If your living room or family room features a navy blue sofa that you absolutely love—but just don't know how to decorate around—designers are here to help. There are many ways to stylishly integrate your navy piece into a room, whether you're drawn to light hues or bright ones. Keep reading for nine key design tips to keep in mind.
1. Turn to Nature
Designer Alice Kuaban of Oddessence finds that blue sofas look best when placed against neutral walls—she's a fan of white and charcoal gray backdrops, for example. "To make them look cohesive with other surrounding pieces, I love infusing colors that compliment blue, and usually gravitate to mother nature for inspiration," Kuaban adds. For example, embrace green by styling some plants next your sofa, place a walnut colored coffee table nearby, or set out some burnt orange or yellow accent pillows, she advises.
2. Introduce Some Lighter Hues
A sofa certainly doesn't need to stand alone. Use accessories to lighten up the navy hue. "Break up the mass of the darker tone with lighter colors and patterns through decorative pillows, a throw blanket or a large scale patterned rug," designer Courtney Sempliner suggests. "The blue family is vast and you can easily tie in lighter blue shades, or branch out into complementary colors such as kelly green or a warm golden tones."
3. Say Yes to Textures
"I love designing a navy blue sofa with a mix of textures to infuse personality and add visual interest," comments designer Ahmad AbouZanat of PROJECT AZ. For example, say yes to metals, brass accents, tufted rugs, and the like. In the below space, AbouZanat opted for a deep blue sofa which he paired with soft gray wall color and rug. "The velvet material of the sofas and brass accents provide a polished and elevated feel," the designer reflects. "To keep the space fresh, light and playful, I incorporated artwork with bright accents of pinks and yellows."
4. Play With Purple
Purple pieces can also look nice alongside a navy sofa, says designer Lucy O'Brien of Tartan and Toile. "Navy has an undertone of purple, so any color with a purple undertone will go well to blend in with it," she explains. "Purple blues and more purple pinks are some of those options." O'Brien likes to introduce these shades in pillow form.
5. Or Go Bold With Jewel Tones
On a related note, designer Vivian Bayles agrees that jewel tones in general are a major win. "Create a moody room by adding jewel toned furniture with emerald greens, amethyst, or ruby reds," she suggests. "Consider using black and gray accented furniture that is elegant." As a finishing touch, Bayles is all for installing wallpaper behind the sofa, too.
6. Use Navy as a Neutral
You can totally do it, says Maggie Burns of Maggie Richmond Design. "I love using navy as a substitute, especially on a larger scale item like a sofa, for grey in a room when I'm trying to go for a more neutral look without having it look flat," she explains. Continue to treat navy as gray when selecting other accents for your space. "I like pairing it with black and white throw pillows and a neutral rug to really make the sofa stand out as the major source of color in the room," Burns adds.
7. Don't Go for a Monochrome Look
Alexa Evans of Alexa Rae Interiors suggests not overdoing the navy when it comes to styling your sofa. "It's important to have some contrast," she says. "You want the navy sofa to be a stand out piece." Evans suggests incorporating lighter colored pillows and having fun with textures—consider including some cream boucle pieces, for example. Be strategic when it comes to other elements in the room, too. "Use a light colored rug so that the navy sofa pops," Evans suggests. "Consider using a coffee table material that contrasts with the navy, such as carrara marble. Use neutral accent chairs that compliment the sofa."
8. But Do Incorporate Other Blues
Even if you don't go navy on navy, using blue throughout the rest of a space is always a smart tactic. "This will help bounce the color around the room for visual interest to the eye," designer Cat Guerra says. In the space below, she was intentional about selecting artwork featuring the color blue and adding a blue book to the nearby end table.
9. Go Bright
You can make use of the entire rainbow when decorating a room with a navy blue sofa, Bayles says. "Contrasting colors such as pink, coral, red, and oranges not only brighten up the space but also add contrast to the navy blue sofa," she notes. Bayles suggests introducing these hues in the form of accent furniture, decor, and art pieces. "Layering them is a great way to add contrast to the blue sofa while featuring some fun and personal elements," she says.