This decorating dilemma comes from Ani, who wrote:
"I am in need of some inspiration and help for designing a room with a red sofa. Right now I have light blue walls and I have no idea how to pull off light blue walls with a red couch. Is there any way to do this right? I am very inspired from your post about Penny's apartment from the big Bang Theory and I would love to stick with a hobo chic kind of style if possible."
Well, Ani... let me just say that I love a light blue + red color combo! For me, this color scheme come naturally since my mom's house has light blue walls and red carpet in the living room. And yes, it works! I think the biggest fear is having the blue and red look too "Americana" or nautical. I find the easiest way to prevent this is to throw in a very specific color: mustard. That's right, you can get a boho chic kind of style with a primary color scheme. Throw in a little navy blue for good measure.
Sky blue walls are sooo pretty. And crimson really pops against the hue. I recommend dressing up your sofa with a variety of patterned pillows: mix floral, damask, and even ikat or chevron for a bohemian vibe. Next, check out Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie (depending on your budget) for some floral curtains that pull together the colors you're working with: red, gold, pale blue, navy blue, etc. On the floor, I love the idea of a big yellow floral rug like this flower one. Or a basic mustard or jute rug would work great, too.
Leather and Burnished Gold
As far as other pieces of furniture go, don't be afraid to mix it up. For extra seating, I added a cream and navy armless chair with an ikat-like design on it. Also, a nicely worn brown leather chair adds just the right tinge of masculinity to the space. Also, burnished gold tables bring in sheen. Check out thrift stores and antique shops for simple pedestal tables and interesting wire coffee tables. Spraypaint them a gold or copper.
A white or cream bookcase will really allow colorful accessories to pop. Load it up with interesting vintage knick-knacks and keep clutter stored in wire baskets and inconspicuous cardboard bins. Throughout the room add accessories within your color scheme: a bold red lamp, a vintage red telephone, cream candles, etc. I think an antique chandelier would add loads of bohemian character to any corner of the room. On the walls, hang vintage artwork, retro posters, and even a map to compliment the light blue walls.
Here are some of my favorite red + blue pairings.
Primary colors with brick in an eclectic loft.
Cornflower blue + lots of white + bit of red. So pretty.
Red, cream, and blue. Ultra chic. A little boho.
Happy decorating, Ani! Hope you're inspired and feeling better about your bright red sofa!