How to Style a Neutral Sofa

Here at TDL we are all about color - all the time. So why is it that we work with so many neutral sofas? Textiles, pillows, plants, and home accessories, are, quite simply, the art that we apply to the blank canvas of a sofa -- neutral upholstery is the tabula rasa of home decor. Discover some of our favorite neutral couch decorating ideas, along with styling tips on adding color to a living space.
Once upon a time in our rather chaotic, working warehouse, container-load-receiving shop we wouldn't have dreamed of having a bunch of white sofas on the showroom floor, but these days with the advent of soft, tactile performance fabrics, we can keep these pale beauties on the floor without destroying them.  
I have included photos here of similar neutral sofas done up differently with changes in pillows, coffee tables, and accessories. While they all have the exuberant, worldly TDL feel, some are more vivid and colorful, while others dial it back at least a notch or two with slightly calmer choices. 
All of these rooms were put together in the last 12 months - except for one throwback.  I bet you can guess which one just by quickly scrolling through the images.  
You might notice that these first three images include the same sofa.  This is a pretty Norwalk sofa we love in an indestructible fabric called Sugarshack.  In the first image we have paired it with an antique teak trunk coffee table from India.  A Chiapas pompom pillow, vintage Turkish kilim lumbar, and soft velvet solids create a colorful mix.  Favorite accessories, a big Moravian glass star, Tuareg box, and hand carved marble floret from Rajasthan create layers of interest.  While this vignette has saturated tones and lots of elements, to us this is more of a calm, collected look. 
The next image, above, dials it up a few notches with an upholstered ottoman as coffee table.  We hand source the vintage kilims for our ottomans in Turkey and Morocco each year.  This one is a real beaut with vivid reds and golds, and a tiny bit of indigo.  To pick up that blue I added a blockprinted throw blanket and indigo pillows from Mali and Morocco.  
The third image below has the same blue pillows and throw but more neutral tones bringing the exuberance down a bit.  The ottoman here is in a subdued Turkish kilim stripe, with a Mongolian fleece pillow bringing some texture.
The next two images show a different sofa - a little more streamlined and modern, but with a couple of different looks - both very TDL in nature.
This first one is a favorite - a carved chest that works as a coffee table for smaller rooms is front and center.  The pillows here are moody and complex.  Faux fur in cheetah, a deep red cicim kilim lumbar with the vintage rug's original fringe left on, and emerald and paprika velvet make up the mix.  This room ends up feeling very old world, a traveler's collection of found items as decor give the room a library-like feeling.  I love the Berber pot, Papua shell necklace, and old Javanese carved panel behind the sofa.  Another Moravian star, and an Indian bowl holding a collection of candles and beads add layers to the coffee table.    
Next up - this is the same sofa but with suzani pillows and a big Turkish kilim ottoman as coffee table.  This combination ends up feeling a lot more traditional even though it has some of the same elements in it.  The simple urn lamps and subdued palate make it into a transitional room that works in a more formal space.
The above neutral couch takes a very popular style of sofa - a simple waterfall arm and three cushion seat transforms into a sanctuary with soft greys and warm terracotta tones.
A more traditional coffee table is elevated with the addition of a bone inlay tray.  Striped blockprint cushions paired with Turkish kilim lumbars makes for a calming, neutral palate.  
Here I have included a couple of neutral sectionals.  Above is a huge performance sectional we have on the floor right now.  Coral toned velvet ikat pillows, a gorgeous suzani throw, and camel colored kilim pillows make for a rich mix. 
A stunning old door coffee table with glass on top anchors the space.
Below I included a super old photo - over 6 years ago I think? - of a client's home done with a combination of Mali indigo, Gujartati mirrorcloth, and Guatemalen handwoven pillows.  One of our giant carved Indonesian benches is in the background as well as the client's own suzani covered lamps.  What a fun, little bit wild, room! 
Amazing that such different looks can be achieved with sectionals that are so similar.    
Last I threw in a couple of neutral chairs that coordinate well with the sofas and sectionals above.  Again - all one needs are varied pillows, occasional pieces, and accessories, and the look can be totally changed.  I love the marble bowl and arch in the first image - such elegant accessories for any room.  
It's been fun over the last decade or so to incorporate these paler upholstered pieces in the store.  As our textile hordes have grown over the years, I feel like we have endless options for creating unique rooms that can lean any number of ways.  From traditional to boho to sophisticated - we can help create a fantastic mix for your home.  
Here, more Moravian stars sparkle on a smaller Turkish kilim ottoman, while a striped Moroccan pom pom throw adds some color to this neutral sofa. View our current selection of throws here.

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