You guys always have great insights and advice. So, I am coming to you with my latest decorating dilemma. I have mentioned a few times before, we plan to recover the sectional in the basement family room.

DIY Rug Ottoman

It looks fine in photos, but I promise you up close it is a mess. Besides sitting in the garage for a year while we finished the basement, this was the sectional we brought both our babies home to. I am sure it has seen spit up and other baby accidents, in addition to toddler sticky fingers.

I love the Performance Velvet fabrics from West Elm. I pet their velvet furniture every time I am in the store. A while back I ordered swatches of all my favorite colors. You can order free swatches right here.

I narrowed down the selection to my three top picks for the basement, but now I am stuck. That is where you come in. I would love your opinion.

Here are the three colors I am considering:


1.  The first is a teal color (Lagoon). My photographer has this fabric on the settee in her waiting room. It is amazing in person! I pet that settee every time I am over there. This would be the bold, better-love-it-to-pull-it-off fabric choice.  But, you know me, I love teal :)


2.  The second color is a silver gray (Dove Gray). This was my original plan for the space when I created the family room mood board. Now that we have the silvery-blue carpet in place and I do not plan to add a rug to the space, I fear the two together will be a bit light and washed out.

Yellow & Navy Family Room

3.  The third color is rich, navy blue (Ink Blue). I had planned to order an ottoman/bench in this fabric, but then I recovered my existing ottoman with a geometric rug. That opens up the ink blue color for the sectional, but I fear it will be too dark. Emily can seriously rock a navy velvet couch, but I am not sure I can.

I love the newly covered rug ottoman. The white and charcoal gray geometric pattern is so fun. I like my Anthro knock-off curtains, but I am not married to them for this space. Depends what I do with the sectional. The yellow chairs are here to stay, although they could use a cleaning.


I looked at the swatches both pinned to the back of the couch (above) and laying on the seat. Light hits fabric differently when it is vertical vs. horizontal, so it is important to consider the fabric at both angles.


My son tried to help me decide. His first pick was teal (claiming it was most like his bedroom color). Then, when I moved the swatches to the seat, he changed it up and chose both teal and gray. So, he’s know help in this matter.



I know, I know…you are shocked I am buying upholstery fabric for an upholstery job, right? I have been known to cover chairs with tablecloths, upholster chairs with velvet curtain panels, and most recently I upholstered an entire banquette with velvet curtain panels. I draw the line at creative upholstery fabric sourcing when it comes to big pieces, like our giant sectional.

It is going to take many yards of fabric to recover this sectional and I want to make sure I do it right. I am opting for a quality upholstery fabric. The good news is, the Performance Velvet from West Elm is only $20/yard. It is the same velvet fabric they offer on all their upholstered furniture.

So, tell me, which color would you choose? Do I go bold with teal, play it safe (and maybe boring) with gray, or do I opt for super rich color depth with navy?



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67 Responses to Help Me Choose

  1. Amy says:

    Personally I think the teal is too much for such a big piece. I think it will overwhelm the rest of the room and detract from the other pieces. I vote for the navy – I think the teals and yellows will pop off the darker shade without it blending into the carpet.

    • Jackie says:

      You are right Amy. Navy, yellow, and gray is a pretty hot color combo! Wonder if I will still love the navy on dark, gloomy winter days?

  2. Katy says:

    Call me safe and boring – yep, that’s me:) – but I would go for the dove gray. I personally like more neutral choices for larger stuff like couches, especially knowing me and how my styles and accent colors change every few years.

  3. Jenn(ifer) says:

    I would choose the navy and get other curtains…
    Good luck!

    • Jackie says:

      Jenn, Not a fan of the curtains? I am torn, too. I love the pattern and these knock-offs were only $35 so I wanted to give them a chance. I don’t think they work with the geometric ottoman, so I have already been considering swapping them. But, not sure I want to lose the navy in the room…

      • Jenn(ifer) says:

        I liked the curtains when you got them and I love what you did with the ottoman, for me they just don’t work together.
        Maybe another curtain DYI is on order ;)
        Either way, I look forward to seeing things unfold!

  4. Jessica W. says:

    I vote NAVY! I think the space could use one dark element that could really pop with pillows and other decorative touches. Teal seems too trendy and gray seems like it would dirty more easily. That’s my two cents :)

  5. Wendy says:

    I would go with the lagoon ~ I like the gray one, but you are right, with the flooring, I think it is too similar. The navy is nice, but in my experience with kids ~ dark shows everything (we have a chocolate velvety couch and love seat from restoration hardware). Good luck :)

    • Jackie says:

      Did I mention I have a Border Collie? She sheds a lot of black hair…everywhere. We allow he on furniture. It is another reason we hate the tan, because her hair shows up easily. Either the teal or navy should solve that problem.

      • Anne says:

        Ha! Similar and yet opposite problem. White German Shepherd hair EVERYWHERE!! It blends in so nicely with our white carpet.

  6. Kelly P. says:

    I like the teal. But with that being said, have you tried asking a carpet cleaning company to come over and take a look at the couch. They can also clean furniture.

    • Jackie says:

      Kelly, We plan to get the yellow chairs cleaned, but we don’t want to keep the current sectional even if cleaned. We don’t like the tan color or the basket weave texture. The fabric is a pretty loose weave and we can see it starting to split at the seams.

  7. Sarah says:

    My vote goes to the navy. In my own space I probably would go for the gray, but with the carpet color, I think it would be too similar.

  8. riley says:

    Do you like bold? Or do you like soft? If you like bold, go with either the teal or the navy. Either of them will pop the room. If you like soft, go with the gray.

    I do think the teal will be the easiest of the three to keep clean.

  9. riley says:

    Another thought: Teal might be “trendy” to the world, but to you it’s obviously a basic color. After all, isn’t this the *teal* and lime blog? ;) Go with what you love.

  10. Jessie says:

    i love the gray! yes, boring, but versitile :)

    i can’t wait to see what you pick and how you get it upholstered. I need to find a reliable place for uphostery in my area —

    I need a checklist of questions to ask when calling around.

  11. Lisa says:

    I was initially thinking the gray, but then you mentioned your carpet. I think the teal might be too much with all the other color you have in the space. Right now, when I look at your room the way it is, my eye goes directly to the fun pieces and this is probably because the couch is so neutral. I am liking the navy version for that reason. It might also be the best since you have kids.

  12. Shelley says:

    Love the navy!
    Looking forward to seeing what you go with. In the end you will choose the best fabric for you and your family and it will look amazing :)

  13. Amber says:

    TEAL! I purchased the ottoman you suggested from West Elm in that color and I’m in love! I would just change out the curtains to maybe a gold/yellow and add navy to the couch with a throw and pillows. Good Luck!

  14. Laura says:

    Have you considered doing the sectional 2 tone? like Teal for the bottom and ends, and dove grey for the back?

    Personally, I’d go for Navy and replace the curtains with Yellow curtains either solid or patterned for a bright pick-me-up :)

  15. Tia says:

    The navy is gorgeous, but will show up all the fur of your collie. The grey is too light for the carpet, won’t give enough definition. And the teal may be too much. So how about another colour altogether? How about Shadow or Steel Blue?

    • Jackie says:

      Tia, Every other couch in our house is dark grey, so I am trying to do something different. The steel blue is lovely. I have that color drapes in my dining room, but it is almost an exact match to the carpet…the sectional would disappear.

  16. Anne says:

    I vote navy (#1) or teal (#2). The gray seems too cool of a color with all of that warmth from the beautiful wood wall and yellow pillows. The room seems light enough that you can pull off a darker color.

  17. Teal wins for me hands down!! I love the darker one too but think the bright teal would lift the room and make such an impact. Its such a fun room, go for it!!

  18. Emiles says:

    Navy. I agree the gray is too close to the carpet and with the walls, everything will be washed out. The navy will also serve as a subdued partner to the poppin’ yellow chairs! Those are so unique, I’d hate for the teal to fight them.

  19. Brenda says:

    I vote NAVY! It gives more of a contrast to the other pieces in the room. Good luck!

  20. Dana says:

    Teal! I bought a teal 12 foot long sectional for my family room last September, and I absolutely love it! I have lots of bright pillows to add more pops of color. Everyone comments how much they love it, because it was such a bold choice. We have three dogs, and the pet hair doesn’t show much, either :) Good Luck!

  21. Heather says:

    I vote teal. I don’t think it will compete and it seems to be your first pick but your starting to doubt yourself. I learned a long time ago I should go with my heart and what I love first! I think it’s a color you love and the basement should be fun and inviting. I think the grey will make you worry about stains, hair etc. The Navy could be pretty but I love the teal too. I say go for it!

  22. CohoesMom5 says:

    I like the navy. But if you aren’t sure, then try putting a nave blanket, throw, or even sheets over the couch so you can get a good picture of how it will look with that much navy in the space.

  23. Jeanette says:

    My vote is for the navy…..Yellow, lime, orange including gray all look fabulous with Navy.

  24. Laura says:

    I like the navy… I think you could brighten it up with lots of colorful pillows and maybe even a bright yellow throw over the back or something. I can see a lot of teal and yellow pillows that will really bounce off the dark navy and look amazing.

    I like the suggestion from CohoesMom5 to try the navy with sheets or a throw that you have around the house to see if you would like it.

    Can’t wait to see how it ends up!

  25. Carla says:

    Love the navy blue! It’s basically considered a neutral. That’s my vote.

  26. adrienne beardsley says:

    my vote is for the navy..i think it will look amazing with the bamboo wall and the yellow chairs!!

  27. Dee says:

    1st choice: teal! 2nd choice: grey. :) I love what you have going on in that space and hope you don’t swap out the curtains. They’re so fun and pretty.

  28. danielle says:

    i am leaning towards navy but not sure myself! Can you alter the colors on the couch in photoshop to get a really good idea?

  29. Misty says:

    I vote Navy! Maybe I gravitate towards it b/c I too have two boys!

  30. Rachel says:

    I vote teal!

  31. Gwen says:

    Funny but when my niece chose her couch I gathered up my swatch pile and kept one as a coaster!!! It’s amazing how water rings do not mar it’s beauty. I guess that equals the velvet is durable!!
    I look at your giant space and see the game area as your accent of the teal. I’m not in your space but I do love the richness of the navy with your newly covered ottoman and your neutral grayish floor. Going by my coaster, its really forgiving fabric. I don’t think you’ll be as what is the word choosing a non kid proof choice. Truthfully I grew up on a farm, think muddy end roads, and we kids sat on Moms beautiful couches and we didn’t wreck them. Now she did drop us in the bathtub before every meal as it was faster than scrubbing us all clean–but you know what I mean.
    I do love the teal too. Does it go with floor/game table area/new ottoman???
    Ohhh…I’m with you. I do love WE’s velvet durable couches!!! No matter what, you WILL be happy!!!

  32. Amanda McInnes says:

    After looking at everything in the house (teal, turquoise, yellow, white, gray) I think the navy adds depth. Just like how black makes other colors true, the navy will allow fun colors to stand out more. It might be tough to but teal pillows on a teal couch. I vote Navy!

  33. Janet B says:

    Looking at your mood board, navy.

  34. I vote for teal. I think the dove gray is too light, and navy blue too dark.

  35. Kristin says:


    I definitely think the navy will look great with your new recovered ottoman and the floors. Then you can just get new curtains that will work with the space better.

  36. Liz says:

    Oh wow what a tough question! I’ve been thinking about this all morning. :)
    1. Navy 2. Teal I think navy would be perfect but as you mentioned the dog hair might show…boo! I would still probably go with this over the other colors though. I agree with others who say to photoshop or cover the couch with navy sheets to see what it will look like before committing.

  37. Rachael says:

    Navy! It’s classic and will ground the room. I think the teal is too much on such a large piece of furniture.

  38. Marcie says:

    As much as I lurve teal, I like more neutral colors on furniture. I’m initially drawn to grey but I think my final vote is navy. It will conceal spills much better…not that boys watching TV ever spill anything ;)

  39. Beth says:

    Have you tried putting the swatches on the carpet to see if one color looks better? I think a darker color is the way to go, even if it means new curtains….you could always make pillows out of the current curtain fabric:).

    • Jackie says:

      Beth, Great minds think a like. My mom was over this morning and we were laying the swatches all over the place. The dive grey is completely washed out on the carpet. The teal and navy both look good with the carpet. Oh, this is so tough! I want to make sure I order the 20 yards of fabric I need in the right color.

  40. Lindsey says:

    Go for the teal! It is your favorite and this is a space that you can go bold with.

  41. Noel M says:

    I vote the Dove Gray. I don’t think it will conflict too much with the floor and I think it will balance amazingly with your accent wall. The navy I feel will compete with that and the teal I feel will compete with your game nook. Buuuut… in reading your comments I feel like you have gone to the “dark side” of navy already ;) Which is completely your right as the home owner! haha. If so, I think a yellow in the curtains will be a nice balance.

  42. Nicki says:

    For the space you are considering, I would go with the Navy, but I am far from a pro!

  43. Cindy says:

    Navy all the way!

  44. Melissa says:

    I vote for Navy. Im really into deep navys at the moment and I think it will go well with the ottoman and yellow chairs. Plus it doesnt show up any stains :) bonus for a kiddie couch :)

  45. Michelle says:

    navy! gray matches the carpet too much and will blend in making it look blah.

  46. Navy! For sure. Might need more neutral drapes but it will be a much needed contrast with the rug color and it will go well with the ottoman.

  47. Ashley says:

    Obviously I can’t orient myself with the space, but I’m curious if the sectional would look better on the accent wall with a counsel table and awesome lamps drawing your attention. I almost feel like the yellow chairs blend in too much with the wall and they get lost. Perhaps, it’s just the pictures! For the record I vote Navy! I think te dark color will pop with the accents and light carpet and ground the airy space.

  48. Jessica Moroney says:

    Firstly, grey is not ‘boring’ it’s a staple colour, on which you can build bright colour and pattern. I definitely would vote grey sectional, and swap out the curtains. They look so girly and timid against the giant sectional and the bold ottoman.
    My suggestion is grey sectional with more super playful throw cushions, and do the ‘bold’ thing with your curtains- that way its soo much easier and cheaper to change up your look by swapping curtains and pillows, versus recovering your lounge for a third time!!
    There is definitely such thing as too much teal, and I think the sectional is too big to cover in such an overwhelming colour, especially since your game nook seating is a similar (dark) colour!

  49. Jessica Moroney says:

    It doesn’t sound like any of these colours is really jumping at you, maybe you need to go back to the drawing board. I’d go a bit darker grey than the Dove Gray and see how that goes. I definitely prefer the grey rather than a super saturated blue tone for a large item. The grey looks super on your mood board :)

  50. Janet says:

    Im automatically drawn to the navy, but then…I’m a navy person. What I hear you saying is that you love the teal and want the teal, but are perhaps just afraid to take such a big step with an important piece of furniture…? :-) what if you took your swatches to the fabric store (with a coupon!) and matched it to some fabric and bought a larger piece (half yard?). Then, you’d have a bigger piece to lay out and perhaps get a better idea of what you’d like. Quilt fabrics are inexpensive and come in a huge array of colors for easy match. Then, you could always repurpose them later for another basement project! Good luck! If all else fails, go with your gut. If its a color you adore, you’ll never get tired of looking at it! <3

  51. Alicia B says:

    I like the medium teal blue, what a pretty color! Can you recover my couch in the same? Pretty-Please?

  52. Melissa K says:

    My vote is NAVY, especially with all the natural light coming in. Also, it will contrast nicely with the built in bench upholstery and pick up some of the colors from the accent pillows.

  53. Ashley M says:

    Teal! I think the mix of blues between the ottoman and the couch would be nice.

  54. Terri says:

    The Lagoon. We’ve got a dark gray (almost black) piece. After a year it feels too “heavy” and dark for me. We have kids ages 10,6, 9 mos and it shows everything very easily. What I like about the Lagoon is it’s an in-between. Not too light, not too dark, and it adds color in a not-too-heavy way. ;) Personally, love your curtains. They add a light and airy feel, again with a pop of color that isn’t too overboard. I’m sure anything you choose will look lovely. You have gorgeous taste!

  55. Jessica Lundgren says:

    Navy! You will make it look awesome no matter what you choose :)

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