Living room goals: Global Editor-in-Chief Lucy Searle shares 10 ways to put your sofa in the spotlight

1. Complement Your Sofa With Your Colour Scheme

It’s likely that you will choose your sofa to complement your existing colour scheme, but whether your sofa is in a safe, goes-with-everything neutral or a bold new shade, it’s worthwhile taking note of not just the overt colour of the fabric, but the undertones, too.

2. Create Impact With The Wall Colour

If you are looking to introduce a new colour to your living room, to create a more dramatic impact with your decorating, and to showcase your new sofa, the easiest way to do so is to redecorate the wall behind the sofa.

3. Choose Cushions And Throws In Accent Shades

Most successful colour schemes rely on one main colour, then two to three accent colours, all in varying tones for subtle but effective layering. If you have yet to invest in cushions or throws, these present an opportunity to bring colour layering to your scheme.

4. Consider Contrasting Textures And Patterns

Just as cushions and throws can introduce accent colours, they can also bring new patterns and textures into the space. A combination of patterns is always more successful if it’s cleverly varied: look to include, in a trio of cushions for example, a large scale print, a small scale print, and a plain, perhaps with a contrasting piping.

5. Arrange Cushions Artfully

There are so many ways to arrange cushions, whether sat on their corners for a relaxed look to stacked and sat up on their flat edges for a formal feel. Choosing cushions of different sizes and shapes can also change how your sofa presents.

6. Drape Throws Purposefully

Throws aren’t just for comfort – you can drape them decoratively to add more colour, pattern and texture to your space – and to draw attention to your sofa.

7. Ensure Your Sofa-Rug Ratio Is Correct

For me, area rugs are a must-have in a living room and they should be chosen with the sofa at the forefront of your mind. Ideally, a sofa’s front feet - and those of any armchairs - will sit on the rug. This gives both a sense of connection and - from a practical point of view - means the rug doesn’t move about. It’s important the rug is wide enough - at least a half foot wider at either end than the sofa.

8. Frame The Sofa With Artwork

Just as a rug frames a sofa at floor level, artwork should be used above it to frame and draw attention. Whether you choose a single large picture, a row of smaller prints, or a gallery wall of artwork, it should ideally be half a foot shorter than the sofa’s width, though this will depend, to a degree, on the size and shape of the wall space - a very tall ceiling might call for artwork that’s narrower but taller, for example.

9. Maximise Your Sofa’s Presence With Side Tables

Just as a bed is always accompanied by bedside tables, a sofa should always be bookended by side tables. Not only are they a practical addition, they also allow for low level lighting that throws flattering hues over your sofa at night, inviting you to sit down - as if you needed the enticement.

10. Extend Your Sofa Into The Room’s Centre With A Footstool - Or Coffee Table

Placing a footstool or coffee table in front of your sofa is another way to draw attention to it. Either can be used to introduce more texture, complementary colours and materials to the room. However, be careful not to choose materials that clash.

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