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Decorating Around Leather Furniture

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Dog on leather couch.

I am seriously baffled at what to do to decorate around the hideous colored leather oversized couch and leather chair my boyfriend chose! I can't even put my finger on the color (please see photo)! Can anyone suggest any colors that can jazz up this strange furniture that is taking up all of my living room? I would hate to go totally neutral. I have been using golden tans and soft greens but I am over it and would like something a bit more unique. I am finding it hard to find colors that will match! Has anyone got any suggestions?

Bijou from Texas

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Recent Answers

Here are the recent answer to this question.

By Sherry (Guest Post)01/14/2009

You could go with an Americana color scheme, burgundy, navy and off white. That is, if I'm seeing the color on your couch right.

By Karlee (Guest Post)02/14/2008

This would look great!

RE: Decorating Around Leather Furniture

By Jackie (Guest Post)09/08/2007

Is leather easy to dye? We recently bought a super comfy, perfect sized sectional, and we hate the color. It's a light beige color now, and faded in some spots, with a little crack and chipping. Any opinions would be great!

By Cyinda [214]07/15/2007

Is it Burgandy? Not alot to choose from, Huh!? When I saw your photo, my first color thought was Cobblestone or Gray & Charcoal... (cobblestone is gray mixed with tan, the color of cement) with a little bit of Turquoise & Teal thrown it for fun. The second idea was probably better: Muted Olives & Sage greens, with a tiny Bit of Hunter or Dark Olive (compliments). You could punch it up with either Stainless/Amuminum pieces (if you like modern) or a tiny bit of Black.

Christopher Lowell says if you HAVE to decorate around a color you JUST HATE... (Like a bathroom with Pink Tiles for instance, or my blue wall to wall rug) You pick a color you REALLY like, either a neutral (like Charcoal or Gray, Silver or maybe Black)... or another color. But the color you choose is supposed to take your mind off of the one you hate! .. Say, you choose, for example, Sage, with light & Med Olive Greens... (or Teal & Turquoise)... Anyway, the trick is to use One main color, but in many shades & repeat just a TINY bit of the color you hate (like you meant to) around the room. Your mind is supposed to ignore the "bad" color & notice the "good" color... If you throw a quilt or a bright color blanket across the back, maybe peoples eyes will go to the quilt?

Okay, here's another option: Leather is SUPER EASY to dye!... You need to REALLY clean the piece (Try this technique first on the bottom/back of your sofa or on a matching pillow first).. Then, after is super-clean dye it with LEATHER DYE... You can get leather dye online at Tandy Leather or from a place that sells leather or from a shoe, belt or saddle maker. Leather Dye is permanent & can be top coated made for this & then re-dye it, but I doubt this would work to your satisfaction... If you chose to dye it, it looks like you'd only have the option of Brown or Black.. I, myself, just bought an off white leather love seat from the thrift store for $25... It's in perfect shape... I'd planned on dying it a light tan color? But, the Winter-White is growing on me... So why hassle with it?

*** Leather couches are Super Easy to sell... You might be able to do a trade on Craig's List... There's tons of people out there who would LOVE to trade with you... Or, There's always slip covers!?...

By Carla (Guest Post)07/14/2007

Stark contrast! green perhaps

By (Guest Post)07/14/2007

I'd die to have your leather couch! It's beautiful rather than the dull brown couches you normally see. Have fun. The sugestions of using gold, and some of the jewel tones was excellent. You might grow to love that "ugly" couch afterall! Good luck. Would you believe I'm now on the hunt for a cordovan leather couch! Love your poochie too. I have 3 Maltese and 1 Westie poochies (all rescued) who will be enjoying their new leather couch just as soon as Mommy finds one!

By JJ (Guest Post)09/29/2006

I have a tile kitchen floor in dark blue with grey veins. The doorway of the kitchen opens up to the living area which also has a tile floor in a light creamy white. The couch and love seat in the living area is teal green stripe on cream. I bought a used Eddie Bauer chocolate brown chair and ottoman to go with these. I added navy, dark forest green, and a pottery barn woven pillow with navy, tan, green, brown ribbons to throw on the couches and chair. My question is, what should I do with the walls in the kitchen? Right now they are covered in wallpaper with white and baby blue plaid. Also, I don't know if throw rugs would look ok in the living area with these color combinations (with both rooms so close together with contrasting colors). I know there must be some accents that would bring it all together more than just the pillows on the seating areas. In the breakfast area of the kitchen I have chair pads that are navy to go with the blue tile floor. I'm wondering if this is too much navy blue! I found some chenille navy pillows for the couches. This helps some.

RE: Decorating Around blue tile floor

By Nashville (Guest Post)09/26/2006

I have the exact same problem with my cordovan couch, chair, and ottoman. My walls are a deep beige but I, too, am tired of that look. I purchased a book entitled "The Color Scheme Bible". It provides modern color palettes which include the following suggestions: 1. oatmeal & dusty yellow with two lighter shades of spice & nut colors (no green). 2. Yellowy-gold, browns, and turquoise for a touch of vibrant color. 3. pink chocolates. I can't wait to see how it turns out. PS - cute pooch.

By Laura Phillips03/18/2006

I learned from a decorator years ago that "busy" distracts the eye. We had ugly 40-year old tile half way up all 4 bathroom walls. The decorator suggested we put wallpaper on the top half of the wall (with monkeys and palm trees no less). I would probably have just put up simple stripes if not for her. Believe it or not, every person that walked into the room after that fell in LOVE with it. SO........
Add a gorgeous busy rug under the area (it doesn't have to have a lot of your cordovan color) could be black, beiges, even some soft grey blue/greens.
Definitely add an interesting colorful throw but lay it over another chair or ottaman ) not the cordovan that you're trying to get away from. Floor lamps and other taller items such as large plants will also draw the eye up. You can also try mirror on the wall. Their reflection instantly draws the eye and also makes the room appear larger. p.s. You might not want to hang the mirrors where they'll reflect the couch. Good Luck! Hey if you hate it that bad, you might check into re-dying the leather. I don't know if this works or not but I'm researching to see if I can change an old, boring navy blue sofa to black. We'll see!
r

By patty [7]02/18/2006

I found a comforter in a magzine with this same color that i thought was wonderfull! the other colors on it were a sage green with like a bluejean blue allong with a soft gold color. it really went well together!

By Holly [350]02/09/2006

It looks like a jpretty maroon. You can distract the eye by throwing a decorated quilt over the back.

By jmiller51 (Guest Post)02/08/2006

I love that color...I would use lime green and pink for pillows and throws

By Annie Rios Hill [12]02/07/2006

somthing gold-ish in color like a soft throw? or pillows. would a brown work with it? I actually like that
color as it is not something everyone has. I once had an orangish leather couch and it was amazing
so soft and I made it work. good luck let us know
how it goes.
If it were me, I would head over to a store that has
that color and see how they make it work.

By Gayle02/07/2006

The color is called cordovan, if it is a dark brown with burgandy tones. Anytime you have large, solid colored pieces of furniture it is good to add something with some sort of pattern. I find leather to be cold and like to warm it up with alot of upholstered pieces and warm hued woods or there are alot of nice metal based tables with tile tops, which are a nice change from wood. Since you did not say what style or look you are going for it is hard to make suggestions of colors etc. I worked in a furniture store and put together a nice grouping of leather paired with kind of an old style patchwork chair or a tapestry chair and a metal table with a tile top. All the colors worked well. The earth tones are in again, so you might try a few particular shades of golds, terra cotta, some greens etc. Cordovan is not easy to work with. I like Paula's ideas of throws, tapestry pillows and faux finishing the walls. Just a thought.

By Paula [14]02/07/2006

Instead of the light tans and greens you could go with the jewel tones; dark emerald green, dark navy, burgundy, and then a little tan for accent. Are you into plaids at all? I think that would look good with your sofa and chair. Or some nice tapestry type fabric for throw pillows, and a comfy chenille throw thrown across the sofa (and for snuggling uder too). You should find a paint sample card that is the same color as your sofa and then use that to match up paint colors in the store. If you choose a bold color I would just paint one wall as an accent wall, or how about painting broad stripes with the jewel tone colors? You could even paint just half way up the wall and then put up a wallpaper border or a chair rail. Do you like faux painting? My friend used a feather duster to accent paint a wall and it looked very unique; you could try that with a tan background and then a dark paint to dip the feather duster in. What ever you decide to do, I hope that you will take before and after pictures and share them with us when you are finished with your project. Good luck!

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