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If there's one trend that's defined the past year it's bright and bold colors, and they're not going anywhere for 2023. While our appreciation for vivid shades has mainly manifested through our paint ideas, they've cropped up in our furniture choices too, and when it comes to trends that speak to the year ahead, bold accent sofas are first on the list.
Gone are the days of greyscale homes that lack warmth and vibrancy. interior design trends are now all about embracing color. Statement sofas in rich hues are one of the best ways to add a pop of color to an otherwise bland, lackluster space without the larger (and potentially risky) commitment of painted walls or floors.
If you spend your life torn between a neutral scandi decor and a colorful jewel-tone home, you no longer have to pick a side - bright sofas and seating are the ideal way to enjoy the best of both worlds by adding a pop of color to an otherwise serene style. But how do you pull them off successfully? We've asked some designers for their advice on how to be brave and embrace the bold.
Lilith is an expert at following news and trends across the world of interior design. She regularly shares color stories with readers to help them keep up-to-date with ever-changing trends that promise to add personality into the home. For this article, she spoke with leading designers to learn all about the trend for bold hued furniture and how we should be using it to inject color into our interiors
Why are bright sofas trending?
Whether it's blue velvet or burnt orange leather, the bold sofa color trend for 2023 has probably made its way to you somehow. Our Instagram feeds are full of statement seating that draws the eye, but why the resurgence of colorful furniture?
'There’s a growing appetite for vibrant, playful color schemes as a result of people spending more time at home during the pandemic,' notes Kellie Sirna, Founder and Principal of Studio 11 Design. 'But bold color choices can also double as an artistic focal point within a room by commanding attention.'
'As a designer who loves to layer warm neutrals, I like to incorporate pops of color into otherwise monochromatic spaces to provide contrast,' adds Noelle Isbell of Noelle Interiors. 'In the new year, sofas with more dramatic tones are a departure from the minimalist and monotone aesthetic that has become the norm for many homes. After the past few years clients are ready for a bit of vibrance and depth in their space.'
There's no denying that color instantly uplifts the mood of a room, but it can elevate an entire interior, too. Ever noticed how designers aren't afraid to use blocks of bold colors in their spaces? Rich jeweled tones like royal blue, Tyrian purple and magenta have long had an association with luxury and when used in our homes, they exude a certain elegance.
'Bold furniture pieces provide a simple yet impactful way of upping a room’s glam factor,' says Kellie. 'This transitions it from a more demure and subtle space to something more sophisticated and compelling.'
Go bold with this velvet two seater sofa from Wayfair, the perfect way to add a pop of color to your space. The mid-century modern style is bang on trend, and with 16 bold colors to choose from, you're spoilt for choice. This is a statement piece of furniture like no other.
Choose rich colors you're naturally drawn to
When it comes to incorporating bold-hued sofas into your space, knowing where to start can be overwhelming. According to Kellie, since vivid colors are about expressing our personalities, you should choose a shade you're naturally drawn to rather than overthinking it.
'Start with what you like, and if that isn’t clear, begin with what you know you don’t like,' she says. 'What colors typically catch your eye? What shades and tones do you find yourself constantly pulling out of your closet? I always recommend starting with a color or a scheme that aligns with your overall preferences.'
While there are no strict rules when it comes to choosing a color for your sofa, Noelle suggests opting for one that doesn't overpower the room. 'Integrating a deep blue into a room with cooler neutrals provides contrast while staying in the general area of the color wheel,' she notes. 'If the hue of the piece is chosen carefully, it will stand out while complementing its surrounding neutrals and textures to balance out the room.'
Build your decor around your core furniture
On a similar note, although designers usually suggest using your existing color palette to influence furniture choices, with bold furniture you should let it be the main event. After all, our larger furnishings tend to stand out the most.
'After you’ve chosen a bold furniture item, I recommend building around it,' says Kellie. 'A neutral backdrop is a safe way to ensure a richly colored piece won’t overwhelm a space, however, accent items and accessories are key to creating a seamless, stylish look that elevates a room cohesively.' For this, she suggests echoing your chosen color through decor items like artwork, throw pillows and blankets.
We've seen this when wondering if a curved sofa is a good idea. This doesn't have to mean completely redecorating your space. It might mean mixing up your living room's sofa pillows or switching up the artwork in your kitchen. In most cases, your larger furniture item will probably be the most permanent design choice.
Avoid using competing colors in a space
While there's a lot of freedom when it comes to adding bright pops of color to your living room, there are instances where it might be best to avoid incorporating a bold sofa.
If you already have a dominant color on your walls that you don't plan on changing, you should avoid using a competing color for your sofa. As Kellie notes: 'Different colors can and do work well together, but you want to ensure that they balance each other in tone and shade and that the end result is balance and cohesion versus competition.'
It might be safest to avoid bright seating completely if you have rich-colored walls since they'll likely detract from your sofa's visual impact. If you do choose to make a statement with color combinations, it's best to avoid two dominant shades (such as red and green) as these will essentially end up drowning each other out. Instead, choose a few recessive colors that are close to your sofa's hue on the color wheel for a more complimentary look.
The Livingetc Newsletter
For style leaders and design lovers.
Lilith Hudson is the Staff Writer on Livingetc, and an expert at decoding trends and reporting on them as they happen. Writing news, features, and explainers for our digital platform, she's the go-to person for all the latest micro-trends, interior hacks, and color inspiration you need in your home. Lilith discovered a love for lifestyle journalism during her BA in English and Philosophy at the University of Nottingham where she spent more time writing for her student magazine than she did studying. After graduating, she decided to take things a step further and now holds an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London, with previous experience at the Saturday Times Magazine, Evening Standard, DJ Mag, and The Simple Things Magazine. At weekends you'll find her renovating a tiny one-up, one-down annex next to her Dad's holiday cottage in the Derbyshire dales where she applies all the latest design ideas she's picked up through the week.
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