Choosing the Perfect Sofa colour: 5 Expert Tips to Make Your Room Appear Larger

Choosing the Perfect Sofa colour: 5 Expert Tips to Make Your Room Appear Larger


Purchasing a sofa is a significant decision when it comes to furnishing your home, and the colour you choose can greatly impact the overall look and feel of your design scheme. In particular, selecting the right colour for a small living room can make a significant difference in how spacious it appears. While there are various factors to consider, such as size, material, and shape, the chosen colour often has the most significant impact.


Finding the best sofa colour that harmonises with your overall design and personal style is essential, as it can help create a sense of cohesion and make your small space feel more expansive. To guide you in maximizing every inch of your home, we sought advice from experts on the colour that can make a room appear larger.


Darren Johnson, an interior designer based in Oxford, emphasizes the importance of the colour of your sofa in interior design. He explains, "The colour of the sofa can greatly influence the ambiance of a room and affect its perceived size. By choosing the right colour, you can create the impression of a spacious, airy, and bright living room." Darren specialises in high-end luxury residential renovations. His exceptional creativity and attention to detail are evident in prestigious locations throughout the city of Oxford.


Yellow sofa in living room with dark wood panel walls

Yellow sofa in living room with dark wood panel walls 


1. Coordinate Your Sofa with Your Walls


One of the simplest ways to create the illusion of space with your sofa colour is to select one that coordinates with the main colour palette of the room. Since the sofa often serves as the centerpiece of the living room, it should contribute to the overall aesthetic rather than disrupt it.


By upholstering your sofa in a fabric that belongs to the same colour family as your wall paint, you can avoid a disjointed and cluttered look. It's all about creating continuity." Coordinating your sofa with the colour scheme of your living room can result in a seamless and cohesive appearance. Designers often employ this technique to enhance the sense of space in small living rooms.


By carefully considering the colour of your sofa and its coordination with the surrounding elements, you can create a visually appealing and spacious atmosphere in your small living room. In the next part, we will explore additional tips from experts on choosing the best sofa colours for small spaces.


2. Opt for a Calming Neutral Shade


When it comes to sofa colours, calming and grounding neutrals are popular choices that work well in spaces of all shapes and styles. Not only are these shades suitable for neutral room ideas, but they are also perfect for smaller rooms.


"A light-toned sofa in neutral colours, such as beige, cream, light gray, or white, can create a sense of openness in any room," advises Maria Bishop, an interior designer. These soft hues reflect both natural and artificial light, making the space appear brighter, airier, and more spacious. If you desire more colour in your living room, you can accessorize your sofa with colourful decorative pillows and throws, which are an easy and affordable way to add seasonal touches to your space.


Brown curved back sofa in a light living room

Brown curved back sofa in a light living room


3. Choose a Bright and Bold Sofa colour


For those who prefer more impactful and colourful room ideas, a bold and bright sofa colour can divert attention from the actual size of the room. Bright and bold sofas draw the eye and can create the illusion of a larger space. Balance and symmetry are always helpful tools to create a nice flow. The colour of your upholstery is crucial as it should harmonize with the room as a whole, ensuring that all pieces and elements work together for a successful design.


Vida Harmen, a seasoned interior designer also supports this approach and advises, "If a client is interested in a bolder vision and wants a dark-coloured sofa, I recommend incorporating coordinating tones throughout the space to maintain balance. In small spaces, it's important to stick to fewer colours and use them intentionally to avoid overwhelming the space."


In a living room designed by Vida, the muted yellow sofa serves as a vibrant accent while complementing the warm tones of the dark wood panel walls.


Vida is a certified designer with experience in residential and commercial interiors, offers his expertise in creating visually stunning and functional spaces. With a background working for a top-ranked design firm and celebrity interior designers.


By considering these expert tips and exploring the possibilities of calming neutrals or bold colours, you can find the perfect sofa colour to enhance the look and spaciousness of your small living room.


Blue sofa in a light room

Blue sofa in a light room


4. Take Into Consideration the Surrounding Landscape


While we often focus on the interior of our homes, it's important not to overlook the impact of the outside environment on our design scheme.


"The surrounding landscape plays a crucial role in how we perceive colour and space. If your living room overlooks lush lawns and gardens, a bold grass-green sofa can bring the outside in, creating the illusion of a larger space. On the other hand, if your room is situated in a high-rise building with a view of a cold blue or gray urban landscape, a bolder navy blue or sapphire blue sofa can punctuate the surroundings, making the space feel larger," advises Alan Harris, an interior designer.


Establishing a relationship between the indoor and outdoor spaces through coordinated colour choices can create a sense of rhythm and a calming indoor-outdoor flow. By directing attention to the outdoors, a smaller room can feel less cramped.


5. Choose Pattern Wisely


If you're considering a patterned sofa that showcases multiple colours for your small space, let the pattern's palette influence your colour choices for the rest of the room. This approach helps create a well-thought-out and cohesive colour scheme, with repeated colours that make the space feel less overwhelming and cluttered.


"While patterns can add interest and personality to a room, they can also make a small space feel busy and cluttered. If you want to create the illusion of a larger room, avoid bold patterns on your sofa and instead opt for more subtle designs such as small stripes or textured patterns," advises Alan.


Alan has over a decade of experience as an interior designer for private residences and businesses. He also serves as an expert consultant at high-end online furniture retailers.


By considering the impact of the surrounding landscape and choosing patterns wisely, you can further enhance the appearance of space in your small living room. These expert tips will guide you in selecting the perfect sofa colour and pattern for your unique space.


Tan brown leather sofa against a green wall

Arthur Mid Century Leather Sofa





According to Alan Harris, when selecting a sofa for a small space, there are several factors to consider:


1. Size matters: Ensure that the sofa you choose is proportionate to the room. In a smaller space, an excessively long or deep sofa can overpower the area, making it appear even smaller. Opt for a sofa with a smaller profile to maintain balance within the room.


2. Embrace simplicity: Choose a sofa with clean lines and minimal details. In a small space, less clutter and visual busyness create a softer and more open ambiance.


3. Opt for raised sofas: Select a sofa with legs or a raised base. This design element visually lightens the space, creating the illusion of more floor area. Jeanette Fusco, an interior designer, supports this notion, emphasizing that raised sofas can make a room feel larger.


Low sofas offer a relaxed and cozy aesthetic while freeing up wall space for storage or decoration. However, raised sofas are also a viable option, as personal preference and desired aesthetic play a crucial role in the decision-making process.




As mentioned by Alan, sofas raised off the ground can indeed contribute to a sense of spaciousness in a room. Jane Holmes, another interior designer, concurs, stating that sofas with legs or a raised base can create the illusion of more floor space.


While low sofas can provide a relaxed and cozy atmosphere, as well as free up wall space, raised sofas should also be considered based on personal preference and the desired overall look.




As discussed earlier, both light and dark sofas can work well in a small room.


Lighter sofa colours are often favored as they coordinate with lighter paint choices, making the room feel brighter and more open. However, dark colours can complement darker paint ideas, enhancing the perceived space. Additionally, dark-coloured sofas can be more practical, as they tend to hide stains and wear better.


The choice of sofa colour depends on personal style and the desired aesthetic. Whether you prefer a sofa that blends with the walls or one that becomes a bold focal point, there are suitable colours for all types of small spaces.


Interior designer Alan Harris emphasizes that there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to colour selection for small spaces. Ultimately, it depends on the client's taste and preferences, which should guide the decision-making process.


Whether you opt for a sofa that integrates seamlessly with the surroundings or one that adds a vibrant touch, there are a variety of sofa colours available to complement different small spaces.

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  • Natalia Gallo
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