10 Best Living Room Colors
The style of the home, the lighting in the room and the intended mood all factor in choosing the best colors for your living room.
The best colors for a living room depend on a number of things, including the style of the home and the mood you are trying to create. The lighting in the room is also a crucial factor, as it greatly affects any color that you use on the walls.
White is one of the most popular interior paint colors. White complements practically any decorating style and works well in living rooms with limited natural light, helping to reflect it around the room and make it appear brighter. Warm, creamy whites look best in traditional settings, while cooler whites complement the open and spacious designs of modern living rooms.
Cozy Beige and Brown
Beige is a crowd pleaser, often recommended by home stagers when trying to sell your home. Beige and light shades of brown make a living room feel warm and inviting and complement rooms with natural stone or wood furnishings. Go with a darker shade of chocolate brown to highlight architectural features on an accent wall.
Gray living room walls look fresh and modern and provide an excellent backdrop for framed art and photos. To avoid an industrial look, choose a warm gray with brown undertones. A sooty charcoal gray makes an impressive accent wall behind bright colors such as yellow, pink or turquoise on lamps, pillows, wall art or ceramic accents.
Black is a striking color that helps ground the living room when used on upholstered pieces, stained or painted wood, flooring or rugs. Like dark brown or charcoal gray, black can also be used effectively on an accent wall, bringing brilliant colors in framed wall art to life with dramatic contrast.
You don’t have to worry about neutral-colored living room walls going out of style, as neutral colors have a timeless look that never falls out of favor. Neutral backdrops are also a good idea for those who like to redecorate often.
Calming Cool Hues
Blue not only evokes a calm and relaxing atmosphere on living room walls, it can also be tailored to work with numerous furniture and decorating styles. Darker shades such as navy feel warm and masculine. For a modern or formal living room, use a muted blue with a slight hint of gray.
In small living rooms or rooms with limited light, pale shades of blue feel light and airy, making the walls appear to recede and helping to expand the space.
Muted greens such as sage read as a neutral color on living room walls, making it easy to work with. Earthy greens in light shades or muted tones bring an organic feel to the room and work well with light brown wood tones and woven baskets, woven blinds or rugs made from natural materials such as seagrass or sisal.
Save the lilac and lavender shades for the bedroom and go with a deep, muted purple on living room walls. Purple provides a dramatic backdrop for upholstery or curtains in gray and mirrors or lighting with chrome or silver hardware. Green makes a striking accent color when paired with purple, or try sprinkling in complementary accents of yellow.
Light shades of blue and green create calm and soothing living room environments. For something a little more modern, consider using purple.
Energizing Warm Colors
Red is a powerful color with passion and high energy. To keep from overwhelming the room, limit fully saturated reds to an accent wall. A bold shade of red is perfect for accentuating architectural details such as a fireplace or beautiful bay window.
Go with a muted brick red or a soft pale pink if covering the entire room. Both colors work well with dark brown or reddish brown wood furnishings.
Use a light shade of lemony yellow to bring an uplifting, cheerful vibe to your living room. Pale yellows work well with cottage and country-style homes. For a more sophisticated look, go with a deeper shade of golden yellow on walls.
Try a color wash for depth and texture, starting with a light yellow base color. Use a rag, paintbrush or sea sponge to apply a darker golden yellow glaze coat for different textured effects.
Shades of light peach or apricot on living room walls are very flattering to skin tones. A light shade of coral or the juicy color of mango paired with bright white wood trim inspires a tropical feel and looks especially stunning in a sunny living room with lots of natural light.
For just a touch of orange, go with an earthy terra-cotta color on walls, or try burnt orange on an accent wall behind a dark blue sofa.
Bring life and energy to your living room with a warm color on the walls. Warm colors in deeper shades appear to advance, making a large living room with tall walls feel less imposing
Michelle Radcliff owned a retail home furnishings business for eight years. Radcliff offers decorating advice on her blog, Home Decorating News, is a regular contributor on interior design at LoveToKnow.com and earned certification as an interior decorator from Penn Foster College in 2013.