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7 Ways to Style Your Sofa, According to an Interior Designer

© Vanessa Arbuthnott

A sofa is an essential part of any room, the one you choose must accentuate the size of the room but how you style it is key.

Styling a sofa goes way beyond throwing a few bland cushions aimlessly and hoping for the best – any sofa will look bare without any accessories and cluttered with too many. Whether you want contemporary style or a traditional look, a little goes a long way.

Luckily, interior designer Vanessa Arbuthnott has revealed the 7 top ways to style your sofa, from throws to textured scatter cushions, there are options for every sofa.



Adding in a throw blanket on your sofa can add in a pop of colour or even just a neutral tone balance which softens the design.

You can either drape it around the top of the sofa or on the arms to create a cosy feel.

It is a great way to bring in an added texture feel and perfect for snuggling up on winter nights.

See: 14 Cosy Living Room Ideas That’ll Make Sure Your Home Is Impossible to Leave

Patterned Pillows

Vanessa Arbuthnott

If you are opting for patterned pillows, then cluster together groups of geometric pillows.

Place each one on each sofa cushion for a look that is rustic and well thought out.

You can even place some block colour pillows in between to really brighten up the room.

See: The Top Air Purifying Plants for Your Home



Adding a medium to large pot plant to the side of the sofa balances your space and creates a natural and light ambience.

Try and opt for a vibrant all green plant as it soothes the eye and provides a modern yet balanced look.

See: 10 Natural Bedroom Ideas to Bring the Outdoors In

Bold Lighting


A lighting feature on the other side of your sofa will frame the look. Look for a standard light with height and warm bulbs to add a cosy feeling.

If your sofa is more on the neutral side, then choose a brightly coloured lampshade.

Hang the Colour

Vanessa Arbuthnott

If you have space above your sofa ensure you optimise it, this is your focal point which pulls peoples gaze towards the sofa.

It can be a nice touch to fill some wooden frames with a few bold colours which mirror your sofa colours and co-ordinate with your themes. Go for an arrangement which is symmetrical and visually appealing.

Floor Rugs

Vanessa Arbuthnott

You can place a woolen floor rug over the seat cushions, this can help to preserve the cushion fabric as well as providing protection from dogs and children.

Choose one which fits your snug on your sofa.

See: 12 Simple Small Living Room Ideas That Maximise Minimalist Style

Cushion Shape

Vanessa Arbuthnott

Different cushion shapes can trick the eye, it all depends on how you place them.

Use a rectangular cushion in front of two square cushions as this gives the illusion of different height levels.

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