If I’ve seen one brown leather sofa, I’ve seen 682,000 of them in my clients’ homes. Like a big brown hole in the middle of the family room, the brown leather sofa can suck the light and the life out of an entire room.
But it doesn’t have to be that way! Here are some trips and tricks to bring that leather sofa to life with some inventive styling:
1) Lighten It Up
pillows and throw from HomeGoods
To lighten up the sofa, start with a light-colored throw or blanket. Fold it lengthwise and place it down the middle of the sofa, tucking it into the sofa cushion in the middle. Next, add a pair of light-colored solid pillows – one on either end of the sofa. Finally, add a patterned pillow to liven things up. Although I only used one in this scenario, you could use a pair of patterned pillows on either side in front of the solid ones.
2) Add Some Color
Get out of the rut of only using neutrals on your brown leather sofa. I decided to use blues because the room already had that color throughout. Start off with a patterned throw and casually toss it over one end of the sofa to soften it. Next, add a pair of solid colored pillows – one on either end. Finally, brighten it up with a pair of lighter colored pillows with some texture in front of the solid ones.
3) Give It Some Pop
Start with a pair of textured neutral pillows, one on either end of the sofa. Then add a pair of solid orange (or other bright accent color) pillows to create a color pop against the dark leather. Just make sure you repeat that new color in accessories or decor elsewhere in the room.
4) Mix Things Up
Take the boring out of your brown leather sofa by adding a mix up of pattern, color, and texture. This will give the sofa an eclectic, bohemian vibe that works great for a family room. Drape a textured blanket over one end and add a few pillows of different colors and patterns. Make sure to add a different shape (such the lumbar pillow I used) to make the arrangement feel more casual.
5) Choose the Right Materials
Unlike other upholstery, leather is non-porous slick material. That means things tend to slide off of it, like pillows. If you’d tried to use poly-filled pillows on leather before, you know what I’m talking about. Here’s the trick: ONLY use down-filled pillows in textured fabrics. Slick fabrics like raw silk will slip off faster than water off a duck’s back. Plus, down-filled pillows hold their shape better with a nice little karate chop. I found all of the pillows and throws in this post at an affordable price at HomeGoods!
I’d love to see photos of how you’ve styled your brown leather sofa – just snap a photo with your phone and post them in the comments below!
I like the multi style non matching pillows in different neutral shades and the animal prints mixed in!
Thanks, Rita – that’s my fav, too 🙂
I like this one because the colors of the throw and pillows are in the brown family. They go with the sofa. So instead of fighting the brown leather, they blend. Why not embrace the leather sofa for what it is…a brown leather sofa!
This is my leather sofa. Besides for pillows and a blanket , my suggestion is always place a cute dog on the sofa?
Haha, great suggestion about the doggie, Shaina! 😉 Thanks for sharing your sofa styling!
Love how you accessorized- especially the last photo with the blue throw. Very pretty and cozy!
Thanks for sharing this combo for your leather sofa, Rita! Looks good 🙂
Here’s my brown sofa. Added interest and energy to the room with a highly patterned rug.
That rug really helps to brighten the browns of the wood floor, coffee table, and sofa. Good job, girl!
Great article. I am working on a house right now with the classic three piece leather furniture set and was shopping this week for items to lighten up the the three dark holes! This pic isn’t a sofa but still the same problem with the pair of chairs. Adding additional textures really helped.
I have that same rug in my art studio, Priscilla. I needed a pop and it’s really a nice rug, not too bright.
I think Priscilla & I have the same sofa! We just moved ours to an upstairs den and I “shopped” the house to freshen decor. (Our curtains are actually a muted green but here they look blue!) The walls are BM Pale Sea Mist. I perceive the wall color adds brightness while blending well with the sofa. Thanks for exercising my view of the room with a photo–funny how anything “off” jumps when seen through a lens!
Looks great, Susan! I love the cuckoo clock, too 🙂
Thanks Kristie! We’re cuckoo for clocks 😉
So am I! I have a few 😉
What’s your thought on two mismatched sofas placed in an L shape. Leather sofa/velvet sofa combo from west elm. Or would it be better to have two of the velvet sofas facing one another and a leather love seat at the end? At the opposite end sits a fireplace. Thanks!
Melissa, I think you can mix things up with two different sofas, but I wouldn’t choose two neutrals to mix. Maybe a color on the West Elm velvet would be better than this charcoal option. Maybe this article will help: https://thedecorologist.com/how-to-create-the-perfect-seating-arrangement/
When I met my husband, he had black leather couch. I hated that thing. I WISH he would have had a brown one!!! Of course, being that we were just starting out, down pillows for the couch were not in the budget. You’re right, any other kind just fall right off. I had a horrible time trying to make that couch look good. The only upside to it was is was sooooo comfortable. I could fall asleep for a nap on that couch faster than anything. Funny, it didn’t look so bad when I asleep on it. LOL
I have a white leather sofa and it has a high back like the brown on in this picture. How large should my pillows be.
Great tips! I’ve got a giant dark brown (Brompton Coco) leather sofa .
great article thanks for posting