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How to Dress a Sofa: 6 Styling Tips & Ideas

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Ed Hawes
How to style a sofa

Investing in a stylish, contemporary sofa is a great way to start your living room transformation. However, if you really want to get the most out of your furnishings, you need to learn how to dress a sofa as well.

Dressing a sofa essentially means adding cushions, throws and other accessories that will enhance the look and the comfort of the piece. Get it right, and you’ll be able to create an eye-catching centrepiece that you can update and adapt whenever you want to.

Here are some of our top tips for how to dress your sofa and achieve the living room look you really want.

1. How to dress a sofa: Cushions

When thinking about how to dress your sofa, you really need to start with your cushions. The style, size and number of cushions you select will have a huge impact on the look of your sofa, so it’s essential you get it just right.

Green sofa and cushions

Sofas often look best when dressed with at least two or three cushions at each end. If you have any more than this, you may find you can no longer fit comfortably on the seats. If you choose a sofa that comes with feature cushions, like the Model 02, you may want to limit the number of extra cushions you use to just one or two per side.

If your cushions come in a range of sizes, think about placing the largest cushions closest to the sofa arms and then working inwards as they get smaller. Match the colour or pattern of your cushions to other design elements in your room to really bring the space together.

2. How to dress a sofa: Throws

Throws allow you to add a large block of colour, pattern or texture to your sofa. They can also be used as cosy blankets when the nights are cold. You can place a throw over the back of your sofa or over one of the arms.

Add a yellow throw to your sofa

Even if you never actually use it, having a throw is a great way to brighten up your sofa and introduce a colour or pattern theme to the space. If you enjoy regularly reinventing your living room, invest in a few different throws and change your look whenever you want.

3. How to dress a sofa: Patterns

Patterns can look fantastic on furnishings. However they can also go out of fashion and begin to look dated pretty quickly. That’s why our sofas come in classic block colours that will stand the test of time.

Patterned cushions

Instead of choosing a patterned sofa, it’s a much better idea to add patterns with your accessories. Patterned cushions and throws can look great when paired with rich, attractive sofa fabric. Try to avoid using lots of different patterns as this can make your sofa look cluttered and confused. Instead, opt for one theme and run it through your cushions and throws.

4. How to dress a sofa: Colours

When it comes to dressing a sofa with colour, bolder is often better. Adding bright splashes of colour to your sofa can help to tie it in with your décor and add a little fun to the design.

As cushion covers can be changed fairly easily, don’t be worried about following the latest colour trends when selecting your accessories. After all, if you decide you don’t like the tones in a year or two, you can simply replace the covers with your new favourite shade.

blue cushions

You can either choose one colour palette to run through your cushions and throws or you can mix and match. Sometimes selecting contrasting, but complimentary colours can work really well. These types of tones help to accent each other and will ensure the sofa really stands out from the crowd. Think dark grey and mustard yellow, navy and orange and silver and purple.

5. How to dress a sofa: Fabrics

Using a variety of fabrics can help to make your sofa more tactile and more inviting. Playing around with textures can also add depth and visual interest to your living room centrepiece.

Velvet fabric sofa

Fluffy cushions, a soft, luxurious throw or a thick woollen blanket would all look great on your sofa. Again, try to avoid going overboard with too many textures as this can dilute the look of your sofa.

6. How to dress a sofa: Ottomans

Ottomans can be used to great effect to transform a standard sofa into an L-shaped or chaise design

Linen fabric corner sofa

Dressing your sofa gives you the opportunity to personalise its look and create a bespoke piece that’s perfect for your home. 

Shop Sofas Shop Ottomans

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