Don’t Blame The Sofa

Written by Kelly on January 15th, 2013



I am working on a design plan for a homeowner that had purchased a new sofa a year and a half ago and she still is not happy with the look of the room. She was kind enough to let me share her pictures and story.

When she brought the sofa home, she was disappointed that the khaki color in the sofa was not more prominent and the darker color just overwhelmed it. She wrote, “AND if that isn’t bad enough, it is casting a gold-ish, greenish hideous hue!” Not good.

Below is a photo of her living room. She had not chosen the wall color which is a light blue:

ruth sofa

I told her that I don’t think the furniture is the problem at all, it is the color on the wall. The sofa is really nice! The light blue has a very ‘cool’ undertone color, where the sofa has warm undertones (red) and that is making the ‘dark’ color of the sofa stand out more and look as if they are clashing. And that is what was bothering her most.

sofa fabric          

She did specify that she wanted a warm color palette in the room. She had just purchased a beautiful rug that works really well with her sofa. I love how the two patterns work together:

ruth rug

There were a few different ways to go with paint color that would work, so I presented her with a few different options:

* To pull the khaki color out more in the sofa, try a sample of a soft light beige, such as BM Muslin 1037 (red undertones):



* Another color you can use for a wall color is the green taken from the rug. For example, a deeper green such as Sherwood Green HC-118:

image                 sofa fabric

* Another option to look at is a deep medium to dark blue (also in the rug). Benjamin Moore’s Water’s Edge 1635 is beautiful:


* One more option- Benjamin Moore Stone Hearth 984:


Then whichever color she chooses, she can buy pillows and accessories in the same color family to bring the room all together. “Don’t blame the sofa”, I told her. “The right paint color will totally change the look of your room and work well together with your furnishings.”

I think all four options would work well in her living room. She is picking up samples now to see which color palette she likes best. Which would you choose?

If you need help choosing the best color for your home, contact me today.

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7 Comments so far ↓

  1. Bea says:

    I think the Muslim or the Stone Hearth would look amazing with that sofa. I don’t like the green. Great post and a good testament to the importance of a good paint colour.

  2. Hi Kelly! I love this blog post!! (and the title- lol!)It is amazing what a difference a wall color can make when accenting a large piece of furniture in a space!!

  3. nancy batis says:

    Water’s Edge.

  4. mollie duvall says:

    I vote for the medium/dark blue. Very calming but not boring in combination with the rug.

  5. Why is it that we always want to blame the sofa? We ended up with a camel colored sofa which was a discontinued floor sample. Because of the color, we really had to be careful with our wall color choice. We chose Benjamin Moore Elephant Tusk and it is working well–we almost went with the Muslin–interesting it has red undertones. Great post!

  6. Linda says:

    I agree, changing the wall color will be a big improvement. I like the sofa!

  7. good post, kelly. how we perceive color is relative to the colors around that color!

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