Help Me, BHG: How Do I Lighten Up My Brown Leather Sofa?

Help Me, BHG: How Do I Lighten Up My Brown Leather Sofa?


Hi, I’m Amy Panos, Senior Editor at Better
Homes & Gardens, and a reader named Nancy has written us with a really great question.
She writes, “I have a brown leather couch, chair and ottoman and little ones, so safety
is an issue. What would you recommend for coffee and side tables and/or lamps to lighten
up the heavy furniture?” Well Nancy, that is a great question. A lot of people have
the brown leather sofa because it works. It’s functional, it’s versatile, if the kids spill
juice on it you can wipe it right off. So, you’re on the right track there, but you’re
right; if you have a room with a lot of leather furniture in it, the look can be very dark
and you need to lighten it up. So here are three easy ideas for lightening up a brown
leather sofa. You might think that wood is the last thing you’d want to pair with a brown
leather sofa, but actually if the wood is much, much lighter in color than the sofa,
it can totally work. So here’s an example where the homeowner has done just that. If
you use a distressed finish, a wood that is weathered and distressed, which remains very
much a trend, then you can let the kiddos have at it and do their artwork and eat pizza
and paint and whatever and you don’t have to worry about the surface of the table getting
damaged. Another great piece to pair with a brown leather sofa is a giant upholstered
ottoman. Get one in a pattern and a color that’s going to contrast with the sofa and
lighten it up. And when you add a large tray, that ottoman becomes a functional coffee table.
But remove the tray and you have a lot of extra seating for guests at a party, or for
movie night. My last suggestion for what to pair with a brown leather sofa is color. Go
to a flea market or a garage sale, and find yourself a table that you can paint a fantastic
eye-catching color. And you can really make it become a focal point of the room. And even
better, especially if you have little ones, a round table or an oval table that doesn’t
have any sharp corners is going to A. add a new shape to the room and interest, and
B. keep the little ones safe. Some ideas for how to lighten up a room full of brown leather
furniture for Nancy, and I hope you found it helpful too. And if you have a decorating
question, please put it in the comments below. We cannot wait to answer your questions.

10 thoughts on “Help Me, BHG: How Do I Lighten Up My Brown Leather Sofa?

  1. Great ideas! What would you do to lighten/brighten a living room with chocolate brown sofas if you have hardwood flooring? I was thinking an area rug could help a ton, but that's my only idea. Note: I can't paint, but doubt I'd want walls any color other than egg shell (which they currently are).

  2. Well those ideas had nothing to do with answering the question. "How do I lighten my brown sofa?"…..Oh, get some light colored furniture….LOL

  3. Dear I have chocolate brown bedroom furniture with beautiful carving done on it.Want to change colour scheme of my room n add colour, what can I do?

  4. I got a corner L shape sofa, an arm chair and a 2 seater all in brown leather and my mum bought animal print cushions (all quite dark) even when i mix things up abit my mum pisses me off and says she bught the dark animal cushion covers so people cant see kids spilt stuff on them. My only solution was to paint walls white (they were light mauve) put a machine washable area rug under the coffee table as i had mid brown carpets (living in north west england seems most practical), got myself machine washable cream cushions to put behind the animal print ones, put an artifical "real looking" white orchid on table, got cream machine washable curtains but im good with a sewing machine so i edged it with animal print on the side and black pom pom lace to tie things together. I used silk emulsion on the walls so i only need to get a damp cloth (sometimes with diluted bleach on it) to wipe away crayons, finger prints etc and it looks fresh, clean and new 1 yr on. I also bought storage ottomans and wont let my toddlers have pudding until they tidy all their toys away in there.

  5. Hi there we jst bought a new Seafoam leather sofa but I am confused for the accent chair can you help me in that please. Thanks

  6. I have a camel fabric Colored l shape couch what color of pillows throw rug and curtains would give a light soft feel for the room. I don’t like bright bold colors I prefer a room that gives a peaceful and soft feeling. If you could please give me some ideas. Thank you

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