Homes & Design Photo Credit: Martin Tessler

9 Ways to Use Sofas as Your Room’s Source of Colour

From wild and crazy patterns to subdued tones, there’s a colourful sofa for everyone.

The couch is at the centre of most living rooms—it’s where people gather, chill out, and let’s be honest, where we spend most of our time (there’s no such thing as a love-seat potato). So why not use it to make a statement? The nine rooms listed below all feature sofas that play with colour, pattern and shape to create sophisticated modern living rooms that will please even the most monochrome-palette-loving minimalists.

Mayne cabin
(Photo: Janis Nicolay.)

1. Play with patterns. 
Okay, we’ll admit it. This first example is a bit of a cheat, but the multi-patterned dining bench is great inspiration for sofa upholstery. Designers Kerri Watson and Alex Coleman matched the cozy kitchen nook in this remote Gulf Island cabin to the bar stools; take a cue from their book and play with different patterns in the same colour palette to keep things interesting. See more of this custom cabin design.

(Photo: Martin Tessler.)

2. Source vintage pieces for colour and character.
These vintage Knole sofas are extra-unique thanks to their electric blue colour—and they pair so well with the yellow Arne Jacobsen Swan bucket chairs. When sourcing vintage furniture, look for bold colours that will add a layer of character to otherwise neutral spaces. See more of this Shaugnessy home.

(Photo: Martin Tessler.)

3. Use the sofa as an accent piece.
Orange may not be the first colour that comes to mind when you think “sofa,” but architect Howard Airey makes it work, matching the sofa’s fabric to the exposed brick walls in this Vancouver home. Find a colour you love, either on the walls or in the flooring, and use your sofa as a way to draw them out and tie the room together. See more of this bespoke home.

(Photo: Martin Tessler.)

4. Be bold and fearless with your design choices.
This living room reminds us of a Disney villain (and we mean that in the best way possible). The patterned purple fabric on this ten-seater sofa adds visual interest against the stark white walls, while the layered shades of purple create an entertaining space that people will be talking about long after the party is over. Take a page from this homeowner’s book and be fearless with your sofa choices. See more of this pretty purple condo.

(Photo: Ema Peter.)

5. Try experimenting with shapes.
Interlocking armless sofas in mixed blue tones create a minimalist, trendy look in this ultra-modern Frits de Vries-designed living room on Bowen Island. Playing with shape as well as colour can add an extra layer of fun to a space—suddenly it’s bursting with personality. See more of this modern island retreat.

(Photo: Jamie Bezemer.)

6. Work with complementary colours.
From patterned chairs in pink and blue to a fuchsia sofa, this living room is not for the faint of heart. The blue, pink and purple hues create cohesiveness through repetition; start with a boldly coloured sofa and work your way out from there, adding little touches of complementary colour throughout until your living room (maybe) looks like this. Read more about the hot-for-2018 maximalism trend.

(Photo: Broda Photography.)

7. Make a colourful statement in a neutral room.
This custom-designed emerald green velvet sofa is a real gem (get it?), breaking up the black, white and neutral colours in this Jenna Josephson-designed heritage home. Keeping things simple with a single pop of colour can make a really big statement. Plus, there’s nothing wrong with coordinating your furniture and greenery. See more of this bright and welcoming family home.

(Photo: Martin Tessler.)

8. Use muted colours to create a sense of calm.
This living room palette is more subdued than most of designer Paul Lavoie‘s work, but it’s still full of personality. The lavender and lilac hues of this sofa-ottoman combo make us long for spring; colours give a room energy, and these floral-inspired shades create a calming spot in the middle of a sleek Ritz-Carlton style Calgary home. See more of this historic-meets-contemporary design.

(Photo: Kristen McGaughey.)

9. Embrace your inner child.
We’re having play school flashbacks—it’s time to criss-cross-apple-sauce! The plush rainbow sofas in this playful media room are meant to host a crowd on movie night—and they definitely set the tone for fun; go wild and pick energetic, youthful sofas that’ll make your family giddy. See more of this cozy winter cabin.

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