How To Lighten Up A Room That Has Dark Leather Furniture

Leather furniture is popular for both its durability and the luxurious look that it gives a room. Unfortunately, when you have dark leather furniture, it can make the room look darker as well. Here, we share some ideas on how to brighten a room that has dark leather furniture.

To brighten a room that has dark leather furniture, try one or a combination of these things:

  • Accent with light-colored blankets and pillows.
  • Paint the walls a light color.
  • Decorate with light-colored rugs and curtains.
  • Add plants and other natural elements.
  • Choose accent furniture in lighter colors.
  • Choose artwork with light or bright colors.

The good news is that you can have both the dark leather furniture you love and have a room that looks and feels bright and airy. Keep reading to find out how to use these tips to brighten up your dark leather furniture.

Interior of a bright white colored living room with a divider and a round mirror on the background, How To Lighten Up A Room That Has Dark Leather Furniture

Why Should You Brighten Up A Room That Has Dark Leather Furniture?

Interior of a contemporary living room with a dark sofa, dark wooden ceiling, and Mediterranean designed windows

Besides making a room look darker, dark leather furniture has a tendency to control the room. What that means is that instead of other design elements drawing your eye to them, the furniture is what captures your attention.

Dark furniture can also make a room look and feel old, outdated, and stuffy. The room will seem colder, which isn't ideal if you already live in an area that's cold, or you want a summery feel to your home. 

Leather is a heavy fabric, so by brightening up the room around it, you can make both the furniture and room look lighter and feel airier. By pairing the dark furniture with carefully chosen design elements that are light and airy, your eye is drawn away from the furniture and towards other aspects of the room.

So now that you know why you should brighten a room with dark furniture, let's go into more detail about how you can choose decor and accents to create a room that balances well with your furniture.

Accent With Light Colored Blankets And Pillows

Interior of a bright white colored living room with a divider and a round mirror on the background, How To Lighten Up A Room That Has Dark Leather Furniture

Light-colored throw pillows and blankets are one of the easiest and cheapest ways to brighten up dark furniture. By adding them to a couch, you're covering up some of the dark and adding visual interest at the same time. All you have to do is arrange them on the couch and you're done.

To make this trick work really well, pair a solid-colored blanket with a mixture of solid and patterned throw pillows. Colors such as white, cream, and beige work well for balancing a dark brown or black couch, but you can also add some pops of color here and there. Fabrics with different textures also help add brightness and interest to a room.

Throw blankets like this one both brighten and add texture.

Click here to see this throw blanket on Amazon.

These cream-colored throw pillows have a combination of textures. Choose the accent color that best fits your design style.

Click here to see these throw pillows on Amazon.

Paint the Walls

A contemporary living room with a dark brown sofa

Although a bit more time consuming, this trick will make the biggest impact toward making a room look brighter. White walls are a popular choice that look good with any kind of furniture. They look especially good paired with leather. If you have kids and the thought of having white walls scares you, you could also try shades of paint in cream or light beige, especially paired with dark brown furniture.

Decorate With Light Colored Rugs and Curtains

A spacious combined living room and dining room with a dark sofa and a round wooden coffee table

Do you have dark furniture and dark floors? Lighten them up with a rug. The rug will help to cover up the floor and balance the furniture. Again, a rug in light shades will do the trick. It doesn't have to white or cream though, as both colors will show dirt easily. Light gray or rugs with patterns that include lots of pastel colors are good choices.

This rug has a variety of color options that will help to brighten a room.

Click here to see it on Amazon.

If you're fortunate enough to have lots of windows in your living room, that certainly helps to brighten up the room. You can brighten the room and furniture even more by choosing window treatments that are light and airy. Sheer curtains in white or cream add a breezy aspect to the room. Open your blinds or shades during the day to the natural light in.

Click here to view these sheer curtains on Amazon.

Add Plants And Natural Elements

Interior of a modern white colored living room with a dark sofa, metal dividers, and indoor plants all over the room

Live plants make the room airier - literally. They purify the air in the room but also help to soften dark furniture. If you don't have a green thumb, fake plants and greenery can create the same effect. Use planters and vases made of natural materials such as wicker to further brighten the room.

Furniture and decor made of natural wood can create the illusion of bringing the outdoors in, adding brightness and a fresh feel to the room. The texture of natural elements also adds visual interest, drawing the eyes away from dark furniture. Add a mirror to reflect natural sunlight around the room.

This seagrass basket is multipurpose and a great choice for adding a natural element to your living room.

Click here to see this product on Amazon.

Choose Lighter Accent Furniture 

A contemporary living room with a dark sofa and indoor cactus on the side of a sofa

Coffee tables, end tables, and console tables are all examples of accent furniture. If you have a dark leather couch, pairing it with dark accent furniture will only make the room seem darker.

Instead, paint your accent furniture white (or buy it already painted). Natural wood furniture made of light woods like maple or ash also help to brighten dark furniture. Or try glass-top tables that reflect light around the room.

Both the light surface and metal frame of this coffee table help to reflect light and spread it around the room.

Click here to see it on Amazon.

See More: What Accent Chairs Go With A Leather Sofa?

Choose Artwork With Light Or Bright Colors

Interior of a gorgeous minimalist themed living room with a dark brown sofa, modern cabinetry, and an end table with sunflowers on top

Besides adding personality to a room, choosing the right artwork can help to brighten up a room that has dark leather furniture. The best part is that you can add artwork in bold colors and still make the room look lighter. It works because your eye will go to the artwork instead of the dark furniture.

What Is A Good Accent Color For A Brown Leather Sofa?

Dark leather furniture usually comes in colors that are neutral. There's a lot you can pair it with. Since brown leather is neutral, it is versatile and works well with a variety of colors. You have so many options when choosing an accent color for your brown leather sofa, but let's look at a few of our favorites:

  • Gold
  • Teal
  • Blue (any shade)
  • Orange
  • White
  • Gray
  • Pastels

Choose pillows, blankets, rugs, and artwork in any of these shades to accent your brown leather sofa. Metal decor with a gold finish further adds a look of elegance and luxury to brown leather.

See More: 17 Dark Brown Leather Sofa Decorating Ideas

What Color Walls Go With Black Furniture?

Like brown leather, black furniture has so many options when it comes to choosing an accent color. Black pairs well with both light and bright colors, as well as most neutrals, with the exception of dark brown or other really dark shades. These can make a room feel dark, closed in, and stuffy.

If you want to soften a room with black furniture, choose colors such as:

  • White
  • Cream
  • Light gray
  • Tan
  • Turquoise 
  • Light blue 

If you're feeling bold, choose colors such as:

  • Mauve
  • Bright yellow
  • Emerald green
  • Reddish-orange
  • Raspberry pink

Can You Mix Different Colors Of Leather Furniture?

Just like you can mix different fabrics, different colors of leather furniture can be mixed. However, mixing different colors of leather furniture works best when the pieces of furniture share similar design elements. 

Furniture in different colors that have a similar shape creates a cohesive look. For example, leather furniture with rounded arms or similar ornamentation doesn't have to match in color because the design is the same. It is also a good idea to make sure that your furniture pieces are all the same size and scale and that they fit with the size and scale of the room.

The bottom line is that whether your leather furniture is all the same color or different colors, what matters is the way you style it and that it fits the image you were going for as well as your own style and personality.

In Closing

It's actually really easy to brighten up a room that has dark leather furniture, and hopefully, this guide has given you plenty of ideas that you can work with. Whether you use just one or multiple ideas, we hope that you're able to create the look you want to achieve so that you can be totally satisfied with your space. Most of all, have fun!

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