Featured! How to Style a Brown Sofa

When I first moved in with my boyfriend (now husband), the first “big” furniture purchase we made together was a beige sofa-loveseat combo. And when I say “big,” I mean it – this duo was like something out of Alice in Wonderland. The enormous cushions were grossly overstuffed, and it had these big swooping arms. Cuddling on this matching set of hot-cocoa-colored marshmallows under the bright lights of Bernie & Phyl's Discount Furniture, we felt delightfully grown-up.

Man, I wish I could go back and rip the Fleet Bank debit card out of our hands that day, because that god-awful sofa set stayed with us way too long—more than a decade. It was long enough for me to grow up, acquire a little taste, and begin to despise its existence. But doesn’t everyone have a sofa story like this? Doesn’t everyone have to wrestle with a wretched brown sofa at some point? We buy them because beige and brown seem so safe, and then, after looking at them for a few years, they just start to look so…. Blah.

Needless to say, when About.com Home asked me for some tips on how to style a brown sofa, I had more than a few ideas. A few key takeaways:

1. Throw pillows are your friends. 

In quotes:  "Incorporating pillows in different textures, colors and sizes will help you create a plush, inviting display.”

2. Throw blankets are also your friends. 

In quotes: "A large throw can help disguise a splotch or sunken part of a sofa cushion.  Instead of neatly folding the throw over a sofa arm, try either draping it from the top so it fans out over one or two of the cushions, or drape it over the entire back of the sofa so the fringe hangs down. For even more texture, consider a faux fur throw, a cable-knit style, or a nubby chenille."

3. Distract, distract, distract.

 In quotes: "Create an eye-catching grouping of decorative accents on the adjacent end tables," Garlough says, "by choosing items that complement your sofa’s new color and style theme."  A pair of table lamps with interesting shades, for instance, can flank your couch in style.  

4. Hit the floor.

In quotes: "A statement rug can draw the eye away from a lackluster sofa," Garlough offers… "Or try a great, on-trend trick for adding interest on the floor: Layer two rugs, such as a cowhide or a smaller fringed oriental under a basic jute or sisal rug" as another way to draw attention away from a ho-hum couch.

To read the full story, click here. If you still don’t believe a brown sofa can be all that, have a look at these five rooms, where I think brown is anything but boring.  

 Credit: Design by  Murphy & Co ., via  Houzz

Credit: Design by Murphy & Co., via Houzz

 Credit: Design by  Jeannette Whitson ; image via  HouseBeautiful

Credit: Design by Jeannette Whitson; image via HouseBeautiful

 Source: Lonny mag via  Elements of Style

Source: Lonny mag via Elements of Style

Which of these looks is your fave? Or can you simply not stomach a chocolate-colored sofa?