Here’s Why Buying a Gray Living Room Sofa Is My Biggest Home Decor Regret

published Jul 25, 2023
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Minimalistic image, beige textile couch with round cushions and floor shelf over the blank wall background with a lot of copy space for text. Empty room interior with just a single sofa. Pintuck round pillow on sofa
Credit: evrymmnt/Shutterstock

Home decor is one of the few areas of my life that makes me feel like I truly know myself. But, while I typically have no problem following my personal aesthetic and making decorating decisions that reflect my artsy (and not always on-trend) style, sometimes the pressure of a large purchase gets the best of me, which is exactly what happened when I bought my gray couch

A few years ago, I decided it was time to invest in the couch of my dreams: a stunning, simple, mid-century modern sofa with a matching ottoman (to give it that sectional feel, without the commitment or higher price tag). The sofa comes in several colors, including soft velvet in the most beautiful green tone (not too emerald … but not too sage, either), which I initially had my heart completely set on. But, just as I was about to hit “add to cart,” I felt a tinge of insecurity and wondered if green velvet was the right decision, whether it would work with my existing design scheme, and ultimately, if I would get sick of it. 

At that moment, I called my mom — whose style isn’t remotely close to mine — and asked her for her opinion. She advised that I go with the gray tweed fabric instead, pointing out that buying a new couch is not only a financial investment, but also a style investment. With a gray piece, she explained, I can always swap out different decor and even add green pops of color if I wanted to bring that specific hue into my space. Her points felt completely valid, and I agreed, so I updated my fabric choice, placed my order, and unknowingly made my biggest home decor regret of the last few years. 

Credit: Selena Kirchhoff

When the couch arrived, I loved it. The tweed material had a beautiful texture, and the gray really did go with everything. But, over time, the regret started to sink in. First, I went to a friend’s house who recently furnished her place with — I kid you not — the green velvet version of my couch (similar to the style pictured above). I immediately swooned over it and envisioned how my space might look if I’d gone with the color I originally wanted. Then, several months later, one of my favorite podcast hosts posted a photo of her apartment, which showed her dog lounging on my same couch … in green velvet. I continued to see this version of the couch pop up everywhere, from a hotel lobby to my Pinterest feed, and it became clear that the furniture gods were definitely trying to send me a message.

Here’s the thing: There’s nothing wrong with a gray couch, especially if you already own one and love it. In fact, it’s one of the most popular sofa colors because it’s so versatile. But, after a few years of binge-watching TV shows on my gray couch, I can confidently say that, personally, I’m just not a gray couch girlie. I crave color — especially shades that moonlight as neutrals (I own a lot of denim in my wardrobe) and add a little bit of flair to a space. 

Through this decorating “mistake,” I’ve learned that as much as I love the pair-with-anything power of a gray couch, green velvet still works as a neutral, too — and I was never going to get sick of it. While I’m grateful my mom looked out for me with valid points about why I should reconsider a colorful couch, I’ve also realized that I know myself (and my style) well enough to say that a green sofa absolutely does fit with my aesthetic. Just like my wardrobe, I didn’t need to seek out advice from someone whose interior style contrasts my own. After all, it’s more about how something makes you feel rather than how it aligns with design trends. 

Moral of the story: Trust your gut when it comes to big-ticket pieces and really think about what would best fit with your own living room and lifestyle. There’s no “correct” color choice here, either, whether you’re team green or gray!