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How to Decorate Around a Black Sectional

by Lorna Hordos

A sectional sofa -- especially one in black -- can be the elephant in the room unless you know how to decorate around it. With walls, window treatments, furniture and accessories that beckon a little attention of their own, such a large element won’t so easily overtake the space.

1. Walls

Steer clear of starkly contrasting white walls or a bland neutral shade and opt for a wall color -- whether in the form of paint or wallpaper -- that has pizzazz to take some of the focus off a bulky, dark sectional. Bright hues -- coral, magenta, lemon, turquoise -- lend an air of frivolity when peaking out around large, black pieces. Muted tones, such as goldenrod, brick red or sea green, offer a classic appearance that mellows out or quiets an active, often-noisy living or family room. Pastels -- subtle pink, light blue, pale lavender -- almost seem to “whisper” against the “loudness” of black. As a natural feature, and to give the eye another resting place beyond the sizable sofa, consider a wall of light pine -- low or no volatile organic compound or child-friendlier finishes include butcher-block wax and stains made from linseed or soy oil.

2. Window Treatments

Sectional seating can consume much of a room -- two walls, and sometimes three. When one or all of these walls have windows, don’t use dark window treatments, which fade into the family-sized furnishing. Choose complementary white or off-white curtains or drapes for visual distinction or contrast with strong-colored walls and the sofa. Hang draperies wide and high to stretch the walls' height and to maximize daylight. White or light-colored wood blinds provide adjustable daylight control with a natural glow; child-safety is imperative -- choose from shades or blinds with kid-friendly cords.

3. Furniture

Another chair can give your large couch some competition, but rather than via scale, via a vivid print. Consider upholstery prints such as a large, bold-colored floral pattern, vibrant ikat or colorful stripes. When covering an armchair, loveseat or recliner, an attention-grabbing print gives a big, black sofa a run for its money; tie the pieces together with cushions in the other's colors.

4. Accessories

Use accessories to counteract the visual heaviness of a dark sectional sofa. Speckle the room with glittery elements -- chrome-framed mirrors, metal artwork and plenty of crystal or glass objects. The room’s “sparkle” catches the eye and seemingly neutralizes or tames the room's big, black dinosaur. As for the coffee and end tables, find ones that aren't boring; mirror-flanked pieces or tables in random, funky colors add interest, but rounded corners are a table-safety must in a home with small children. An area rug with a color pulled from the walls, some white and a touch black unites the space.

Photo Credits

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