Maybe you are someone who is blessed with a pretty amazing sofa. Or maybe you are someone whose sofa resembles a wet dog that makes you cringe each time a friend or family member comes by for a visit. Either way, making your sofa look pulled together, stylish and interesting in a living room, family room, sitting room or den, is not always as easy as designers make it look. It can sometimes be a daunting process to style it or arrange your pillows in such a way that it looks comfortable without looking sloppy.
This is one of two sofas in our Great Room.
It’s an Ikea Ektorp sofa that’s gotten a lot of wear. Not quite a wet dog, but definitely an interim sofa for us. On its own, it’s not much; but with a few, well-placed accessories it can actually look stylish and pretty.
Below, I’ve put together 3 steps to styling a sofa using our Ektorp sofa to show that even the most basic, inexpensive piece of furniture can be turned into lovely seating with just a few well-placed accessories.
Step 1: Start with a throw (or small faux fur rug). This will be your ‘base layer’ which will add some depth and serve as a backdrop to the layers you will add onto it. You can add your throw in one of four main ways:
Look #1 – Neatly folded over the arm.
Look #2 – Neatly folded over the seat.
Look #3 – Draped diagonally and informally over the arm and cushion.
Look #4 – You can also hang it across the middle. I prefer a faux fur here rather than a throw, but a throw can work as well.
Step 2: Add a large pillow at both ends. This will provide an ‘anchor’ to your sofa. Depending on the size of your sofa back, a standard 18 by 18 inch pillow will serve this purpose just fine. It often (though not always) looks best when the pillow does not exceed the height of the sofa back. Otherwise it can resemble a little girl wearing her mother’s heels and pearls – cute but not quite right 😉
Here, I’ll show you step 2 for each look outlined above:
Step 3: Add 1-2 smaller pillows against the larger, ‘anchoring’ pillows, depending on the depth of your sofa. These smaller pillows can be square, rectangular, round or unusually shaped (heart-shaped, for example). These can often be those quirky or interesting finds that just add a bit more personality to the sofa. If you have a long, rectangular pillow, you can even add it along the centre of the sofa for added interest.
Look #1 (with the pillows at the far ends of the sofa…)
…and with the pillows closer to the middle.
These 3 steps to styling a sofa are simple and foolproof. Once you master these, you can then experiment with style, size, colour, numbers (of pillows or throws, for example) and placement. Just take a look at the two examples below. In the first, I keep it simple, using only the first two steps…
…while in the second – our den sofa – I placed pillows on one end and a throw on the other.
Most of us know what sofa style we like – modern, traditional or country, for example – but need a little extra help when it comes to styling. By breaking it up into 3 easy steps, you can start to create interesting vignettes that are stylish and inviting, yet functional. Before you know it, you’ll have several ideas, allowing you to pull together your seating area so that it is as stylish and put together as you are 🙂