“I painted the picture, and in the colors the rhythm of the music quivers. I painted the colors I saw.” – Edvard Munch
What color is your living room? If you’re like most people, you can’t give just one answer to this question. While you don’t have to have a monochrome living room, choosing just one helps you with a starting point for decorating. It also aids in creating a cohesive and well-coordinated living room space.
Traditional rules say that you must stick with light neutral colors and white living room walls. While there’s nothing wrong with this approach, it isn’t for everyone. This list of living room color ideas will get you inspired to try something different in your home.
1. Modern Living Room Color Ideas
When creating a modern living room, don’t be afraid of using a darker shade or bolder colors. You could have a navy blue living room if you want. The modern design approach is about creating a clean and polished look. Stick with mid-century or minimalist furniture. Both lack overly ornate ornamentation and instead feature a simplistic elegant grace.
Keep the accessories and decor to a minimum. You could have one large and colorful piece of art as the focal point on the wall. Skip patterns and instead opt for solid colored furniture pieces.
Black and white is a popular color scheme for modern living rooms. But there’s also a growing trend of modern living rooms featuring several bold colors. Imagine having a red couch, blue armchairs, a pink fireplace, and a bright yellow storage cabinet. The trick to making it all work is all of the colors come from the same vibrancy and tone family so that no one color overpowers the others.’
2. White Living Room Color Ideas
An all-white living room can look elegant and modern. Done right, a white living room can be a beautiful, bright, and clean looking room. Done wrong, and your living room will look like a blinding wall of industrial white.
Take a closer look at some all-white living rooms; they aren’t actually entirely white. They have accents and highlights of color that create visual lines for the eye to follow. These accents also break up the space into easily-comprehended areas.
For a sleek and modern feel, use silver and black accenting in your white room. This will give the room a cool color feel. If you want a warmer feel to the room, use natural woods and gold hardware and fixtures. These have warm color tones that help to make your white room feel welcoming and cozy.
The obvious method for adding accent color is with the rug and throw pillows. But you could have armchairs with a wood or metal frame. Your coffee table could be a silver-colored frame and glass or black painted metal with a wood top. The decor you choose could be silver, gold, or even wood candlesticks. The lighting fixtures you choose could feature your chosen accent scheme.
3. Accent Wall Living Room Color Ideas
Did you fall in love with a bold and bright paint color? Or perhaps there’s a statement wallpaper that captured your heart. You want to use it in your living room, but are afraid that it will overpower everything else. This is when you need to create an accent wall.
The accent wall will become the room’s focal point, so build the rest of your interior design off of this one element. Try to find furniture pieces and other decorative elements that will complement and not compete with your wall.
Need some more decorative inspiration? Check out The Top 115 Living Room Decorating Ideas.
4. Light Color Living Room Color Ideas
For some of us, white is beautiful but boring, or too hard to keep clean. Pale shades may be the next best thing. You get the benefit of the light reflecting qualities but also get a room with a hue. There are two ways you can approach your light color shade.
The first is to commit to your color as the main color idea for the room. The wall color will be a light shade, then the sofa is the same color but maybe slightly brighter or darker. You’ll then add depth to the room by accenting your light color palette with darker shades of your chosen color. Your living room will look a bit monochromatic with everything being one shade of pink or blue, but it will have detail and interest with the varying shades.
The other approach is to use two complementary colors. Blue and yellow are a beautiful color combination, as are pale pink and green. To make these color combinations work, start with green or blue walls, and make the yellow or pink the secondary color. Try to have more of the main color in the room for about a 60/40 or 70/30 balance.
5. Color Scheme Living Room Color Ideas
Before you start decorating your living room, choose a color scheme. It helps to use the 60/30/10 rule, using three colors for your room. Use the primary color in 60 percent of the room. Then the secondary color for 30 percent. The final color is an accent color and only present in about 10 percent of the room.
If you need help choosing your color palette, try to pull colors from the room’s largest patterned piece. If you have a rug that you love, you could find color inspiration there. Or if you have a patterned couch, take your color palette from it.
When choosing your colors, it helps to have lighter and darker shades. This helps to give the room depth. Otherwise, everything would be too similar, and the room tends to look bland and flat.
6. Neutral Living Room Color Ideas
Neutral shades are one of the most popular color palettes for living rooms. They are incredibly versatile and flattering in a wide variety of living rooms setups. Choose lighter neutral colors to brighten up a darker living room. This helps your room to feel bigger and more airy.
Because neutrals tend to have a calming and neutralizing effect, they can become bland and boring. You don’t want this to happen in your living room. Prevent it by adding texture and color variation in your living room design. Add lighter and darker shades of neutrals as accent colors throughout the room. You could even add subtle pops of color with muted shades.
Add texture by choosing decorative pieces made from different materials. You could have stacked stone on your fireplace. Or drape a faux animal fur across your ottoman. Place textured throw pillows and a chunky knitted throw blanket on the couch to give your eyes something to focus on and differentiate from the rest of the neutral room.
7. Grey Living Room Color Ideas
Grey is the popular modern neutral. What’s lovely about it is that you can evoke a wide range of emotions and energies from this one color, depending on the shade you choose. A darker charcoal grey wall will look like a softer version of black. It’ll evoke feelings of sophistication, elegance, and it’s even slightly masculine. Or you could paint your walls a pale grey and create a light-reflecting bright room that’s a bit softer than stark white.
Grey also pairs well with color. Try adding jewel tones of peacock teal, magenta, and yellow with your charcoal grey. Or you could have blush pink, mint green, and yellow with your pale grey. If you love the grey look, you could completely skip the colors and have varying shades of grey as your living room color scheme.
8. Beige Living Room Color Ideas
Beige is the ultimate neutral; it’s the least offensive room color, light enough to make a room feel bigger, and there are plenty of natural materials that come in this shade. This makes it popular for both large and small living rooms.
Choosing beige for your living room is smart if you have a rental home, vacation rental, or are planning on selling soon. Its general appeal means you won’t have to paint over the walls later on. Beige is also smart if your dining room is connected to your living room and already painted a bold color. The beige living room paint color won’t clash with whatever color you’ve chosen for your dining room.
Try to use the beige color in natural materials. Leather, wood, jute, wicker, wool, and canvas are all materials that come in beige that you can find in crafting home decor pieces. Those pieces have the added benefit of having unique textures. This is also helpful for creating interest and details in the room.
9. Traditional Living Room Color Ideas
Traditional living rooms have a more formal feel to them. You’ll find sofas upholstered in beautiful ornately-detailed fabrics, walls adorned with intricately carved trim, and large hand-woven oriental rugs. Dark wood tones are common throughout.
While white walls are common, they are definitely not a requirement. Many traditional living rooms have a wallpaper that’s richly colored and features highly detailed patterns and designs. If you decide to go this route, try to have the sofa fabric complement the wallpaper.
You don’t want everything to be precisely the same in color and material, but there should be a common theme throughout.
10. Black Furniture Living Room Color Ideas
Black couches are brilliant furniture pieces. You can place them in dark-colored living rooms for the ultimate in moody elegance. Or you could put them in lighter or bright colored living rooms for a strong contrast that creates depth.
You can pair your black couch with any living room paint color. This leaves you open to a wide variety of living room color ideas. It also makes it easy to change your living room wall color should you grow tired of your current shade. You could even paint the wall the same color as your couch.
Living Room Color FAQs
What is the best color for a living room?
There is no “best color” for a living room. The best color will be different for everyone based on the living room and personal style and taste. Don’t try to force a color that just doesn’t work in your living room.
What colors make a living room look bigger?
The easiest way to make a room look bigger is to paint it white or another light shade. They reflect light, which helps to make the room feel larger. If you’re willing to take a risk, a dark color can make a room feel bigger when done correctly.
How do I choose a living room color?
Start with a variety of colors that you actually like. Then consider the size of your room, your interior decor, and the amount of lighting. Consider the hue, shade, and tone of the color you choose. The color should look beautiful and evoke the type of emotion and feel you want in the room.