Sometimes you have no choice but to decorate around a piece of furniture that isn't exactly what you want. If that piece of furniture is a dark brown sofa, there are ways to use it to your advantage. By using the right colours and accessories, you can turn that heavy, dark furniture into something you're glad to have in your living room.
Choose colours to compliment the sofa, but that will add lightness as well. A sofa is a substantial piece of furniture, and a dark-coloured one needs to be balanced. Choose light colours that both compliment the sofa, such as tans or creams, and those that contrast it, such as light blue or grey. Use these colours for other pieces of furniture, walls and floors, as well as accents.
Make sure the other furniture compliments the sofa. While you should go for a lighter look with other furniture, it should fit in with the sofa. Wood legs on lighter-coloured chairs pulls in the sofa while lightening the look of the whole room, for instance.
Add accents with pops of bright colour. Pillows, vases, rugs and other small touches using strong, bright colours balance the dark sofa and provide visual interest in the room. A heavy, dark sofa can look very masculine, and adding fun pattern prints brings a touch of femininity to the room while breaking up the seriousness of that piece of furniture.