What Goes With Black Sofas?

Updated April 17, 2017

Black is bold, and demands your attention when used as a colour accent. Whether it's leather or fabric, a black sofa shouldn't be allowed to disappear into a mix of room styles and colours, or under a ton of throws, so be as bold as you dare and give it pride of place. Spruce it up with a good clean, buff it up, and put it in the limelight.

Know Your Sofa

Take a good look at that black sofa. Look at its lines, shape and size, and look for the detail that you like most about it. Perhaps it has elegant legs, or a pleasing line across the back. Even if it's a simple corduroy sofa-bed with no legs at all and very simple lines, assess its comfort and texture. Take any cushions and rugs off to view it without other colours that might affect your decor decisions.

Location, Location, Location

Take all your room furniture into account, and decide if you want your black sofa to be the main focus, in a cosy corner, or part of a design set with more black accents. Sketch your room out on paper to play with positioning. Take out some furniture while you decide, so that you're not distracted by other shapes, forms and space fillers, and then go for it -- move that sofa.

Accessorise on a Budget

Use accessories and furnishings to give your black sofa its new identity. Place a vibrant coloured rug underneath the sofa to extend its floor space out to the front and sides and to give it a defined space, and use that colour in a couple of extra accents in the room, such as a painting, or a small collection of picture frames. For example, rich reds work well by deepening the black, but use a plain rug if you have a patterned carpet.

Change The Decor

If your budget can stretch to redecorating, start from scratch with a colour wheel. Make a list of what you have in the room, select those items that have a common colour theme or that can be painted, and cross out the rest of the items that can be repurposed elsewhere in your home. Include drapes, carpet, rugs, fixtures and fittings and other furniture in the list.

Colour Schemes

Try deep colours on the walls, such as blues and reds for evening elegance. A floor lamp hidden behind the sofa creates a pool of subtle light around the sofa and its base rug, or try using a small bulb to light a painting on the wall above the sofa. Light then falls downwards and brings the sofa into focus. Alternatively, maximise window light to open up the room, and select crisp, clean shades of white, grey, cream and pastels for walls. For smart, clean architectural lines, look at the red shades in the colour wheel, from reddish-purple, through to maroon and deep red, and combine with shades of cream and white, or play with a range of greys from dark to light.

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About the Author

Veronica James has been writing since 1985. Her first career was as a specialty-trained theater sister responsible for running routine and emergency operating theaters, as well as teaching medical/nursing students. James's creative and commercial writing has appeared online, in print and on BBC radio. She graduated with an honors Bachelor of Arts in English literature from the University of North London.