Repeating colours is the key to a pretty room, but is it bad if your wall colour matches the sofa? I think it’s totally ok, as long as you don’t miss this important decorating detail. Keep reading to find out what it is.
I’ve just found you and have read almost everything on your blog. Lets just say it. . . I love you. Unfortunately I found you AFTER we picked the wall color for our entire new house (2001 build). We just inherited a couch that I love but am unsure if I can make it work with our wall color.
They are almost too similar. Before I go about decorating my entire living space I have one giant question… do I keep the couch? Wall color cannot be changed.
Here was my response:
You NAILED IT. There’s nothing wrong with a neutral that works with the sofa. Most people plunk their new sofa in their newly renovated living room and their walls don’t match and NOW they are cranky.
The placeholder Costco carpet needs to go (which I’m sure you already know) but make sure you add some colour now. If you keep going with greige on greige, then it truly will look too same, same.
Here’s what I would do to make this room even better:
- Pull the furniture away from the wall
- Hang some art above the sofa
- Add some end tables with bigger lamps
- And, of course… add colour!
I answered this question in 2019 when a reader asked if they could paint their walls to match their sofa here.
But I think this is SUCH a common question, it’s worth discussing AGAIN.
Is it Bad that my Wall Colour Matches the Couch?
So first, why does my reader think it’s a bad idea that the sofa matches the wall colour?
Pause… and think about it before you keep scrolling down.
Because the room is still undecorated. It’s truly naked right now which makes it look like maybe the wall colour should be changed. But the wall colour cannot do all the heavy lifting.
And because when the area rug also matches the entire colour scheme, it all starts looking WRONG.
Plus, it would be kinda wrong if the area rug STAYS. That’s too much of the same neutral.
But NOT because matching the wall colour to the sofa is the wrong idea.
How to Decorate When Your Couch and Wall Colour Match
Let’s say we were keeping the rug and thought, let’s add some throw pillows:
It’s not quite there yet. Above you can see how unfinished it still looks with JUST colourful throw pillows on the sofa. These colours need to be repeated somewhere else.
Okay, so now let’s add some artwork above the sofa.
Now you can see how the old neutral rug that matches the room really looks bad – especially without any colour.
In fact, matching the wall colour to your sofa is really a pretty good strategy as a base for a pretty living room. But it will look very plain and uninspired if you stop there. Remember to keep going and layer the room with more colour and decor.
The Key to a Pretty Room
Matching the walls to the pale blue sofa is a successful move in the room below. It works because there is lots of colour, pattern and interest layered in. Even with this beautiful blue, if you emptied the room of everything but a blue sofa and blue walls, you might be wondering what went wrong. It just doesn’t work.
It’s easy to assume you need the paint to do more work if you haven’t decorated yet. This is one of the biggest paint colour mistakes.
In the room below, the sofa blends in with the dark wall. But it works because of the contrast and layering in the decor. Otherwise, it would look bleak. This look is really tricky to pull off if you are not a pro decorator.
Repeating colours, in general, is the key to creating a pretty room. They’ve deliberately accented the back of this shelving unit below to match the deep blue of the sofa (below). And they balanced it by adding lots of white and decor.
And, if you have the opposite and more common situation of a neutral wall and sofa, you still need to add the colour. Add a colourful area rug, pillows and art. After you paint a room, it’s an easy mistake to stop too soon and miss the important decorating and styling that a room needs in order to come to life.
So keep going! Pick a rug or a piece of artwork with a few colours in it and repeat 2-3 of those colours in accents and decor until your room starts to feel right to you.