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23 Living Rooms That Make the Case for a Leather Sofa

A brown leather sofa, placed in front of a window that's flanked by off-white drapes

Proem Studio

There’s lots of great furniture you can put in your living room—but it’s hard to beat the leather couch. The classic piece ticks every box imaginable. It’s cozy but structured, sleek but textured, and inviting but not too indulgent. It’s also versatile enough to suit different decor schemes, but bold enough to hold its own in any space.

Other pieces may be softer, sleeker, or more statement-making, but they’re not nearly as well-rounded. A leather couch is the perfect backdrop for a morning spent working, an afternoon spent lounging, or an evening spent entertaining. Plus, it’s lovely to look at—even when you’re not using it.

Thanks to its status as a tried-and-true favorite, the leather sofa has graced many living rooms. And in the process, it’s left us with plenty of décor inspiration to sift through. If you want to put a leather couch in your living room, rest assured knowing: There are lots of great ways to do it—and lots of pretty living rooms with leather sofas worth taking cues from.

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Snag a Couch in an Unusual Color

A traditional living room decorated with a navy Chesterfield sofa

Tyler Karu

Most leather sofas are black or brown, but those aren’t your only options. By scoring a leather couch in an unusual color—like navy blue, forest green, or dark red—you can make an unexpected statement in your living room.

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Frame Your Sofa With Drapes

A brown leather sofa, placed in front of a window that's flanked by off-white drapes

Proem Studio

Snagging a sofa is one thing, but figuring out where to put that sofa is another. One easy option? Slide your sofa in front of a window, and frame it with drapes. The curtains will make your couch more nap-worthy, allowing you to shut out the sun any time you need some sleep.

If you score the right set, the curtains will bring your space together—complementing your couch, matching your throw pillows, or echoing the other accents in your living room.

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Bring a New Neutral Into Your Space

A living room decorated with black and white furniture and decor—plus a bold light brown leather couch

Reena Sotropa

Use your leather couch to disrupt your color palette—in a good way. If your living room is full of blacks, grays, and greens, sneak a light brown couch into the mix. Because the piece is neutral-colored, it should play well with your décor scheme while making your palette more dynamic.

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Use an L-Shaped Couch to Dress Up a Bare Corner

A vibrant living room decorated with an orange-brown L-shaped sofa

Dazey Den

L-shaped sofas aren’t right for every living room. But they’re perfect for unused corners. So if you’re navigating a hard-to-decorate living room corner, slide an L-shaped couch into it. The sofa will dress up your corner and give you lots of living room seating to enjoy.

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Match Your Sofa to Your Walls

A living room with white walls, black windows, and a black leather couch

Devon Grace Interiors

Matching your sofa to your walls is no easy feat. After all, most leather sofas come in dark, rich color, and most walls are subtle and light. But if your walls are lined with dark-trimmed windows, you have a rare opportunity to match the two.

Pair black metal windows with a black leather couch, or match wood-lined windows with a brown leather couch in a similar shade.

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Pair Couches Made from Different Materials

A living room with a taupe canvas sofa, a brown leather sofa, and two black armchairs

Sarah Fultz Interiors

Don’t be afraid to mix and match couches. By pairing a sleek leather sofa with a soft linen sofa, you can add color and texture to your space. Just make sure the couch silhouettes are similar enough to look good side-by-side.

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Snag a Narrow Sofa for a Smaller Space

A small living room decorated with a narrow leather couch

Royal Roulotte

Leather sofas can get absolutely massive, and if your living room is small, you don’t need all that seating. So ditch the classic sofa and snag a loveseat instead. The two-seater should cozy up your living room without making it feel cluttered or crowded.

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Give Your Couch a Side Table

A brown leather sofa, surrounded by a large end table and a small coffee table

Julian Porcino

Couches tend to be a lot bigger than coffee tables, so if you plan on entertaining, flank your leather sofa with an end table or two. The extra table space will make sure everyone on your sofa has a convenient place to rest snacks and drinks during hangouts.

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Use a Warm Couch to Dress Up a Dark Room

A black living room brightened by a brown leather couch and a white textured coffee table

Mary Patton Design

Leather couches are often the darkest piece in a living room. But if your living room is filled with dark furniture and lined with dark paint, a brown leather couch can actually warm up the space—adding a pop of rich color that brightens up the whole room.

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Add Contrast With Your Throw Pillows

A living room with a red Chesterfield sofa topped with blue and off-white printed pillows

Erin Williamson Design

No couch is complete without a few throw pillows, and you can use the accessories to balance out your space. If your leather couch is sleek and modern, dress it up with the most classic pillows you can find. And if your couch is hefty and traditional, line it with bold, printed pillows you’d never expect to see there.

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Slide Your Couch Against Your Wall

A small brown leather sofa tucked against the wall

Design: Sandra Fox Interiors, Photo: Amy Bartlam

One of the most classic places to put a leather couch? Against the wall. The choice is a go-to for a reason: It opens up your living room, gives you a clear pathway to your couch, and makes it easy to position the rest of your furniture.

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Color-Coordinate Every Piece in Your Space

A living room filled with color-coordinated brown, white, and black pieces

Ashley Montgomery Design

If you love the look of crisp cohesion, color-coordinate every piece in your space. Snag a brown leather couch in a shade that matches all your wooden furniture, line that couch with printed pillows that look like your living room rug, and echo the other colors in the room.

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Flank Your Couch With Floor Lamps

A Chesterfield sofa flanked by two matching floor lamps

Ashley Montgomery Design

Lamps are a must in any living room, allowing you to switch up the ambiance any time you need to. An end table topped with a table lamp isn’t your only option—by putting an end table on one side of your sofa and a floor lamp on the other, you can add light to your living room and levels to your layout.

If you’re navigating a tight space, you can frame your couch with two floor lamps, instead.

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Add Texture With a Fluted Sofa

A vibrant living room decorated with a fluted leather sofa, a plaid ottoman, and a white stone side table

Katie LeClercq

Some leather couches are more statement-making than others. If you want your sofa to make an impact, trade the classic leather couch for something tufted, fluted, or unusually shaped. The piece will quickly become the most eye-catching item in your living room, even before you line it with striking throw pillows.

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Let Your Couch Extend Beyond Your Rug

A living room decorated with an L-shaped sofa, two armchairs, and an extra-large rug

Leclair Decor

Pairing your leather sofa with a living room rug is a classic choice. But resist the urge to tuck the rug underneath all four couch legs. Instead, place the front two couch legs on the rug and leave the back two couch legs on your floor. This will allow your furniture to define the boundaries of your living room, making the space look bigger and the layout feel more fluid.

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Snag a Sofa to Match Your Biggest Window

A living room with a coffee table, an armchair, and a leather sofa that's as wide as the room's massive bay window

Jessica Nelson Design

A massive window is a gift in any living room, but the feature can be tough to design around. Do you pair the window with a skinny couch that might look small and strange next to it? Or do you pair it with an extra-wide couch that might clutter up the room?

Thankfully, the two accents don’t have to be different sizes. By snagging a couch that’s exactly as wide as your living room window, you can avoid these undesired optical illusions. You can soften the boundaries between the two pieces with a set of pretty drapes.

17 of 23

Forgo the Classic Throw Pillow Pair

A bohemian living room decorated with a dark leather sofa that's topped with one off-white pillow and a matching throw blanket

Julian Porcino

Most couches are topped with two matching throw pillows. But, if you want to switch things up, you can decorate yours with one throw pillow and one matching blanket, instead. The duo should make your couch feel balanced and dynamic—plus, you’ll have everything you need to take a nap.

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Ground the Room With a Bulky Black Couch

A traditional living room decorated with a clunky black leather couch and a large paisley ottoman

Rikki Snyder

You can do a lot with a sleek leather sofa, but there’s something just so charming about a bulky leather couch. With its chunky silhouette and plush seats, the reliable favorite can ground your space in coziness.

If you snag the couch in a versatile shade, it will play well with all kinds of other pieces—retro patterns, classic art, and shiny modern accessories.

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Separate Your Seating Areas

A living room with two seating areas: a leather sofa paired with a coffee table, and two armchairs paired with a small side table

Devon Grace Interiors

Most living rooms feature one major seating area. But with a little creativity, you can segment the room into two cozy seating spaces, instead. Start by putting your leather couch and coffee table where you usually would. Then, take the armchairs that would normally face your leather couch, and place them to the side of your leather couch, instead. This L-shaped design will open up the room and give you lots of options.

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Go Unusually Bright With Your Accent Colors

A living room decorated with a brown leather sofa, a glass coffee table, and an array of lime green, blue, and red accents

Casa Watkins Living

Since leather couches are so versatile, you can have a lot of fun with your accent colors. Sure, you can keep things simple with subtle neutrals, earthy colors, or sleek jewel tones. But if you want to make a surprising statement, spring for something more vibrant—like bright neons or rich primary colors. Trust us, your neutral leather couch can handle it.

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Streamline Your Silhouettes

A living room filled with straight lines: a couch with straight legs, a rectangular coffee table with straight legs, and an angular chandelier with no curves

Leclair Decor

Not sure how to pair your couch with other furniture and décor? Keep your silhouettes consistent. Match a rectangular couch with straight-lined pieces like rectangular tables and picture frames, angular lamps, and chandeliers. Or, pair a curved couch with rounder pieces like circular tables, sculptural vases, and curvy chairs. Keeping your lines consistent isn’t a must, but it’s an easy way to keep your space cohesive.

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Keep It Simple With Matching Sofas

A living room with a wooden coffee table and two matching brown leather sofas

Devon Grace Interiors

Mixing and matching sofas can be tough, so if you find a leather couch you love, make things easy on yourself: buy two of them. Craft a symmetrical layout by placing the couches across from each other with a coffee table in between. Or play with a more dynamic layout by using the couches to form an L-shape using armchairs to round out the space.

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Top Things Off With a Chunky Throw

A brown leather couch topped with neutral throw pillows and a chunky knit throw blanket

Ashley Montgomery Design

Your leather couch may be complete without a chunky knit throw—but it certainly won’t be as cozy as it could be. So finish off your couch with an ultra-chunky throw. You can tie the room together by matching the blanket to some of your throw pillows, or you can use it to add a brand new color, print, or texture to your space.