Brown sofas, especially dark brown ones, are often picked for their practicality. But brown doesn't have to be boring or basic! You'll be looking at your living room in a new way after seeing these brown couch decorating ideas.

By BH&G Editors
Updated July 03, 2020

Everyone knows a brown sofa is extremely practical, which is why so many retailers sell them and so many of us buy them. Dark brown is most forgiving when it comes to dirt and stains, making it a smart choice for those with active families. One complaint that often accompanies the ownership of a brown sofa is the assumption that the color is blah or boring. Not true! Get inspiration on how to style a brown sofa so that it stays fresh and modern.

David Tsay

A brown leather couch can be a dramatic statement piece—especially when it's a Chesterfield. If you want to lighten up the tone of your living room, pair it with funky retro furniture. These checkered slipper chairs add personality to the space along with the surrounding textiles and shiplap walls.

Jay Wilde

If you found your brown leather sofa at a flea market or vintage store, let that influence the rest of the room. A well-worn brown leather couch won't look scrappy when paired with wood antique decor. Get the pillows and throw blankets in on the theme, too.

Panichgul Studios, Inc

This cooler neutral space would look bland without the comfy brown sofa set to warm things up. A mix of hues is seen on the table, pillows, and woven basket. It's just the right amount for a pop of color.

Kat Teutsch

To make sure your light brown leather sofa doesn't look out of place, repeat its material elsewhere in the room. Here, a brown leather pouf sits across from the sofa, tying the look together. Other brown accents on the walls and surfaces keep the theme going.

Werner Straube Photography

A brown leather couch with tufting pairs well with traditional-style furnishings and fixtures. In this living room, built-ins contain stacks of vintage books that coordinate with a red rug underneath the brown sofa.

Brie Williams Photography Inc

Brown sofas aren't limited to one decorating style. Pair one with eclectic patterns and prints for global style. In this space, framed fabric picks up the beige hues of the sofa while coordinating with pink pillows and decor accents.

John Bessler

Brown sofas work equally well with cooler blues and greens. Use accent chairs, window panels, or colorful pillows in cooler tones to add calm color to a space anchored by a brown sofa. In this living room, the furniture is paired with decorative wallpaper.

A dark brown microfiber couch won't dominate a space when surrounded by lighter elements. Paint the walls a pale neutral, then choose artwork, accessories, and accent furniture in lighter or colorful hues to balance the darkness of the piece. Here, plenty of white furniture and light tans and oranges keep the couch from feeling too heavy.

John Bessler Photography

Another way to prevent a brown leather couch from overwhelming a room is to make almost everything else white. You need a lot of a lighter color to balance a very dark one, so don't be shy. Crisp white ceilings, walls, and floors help keep this cozy nook light and bright.

Laurie Black

Brown is a warmer neutral that plays well with wood and other warm tones; just think of all the colors of fall! Choose accent hues in autumn colors such as deep red, mustard yellow, or burnt sienna to pair naturally with a brown sofa. These homeowners used white accent furniture and lots of pillows to balance out the brown seating.

Color schemes for living rooms with dark brown sofas come naturally. This room's brown sofa looks right at home next to other nature-inspired colors, such as the orange pouf, warm chartreuse green coffee table, and a set of lively patterned pillows. Natural textures like the woven valances, stone fireplace, and wood floors ground the couch, too.

Although this sofa is more tan than deep brown, the same design principles apply. Pull the sofa into the center of the room, layer a console table along the back, then fill it with books or other objects to take the eye away from the sofa and toward the decorative display.

Kritsada Panichgul

On the other hand, there's no need to hide your brown leather couch or cover it up. You can also choose to highlight its rich, cocoa color! Add accent chairs that pick up the hue of the existing dark sofa and cover the sofa with decorative pillows to lighten the visual weight of darker furniture.

Work with your existing brown sofa instead of against it by painting the walls a similar hue. Use the power of contrast to create high impact between light and dark with bright white ceilings and trim. The result is a stately room with bold, rich tones.


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