though. And you are so polite not to have said anything about my mocha couch when you came to see it. I was rejoicing in the fact that it was more in style than the last one.

    Thanks so much for the kind commment about my photos and header. That was worth a million dollars for me to hear. :o) I've worked so hard to improve in this area..but no one ever says anything about I didn't know if I was really getting better or not.

  • rainbowlens says:

    Hi Maria,

    I just bought a dark purple sofa, similar in color to this sofa:

    What rug color(s) would work with this color? I love jewel tones but I don't know if a rug would be too overwhelming.


  • Anonymous says:

    I'm about to start a big reno in a very old farmhouse home. This was a perfect blog as I will be purchasing new sofas and have no idea where to start. I love white but thinking maybe greys or something neutral. Something timeless as I will have it awhile.
    Loved the sofas you showed.

  • Anonymous says:

    Maria…I loved the article. Very informative. I will be buying a house within next year and am thinking of decorating ideas, colors, etc.

    I just have a comment. In some of the posts, a couple people were not happy with their sofa colors and were thinking about getting rid of them. My comment is, if you love the sofa shape, just get it reupholstered!!!

  • Ray says:

    I love the green sofa you have pictured above. We are looking at buying 2 sofas for our living room. Would 2 of the same color be too much? Of course we could do diffrent fabric with patterns. With that green what would be a good pallette for the room and ceiling for paint? Thanks for any help..

  • orie says:

    i want to know what color sofa would go with a tan love seat

  • Barbara says:

    Maria, I love your post regarding sofas and color!! Just a few days ago I saw a green microfiber sofa at macy’s that I fell in love with! I’m afraid to purchase it because my living room wall is kind of a beigey tan color! Would the green sofa work??? HELP!!!!

  • Maria Killam says:

    Barbara, stay far, far away from microfiber, I only specify it if I have a gun to my head (seriously). And it depends on how fresh the green is. If you choose a green gray, then it will be great with the beige tan, but if its a happy green then it will probably clash.
    Hope this helps,

  • Maureen says:

    Maria, just came across your blog, thanks. I’ve been searching for sometime for fabric to reupholster my vintage black leather couch seat and back cushions. Love the gray fabric on the black framed couch, think I found my color. Still not sure on what type of fabric to get.
    To Barbara, for what its worth, I agree, stay very far away from microfiber, especially if you have kids and pets.

  • Karen says:

    Thank you so much for the sofa color information. I am driving myself crazy because I want to redo my living room in a cottage country look and can not find any fabric that works for this look. I really wanted a raspberry/dark pink sofa and floral and/or ticking fabric for the chairs. Do you think this look will ever be achievable? I have found nothing. I have looked in about 20 furniture stores and all the available fabric choices. I have a picture of my dream room. I just can’t find the fabrics.

  • Maria Killam says:

    Hi Karen,
    Furniture stores generally sell standard fabrics that most people buy which are neutral. To find what you want, you’ll have to look at fabrics available to designers. Most furniture stores will do COM (customers own material) so if you ask them how much yardage they need, you can buy it from a place like Calico Corners, etc.
    Hope this helps, Maria

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Maria, I am so nervous to do this. Do you know what the up coming color trends may be? Do you think a Rasberry color sofa would be a mistake? I think maybe red would be safer. I wish I could show you a picture of what I want.

  • Loribeth says:

    Hi Maria, a few weeks ago I commented on your post about your living room and your yellow sofa. I said I wish I had the guts to get a bright color like that because I love it. You suggested getting a sofa in my favorite color. Well, I’m going to get my green sofa! Hubby and I went to the store today and found one we both like and we’re going to special order it in GREEN!!! Yeay!!!

  • Hana says:

    Where can I buy that yellow corduroy couch?

  • Judy says:

    We have just bought a red sofa and it is in a hog bristle quarter strength painted room with a bursa beige marble floor….. It doesn’t look right but I’m stuck with it! Any ideas please………

  • Judy says:

    Hi Maria
    I recently acquired a red lounge suite and it will be going into a hog bristle quarter painted room with a bursa beige marble floor, do I have a real problem here ? Or is it my imagination lol
    I have just purchased you ebook and I’m still not 100% sure ? Help please ……

  • Marianne says:

    Hi Maria,
    I love this post. Thank you for sharing such great insight.
    What greeny yellow paint color do you think would work best with the purple sofa?

  • Alice says:

    I have the dreaded chocolate/medium espresso BROWN couch (sadly it’s new) with natural oak floors and trim. The walls are Benjamin Moore “bath salts” and the ceiling is Benjamin Moore Soft Chamois. The new wall color “bath salts” did help the room. It was previously a tan. What colors would you use to accent the living room? It has a large east facing window in room. I’m having a really hard time making this look a bit more modern.


  • Taryn says:

    Hi Maria,
    I have a set of two green/beige occasional chairs + a warm, brown leather arm chair that I inherited. I am trying to find a sofa to coordinate but am really struggling since adding in a grey (which was what I was originally going for) would make 3 neutrals, I can’t seem to find a similar green/beige in sofa materials and do not have the budget for a custom build. I don’t love the green/beige much anyway but kind of want/need to make it work. Can I use the chairs without having to repeat the colour elsewhere or use the green/beige more as an accent ‘colour’?

    On a side note – the Nate Burkus picture with the mushroom/Green/beige sofa also has brown, black and white neutrals. This colour scheme seems to go against everything you teach with all those neutrals and the dirty furniture does not seem to relate to the clean black and white – nor is the black and white repeated anywhere other than that one piece of art. Since I’m trying to picture how my room might come together would not continuing of the browns or beige in carpetting tied everything together better? Would cream not have been a more cohesive choice?
    Thank you for helping train my eye a little better!

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