Blue is a calming color, and many designers use it as a neutral. And aside from pure neutral colors like white, grey, beige, brown, and black, it’s one of the most versatile colors you can work with in design. Blue jeans, for example, can go with almost anything.
But, since blue isn’t a pure neutral, a blue sofa will stand out as a bold focal point in your living room design. According to Emily Ruff, Owner and Principal Designer of Cohesively Curated Interiors, the key to working with a bold sofa of any color is surrounding it with neutral living room furniture. Neutral-colored pieces like coffee tables and accent chairs help balance the blue sofa without weighing down the design.
With neutral furniture keeping things soothing, you can add accent colors in artwork, throw pillows, and an area rug. First, try basing the color scheme on an area rug or piece of artwork you love, which can be any mix of neutral, blue, and other accent colors. Then, choose your throw pillows accordingly. Ruff notes that purple, pink, and green tend to work well with blues and neutrals.
2. Utilize Textures
Textures are essential in modern living rooms, adding visual appeal that influences the room’s vibe. Even an all-white living room can look exciting with the right textures, and magic happens when you mix in different colors. Aim to use two or three distinct textures in each space to bring it to life.
“My advice for styling a room with a blue couch would be to create a tonal look with lots of texture. Try options like nubby wool, sleek high gloss paint, matte pottery, dark metal, and limited pops of color,” NJ-based interior designer and artist Darren Greenblatt told Living Cozy.
“My advice for styling a room with a blue couch would be to create a tonal look with lots of texture. Try options like nubby wool, sleek high gloss paint, matte pottery, dark metal, and limited pops of color."
Area rugs, throw pillows, and other living room decor all offer excellent opportunities to introduce texture. But don’t overlook the walls, flooring, and sofa upholstery. For example, a glossy blue wall and wood flooring can help make the textures of your sofa, area rug, and throw pillows stand out.
3. Make a Statement
According to Alicia Lewis, interior designer at ADJ Interiors, a blue sofa is an excellent alternative to the ever-popular neutral sofa. You can use it in the same way as a neutral by layering additional colors on top. Or you might allow it to be the statement piece against an otherwise neutral drop.
With the statement piece approach, different blues will change the feel of the room. For example, a navy blue sofa can appear regal and stately, while a teal or royal blue sectional sofa might look more playful.
Above, the beautiful Jane Churchill crushed blue velvet sofa acts as an anchor in the tall, two-story space. The client envisioned a light palette for the room, so Lewis and the rest of the team at ADJ kept the chairs, accessories, and area rug in muted hues. Then, they added visual interest and a touch of glam with gold accents.
“This particular sofa also features an elegantly-curved back, making it visually pleasing no matter the angle,” explained Lewis. “A blue sofa can be versatile in any room, making a soft or bold impact depending on the shade you choose. We say go for it!”
4. Keep it Simple
Despite their popular status as a neutral color, blues can be powerful and attention-grabbing. So, according to Karen Rohr, an Interior Designer at Mackenzie Collier Interiors, it’s best to avoid saturating your space with lots of colors, variations, and decor.
Less is usually more, so look to minimalist spaces and designs for inspiration. But don’t limit yourself to a strictly minimalist design — instead, create a variation that shows off your unique style. Some variations to consider include Scandinavian, boho, and mid-century minimalist.
Try using clean lines and carefully chosen pieces to allow your sofa to take center stage without overwhelming the space. And if you’re working with a small living room, this is doubly important — in the living room above, the velvet chaise sofa stands out, instantly drawing the eye and inviting you to get comfy. Notice how it’s supported by patterned throw pillows, a neutral area rug, and a touch of greenery.
5. Style with Touches of Blue
Many designers prefer blue couch living room ideas that emphasize neutral tones and intentional splashes of color. Little touches of blue throughout the room will keep the design cohesive, but you want to allow your sofa to take center stage as the central element in the space.
"Let your blue sofa stand out by being the main element in the space. Just add little touches of blue throughout the room so it feels connected, but let the sofa take center stage by keeping most other items neutral," says Pattie Kelly, Certified Interior Decorator and President of Inspired Home Interiors. "In this example [above], we have a blue sofa with just touches of blue in the table lamps and drawer knobs. The juxtaposition of the velvet sofa against the rustic wood accent wall really helps it stand out."
If you have an open floor plan with other rooms visible from the living room, you might also want to add hints of blue to those spaces. For example, if your living room shares open space with the dining room, you could try a navy blue couch, a navy and neutral area rug, and a navy runner on the table.
6. Experiment with Complementary Colors
The key to a beautiful living room is a well-designed color palette. You’ll usually want three or four main neutral colors and one complementary color to go with your blue sofa. The complementary color can help you create the right feel in your space, whether you’re going for a cheerful, bright look or a moody boho vibe.
“If you have white walls, a lighter blue sofa would be great to create an airy, clean, and fresh feel,” explained Karen Rohr. “Be sure to add some throw pillows and blankets in complementary colors to make your couch the centerpiece of the room. Blue goes well with both light and dark colors, so don’t be afraid to experiment.”
Complementary colors sit directly across from each other on the color wheel. So, depending on the shade of blue you’ve chosen, the best complementary color could be red, orange, yellow, or somewhere in between.
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7. Pair with Greenery
Adding plants to your living room is one of the easiest ways to add beauty, depth, and a soothing atmosphere. Much like the color psychology associated with blue, spending time around plants can help reduce anxiety while promoting feelings of relaxation and calm. And since blue and green sit next to each other on the color wheel, they go nicely together in the living room.
Here, the greenery helps the blue sofa stand out while amplifying the natural aesthetic created by the warm wood tones. The touches of gold help glam up the space, while the neutral background allows the entire look to shine.
Try to pick a variety of plants, with sizes ranging from small to ceiling height — the larger plants will stand out as statement pieces, while smaller ones help create an air of tranquility in the room. Play with leaf shape and color as much as the light levels in the room allow. And remember to choose attractive planters to keep the look polished and modern.
8. Create a Monochromatic Room
A monochromatic look could be the perfect answer if you can’t get enough of the color blue. Monochrome palettes use only one color — in this case, that means experimenting with various shades of blue. You’ll still use some neutrals to avoid overwhelming the space, but you can skip the accent colors.
“If you have a dark blue couch, you could use it as a statement piece in a monochromatic room or pair it with pop or bold colors to create an eye-catching and energetic space,” said Karen Rohr.
The walls, artwork, area rug, and surrounding furniture offer opportunities to add more blue, playing with the artistic appeal that monochromatic rooms create. Pick shades and tones of blue that go well with the color of your sofa. Here, the floor, vase, and furniture legs are the only elements that add neutral tones, but the artwork introduces pastel tones, and the blanket plays with a darker grey shade.
9. Pair Your Blue Couch with a Lamp and Artwork
Emily Chesnut, Founder of Emily Chesnut Design, recommends adding lamps and artwork in complementary colors, creating a more subdued look for your living room. “Just be sure not to go overboard – too many accessories can make a room look cluttered and uninviting,” added Chesnut.
A large piece of artwork offers an exciting opportunity to add splashes of color without overwhelming the space. And both table and floor lamps pair nicely with living room sofas, making the area appear cohesive and thoughtfully designed.
10. Accessorize with Throw Pillows
Accessorizing with throw pillows can elevate a blue sofa, adding pops of color and personality to your living room. Emily Chesnut recommends looking for pillows in a variety of colors, textures, and patterns to bring your space to life.
“If your couch is deep blue or navy, you might want to use light colors elsewhere in the room to avoid feeling too dark and heavy. Or, if your blue couch has a floral pattern, you might want to use solid colors elsewhere in the room to keep from feeling too busy,” adds Chesnut.
Playing with throw pillows is also an easy way to add textures and patterns to your room to increase its visual appeal. Don’t be afraid to choose two or three styles to create an eye-catching arrangement on your sofa. And remember to use different shapes and sizes to create a natural, inviting throw pillow arrangement that artfully guides the eye across your couch.
11. Create an Elegant Spaces with “Unconventional Neutrals”
Blues that are a bit more muted or desaturated are often referred to as “unconventional neutrals” because they can be a subtle, almost gray tone. These unconventional neutral blue tones can work well with various other colors, serving as a base tone to balance things out.
“This is one of my favorite options to go with when clients want to keep a casual and elegant space,” said Karen Rohr. “You can easily add a touch of sophistication without being too over-the-top, and it’s also a great alternative if you’re looking for a way to add a pop of color into your space without going too crazy.”
"You can easily add a touch of sophistication without being too over-the-top."
As you design your palette, choose five or six neutral colors, including the muted or desaturated blue of your sofa. Try to pick colors that match the intensity and saturation of the sofa’s upholstery, so everything goes together seamlessly. This approach works well in brightly-lit rooms like the living room pictured above, as natural sunlight can enhance the mood of the space and keep a dreary atmosphere at bay.
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What are the Benefits of a Blue Sofa
It’s tough to argue against using the world’s favorite color in what’s likely the most-used room in your home. Blue sofas are a popular option for living rooms, family rooms, and dens because the versatile color works well with various design styles. In addition, different shades of blue offer something to suit everyone’s taste, so you can bring the calming serenity of this color to any home. And they can add a touch of elegance to any space.
Blue sofas are easy to coordinate with other furnishings. As you may have noticed from the wide range of styles presented in these blue couch living room ideas, you can use this versatile color to create a variety of different looks. For example, a light blue sofa can create an airy and spacious feel, while you can use a dark blue sofa to create a more intimate and cozy setting.
If you’ve spent time shopping for a blue sofa, you’ve likely noticed that there are many shades to choose between. Above all else, you’ll need to be clear in your vision for the space’s feeling, functionality, and goal to pick the right one. This intentional approach will help you pair it well with the other items around your living room. “The one thing I would suggest is that you be extra careful with the other big pieces, such as rugs, accents, chairs, curtains, etc., when selecting other colors,” said Karen Rohr.
When in doubt, it’s best to keep the use of color to a minimum and emphasize neutrals like white, beige, grey, brown, and black. These colors will allow your blue sofa to shine as the star of the show while adding a sense of peace and spaciousness.