Hey mamas, look familiar? That’s right, it’s the virtually kid-proof, stain resistant microsuede couch, in a color that may be described as “mushroom”, that seems like a logical life choice once messy small people enter the picture. Reader Beth (who is hilarious) wrote in about her ‘problem couches’:

“I will say that I have two couches that I loathe. L-O-A-T-H-E. They are not really brown, not really gray, not really olive…microsuede. Purchased after our second was born and we got talked into them. What color goes with that??? I’ve tried almost all colors and they look “off”…I keep thinking lighter colors…thoughts? I have OBSESSED over pillows for the past two years.”

And she’s totally right. I figured since the couch color is neutral it would be pretty easy to find pillows that go with it – turned out to be a much bigger project than anticipated! But I think I finally found some color combinations that will liven up Beth’s “odd colored elephants in the room” (see, told you she was funny!) Check out the microfiber couch made modern – and dare I say cool? – with two makeovers.

So the reason this couch fabric and color is so popular with parents is that it really does a fab job hiding stains. Whenever our oldest eats in front of the T.V., which is more often than I’d like to admit, the food & juice stains on the rug all end up curiously exactly this microfiber color. But being the same color as a food stain isn’t really a selling point, so let’s deflect attention from the large neutral background with some pretty throw pillows and cozy throws. My first thought was that the microfiber color is really similar to certain cargo-type pants I’ve seen, so I tried to picture what color top I’d wear with them – here’s what I came up with…


Plum & Coral

I love love love this color combination – it’s just delicious. Deep, rich purple-red jewel tones and warm coral are an unexpected pair – I was surprised how well they work together! The red tone in the velvet pillows plays well with the olive green in the couch since they’re opposites on the color wheel – that’s what makes it *pop*! Find a pillow like the bold patterned one that has a little bit of the neutral couch color in it, plus plummy purples and warm orangey coral. I’m pretty sure the big fluffy white pillow will be a family favorite – maybe get two! The plush coral throw blanket warms up the look even more, and ties the whole color scheme together.

purple pillows: Washed Velvet Pillow Cover, Claret

boho patterned pillow: Mudhut Handwoven Toss Pillow

fuzzy white pillow: Faux Sheepskin Pillow Cover

coral throw blanket: Bliss Plush Throw


Fresh Navy

Depending on the existing color palette you’ve got going on in your house, the plum & coral might be too much of a departure. But my go-to fave neutral, navy, is friendly enough to work with most existing room designs. A navy & white striped shirt is so good with khaki/gray/olive pants, so I figured it would translate to couches! The mix of patterned pillows makes it interesting – I love the pretty floral design with oversized sweater stripes and large-scale geometric. A smaller diamond design on the throw blanket adds another layer of  pattern, but it works since they’re all the dark navy color.

navy striped pillows: Nautica Striped Pillow

navy floral pillow: Mughal Navy Pillow

navy geometric pillow: Dearsley Embroidered Pillow Cover

navy throw: Warmest Throw, Diamond Jacquard


I found a bunch more pillows and throws – both solids & patterns – in these color schemes, mix it up to create your own look!

Can’t wait to see what you come up with, Beth!



  1. Great color combos and suggestions!
    Fwiw…A few years ago we bought the Elliot sofa and two chairs from Macy’s in a stone color which is like a light-ish very neutral ivory. It’s been surprisingly child friendly. Stains come right out, even when my third child scribbled in bright pink marker across the whole couch and my second repeatedly eats chocolate on it. Recently my fourth decided to take off her poopy diaper while on the couch, so even though the cushion covers aren’t supposed to be removed we just snipped off the buttons and threw them in the washer. Problem solved! We love the couch so much we bought it in the grey color (they call it vintage) for our family room. http://m.macys.com/shop/product/elliot-fabric-microfiber-3-piece-chaise-sectional-sofa?ID=522835&CategoryID=29391
    Just thought I’d share! 🙂

    • Kate! I love the Elliot sofa – great find!! If a new couch was in the budget, this is exactly like what I would choose. We have a large, traditional dark brown leather couch (our first purchase as a couple!) that looked great in my husband’s bachelor loft, but now seems heavy and out of place with our lighter, airier coastal/rustic decor now. But it has held up great to food spills and kids so far, and we got it because it would last forever…wondering if forever could have a 10 year limit? 😉

  2. Amanda- these are great! My husband loves the navy combo. You also sourced out some great stores for pillows. I forgot that Anthropologie has a home section. I love, love, love-ity, LOVE the ink drop pillow.

    Here’s a question for you. We are slowly shifting the colors of our home to a neutral palette of lighter colors- pale grays, ivory, white, platinum, some charcoal, a little bit of barely there blush or super barely there blue/gray, natural fibers (jute, seagrass) and wood tones. Would those tones/palette work on my elephant in the room couches? I started by buying a pillow similar to one you selected from urban outfitters- but its’ a little fluffier (from West Elm). My boys say it reminds them of Agnes in Despicable Me when she gets a new unicorn toy and shrieks, “It’s so fluffy I’m going to die!” and my husband thinks it looks like an animal. But me? Well I love it!

    I’d love to hear your thoughts- and if the answer is that a lighter palette won’t work, then the navy one may become our contender using the Ink Drop Pillow as the starter piece! So appreciate being featured!!!

    • Seriously, Beth, you crack me up every time! I love those fluffy pillows too – once my little one is out of the mouthing everything stage, it’s so happening.

      So glad you guys like the navy and I am loving the color shift you’ve got planned, it’s going to look gorgeous. Pics please!? That’s pretty much the same scheme we have, except with Sherwin Williams Silver Strand – a greenish, blueish gray. It so relaxing and calm. Also? The Ink Drop pillow would look amazing with the lighter palette, especially the blush or blue/gray. Go on with your bad self!

      • The fluffy pillow is a hit, but I am not sure how long it will last with two older elementary aged boys. But I am the only girl in a house of boys and needed something I love!

        It will be a bit, but I will send in photos. I think for me, the trick is that the elephant couches are a tough color to match. I’ve bought so many pillows in the tones we hoped for and they aren’t *quote* a match. Hence the one fluffy pillow and then admitting defeat a la Tayler and using the craptastic ones that came with the couch. I feel better knowing you feel that my color scheme could work…

        Now, here’s the million dollar question- how on earth do you FIND pillows? I have tried googling blush, champagne, pewter, slate, and there are millions of things that pop up but all sort of chintzy. And I have no idea what name that blue (of the ink drop pillow) is called- cerulean? Indigo? Such problems, I know, right?? But a girl’s gotta have a cozy, calming space- especially to sit and sip an espresso as she gears up for her day filled with water ballooons, nerf guns, and other brazen boy pursuits!

  3. I was pleasantly surprised (intrigued?) to see an incredibly precise description of our couch situation whilst scrolling through my bloglovin feed. The couch was my husband’s and my first furniture purchase together. After hours of searching and not finding something ideal, we settled on a similarly colored behemoth of a sectional. After years of living with a dismal pillow situation (aka, reluctantly accepting the matching brown/grey/taupe pillows that came along with it), I bought some pillow covers at IKEA to cover some inherited throw pillows and was pleasantly surprised by how much they improved the look of the couch. They’re not nearly as polished looking as your two looks, but I’m still a kid at heart and like bold color strewn about a little better than most. We have a large, white, knit cotton throw and a smattering of these pillow cases:




    I’d say it was the best $20 I ever spent.

Leave a Reply