Brown is possibly one of the most popular colors for leather living room furniture. And while there are countless shades and aniline leather effects that you can choose from, it’s important to get your overall decorating style right.
To help guide you through the process of integrating a brown leather sofa in your living room, we’ve gathered some design tips that will make it a lot easier.
That way, you can choose the right style of brown sofas and pick out a few accessories that will make it an inviting and cozy space.
Let’s start with the style.
Define Your Interior Design Style
Whether you’re going for a light or dark brown leather sofa, it’s probably best to start looking into the different styles first. These can ultimately dictate what you do with your room.
Modern furniture design is particularly popular with people who have small living spaces or who don’t want their furniture to be too attention-grabbing.
You’ll also find that a light rather than a dark brown leather sofa tends to work better with modern styles as it seems to blend easier with the surroundings. Overall, this style involves making furniture less bulky and a lot less detailed. It’s all about sleek lines and subtle geometric shapes that avoids a brown leather couch taking over a room.
So, if you have artwork or an amazing view from your living room, then modern furniture designs are a great starting point.
You probably can’t get more of a traditional style than a classic dark brown leather sofa. This style is heavily based on 19th century French and British designers, and it’s all about making a huge impression.
That means you’ll be looking at large dimensions with a lot of detail in the stitching, nailhead trim, rolled arms, and tufted leather features. These brown sofas are meant to stand out and take center stage.
And with a darker tone of brown, your eyes will be immediately drawn to it.
For many people, going to either extreme of classic and modern is too much for a light or dark brown leather sofa. But there is an alternative that works extremely well in most living room spaces.
Contemporary furniture design aims to take design features from both modern and classic. These sofas are not too large and bulky, but they also don’t have the minimalist features you get with a modern brown leather couch.
And they tend not to have intricate stitching and button-back leather so that it doesn’t stand out as much.
Some people think that a dark brown leather sofa could restrict their color choices too much for the rest of the living room. But you’d be surprised how much flexibility you have with different shades of brown and beige.
I’ll get to some ideas below, but as long as you set out with a plan for a specific range of matching colors, you’ll be able to create an amazingly warm and welcoming living room with a brown leather couch.
And when you pick a color theme for picture frames, walls, and a coffee table, then you achieve an even balance.
14 Ways To Decorate Your Living Room With A Brown Leather Sofa
1 – Experiment With Earth Colors
Before you head off and simply buy the first matching coffee table for your dark brown leather sofa, make sure that you think about the overall color range.
And one option that works extremely well is neutral tones in earth colors.
These are generally categorized as colors from nature that have subtle tones. That doesn’t mean a hot pink from a rose or a bright red from autumn leaves. It’s about browns, greens, beige, and taupe colors.
Pick about four or five of these, and then blend them across your furniture, decorations, and accessories.
2 – Include Warm Colors
Whether you have a light or dark brown leather sofa, it’s important to avoid cold colors. People often think that going for contrasting colors is a great way to create interest. But if you add bright white or fresh blue, you’re going to risk creating something that just looks awfully confusing.
Now, you can still create contrast, but try to picture the color wheel and avoid all those cold color ranges. Adding something in a subtle mustard yellow or a soft pale red tone gives you that contrast while still sticking with the warmth of a dark brown sofa.
3 – Create Contrast With The Walls
There are two things you can do with your walls.
First of all, there’s the opportunity to create color contrast. So, if you have a dark brown sofa, then try a light beige paint or wallpaper on the walls so that you frame your brown sofa better.
Alternatively, if you have a light brown sofa, then go for a darker shade on the walls. But be careful that the entire living room doesn’t become too dark and enclosing.
Secondly, aim for a pattern contrast. Typical classic brown sofas might have tufted leather, intricate stitching, and nailhead trim. This style will stand out a lot more on a painted wall rather than some intricate wallpaper or paneling.
But if you have a modern brown sofa, then some wood paneling or even brickwork effect on the walls could create a wonderful contrast in texture.
4 – Space Out Dark Colors
So, if you have a dark brown leather sofa and a couple of accent chairs along with a loveseat, then you need to make sure you space things out.
You don’t want to end up with one large area of connected brown leather. That becomes overwhelming in a living room. Instead, try to keep the furniture further apart and add a side table in between different items.
You can also use blankets and shelving to create some visual contrast so that it doesn’t look like all your furniture is tightly connected.
5 – Break Up Monotonous Patterns
If you have a large brown leather couch or sectional, then even a tufted leather design can become quite a large and repetitive pattern. And any time you end up with very monotonous designs, it can become overpowering.
If you have multiple pieces of furniture, including accent chairs, then you should take the opportunity to break up those patterns.
The next four tips all deal with achieving this with simple and cheap accessories like blankets and throw pillows.
6 – Add Decorative Blankets
There are two things you want to try and do with a decorative blanket.
The first thing is that you need to create color contrast; there is no point in adding a dark brown blanket on a dark brown leather sofa. That won’t provide any contrast, and everything just looks the same.
But you also want to look at breaking up patterns. So, if you have a tufted classic leather sofa, then try adding a light shade and smooth surface blanket. Or, if you have a very smooth monotone leather sofa, then try adding a textured or pleated blanket.
7 – Pick The Right Coffee Table
People tend to make two types of mistakes when it comes to choosing a coffee table.
The first mistake is to purely look at it from a practical point of view, and they end up with a huge coffee table that looks out of proportion.
Secondly, people don’t focus enough on color. And nothing looks worse than a huge coffee table that doesn’t match your color scheme.
So, if you have a large seating area, then try to incorporate multiple smaller coffee tables and maybe a side table, and ensure that they have a similar style and color.
8 – Bookshelves Work Great With Brown Leather
Another way to create more visual distractions from a dark brown leather sofa is to strategically place some bookshelves.
Now the important thing is to not add a load of antique dark brown books on the shelf. But with the right size and color choices, the books will create a pattern as well as color contrast.
Oh, and one other tip: don’t buy those fake books. You’ll avoid the embarrassment of someone trying to pick up a piece of plastic.
9 – Add Throw Pillows
You can also take the focal point away from a dark brown sofa by adding a few colorful pillows in an accent color that ties in with other accessories in the room.
I would also suggest trying to create a contrast in shapes with these throw pillows. If your brown sofa is predominantly square and rectangular in shape, then add some round or oval throw pillows to create more balance.
10 – Stick With One Style
When it comes to living room decor, there’s one thing you should avoid, and that’s mixing loads of different styles.
What does that mean?
Let’s say you have a modern dark brown leather sofa; then you don’t want to add some classic recliners into the space. The chairs will add confusion to the design and will simply look out of place.
You can maybe get away with mixing contemporary with modern or contemporary with classic styles, but even that could end up being risky.
11 – Don’t Make The Floor Too Dark
Your floor space carries about the same visual weight as the walls, and when you choose a dark leather sofa along with a dark brown carpet or wooden floor, then it can all become too overpowering in the living room.
Instead, aim for a lighter color to breathe some life into your living room space.
12 – Break Monotone Floors With Rugs
This is a particularly important tip if you have a large living room. Even if you pick the right color, so the floor and walls balance the dark brown leather sofa, then it’s still a large monotone space.
It’s like having a beautiful color on the walls but no pictures or artwork to break up the large areas.
The best way to deal with this is to add an area rug to the living room. Ideally, place the rug under a coffee table and close to the leather sofa. This works better than standing the brown couch directly on the area rug, as you would end up hiding most of the effect you’re trying to achieve.
13 – Choose A Rustic Wooden Floor
This is a great tip for a classic brown leather couch, especially if you have picked a tufted leather upholstery. If you want to achieve a warm and welcoming country-style living room, then try to incorporate a rustic wooden floor.
And if you then also pick from some wooden coffee tables, you’ll start to tie everything together. Picture an open fireplace with a warm log fire burning with your brown couch and beautifully intricate wooden floor.
It doesn’t get much more comfortable than that on a cold winter night.
14 – Frame Some Artwork
A dark brown leather sofa will quickly become the focal point of a living room. And in many cases, that’s exactly what you want to achieve. But you should still aim to balance the view and experience of sitting in your newly decorated area.
One thing that works exceptionally well with leather furniture is a nice collection of wall art. It can distract your eyes just enough to make them wander around the room and link all your sofas and accessories together.
Start Your Own Decorating Ideas
One thing I really want to make sure you keep in mind is that all the above tips are only guidelines. You don’t have to incorporate all of them to successfully transform your living room.
But once you have planned out your color scheme and you’ve picked a handful of shades to start your planning progress, it will quickly all tie together. Start picking out accessories like throw pillows, blankets, and picture frames to fill the space with your own personal touch.
And if you need some inspiration for different furniture styles, then browse our sofa collection and find out how you could incorporate different shades of brown.