A sure-fire way to liven up any room of the home is to rejuvenate the space by using vibrant upholstery as a statement piece. When you think about it, there’s upholstery pretty much everywhere in your home, from the expected sofa and armchairs to the less-obvious bathroom vanity or dining room chair covers. It’s always safe, smart, and recommended to purchase pieces with neutral upholstery so that they will go with any decorating scheme. However, what if you decide to flip that idea on its head and make the upholstery itself the centerpiece of your décor? It’s okay to go out of your comfort zone and try something different and off-the-wall with your upholstered pieces. There are just certain tips and guidelines to keep in mind so your home doesn’t end up looking too gaudy or mismatched.
Before you choose a furniture piece that is upholstered in a vibrant color, it’s important to take stock of every other color that appears in the room. Take a careful inventory of the other colors that appear in your decorating scheme and make a list, so you know to look out for upholstery colors that can complement the rest of the room.
After assessing all of the other colors that appear in the space, you should be prepared to change some of the rest of the room to include more white and/or neutrals. Even with bold colors you can find something that fits with most of the other colors in a space, but rarely can you find off-the-wall upholstery that also complements everything that was already there. Plan which preexisting pieces with clashing colors you will have to change or repaint. Surrounding your new boldly colored piece with white or other neutral shades will not only prevent it from seeming gaudy; it will also help the furniture stand out as an accent piece and a focal point of your decorating scheme.
Make it Bold, Not Garish
There are also simple steps you can take in selecting some vibrant upholstery to help it fit in better with the rest of the space without being too obtrusive. As I mentioned before, surrounding the boldly-colored piece with neutral shades of paint and decorations will help it stand out in a good way. One way to do this is to use natural elements and specifically earthy tones in the rest of your decorating scheme. The browns, tans, and greens that characterize natural décor go with pretty much any color, even the most daring shades.
Another foolproof trick for incorporating nontraditional upholstery into your home is to match it to an existing bold color you’ve been using. If you have dramatic dark walls in your living room or bedroom, choose a sofa, headboard, or armchair that matches the dark walls. This may seem like it would cause the upholstered piece to disappear against the rest of your decorating scheme, but the result is actually a very chic, modern look. If you have significantly pale, dark, or reddish hardwood floors, choose a similar shade for your new upholstery. If you’re worried about this being too “matchy-matchy”, offset the two similar shades with an area rug in a contrasting hue.
The bottom line here, though, is that you should choose something you love. One of the main reasons that it is usually recommended to buy upholstered furniture in neutral shades is that sofas and nice armchairs tend to be expensive items, and you are less likely to regret your purchase if you pick something that’s safe and unobtrusive. However, if you pick a piece that you truly love – no matter the color – you won’t regret what you spent, even for years to come.
Lenny Cravits writes about interior design, interior decorating, & home improvement. He loves writing & sharing ideas about all things related to home decor & renovation, from classic styles to the latest trends.