May 10, 2018

Apartment Inspo: Styling a chocolate brown sofa

Let me tell you a little story about a couch.

It's really a classic story: you have a beautiful sofa, and you arrange to have it brought all the way across the city, only to lug it down (or up) a narrow stairwell, giving yourself false hope that it made it through the front door, only to find that it will not and can not fit the rest of the way into the apartment or house.

You scuff up all the walls with whatever colour your couch is, you get some fingers stuck between cushion and wall, you get sweaty and sad. Yep, we all know this story.

I was given the most beautiful chocolate brown sectional from a gloriously generous friend of my parents' and I couldn't believe my luck - until it didn't fit into my new place. My fella and I had spent the whole day moving, we hadn't had dinner yet, and were feeling so defeated. We dragged ourselves away from trying, couch back into the truck bed, and went to pick up his dad. When we told him what happened, his dad said "Why didn't you just take it apart?". At this point I was hangry, defeated, and thought that was a ludicrous idea because the couch was so beautiful and I didn't want to 'take it apart'. Turns out he knew exactly what he was talking about (it's just undoing 3 bolts from inside the couch!) and helped us to do it the following day, once I was a little less hangry and a little more open to the idea. This simple trick made the couch the perfect size to just GLIDE right into my place (well, it felt like gliding compared to the day before). Man, did we ever feel good getting in after all of that.

I love chocolate brown couches - to me they are the ideal colour of sofa for the purpose of living on them. The risk of spilling wine or dropping chocolate on them feels, well, less risky. That said they're a bit tricky to match with other colours because they're so. deeply. decadent. So, I have some ideas:

~ Orange accents: Pinterest loves this idea. When you search chocolate brown couches on pinterest (and google!) you get a heck of a lot of orange. Sometimes I find this a bit too stark of a contrast and a bit too seventy's for me, even though I love 70's colour schemes, this one's not for me. That said, with the right combination of citrus-y oranges, whites, and a hint of green or turquoise, I actually really like how this looks. It's colourful and bright.

~Textured Neutrals: I love how beachy and light this looks. I also just love an un-cluttered, calming design for spaces meant to be comfortable. We're in a basement so I was nervous to have a dark couch. Turns out it does not feel dark or imposing or cramped at all, so I no long feel we NEED light neutrals for our pillows and blankets etc. They're certainly nice nonetheless, but I can't help but wonder if maybe my room mate and I are more colourfully inclined than this in the long run....

~Fun Patterns: This is the style my mum and step dad have gone with their couch, and I've always loved the way they've styled their living room. They have pillows made of old, recycled saris. We have a 'little India' in Toronto and it's the best place to go for such beautifully ornate and special items. I don't want to veer too much into any cultural appropriation or misuse of traditionally important and meaningful motifs, though, so that's one consideration. I also don't want things to get too busy. But my room mate did suggest that, with items like these, the busy-ness becomes more subtle when you have so much of it.

What do you think? Do you have a preference from these 3 options? I know I've got some design-minded folks following along and I would LOVE to hear your input and any ideas you have!


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