Decorating Around a Red Sofa

Updated November 21, 2016

Red furniture, especially a large piece like a couch, is a statement piece in any living room. Choosing paint colours for the walls, accent furniture pieces, and a rug to compliment a red couch is a difficult prospect for novice decorators. Since red is a strong, dynamic colour, it works best when paired with softer, warmer accents. Filling the room with natural accent pieces also helps soften the rooms look, making it feel lived in and cosy, rather than a room that's simply a show piece.

Tape off the edges of moulding and baseboard with painter's tape. Open the taupe coloured paint with a paint can opening tool or a flathead screwdriver. Stir with a painting stir stick. Cover the floor with a plastic dust sheet.

Pour a small amount of taupe coloured paint into a paint tray. Roll a paint roller through the tray and paint the walls taupe. Allow the paint to dry and apply another coat if necessary. The warm, soft brown provides a compliment to the red sofa.

Allow paint to dry for at least 48 hours. Cover the edges of the painted walls with painter's tape. Open and stir the cream-coloured paint. Dip a wide angle sash brush into the paint can. Paint all of the trim, mouldings, doors, and window frames in a cream tone. Cream will brighten the space but is softer than a bright white trim.

Place a sisal rug on the floor. The rug can cover the majority of the floor space or can be small enough to cover the couch and coffee table area.

Place an oil-rubbed bronze and glass coffee table in front of the red sofa. This adds a modern look, with a reflective surface without being jarring against the sofa or competing with the relaxed design of the room.

Anchor the space with walnut side tables on either side of the couch. Place an oil-rubbed lamp on one table. Place a tall glass cylindrical vase on the either. Fill the vase with a collection of large, sculptural branches.

Place several walnut bookshelves against the wall opposite of the red couch. Fill the shelves with a collection of old books. Stack some books horizontally rather than vertically. Add large shells or small, oil-bronzed sculptures to the stacks.

Add a shorter, stockier glass vase to the coffee table. Fill the table with an arrangement of cream and red flowers. A piece of driftwood set on the coffee table makes a nice accessory.

Use a walnut armoire to hide the TV, stereo equipment, games, DVDs and music collections. Choosing one with a distressed finish compliments the style of this living room.


Search thrift stores and discount book stores for hardcover books with dust jackets. These will add visual interest in the space. Consider providing light brown, taupe or cream arm chairs in the room for additional seating that will not compete with the red sofa.

Things You'll Need

  • Painter's tape
  • Interior paint, warm taupe colour
  • Paint can opening tool or flathead screwdriver
  • Paint stir sticks
  • Plastic dust sheet
  • Paint trays
  • Paint roller
  • Step ladder
  • Interior paint, cream colour
  • Wide angle sash brush
  • Sisal rug
  • Oil-rubbed bronze and glass coffee table
  • Walnut side tables
  • Oil-rubbed bronze lamp
  • Tall, cylindrical glass vase
  • Branches
  • Walnut bookshelves
  • Old books
  • Shells
  • Oil-rubbed bronze sculptures
  • Shorter, stocky glass vases
  • Cream coloured flowers
  • Red flowers
  • Driftwood
  • Walnut armoire
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