What Colors Should You Consider for Your Living Room

Popular Paint Colors or Your Colors?

You may be considering painting your living room with popular paint colors but are concerned that these colors change each year. For example, in 2018, an article on au courant living room colors suggested soft lilac, dark plum, and spruce blue. Two years later, the trending colors in 2020 include clay, blush, and hunter green.

You obviously don’t want to be changing the living room paint from year to year, but instead, you should use color trends as an inspiration and starting point to discover the colors that you naturally gravitate towards. Fortunately, paint is one of the easiest ways to update a space.

Where to Find Living Room Color Ideas

Where to Find Living Room Color Ideas

If you are looking for a certain hue to see how it can be used in a living room, many paint companies offer ideas in free brochures at their retail distribution points (think Home Depot, Lowe’s, and other home improvement stores). Even if this isn’t where you buy your paint, these locations allow you to bring home a stack of paint sample cards before you paint. Carry them around the living room as well as other rooms for inspiration, holding them against each other and items you plan to decorate with.

You can also look for online photo galleries. For example, if you are thinking of a light blue living room, you could glance through designer shades of blue living rooms at House Beautiful. You might end up deciding you prefer a slatier, deeper shade of blue like these.

Wherever you look for living room colors, consider the influence that natural lighting, time of day, and other lighting sources will have on your chosen color. Your entertaining style can even help you determine the best living room colors. Do you want warm colors to energize small groups, or would you prefer understated colors that will allow you to relax and unwind?

Living Room Color Schemes

Another source of inspiration for room color schemes is to pick a favorite piece of art, area rug, or furniture that you already own and that you’d like in the room. Find a favorite color within it or harmonious to it, and use that as the basis for room paint ideas and an overall color palette for other accessory items like drapes, throw pillows, and even the mats on pictures.

If you want to try an especially bold color in your living room, consider painting just one wall with the knockout color.

Pick Your Emphasis

If your living room has a fireplace, you may want to select living room paint colors from any natural stones in the hearth to bring harmony to that focal element.  Your choice of living room paint can be inspired by other architectural details, like archways and crown molding.

You might decide that you want some delineation between the living room and any adjoining halls, foyers, etc. These transitions are an opportunity to change to a different shade. Remember that door and window trim should be factored in. They are often painted a default white, but that doesn’t have to be the case. With darker walls, white frames will really pop.

You could alternatively achieve the reverse effect, with lighter walls and darker door frames and baseboards, which is less standard but can work with the right colors.

You may also consider whether to paint completely from floor to ceiling with the same color or not by the existence of features such as chair rails, for example. These, of course, you could add if they aren’t already there, or elect to remove if you want a continuous expanse of color.

Delineations like this allow you to introduce a second color. Also, think about the option of deciding where the living room paint color ends by using a wall-breaking feature such as columns or corners as a guide.

Choosing Living Room Color Ideas Based on a Home’s Aesthetics

Choosing Living Room Color Ideas Based on a Home's Aesthetics

Another suggestion for honing in on color schemes is to define the overall feel of your living room. For example, If it’s minimalistic, architectural, and subtle yet bold, you may want to paint your living room dark gray, as in these Pedini designer living spaces. Darker grays and even blacks are being used as modern paint colors that provide a canvas and allow other carefully edited details in the room to make a statement of their own.

The paint company Farrow & Ball, an international favorite among home designers, offers more ideas on how to use powerful colors for living rooms. These designs demonstrate how dark grays and other hues can also be used in conjunction with more traditional decor, and show that color is, indeed, versatile.

Many designers suggest that while the same color does not need to be repeated from room to room, you may want to have colors flow through the house based on a family of colors. An example is to choose more tropical colors for a beach bungalow, earthy tones for a lodge-like design home, or shades of white and possibly pastels for shabby chic interiors in a vintage home.

However, don’t be afraid to depart from the expected. Architectural Digest encourages the use of color, with scores of painting tips and ideas for using modern colors. Unless you’re planning to show your home for resale soon, there’s no reason to go with safe and monochromatic pallets.

The Takeaway

When asking yourself, “What color should I paint my room?", consider the psychological effects that colors can lend. For example, green wall paint can be a relaxing color, summoning connotations of nature and wellness. Normally considered a cool color due to the blue in it, it pairs well with many other colors. Learning about the psychology of color can help you tweak your final color choices.

Ultimately, living room colors should be personal, reflecting your lifestyle and whatever colors make you happy. Try a different wall color just on one wall for a while if you are unsure, as the commitment to repainting one wall is less intensive than the full room.  Remember, while there may be bad paint jobs, there are no right and wrong colors for living room spaces.


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