5 Ways to Work with a Bland Sofa


It can be challenging to work with a piece that leaves much to be desired or you aren’t exactly in love with. Many find themselves face to face with this challenge when trying to dress up their living room, only to find that their sofa’s dull appearance is leaving any hope of a transformation looking dim.

Not every piece in a room should be a jaw-dropping work of art. Sometimes you need a standard, traditional piece to add balance and act as a supplementary element to help the bigger picture. Many of us already own a sofa that while a bit bland, is in perfect condition. Instead of looking at it as a piece that needs to be replaced for something flashier, look at it as a supporting player in the grand scheme of your room. See how to turn your sofa into an inspired anchor piece with some of these expert design ideas.


  1. Accent Pillows

You may think this is the most obvious way to dress up a couch, but there’s more to it than just throwing down a couple brightly colored pillows. When you’re working with a neutral colored couch, the great thing is that most colors will naturally pair well with it. That still doesn’t give you free reign if you want great design, though. Instead of pairing up identical pillows, choose a selection of different pillows that have similar ‘theme’, like color schemes or patterns—and still go well with the neutral tones in your sofa. This will let the eye travel around your sofa a bit more, and allow you to tie in more colors, patterns, and textures that you’ve included around the room. Finish styling your pillows with a quick karate chop to give them some life and your sofa will be looking brand new.


bland sofa

  1. Throw Blankets

If statement pillows aren’t doing it for you, there’s another option in throw blankets. You can really use this as an element to bolster the direction and style you want the room to go in. A neutral couch will always act as a strong base for any kind of throw blanket you want to incorporate, so you can be as daring as you want. A blanket will look best when casually tossed over the back corner of your sofa, but we also love the strategically-placed slim folder blanket down the middle of your couch. When trying to style your couch seasonally, we suggest soft, plush faux fur blankets. For summer, you can swap out your heavy blankets for a more bohemian woven blanket.


bland sofa

  1. Coffee Tables and End Tables

Let’s talk supporting furniture. Have you ever noticed you can make something shine by surrounding it with complementary elements? Look for coffee tables and end tables that might highlight your sofa, from the shape, to the colors, to the aesthetic. Consider the shape and angles of your sofa when choosing tables. Well designed tables will make the sofa’s presence make more sense, and allow it to act as a solid framing piece to the tables. By putting the star quality in these other pieces, they’ll bring the sofa up a few notches instead of letting it fall flat.


bland sofa

  1. Baskets

A way to add some flair to your drab sofa and find a better way to store your blankets and pillows is through the use of decorative baskets. If a throw just isn’t working to liven up your couch and you also want to multitask and make your space look a little more tidy, opt for a well-placed basket. A rounded wicker basket is a favorite for many homeowners, and can play off sofas of any material or color. When choosing a basket, a material like wicker or bamboo with a woven pattern will let you see the colors, textures, and patterns of the items in the basket, so use that to your advantage when choosing decorative throws.


bland sofa

  1. Area Rugs

bland sofa

Since you’re working with a standard, neutral  couch, you can go in practically any direction with a rug. There’s a lot of freedom with styling here, so you can be as bold as you want to be, especially since your sofa is likely so muted. Missing the opportunity to add a shade you think that would look just perfect? Thinking your space could use a little bit more texture? Want to find a way to pull together the neutrals of your couch with the colors of the rest of the room? Opt for a rug that combines all these elements, and takes the sofa into consideration instead of masking or overpowering it.

Bringing some life to your drab sofa is far easier than you thought. Instead of splurging on a striking (expensive) piece of furniture, opt for reinventing what you already have. You can completely reimagine its role in your room with a few simple changes.


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