A Better Paint Color Behind a Dark Brown Sofa – Try Elephant Gray

So you have a big puffy brown sofa in your family room and don’t plan to replace it any time soon.  And you have an accompanying wall color like this olive green. The color scheme here is brown + olive + gold or what I like to refer to as “blah.”

DSC_6838

It’s pretty predictable, right?  Might there be a better backdrop paint color for such a dark beast?  Let’s see what you think about what I chose for this particular problem sofa in a client’s home:

elephant gray

after 

The paint color I chose is Benjamin Moore Elephant Gray 2109-50, which is gray-brown with a lavender undertone.  It’s a sophisticated, barely-purple color that literally glows on the walls where there is good natural light.

2109-50 elephant gray

Benjamin Moore Elephant Gray 2109-50

 

But don’t stop there.  The art and the lighter, more lively colors in the pillows pulls the new color scheme together and downplays the dark brown sofa.

elephant gray with brown sofa

Can you tell the difference?  The look is definitely more updated, not so depressing.  Sure, I’d like her to replace that sofa.  But this is real-life decorating, and there’s a whole lotta choosing between “the lesser of two evils” in my business.  Just keeping it real.

If you need help understanding paint colors, check out my video workshop on choosing the right paint colors for your home.

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Donna Frasca
Guest

I just had a client with the same sofa! I don’t recall the name of the color but it was similar to that gray with just a touch of coastal in it for color. Love your “after” picture – so much better.

Holly
Guest
Holly

Personally, I prefer the artwork in the before photo.

JL
Guest
JL

So much better. I have a sad grayish-greenish monster of a sofa. I need pillows. Pretty ones. Thanks for this!

Debra Kling Colour Consultant
Guest

Yes, I do this kind of thing all the time, Kristie!

Tiffany
Guest
Tiffany

Wait…I thought gray was a bad idea? A passing fad?

Kristie
Guest
Kristie

Where do you suggest buying interesting art? I don’t want to spend a ton of money, but I also don’t want to buy what everyone else has b/c it’s cheap. Do you have any recommendations for places to buy art that isn’t “off the shelf”, but also doesn’t cost and arm and leg?

Kelly
Guest

Much better choice, I love Elephant Gray. I’ll need to keep this in mind when I run into a sofa like that at a consult.

many thanks,
Kelly
http://www.yourcolorconsultant.com

Dena
Guest
Dena

I have a friend that painted this color and it is great. The woodwork in my house is a honey oak and I do not want to paint it white. Do you think this color would look good with this woodwork? Have you done any articles on great paint colors for honey oak woodwork? Thanks!

Susanne
Guest
Susanne

What an interesting and complex color! You definitely have to have real insight into color theory to make this choice–it works really well! You are very encouraging, Kristie, in showing people how to update and create gratifying interiors while dealing with the reality of budgeting. Bravo!

Marsha
Guest

I can’t believe how much better that sofa looks with the art and the new wall color. Great job and thanks for sharing. You’ve giving hope to the “big puffy sofa” owners.

Beth
Guest
Beth

Thank you for your blog! Your attitude of “work with what you have” is refreshing and offers me hope and contentment with my house.

Jess
Guest
Jess

I really like the painting in the after picture it goes perfectly with the wall color! Any chance you could tell me where the painting is from?

Caroline Howard
Guest
Caroline Howard

What sheen did you use for this project i.e. eggshell or flat etc?