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How to Style a Sofa [2 Different Ways]

How to Style a Sofa | 2 different Ways to Style a Sofa | This is our Bliss

Hey there, guys! I’m super thrilled to be sharing today’s post with you! Since ya’ll seem to go crazy for styling posts around here AND you know about my un-tamable love [ok, let’s call it what it is – my obsession] for throw pillows, I’m going to show you how to style a sofa with 2 different looks! The other fabulous part about today’s post is I’m joining an amazing group of bloggers who are also dishing on their sofa styling tips, how to get the look, sources and more! So be sure to scroll to the end of the post to check out the others’ sofa scoop!

So, what is one to do with a hoarding closet of pillows? Well, let them out to play. Often. I mean changing the look of your entire room can so easily be done by swapping out a few pillows on your sofa or placing a new one on a side chair. The pattern mixing combinations and color scheme options are endless. If you are someone who is worried that you don’t know how to style your sofa…that you find pillows you like, but don’t know how to place them, hopefully my tips today will help! You can also check out my post on How to Mix Patterns for some pointers and suggestions!

One thing to remember is that your sofa can take on so many different looks, especially if you’re starting with a solid, neutral sofa. I have a charcoal gray sofa and absolutely love how versatile it is. We bought it right after we moved into our last house in 2012 and I remember the new sofa arrived the same day the biggest was born! If you can hang on through this post, I’ve rounded up some fabulous gray sofas and included ours in it!

The thing I love most about the sofa is that I can pretty much use any color and any print on it. The sofa takes on the look of what is placed on top, so you can totally be creative and try new things. They are no right and wrong answers. The only rule is to experiment and have fun! I especially love playing around with pillow styling each season or during various holidays.

Let’s peek at the “first look” of my living room sofa!

How to Style a Sofa | 2 different Ways to Style a Sofa | This is our Bliss

Some people have a favorite color. I, on the other hand, am drawn to neutrals. When the biggest asks me what my favorite color is, I answer, black. At first I thought he’d object and tell me to pick a different one, but he just rolls with it!


1 | Use various textures in the same color family.

I opted for an off-white long-haired furry pillow, giving the sofa a cozy look perfect for the winter months. I then chose to use a woven, pom-pom pillow in black and white on both sides, but notice they are placed in different positions on either side – one is at the far back and one is layered in front of another. There aren’t any rules, it just depends on how symmetric you want your sofa to look. I tend to gravitate towards a more eclectic, gathered look using patterns and textures that I love versus worrying too much about if the sides look “even”. Does that make sense?!

How to Style a Sofa | 2 different Ways to Style a Sofa | This is our Bliss

2 | Add in a large pattern in the same color(s).

Although the black and white geometric circle pillow doesn’t have an actual textured feel to it, the bold print does give the couch visual interest and creates that “layered” look.

How to Style a Sofa | 2 different Ways to Style a Sofa | This is our Bliss How to Style a Sofa | 2 different Ways to Style a Sofa | This is our Bliss

3 | Throw in a “pop” by using a coordinating solid or metallic.

Use a lumbar pillow or a small square one in a solid color or gold, like I used here. If you are feeling bold and want to throw in another pattern in your color scheme, by all means go for it! Here, I would’ve chosen a small-scale print in black, white, gray and/or gold to keep the look light and neutral.

How to Style a Sofa | Ways to style a neutral colored sofa! | This is our Bliss How to Style a Sofa | 2 different Ways to Style a Sofa | This is our Bliss How to Style a Sofa | 2 different Ways to Style a Sofa | This is our Bliss

Shop the textured neutrals sofa look!

[*Affiliate links were used below.]

Now, to COMPLETELY switch things up…I’m going to show you how the entire look changes by swapping out the neutrals for bolder prints and some color!

How to Style a Sofa | 2 different Ways to Style a Sofa | This is our Bliss


1 | Start with 2 large “anchor” pillows.

You can use solid colors, texture or a print. These anchor pillows will sit on the far sides of the sofa and you will layer additional pillows in front of them.

How to Style a Sofa | 2 different Ways to Style a Sofa | This is our Bliss

2 | Choose another print, opposite of your anchor pillow pattern and layer in front of it.

The right and left sides can mirror each other or you can go for a slightly less symmetric look. Since the floral print is on the medium-to-large scale size, I chose a smaller scale print (the leopard) in coordinating colors pulled from the floral pillow (black and golden yellow/orange) and then used the black and white geometric pillow on the right, which is a bit larger print than the floral, but pulls the black and white out of the floral pattern.

How to Style a Sofa | 2 different Ways to Style a Sofa | This is our Bliss
How to Style a Sofa | 2 different Ways to Style a Sofa | This is our Bliss

3 | Use a smaller, lumbar pillow to create visual interest.

I threw on the smaller, rectangular black and white pillow on the left side to add a pop of bold black and white to help balance out the 2 sides and give it a more cohesive look. Another option would have been to use 2 florals, 2 leopards and the black/white number in the middle. Instead of doing that, I decided to add in another pattern to this look because, well, you know me!

How to Style a Sofa | 2 different Ways to Style a Sofa | This is our Bliss

This look has me feeling all springy! I’ll be returning the DIY floral pillows to the guestroom [you can see them in the new house here or when I first made them for the Guestroom Revamp in our old house for the Spring 2015 One Room Challenge], but they might be making a living room comeback in the near future!

One last touch I like to add as a final element to a well-styled sofa is a throw blanket. It can be draped over the back and hang down in front like you saw in the neutral sofa photos. The throw can also be placed over the arm of your sofa and drape down the side / front of it. Using this element is just one more way to add in that texture, pop of color or pattern play!

So whatcha think? Can you do this?!

Start with a blank slate and play around a bit! I know that my big, over-sized brown beauty of a couch in the family room can use all the help she can get, so I’m constantly playing around with pillow combinations in there, too. Maybe that’ll be my next post…how to make an ugly sofa look pretty! Stay tuned ha!

Shop the pattern play sofa look!

[*Affiliate links were used below.]

And if you are in the market for a new gray sofa, I’ve rounded up 10+ for you to browse through.

The Greatest Dark Gray Contemporary Sofa Round-up + How to Style a Sofa 2 Different Ways | This is our Bliss

one | two | three | four | five | six | seven | eight | nine | ten

Similar to my living room sofa, the ones included above are generally speaking, on the more contemporary / modern side, but that’s what I love about them! Sleek arms and straight, clean lines. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any luck sourcing our specific sofa online, but I can tell you it was manufactured by England Furniture and is called the Collegedale Sofa 6205. I wish I could be of more help, but if your heart is set on my exact sofa, then hopefully you can contact you local furniture stores to see if they can help you track down and order it!

Don’t forget to pin for later!

How to Style One Sofa, 2 Different Ways | Tips & Tricks for sofa styling! | This is our Bliss

Want to see more of my “How to Style…” posts?

How to Style a Nighstand | Bedside table Styling Accessories for a well-styled nightstand! How to style a coffee Table | This is our Bliss | Guestroom Revamp | How to Mix Prints | Pattern Play Tips How to update an Old Bookcase | This is our Bliss

Now, to see more sofa swag and styling tips from your favorite bloggers, take a peek below!

Beautiful sofas and styling tips from your favorite Home Decor Bloggers! | This is our Bliss

Erin Spain
This Is Our Bliss
At Charlotte’s House
Making it in The Mountains
Redhead Can Decorate
I Should Be Mopping The Floor
The Heathered Nest
Honey n Hydrangea
Our Southern Home

In other news, the reveal of the Stylish and Bold Modern Playroom for the New Year, New Room Refresh Challenge is next Tuesday, so be sure to stop back over! If you remember from my sneak peeks, I’ll be debuting a brand new sofa in that room and you’ll of course be seeing plenty more pillows on it!

Have a wonderful weekend, friends!!

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Stylish and Bold Modern Playroom Reveal | New Year, New Room Refresh Week 4
DIY Wood Frame for a Canvas | Stylish and Bold Modern Playroom | New Year New Room Refresh Challenge Week 3

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  • Christy @ Our Southern Home
    January 31, 2017 at 1:54 PM

    The couch is divine! I am loving neutrals as well lately. So much versatility! Both looks are spot on gorgeous!

  • Jessica
    January 31, 2017 at 3:42 AM

    Rachel you are a girl after my own heart! I too am drawn to neutrals especially black! This was a fantastic article! Great tips on mixing patterns!

    • Rachael @ This is our Bliss
      February 1, 2017 at 5:03 PM

      Thanks so much, Jessica!! I just can’t get enough of the neutrals mixed with metallics! Black will always be my favorite accent color lol

  • Julie
    January 27, 2017 at 7:36 PM

    I need to visit you often. I love your style & can learn a lot from you. Thanks so much for joining us, Rachael! XO (pinning these gorgeous sofas!)

    • Rachael @ This is our Bliss
      January 30, 2017 at 5:26 PM

      Thanks so much, Julie!! SO sweet of you! Thanks for hosting such a fun hop! That blue sofa of yours is beyond GORGEOUS!

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