The sofa colours to avoid – and the ones you won't regret, according to interior experts

If you're after a timeless look that you'll always love, listen up

DFS Calix Accent Chair in Forest Green Boucle
(Image credit: Arteriors)

Interior experts reveal the sofa colours to avoid – and what colours to opt for instead if you're after a timeless look that you'll always love.

It definitely pays to invest in the best sofa for your home, especially being one of your living room's key pieces of furniture – and if it's a piece of furniture that's going to stick with you for a while, then you want to be sure that you won't prematurely grow sick of whichever living room colour scheme you choose.

DFS Calix Accent Chair in Forest Green Boucle

(Image credit: DFS)

The sofa colours you might want to avoid

We asked experts from our favourite sofa brands which sofa colours and styles you might want to avoid if you're trying to stay away from trends that are due to slip away and would rather stick with something timeless for a living room idea.

1. Cool greys

Grey sofa living room ideas tend to never go out of style due to their versatility, however, more and more are we seeing people turning away from colder tones.

Lou Petersen, head of design innovation at DFS says, 'From a trends perspective, cool greys aren't as popular as they once were. For a good few years, grey sofas have been the staple of neutral colour schemes but colour palettes are warming up and more earthy tones are becoming more popular.'

small white living room with grey corner sofa a wall TV and chrome floor lamp

(Image credit: Future PLC / Tom Meadows)

2. Ultra-minimalism

While we're not opposed to neutral living room ideas, Vicki Foster, interiors stylist from ScS, warns of 'one version of it that’s got a short lifespan', explaining that it is 'minimalism in its most over-the-top form' – in other words, harsh, lifeless white and lighter tones.

white living room with white sofa and blinds

(Image credit: Future PLC)

She adds, 'These ultra-minimalist interiors, which have been loved by the like of Kim Kardashian, take the idea of clean, paired back design to the next level by making everything the same shade of white or beige; from the floor to the sofa to the paint on the walls, all aspects of the room blend into one.'

'Some may say it’s avant-garde, others that it’s devoid of life and personality but overall, keeping to a theme this controlled doesn’t really gel well with everyday living.'

Black and white living room with black framed windows and white sofa

(Image credit: Future PLC/Mark Scott)

The sofa colours to opt for instead

There are many ways to embrace timelessness in a living room idea to suit anybody's taste, whether you're more fond of neutral palettes to bolder tones.

DFS Milani four-seater sofa in olive green

(Image credit: DFS)

1. Jewel tones – blue and green

Vicki Foster at ScS confirms that data from the ScS website shows that blue and green are colours that remain timeless over time, making them a safe choice if you're looking for something that will stay in style.

Patricia Gibbons, design team at adds, 'Jewel tones are a versatile and timeless choice for upholstery, as they are rich, bold and add a touch of luxury to any space. The most popular choices are emerald and sapphire blue, both deep and intense hues that exude elegance and class.'

These hues are tasteful choices that can help add interest to a room without ever looking dated.

DFS Izzie four-seater sofa in Forest Green boucle

(Image credit: DFS)

2. White or ivory

'A sofa colour which always seems to stand the test of time is white or ivory,' says Lou Petersen at DFS – but we're not talking about the stark white we mentioned in ultra-minimalism.

'These are perfect for creating classic minimalist schemes and can also be accessorised to fit more transient trends, such as the current trend for coast-style.'

It's also not a secret that white and bright sofas can help make a small living room look bigger, therefore, we're not surprised that this takes the cake as a sofa idea for small living rooms.

Arteriors x Laura Kirar Rondelle chandelier and Turner sofa

(Image credit: Arteriors)

3. Neutral tones (but accessorise with home decor)

'If in doubt, opt for a neutral design where you can add patterns, colours and textures through accessories as and when trends change,' advises Gisela Lancaster, head of buying at Sofology.

'It's worth remembering that neutral doesn’t have to mean selecting a plain design. Opting for styles with beautiful details, such as curves, buttons or fluting, will add character to a space without overpowering your scheme.'

Sofology Ambleside 4 seater sofa

(Image credit: Sofology)

4. After all, still grey

Despite us warning that cool greys may not be the move, there's no denying that when styled right and paired with warmer, cosier tones, it'll always be a classic.

ScS' Vicki Foster reveals that grey still ranks as the most timeless colour alongside blue and green. 'Given its neutral elements, a grey sofa can easily fit into any kind of style and let other décor elements shine through,' she explains.

Sofology Majestica 3 seater corner sofa

(Image credit: Sofology)

As colour trends come and go, it's important that you consider your own tastes with what you will enjoy seeing in your space every day, regardless of what's 'trending' or not.

Jullia Joson
Junior Writer

Jullia Joson is a Junior Writer at Ideal Home. She's always loved all things homes and interiors, graduating with a bachelor's degree in Architectural Studies from the University of Nottingham where her love for journalism blossomed following her internship at ArchDaily. Now focused on home tech, Jullia works on writing features and explainers to help people make the most of their home appliance investments. When she isn't writing, she loves exploring the city, coffee shop hopping, and losing hours to a cosy game.