Deciding to make a great investment in high-quality leather furniture is a great way to transform your living room. But many people then struggle to figure out how else they can make that space more homely, comfortable, and inviting.
To help you with the next steps of your interior design, we’ve come up with a list of dos and don’ts and different ways to give your family room that immediate wow effect.
The good news is that many of the ideas below won’t cost much at all, and they definitely don’t involve any home improvement or DIY skills.
Assess Your Interior Design
Now, you should have a good understanding of what your design style is before you buy a new furniture piece. But it becomes even more important once you start to accessorize your living room.
To get started, we’ll look at the main furniture styles and how color is important.
Modern furniture design originated in the 1960s, and the idea is to create an almost minimalist and understated sofa. These won’t be bulky pieces of furniture and will have very subtle and gentle lines and geometric shapes.
It’s great for a small living room or when the furniture shouldn’t become the focal point, and you would rather draw attention to artwork or even an amazing view.
Classic furniture design is heavily based on 19th century British and French designs. As a result, these will be large and very detailed, meaning that your couch will immediately stand out in a living room.
If you see tufted leather, rolled arms, and highly detailed wood, then you’re most likely looking at a classic couch style.
Contemporary styles try to bridge modern and classic designs. It’s possibly one of the most sought-after styles because it avoids having a couch that becomes a focal point but also doesn’t give it a minimalist appearance.
The next thing you want to do is figure out what your dominant color scheme is.
It’s not so much to force you to stick with exactly the same colors. But when you look at your living room overall, you want to avoid heavily contrasted colors with small things you’re adding.
A few accent colors are fine, but it’s better to blend things to your leather sofa rather than make it completely stand out.
If you’re still struggling to figure out what your décor is telling you, then try out this design style quiz.
15 Leather Sofa Decorating Ideas
1 – Use Decorative Blankets
Whether you have a classic brown leather sofa or an ultra-modern bright red one, one of the easiest ways to add to your décor is with blankets.
The great thing is that they serve multiple purposes.
First of all, a blanket with a nice texture and color pattern is a great way to tie different pieces of furniture together. They are also great to avoid a large brown leather sofa becoming too imposing in a living room.
Secondly, if your sofa is regularly exposed to sunshine, then a blanket is a great way to protect the leather from UV damage during the day.
And finally, there’s the comfort aspect of being able to rest on a couch on a cold night with a warm blanket.
2 – Find Some Colorful Cushions
Similar to choosing a nice blanket, a few accent pillows can be a great addition to a large leather sofa. While the design of a 3-seater or larger sofa shouldn’t make it look too bland, it can still be a large single-color item in your living room.
With a few throw pillows or decorative cushions matched up with your wall color, you can tone down the size of furniture and make it blend with the space better.
3 – Add Modern Or Classic Reading Lights
One thing many people don’t consider enough is a reading or a floor lamp next to their sofas. Just take a quick look at some of the ideas you can get from The Pottery Barn, and you’ll quickly understand how amazing a nice lamp will look next to leather sofas.
From rustic country-style lamps to replica stage lighting, you can create a visual contrast without causing a color contrast problem.
The added benefit is that you’ll make your sofa a more practical space to relax with a newspaper or your favorite author without straining your eyes.
4 – Consider Wood Paneling
This might seem like a bigger job, but even partial wood paneling along a wall where your sofa stands could be a great way to blend shapes and colors with the rest of the living space.
This works particularly well with classic leather furniture as it makes it stand out even more as a centerpiece on a stage.
What you need to be careful about is the color matching and design of the panels. Too much brown wood and brown leather can darken down a room too much. And if the panels are too wide or too narrow, then they might contrast too much with the design of the couch.
5 – Make Use Of A Coffee Table
People often don’t put enough thought into picking the right design of a coffee table. It really doesn’t just have to be a completely practical item that you add to your living room.
But there are a couple of things to keep in mind.
A coffee table has to be the right size to match up with your leather furniture. There is no point in having a tiny coffee table when you have a large 5-seater leather sofa and a love chair.
At the same time, the coffee table shouldn’t end up so large that you might think that you cut the legs off a dining table.
Aim for a good mix of practicality and visual impact.
6 – Place Real Or Fake Flowers
Adding plants and flowers can bring a space to life a bit. Most people underestimate how much furniture can make a room look a bit lifeless.
Now, you want to avoid creating an indoor garden or mini jungle environment because plants can also become quite a distraction. If you have a small side or coffee table, then put a small vase with a few fresh flowers from your garden in it.
Alternatively, invest in some high-quality fake flowers that will look great all year round.
7 – Accessorize With An Ottoman
An ottoman is another idea that many people completely overlook as a way to make a living room more comfortable and to integrate a large couch with other parts of a room.
Ideally, you’d want to order an ottoman at the same time as the leather sofa. The reason is that this will ensure that the leather of the two pieces of furniture will match perfectly.
It will come from the same batch of leather, and that’s ideal to visually tie everything together.
And you’ll love the added comfort in your living room where there won’t be a single person who won’t claim first access to the ottoman.
8 – Hang New And Old Family Portraits
I’ve seen some amazingly creative ways to make a living room a real family space with some family portraits across generations.
Having old photographs of grandparents at family gatherings next to some recent framed photos is a great way to have a constant reminder that these living spaces are all about family life and being together.
Another great idea is to use a service like Mixtiles. It’s an easy to use print service, and you won’t need picture frames or nails to hang them all.
They simply stick to the wall, and you can arrange them in different sizes and layouts.
9 – Introduce A Piece Of Wall Art
No, this doesn’t have to be a Picasso or an original Andy Warhol print. But you can get amazing quality reprints of famous artwork for a very reasonable price.
But what I would also suggest is to take a look at some local art galleries and artists. These people often struggle a lot to make a living, and even if you have a small budget, you could be supporting the local art scene while getting something authentic to add to your living room.
10 – Frame The Sofa With An Area Rug
Rugs work extremely well, especially in large living room spaces. Whether you have a carpeted or timber floor, adding a rug to frame the area around a leather couch and even the accompanying side table is a great way to separate a sitting area from everything else.
You want to make sure that there is not too much contrast between the colors of the rug, floor, and couch, but it also shouldn’t completely blend in.
11 – Show Off Classic Books
A small bookshelf with your favorite or a few interesting books is another great way to add some variety to your décor.
But, there is one tip I would make. Avoid buying any of those fake antique books that are basically just a plastic casing. If you have guests over and they pick up one of them, it would just look a bit silly.
Another idea is to maybe take a look at a local antique store for some really old books. These work perfectly if you have a more classic interior design style.
12 – Match Up Some Miniature Sculptures
I already mentioned buying some local artwork or a reprint of a famous painting, but another way to make things really interesting around your leather sofa is to add some miniature sculptures.
You’ll find a lot of these in interior design and homeware stores, but you can also contact some local artists to see if they have something completely unique.
The great thing is that you can get everything from ultra-modern to vintage and antique-looking sculptures to perfectly match up with the style of your couch and home in general.
13 – Think About Rearranging Furniture
Sometimes it can be a great idea to take a step back and look at all your furnishings to see if there is a better way to arrange them in a living room.
This doesn’t impact the designs or styling of the room. But it can often free up a lot of space. It’s kind of like a reverse game of Tetris where you don’t want everything to completely slot together.
By rearranging chairs, sectionals, and sofas, you’ll be surprised how much of a different feel you will get from spending time in your living room.
14 – Combine Old And New
Now, I’m not saying that you should have a mix of classic and modern style furnishings in one room. That can be an extreme contrast that just won’t look right.
It would be like adding mustard yellow throw pillows onto a dark brown couch; it’s just not a good look.
But, you can buy a brand new classic leather sofa and add an antique side table. People especially like doing this when they have some old furniture from parents or grandparents that has sentimental value to them.
It’s a wonderful way to connect your home to previous generations.
15 – Bring The Outside Into Your Living Room
Creating huge panoramic windows with an amazing skyline or countryside view is rarely an option. But that doesn’t mean you can’t recreate a similar effect.
What you can do is take a photo of your surroundings or a favorite place, and then have it printed onto a large canvas. These kinds of prints can open up a space and provide some eye-catching walls.
5 Leather Sofa Decorating Mistakes
You won’t believe how quick and easy your living room can become an eyesore rather than an inviting space to relax on a sofa.
Here are the main mistakes to avoid with leather furniture.
1 – Avoid Conflicting Styles
You don’t have to have a leather sofa, recliner, and love chair all exactly matching in color and style. That can become quite overwhelming, especially when you need to fill a large room.
But the opposite is also true.
Let’s say you have a nice classic brown leather sofa with tufted seats and backrests. Don’t get the crazy idea to then add a modern style love chair and a contemporary recliner into the mix as well.
It might be possible to mix classic and contemporary, or modern and contemporary, but don’t go to the extreme contrast where it’s just going to look wrong.
2 – Don’t Go Overboard With Accent Pieces
I love throw pillows and decorative cushions. But you can go completely overboard with these, and I’ve seen in many homes that people gradually add new throw pillows in different colors over time.
When you see a leather sofa completely covered in cushions, it no longer becomes this inviting piece of furniture. You end up having to navigate the cushions and struggle to get comfortable.
3 – Buying Too Much Leather Furniture
This is another common mistake people make. They start off with a large leather sectional sofa and then add a recliner. After a while, they think that they need another loveseat and a chair in case more family and friends call over.
This can get completely out of hand, and you end up with a room where it’s difficult to move around. It can also make the room very claustrophobic, making it difficult to relax.
And just imagine the hassle you’ll have when you need to move furniture around to properly clean underneath them.
4 – Wrong Sofa Orientation
When you’re planning the layout of your living room, you have to account for which way people will be facing.
Let’s say you mainly use the living room for watching TV and movies. Then make sure that all seating furniture is oriented in a way that makes it easy to watch the TV without having to twist your neck.
Now, the more furniture you have, the more difficult this becomes, but the goal should be to make it as comfortable as possible for as many seats as possible.
Alternatively, if your room doesn’t have a TV and you mainly use it to enjoy the company of friends and family, then make sure that the leather sofa and any chairs face each other.
5 – Too Big And Too Small Side Tables
Even if you have a large leather sofa, you don’t want a dinner table size coffee table. And you also don’t want one that barely fits more than three cups when you have seating for seven people.
Go for a combination of practicality, matching home décor, and space-saving pieces rather than cluttering things up.
Start Planning Your Leather Sofa Decorating Style
Leather sofas are the perfect addition to a home, and as long as you keep to some simple interior design concepts, you won’t get into visual problems.
And you don’t need to be an interior designer to get things right either. Once you match up the furniture colors with the wall color and accessorize with a side table, some books, and a plant, you’ll be getting close to an image suitable for a home design magazine.
Check out our leather sofas to see how you could improve your home. And call one of our customer service team if you have any questions about our products and the custom options available.