Tuesday, September 4, 2012

freshen up your old brown sofa...

The other day my friend said she couldn't do anything with her living room because
she had a "big old brown beast" that dominated the room.
 She felt there were no options until she could afford a new sofa.
I told her we could work with her beast, here are some ideas you can easily
incorporate if you're having trouble making your home feel updated because of an old sofa.

~ Notice where your eye travels when you look at these rooms, I bet it's not to the sofa. ~

Paint your walls a lighter color.
Use lighter color pillows, lamps, accessories and artwork.
Paint your coffee table white.


These two large mirrors not only make a statement, but reflect the opposite side of the
room, taking the focus off the sofa.
TJ Maxx, HomeGoods, Target, Cost Plus, Marshalls and thrift stores are all
good sources for inexpensive mirrors.


This room is a great example of several elements you can use to distract from the sofa,
a screen, large scale accessories, patterned chair, pillows, and ottoman,
 three different styles of tables.


The combination of the symmetrical gallery wall and the large abstract adds so much
 interest, as does the completely different style of tables.


Include a fresh dose of your favorite bright color, dark brown looks great with
bright blue, green, pink, orange and yellow.
(Once again notice the infusion of white, and two gallery walls.)


Your eye goes right to the patterned draperies and striped chair.
Notice the patterned pillows in several of the photos above.


Both of the following rooms are great examples that each incorporate several of the ideas.


If you're thinking including all of those elements could be expensive, remember you
don't have to include ALL of them, and shopping at TJ Maxx, HomeGoods,
Marshalls, World Market, Target and thrift stores are all budget friendly sources.
The main trick is take the focus off the 'beast!'


Anonymous said...

You are quite right, the sofas actually seem to almost 'disappear' as there is far more to interest the eye. I do like that striped chair in the room with the green curtains, it has given me an idea!

Karen said...

What a great friend you are to find all these examples for her. If she takes your advice I hope she'll allow you to share the details.

Luci @Bungalow At Home said...

I think using a complimentary color palette is key. With a brown "beast" of a sofa using blue is a great choice so I love your first photo where you eye is drawn up... and using lots of white instantly pulls the room together. Your friend should feel better after those great inspiration photos!

Sew a Fine Seam said...

Great ideas! Or you could always slip cover 'the beast'!! :) Really though your ideas are all easier and just as effective!

Beth of designPOST Interiors said...

This makes me question whether I should get rid of my big brown beast! Great ideas!

Linda {Calling it Home} said...

Fantastic advice. I actually like the brown sofas in your inspiration pictures.

Lisa @ Shine Your Light said...

That is exactly what I've been trying to do - - work with my big brown beast by lightening up the other elements in the room and using a pop of color here and there. So many great tips!! Thank you for sharing all these ideas.

Denise Greenwood said...

I too am working on ligthening up my room in spite of my dark furniture. Love all the ideas!!

Holly Gruszka said...

I'm going to be a crazy woman after getting my morning dose of blog reading - this post is full of great ideas. And I've got the LR project that has some tan beasts that will need at least one of these tips to distract. Excellent ideas Pam.

Cindy @ a curious gardener said...

Great ideas. All perfect solutions. Always amazed at how fresh pillows can completely change a room.

Shirley@Housepitality Designs said...

Great, great tips...loved all the examples...I am struggling with the idea of painting my round brown coffee table in the great room..oh decisions...

Anonymous said...

These are GREAT ideas! My boyfriend has a dark brown sofa, love seat, chair set and these help with ideas for his room!

Dana Frieling said...

I have a big brown beast too. Trick #1 worked wonders in my situation. Great tips. Hope you and your friend can work a little magic and make hers "disappear."

Cotton said...

This post could not come at a better time! I am about to inherit a milk chocolate brown couch for my new place!

Katie {Miss Dixie} said...

haha the beast, I love it! I had a beast of a sofa previous to the one I own now and it was tough to work with. These are all great ideas!

Unknown said...

excellent post Pam, and perfectly stated. Great examples and break down.
I feel like brown is coming back anyway, do you?
Have a great day.
xo Nancy

Amanda said...

This is an excellent post Pam! Great examples !! Its so true that just a few accessories can really make a sofa blend with its surroundings.

Lori said...

Wow! Those photos are Beauty and the Beast! So pretty. Will the same tricks work on the Jolly Green Giant in my family room?!

Terry @ La Bella Vie said...

Wow, excellent post! Its amazing what can be done if you think outside the box! Love the examples you showed us!
Thank you for the nice comment about the new kitchen...we're breathing now that's its done!

High Cotton Style said...

I'm a sucker for light/white sofas! These images may have changed my mind though! Love them!

Taylor Greenwalt said...

Great tips for a darker sofa. Love the examples you showed.

Amber B (Simple Dwellings) said...

What a great, informative post! I love this! And you're right- I didn't look at the sofa first in any of them! :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Pam,
This might be my favorite post of yours, ever! I have a gorgeous microfiber brown sofa in excellent condition; now I see that what's around it needs to be brightened up. Thanks so much for the example, and please take photos of your friend's room once she is finished. Thanks for a great blog. You are so inspiring!


Leather Sofa Providers said...

With your tips, every living room will surely look fabulous with its sofas and other furniture!

At Rivercrest Cottage said...

what an informative post. I don't have a "beast" but will use your tips to hide other things that aren't perfect, but needed.

Anonymous said...

Just beautiful, you've done an amazing job.and good tips. Bedroom Furniture Online

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