Decorating around a navy blue sofa – 9 interior scheme ideas you can use your existing couch for
Looking for inspiration for decorating around a navy blue sofa? These ideas show just how versatile a blue couch can be
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You've got a lot of choices when decorating around a navy blue sofa. If you bought a navy blue couch for one living room scheme, but now you want to give your space a completely different look, it can be daunting to design around pre-existing furniture. Luckily, your navy blue sofa can change its vibe, chameleon-like, to find a home in plenty of different designs.
You'll need to consider not only the color scheme, but the other living room furniture ideas to go alongside. After all, just because you're keeping your couch, doesn't mean you can't change the rest of your scheme.
To serve up some inspiration, we've collected 9 different schemes each using a navy blue sofa to show the sort of styles you could try.
10 room scheme ideas for decorating around a navy blue sofa
Navy blue sofas are a popular choice because they're so versatile, and can be paired with plenty of color schemes and interior styles. In different schemes, a navy blue sofa can feel like a bold color choice, or almost a neutral.
From neutral schemes to colorful room ideas, these 9 real spaces show the range a navy blue sofa has that you can explore.
1. Team a navy blue sofa with a mix of textures
As important as thinking of colors that go with navy blue is considering the textures that will complement your sofa. In this design by Parisian designers Humbert & Poyet, a variety of textures and tones create a layered, interesting scheme.
'Mid-century and contemporary furniture decorate the apartment to create a space that is modern while in harmony with the classical codes of the original architecture,' explains Emil Humbert, co-founder of Humbert & Poyet (opens in new tab). 'We mixed noble materials of marble, terrazzo, wood, and brass, which were selected for their character and harmony: marble for the sophistication, color and presence it brings to a space; wood for its warmth and richness; terrazzo as an accent and modern compliment; and brass to highlight and contrast the other materials.'
The bespoke blue sofa was designed for the apartment, while a matching accent chair in a textured boucle acts as a foil for its blue velvet.
2. Try grey for a stylish backdrop
A navy blue sofa is a great choice to lift a grey living room, especially if you put the right shades of blue and grey together. For a balanced look, choose your grey to even out the tone of your navy blue sofa, as showcased in the design of this London home by Albion Nord (opens in new tab). While the walls and trim are painted in Farrow & Ball's much-loved Downpipe, fabric paneling behind the artwork has a warmer tone.
For a navy blue with colder tones, try a warmer grey for balance, while a warmer version of navy will balance best with a grey with more blue tones.
3. Up the glam factor with navy blue velvet
Navy blue lends itself well to a glamorous, luxury living room scheme when mixed with the right materials. Brass, marble, luxurious textiles and opulent prints can all elevate a navy blue sofa into new realms, as showcased by this decadent room design.
'I wanted to create something really moody and glamourous for this New York apartment living space,' explains interior designer Greg Natale (opens in new tab). 'By choosing dark, tonal colors such as navy it creates a space that is really polished and refined,' he adds.
'I love to use wallpaper on ceilings, so I specified that then mirrored it with a larger exaggerated pattern for the rug choice.'
4. Go for a refined, elegant look
Taking a less-is-more approach, while still focusing on luxury will take your navy blue sofa to a place that's more elegant than glamorous.
In the design of this converted manor house in the UK, interior designer Cherie Lee (opens in new tab) used a navy blue sofa for an elegant living room as part of a wider open-plan space.
Teamed with a traditional parquet, white walls, marble and a crystal chandelier, the navy blue sofa is elevated and brings a pop of color that enlivens the space.
5. Use blue on blue for a modern scheme
When you have a navy blue sofa, your first thought for the walls might not also be navy blue. However, this tone-on-tone blue living room idea can actually work really well.
You have two choices. Going tonal with navy blue layered on other shades, perhaps a light blue or even a green-blue teal will ensure your couch still stands out, while matching the sofa to the walls entirely will make it disappear, as in this modern design scheme by Greg Natale.
'I first envisioned this space completely tonal with the indigo blue,' explains Greg, 'but after some discussion with the client, I decided to soften the blue with the ombre effect blending the indigo into the white walls and ceiling. The end feeling is very immersive and cocooning!'
6. Create a playful palette around a navy blue couch
When combined with a fun, pastel color palette, a navy blue sofa takes on a completely different energy, as showcased in this colorful living room idea created by Michael K. Chen of design studio MKCA (opens in new tab).
With pink walls and green floor tiles dialing up the color factor in this space, you'd think a dark navy sofa would feel like a dull point. Yet, in reality, the colorful surroundings seem to play up the blue, while balancing the sugary pastels, that could read slightly juvenile, to ensure this snug still feels like a grown-up space.
7. Or opt for grown up jewel tones
From emerald green to amethyst, jewel tones are a natural fit alongside a navy blue sofa for a luxe look.
In this project, designed by Roisin Lafferty of Kingston Lafferty Design (opens in new tab), a complementary palette of purple, blue and green delivers a refined, yet moody and dark living room, full of interesting textures and materials.
'We wanted to exude a sense of opulence and rich sophistication and wanted the richness of colour to be created with natural stone,' explains Roisin. 'The stone in this room is full of beautiful green tones and almost becomes a natural art piece and focal point in the room. By using natural materials as the key colour insertion, we have created a home that hinges on colour but manages to be timeless and full of character.'
8. Use timber paneling with a navy blue sofa
The cool nature of a navy blue sofa means it's a natural bedfellow for warm wood tones. This can be especially effective as a wall paneling idea, as seen in this cinema room created by Antwerp-based Dieter Vander Velpen Architects (opens in new tab).
'In the home cinema, we covered all walls with walnut paneling, creating a warm and cozy atmosphere,' Dieter Van Velpen explains. 'Ink blue carpet, a deep blue velvet sofa and a coffee table with Lapis Lazuli inlays add a strong punch of color and personality to the space, while black ‘Nero Marquina’ marble around the fireplace rounds out the material palette.'
The material contrasts work well too - rich, buttery velvet creates an interesting contrast with the more rustic walnut of the paneling.
9. Create balance in a neutral scheme
A navy blue sofa can become a focal point in an otherwise neutral living room, but it's worth considering the rest of the scheme carefully, rather than simply lumping a colorful sofa in a more muted space.
'While the color palette in this space is neutral, there are attributes of other items that balance out the bold use of color on the sofa,' explains Greg Howe, founding partner of Chicago-based Searl Lamaster Howe (opens in new tab). 'The graphic impact of the black and white stripes on the lounge chairs is one example. Another is the high-resolution detail of the over-scaled Daniel Beltra photo on the wall.'
'The room is wrapped in southern and eastern windows; the vivid brightness they bring in balances that of the blue while also serving to highlight elements such as the rich texture of the daybed’s textile and the deep plush of the carpet,' Greg adds.
Even in a neutral scheme, don't forget that the world outside your window forms part of your room's color palette too. 'While the blue of the sofa may not appear strongly in other elements inside the apartment, it clearly is a presence outside (at least on sunny days) with expansive skyline views and the expanse of Lake Michigan almost directly below,' Greg says.
What colors go with a navy blue sofa?
One of the best ways to figure out the best colors that go with a navy blue sofa is to look at the basics of color theory. Direct complementary colors can be hard to use successfully in interiors, more commonly seen used for impactful brand logos, so you might want to approach orange with care. And while blue is considered a color that goes with yellow well, you're more likely to see navy blue walls and a yellow sofa than the other way around.
Analogous colors on the color wheels are those that sit next to each, so a navy blue sofa will look great with shades of greeny blues such as teal and emerald, as well as with purple. Navy blue and pale pink are another popular color combination, while shades of beige and brown will create a beautiful, balanced look too.
Navy blue also looks surprisingly good with charcoal grey and black. The blue injects a bit of color the gives the scheme a bit of a lift, while staying in keeping with a moody atmosphere that can feel really elegant.
Luke Arthur Wells is a freelance design writer, award-winning interiors blogger and stylist, known for neutral, textural spaces with a luxury twist. He's worked with some of the UK's top design brands, counting the likes of Tom Dixon Studio as regular collaborators and his work has been featured in print and online in publications ranging from Domino Magazine to The Sunday Times. He's a hands-on type of interiors expert too, contributing practical renovation advice and DIY tutorials to a number of magazines, as well as to his own readers and followers via his blog and social media. He might currently be renovating a small Victorian house in England, but he dreams of light, spacious, neutral homes on the West Coast.
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