If you’re thinking of buying a new sofa then you might be wondering what color sofa will make your room look bigger, especially if your current sofa is making your living room look small and cramped.
In general, you can count on pale-colored sofas such as those with beige or cream fabric to make a room look bigger because these don’t demand attention and therefore can appear to take up less space.
There are also ways you can use dark sofas to create the illusion of space. Here we take a more in-depth look at which sofas work best for making a room appear bigger.
How Can Sofa Color Affect Room Space?
You might expect that the color of a sofa will relate only to the style of a room, but actually, the color can impact the way the space feels in terms of size. If you choose a brightly colored sofa in a neutral room, for example, a hot pink sofa in a white room, then the sofa is going to really stand out and attract attention.
When large items in a room attract attention, they will appear more dominant and more imposing. This creates the visual effect that they are bigger than they actually are, therefore resulting in a room that feels smaller. By contrast, if you opt for a sofa color in a shade that doesn’t stand out, then the sofa will fade into the background and seemingly appear to take up less space.
Typically, it is pale neutral colors which will attract less attention and therefore seem smaller, and as a consequence, the room will then feel bigger.
However, you can also match the color of your sofa to the color of your walls, because this will also help it to fade into the background. For example, if your walls are red, then a red sofa will camouflage into the wall, making it appear to take up less space in the room.
Sofa Colors to Make Room Feel Bigger
Off-white sofas will reflect light which can help to make a room feel bigger. These work better than pure white sofas because the pure white fabric can appear stark which will make the sofa stand out in the space.
Off-white sofas are often not the first choice of color when people are considering buying a new couch, because they can be difficult to keep clean, however, there are a variety of ways you can keep a light-colored sofa stain-free with ease.
If you have light-colored walls or light-colored floors, then off-white sofas are a nice choice in terms of both styles and achieving the illusion of a bigger living room. The eye will not be drawn to off-white sofas, so they won’t look overwhelming in the space. They will also give a lighter and brighter overall feel to the room, which in turn creates a sense of more space.
Beige sofas will be a good choice for creating the appearance of a bigger space if there are other beige components in the room. For a neutral, tonal style, paint the walls of a living room in a medium shade of beige, and choose a sofa in a slightly paler shade of beige. This can then be topped with cushions which are a further pale shade of beige.
The layered look is very on trend and will give your living room a high-end feel, while the way the shades easily merge into each other will create a sense of more space. This can make a room feel bigger and airier.
If you have your heart set on a gray sofa then you’ll be pleased to hear that a gray sofa can help to make a room look bigger if you choose the right shade. Pale shades of gray are best for this because they will help to reflect light and they won’t dominate the space. Cool pale gray shades with blue undertones are ideal for achieving an airy feel in a room, and this in turn makes a living room feel larger.
Warm shades of pale gray can also work because they don’t attract the eye and they can blend more easily into the background. This will allow you to create a warm and inviting feel in a living room while also making the space more visually expansive.
Like pale gray, pale blue is a good sofa color to choose if you want to make the room look bigger. Light shades of blue will reflect light and also encourage a relaxed, peaceful atmosphere, which can play a part in making a room feel bigger.
Paint your walls in a similar shade of blue as the sofa fabric to help them blend in, or choose a pale blue rug to place underneath it which will help it fade into the floor. Either of these tactics works really well to make a room appear larger than it actually is, and they show that you don’t have to stick to neutral shades to achieve this.
Green is a color that is seen throughout nature, so it’s a color we are used to seeing all the time in the natural world. For this reason, green can be viewed as neutral, because it is the background color of our natural environment.
Interestingly, green is also the color that our eyes see the most easily. This is a result of the way our eyes adjust to the light, and it means that our brains don’t have to work hard to see shades of green.
Having green in our homes can give our brains a rest, and this makes it a great choice for walls and sofas when you want your sofas to fade into the background. Pale green shades will be best for creating a soothing atmosphere that feels neutral and fresh, such as soft mint green or pale sage green.
Do Dark Sofas Make Rooms Look Small?
If light-colored sofas make rooms look bigger, it would make sense to assume that dark sofas make rooms look smaller. This absolutely can be the case, but it doesn’t always have to be.
Dark Sofas that Make Rooms Bigger
One way that light-colored sofas make a room feel bigger is the way that they can reflect light, and dark sofas can obviously not do this. However, another way you can make a room feel bigger using your sofa color is to make the sofa fade into the background. If your walls are pale, then a pale-colored sofa will be best.
If your walls are dark, then you can use a dark-colored sofa to make the furniture blend into the walls. By doing this, the sofa will appear less dominant in the room, and therefore it can create the illusion that the room is bigger. Interestingly, using darker colors is actually a really good tactic to make a room appear larger than it really is.
This is because, although dark colors cannot reflect light to create the feeling of space, what they can do is give a sense of depth that makes the walls feel as though they are receding. You can use dark wall color to make the walls seem as though they are further away, and then choose a sofa in the same color to continue the effect.
This works well for rooms that lack natural light, because even pale-colored walls and sofas can’t make a room feel bigger if there isn’t any light to reflect. By choosing dark colors for walls and sofas, you can simultaneously make a room feel cozy and large. Good color options include forest green, navy blue, and dark gray.
Dark Sofas that Make Rooms Smaller
Dark sofas absorb light, as opposed to light-colored sofas which reflect light. This means that when choosing a dark-colored sofa, you have an uphill battle in terms of using it to make the room feel bigger. The best way to make a dark sofa create the illusion of more space is to help it blend into the background by decorating your walls or flooring in the same color as the dark sofa.
However, if you make the opposite decision and paint the walls or flooring in a light color, then the opposite will be true, and the room will actually appear smaller.
A dark sofa in a light-colored room, such as a black sofa in a cream room, is going to stand out. This means the eye is drawn to the expanse of large furniture, which can make it feel out of balance in a compact space.
Using contrasting colors will have the same effect, for example, a bright blue sofa in an orange room. Avoid using colors that contrast against each other for your walls and sofas, because this will highlight the sofa and as a result, the rest of the space in the room will appear reduced.