What to Do Wednesday: Ugly Leather Couches

We've all seen them. Hand-me-down bachelor couches your husband just couldn't part with after your wedding. Cast-offs from your parents 90s "Santa Fe Chic" phase. Garage sale bargains you swore you'd only keep for a few months while you saved up for something else. I've heard so many stories of friends "stuck" with a leather eye sore couch, unsure how to decorate around it.

Don't get me wrong, not all leather couches are ugly. I've coveted this Restoration Hardware beauty for years. But stylish versions of these hide-covered monstrosities are few and far between.

If you have found yourself "stuck" with a leather couch (or couches) that you less than love, there is hope. You CAN find a way to love your space and be content with your unwanted sofa (even if it's bossy presence screams at you every time you see it).

Here are a few tips:

1. Choose neutrals. Let's face it: your leather couch is probably in the range of poop brown to burnt chocolate (or if you're really lucky, you own a black, white, or navy variation). You can try to fight against it, but attempting to mask the brown with a rainbow of colors will only make it look like you did exactly that. Instead, embrace a neutral and color palette that compliments the leather. If you must have color, choose one or two muted tones (such a a grayish plum or ashy teal), and pair those colors with the neutrals. Keep it simple; over accessorizing your couch to "cover it up" will only make it look like an overly-frosted cupcake. Which leads me to my next point...

2. Don't overpower with textiles. Pillows and throws are great accessories and can hide imperfections, as well as draw in the overall color scheme of the room. But as I mentioned above, throwing a mass of textiles over your couch will actually draw your eye towards it, instead of making it blend with the overall aesthetic. Choose a few pillows in the same or coordinating prints, and one throw maximum, and be sure to add pillows with the same patterns on other other seating, as well.

3. Match the scale. This may be the most important point yet. Don't attempt to put a petite, French country accent chair next to your bulky leather couch. It just won't work. Match the scale (size, height, appropriate width) of your existing couch. This will make your room seem more cohesive, and draw attention away from the leather sofa. A large chair and Ottoman in a neutral fabric, for example, will help your couch look like it belongs. (Disclaimer: If you are just starting out, or if your spouse or,roommate adores the leather couch, please know that I know you may not to have an opportunity to afford anything different, or find something you can both agree on. If you are ever able to obtain a complimentary piece, keep the scale in mind. Try to stick to your guns and remember your overall vision for the room).

To put my tips into practice, I created this mood board for inspiration. I hope it gives someone out there a bit of hope! Enjoy.