How to Style a Dark Leather Sofa (Den Makeover)


Hello Beneath My Heart readers!!

It’s Bre, from Rooms FOR Rent blog, and I’m so happy to be back with all you today!


Today I’m sharing with you how I decorate around a modern black sofa.

If you have visited my blog, than you already know my style is not modern, nor do I own a black leather sofa.  I am a white slip-covered girl through and through.

However, I have yet to meet a client who is on the white-slip covered band wagon. In fact my last 4 clients have all owned dark leather sofa’s, yet they are craving a lighter, fresh, cozier look.  But guess what, that dark leather sofa is not going anywhere. Nope! It’s here to stay.

So I want to show you how I tackled working with a very sleek, modern, black leather sofa, and brought some coastal chic into the space. Let’s start off with the a before:



Ok, so first things first!

We painted their walls. Before was what I call “builder beige,” that peachy-bone color, that did nothing but make this large black leather sectional stick out, and command all the attention in the room. I chose warm neutral colors to warm up the space and take away all the attention from the sofa. Creating a dark accent wall directly across the sofa, helped balance the space, and blend the tv in, which was a win-win in my book.

The homeowner was really craving a space that felt warm, cozy and lived in, so the next step was adding curtains to warm up the cold bare windows.



The only furniture in the space was the large leather sectional, modern glass coffee table, and flat screen tv on a sleek black stand.


I created a cozy reading corner in the space by bringing in an accent chair in a creamy linen.  To balance the once sleek modern look, I brought in a weathered trunk for a coffee table that I custom painted to fit the space.

We swapped out the too-small shag rug for a trellis patterned in a neutral hue to add interest to the space, and again take the attention off the sofa.   Loading the sofa up with lots of fun throw pillows not only makes the space feel cozy, but softens the look of the modern leather.

Even though the mantle plays no part in how the sofa looks technically, it still plays a key part in the rooms decor. Seen below in the before, it was decorated with too much of the same thing…rectangle metal frames, not really holding it’s own as a focal point, but just feeling kind of blah.


I left the original mirror, because it was a great size for the mantle, but instead of frames, I brought in weathered wooden candle sticks, faux boxwood topiaries, and seashells, for lots of texture and interest.


Now, we had a mantle that would truly take center stage in this family room and not be washed out by one very large distracting leather sofa. After completing this install, my client was given the space she craved with the sofa her husband loved.
While adding accent pillows and cozy throw blankets to your sofa will help soften it’s look, remember to look all around your room at other areas you can change and tweak to help balance out any distracting furniture you might have. Sometimes it’s not always just changing the most obvious piece, but learning how to work around it for a more blended look!

I Hope You Have a GREAT Day!

Have a Design need or questions? Email me at: [email protected]
To see what I’m currently up to follow me on Instagram @roomsforrent

Subscribe to Beneath My Heart


  1. This looks awesome, Brie! Love all the pattern and textures. We too have leather, now in our family room, and we love it. I just bought new fabric to lighten up ours too.
    Elizabeth@ Blue Clear Sky recently posted..Garage Sale Chandelier Find

    • Thanks Elizabeth!!! I know to some it can seem intimidating, but when the budget doesn’t allow, or the family loves it, it’s still possible to not let it be the main focal of the room :) I’m sure your room looks lovely, you always have beautiful spaces! ~Bre
      Bre @ roomsFORrent recently posted..Inspiring Summer Home Tours

  2. you are truly an amazing decorator. I love what you did to the room. I myself have a dark brown leather couch which I love, because you can dress it up with pillows and throws and it always goes with everything. Love your style! You need to come visit me in WA and help me…lol Christine from Little Brags
    Christine recently posted..A Little Outdoor Chandelier and the Tortoise and the Hare

  3. Jonella says:

    What color did you paint the walls? We have the same problem with our leather furniture – trying to lighten it up as I know the hubby would never do well with a white slipcovered sofa! I feel like most of my den is a shade of brown or beige and if I take from this post I think I could really lighten it up!

  4. Absolutely BEAUTIFUL after you got done with it! I love the trunk coffee table. The room went from being cold and unwelcoming to warm and very inviting! Your client must have been so so happy! Gorgeous!!

    • Thanks Amy! The trunk coffee table was so fun to paint!! Seeing my clients reaction to the room reveal was so rewarding, she just kept saying she couldn’t believe it was her house :) ~Bre
      Bre recently posted..Summer Home Tour {2014}

  5. Awesome transformation! I love it. The pillows and window treatments really soften this room and the darker wall color is wonderful. You really transformed this cold stark decor into a warm and cozy room. A great place to curl up and watch a good movie.
    Cindi @ RustiqueArt recently posted..There Are Busy Bees in My Garden Today

  6. I love it, it looks so inviting.
    [email protected] Stroll Thru Life recently posted..The Perfect $2.98 Accessory

  7. Now THAT’s a room makeover. Absolutely stunning transformation.

  8. Beautifully done!

  9. Wow! What an incredible makeover. I see the same kind of man-size sofa over and over again and I completely shy away from it simply because the proportion scares me. You’ve done an incredible job of blending in the scale and warming up the entire space so everything just melds together in a comfy-cozy way. Love it!

  10. What an amazing transformation you got here!
    It looks way more comfortable and stylish.

    I also love what you did with the curtains! It definitely makes the space cozier.

    I bet your client was extremely satisfied with the result :)

  11. I’d love to know where that rug is from?

  12. Beautiful room! Could you share the name of the paint color used and where you got the curtains? Thank you so much!

  13. I love these wall colors… do you know what they are? I’m getting a brown leather sectional and stumped on making my apartment white walls look better but not closing it off.

  14. Bri – My room looks so much like the before picture! I am totally frustrated trying to figure out what to paint the walls. Can you please share the color? I am so excited and inspired – please help!!

  15. Gave me such inspiration for my son’s recent thrift store purchase of a brown leather sofa and loveseat. found great pillows at West elm. Please share the wall color name.

  16. Can you share the name and brand of paint in the update room? Looks great!

  17. can you please tell me the brand of that leather couch/sectional?

Speak Your Mind


CommentLuv badge

content and images copyright © 2009 - traci, beneath my heart- privacy policy

Designed by Chena Designs Development and Hosting by Evenpar Solutions
Web Hosting By RFE Hosting
Free Counter