The living room has to be the most versatile space in your house. The family has to feel comfortable spending time in it on a regular basis but you also want it to impress guests. To set the right mood for the space, paint color is key. Depending on your personal style, the hues can be bold, earthy or serene, but which ones are the best living room paint colors? Trends come and go so if you don’t want to be constant repainting and redecorating, choose a color that you can live with long term. If you’re still not sure what the best living room colors are, we’ve pulled together a selection of hues that strike the right note for a living room.
For those who really want to work with a blank slate and let the furnishings and other decor items take center stage, white is one of the best living room paint colors. Lest you think that white is boring, it’s the perfect backdrop for changing up the colors in the room by using accent pillows, throws and rugs for different looks. Moreover, white no longer means one single shade. A wide range of white hues is available to complement your furniture, create a warmer mood, or emphasize a cool minimalist vibe. Depending on the color of the undertone, different shades of white can make your living room look completely different. This living space in the Naked Fox Hotel in Sydney, Australia relies on white to highlight the architectural doors and windows, as well as keep the space feeling serene.
You might think of yellow as a trendy color — which it has been lately — but actually yellow living room paint colors are also found in very traditional homes, such as this Philadelphia Georgian manor house by E.B. Mahoney. From buttery hues for a warm or subdued feeling to bright and sunny versions in cottage chic spaces or retro designs, yellow can certainly strike a mood. For a less bold version, light buttercream yellows are a subtler way to add this color to a larger space like a living room. In any case, the boldness of the furniture and rugs will either emphasize or moderate the strength of the yellow.
Most often associated with hip coastal decor, turquoise is one of the best living room paint colors for adding a touch of glam to a room. More subdued greenish hues, such as in this living room photographed by Mary Prince Photography, create serene space that brings a wash of calm over all who enter. Layering a range of paler turquoise hues also creates interest while emphasizing the mood. Of course, for a more vibrant space, saturated versions of turquoise that tend more toward the blue side of the spectrum present a more “Miami” vibe and will create a very bright space instead.
For the longest time, black was almost taboo when it came to interior paint. Contemporary designs and fresh takes on traditional decor are finding that black can be a creative and up-to-date option for best living room paint colors. While black is the most obvious example, any super dark color was frowned upon for wall paints because was thought to suck in all the light and make the room like a tomb. Modern designers have found that black can be a very versatile color in the living room when the balance between the very dark hue and lighter elements is right. Although this living room by Architecture Outfit is very traditional in architecture, the black paint and other elements create a design-forward yet relaxed space.
A bold version of purple was recent color of the year, but subtle tones of purple can be some of the best options for living room paint colors. Almost a gray tone, the walls of this Sydney, Australia living room are the ideal neutral to go with the edgy, modern black leather sofa. You might think that a light purple, almost lavender hue, would be very feminine or even cloying, but this design shows how versatile it can be. The underlying purple color adds a soft brightness to the room and creates a mood, but is hard to identify as strictly purple.
With the range of shades available and their versatility, it’s no wonder that gray has been a trending color for some time. There are those who say that it is now “out” as a contemporary living room paint color but this room by Harrell Remodeling shows how modern and up-to-date gray still feels. The mood difference between pale, airy gray tines and deeper hues like this one are like night and day. The dark accent wall is a wonderful contrast with the shiplap ceiling and brown furnishings, making for a very relaxed and comfortable living room.
Not really yellow, but definitely not pink, peach straddles these traditional colors to create a warm and sunny vibe all its own. In fact, this is one of the best living room paint colors for creating a serene but happy space for friends and family. As with any hue, the more saturated, the brighter the vibe. Peach is also a color that pairs well with range of other hues, including brights like the turquoise in this room by Decor RX. This color works well with any decor style, from the most traditional to ultra-modern minimalist living rooms,
As PPG Paints says, blue is “America’s favorite color” so it’s no wonder that it is the choice for many a living room. This is truly a color that works in any home and in any style of interior. From pale powdery shades to mid-range gray-blues, all the way to bolder dark choices, all are among the best living room paint colors, mostly because so many people like them. This mid-century living room in a Sydney, Australia rental home is painted in a blue that has a gray undertone, muting the brightness. Even though it’s a bolder choice, it still blends well with the other colors in the space and is a wonderful counterpoint to the warm wood in the room.
Similar to black, dark cobalt was a living room paint color that many people stayed away from because of a general fear of very dark colors. Now, homeowners are finding that a bold statement like painting the walls in a dark cobalt can make a big color statement without overwhelming the room. This eclectic living space by Sarah Greenman still seems light and airy even with the dark walls. By using lighter, warmer colors throughout the room, the vibe stays casual and comfortable.
Just as a navy blue blazer is right for any occasion, navy blue walls are always a great choice. Among the best living room paint colors, navy blue is a classic choice that may have arisen out of traditional decor but is also ideal for more contemporary spaces. The deep color is the perfect backdrop to highlight mirrors, metallic elements or standout light fixtures, as in this transitional London living room photographed by Alex Maguire. Lightened by the white trim and fireplace, navy blue walls can be paired with other pieced that are saturated with color, such as the velvet sofa, or highlighted with other hues.
Bold in a way that navy blue is not, peacock is as attention-getting as its namesake bird. Paint a living room in this rich color and watch it come to life. While it has often been used for pops of color with accessories, peacock has been less used on the walls, but really does belong there. Just as in this south London victorian living room, photographed by Chris Snook, peacock sets the perfect scene for mixing up styles and decor genres. If you already have an eclectic space, this is one of the best living room paint colors for bringing life to the room.
Cream is definitely an ideal paint color for any living room, but it’s without compare when you want to achieve a certain level of sophistication. Much like the chic look of a monochromatic designer outfit, painting the walls cream and outfitting the room with neutral pieces in natural tones creates a glamorous, high-end feeling as in this room by Dana Pope Designs. This is especially true when paired with rich looking metallic elements like lighting, mirrors and frames. And, just as with shades of white, there are quite literally hundreds of choices for shades of cream, allowing you to play up a certain feeling or color undertone.
Whether you call it salmon or coral, this paint color is the perfect shade of orangey reddish pink for adding a lively note to a living room. Salmon is definitely a happy color, no matter if it’s bold or pale, invigorating and energizing. Ideally matched with shades of white or other neutrals, other brights are best left as accents in a room where the walls are painted a vibrant salmon. This living room by Dulux uses the boldest salmon shade for the accent wall and a paler version on the other walls.
Red is a powerful and unexpected color choice for the living room, and once again, the choice of hues is large. From the more brick-red color of this room by Achille of Paris to more vibrant lipstick-red hues, the boldness depends on personal taste and design goals. Of course, if an all-red room is a bit too bold, then opting for an accent wall is a good way to start. This room balances the red with complementary sofas and lots of white to soften the mood. On the other hand, there’s nothing wrong with going all out with four walls of red if that is appealing. For drama and impact, red is one of the best living room paint colors.
Sure, millennial pink has been a trend but this more vibrant pink was Pantone’s color of the year in 2010. Pink had been long ago relegated to girls’ bedrooms and the occasional bathroom, however, in the past decade it has made its way throughout the home and into the living room. This design by Joni Spear keeps the color fresh and vibrant by combining it with apple green accents and a white leather sectional sofa. Pink has so much potential that it is likely moving out of the realm of trendy and into a permanent position as one of the best living room paint colors.
Green is most often considered appropriate for accents and furniture, not necessarily a living room paint color. This hue has now broken out of its box and is seeing increased use for walls, especially when it’s an earthy green that helps create a cozy and casual living room. The muted shade in the Chicago room by Jennifer Harris Interiors ties together the other elements into a unified decor scheme without seeming contrived. Although it’s not a pastel, it still evokes a serene feeling and is ideal for a relaxed atmosphere.
Another color in the green family of hues is olive. This is far earthier than the previous shade of green and trends much further on the spectrum toward yellow. For a contemporary living room, like this one by Elliot Kauffman, it’s a decidedly chic choice that has not been frequently used in the past. Olive colored walls are an ideal backdrop for today’s largely neutral interiors that are still very popular among homeowners. Natural materials and plenty of texture are important elements to add to a neutral environment for the most interesting arrangement.
One of the most attention-getting living room paint colors is without doubt chartreuse. It’s that hard-to-define, acidy yellow-green that stands out no matter where you apply it. It was always said that chartreuse is best paired with muted colors, but of course, times have changed and now it is being used alongside other bright hues, as shown in this room by Katie Ridder. The combination is not for the meek but the assortment in this room creates a colorful, sophisticated and unique interior. Part of the reason the color works in this room is that the wall art is neutral and the colors are confined to the sideboard, chairs and accents.
Similar to peacock but less saturated, jade green is another rich but muted options for adding a good bit of color to a space. Jade green living room paint colors vary, as do their namesake gemstones. From more vibrant greens to pale pastel minty hues and more bluish-green tones, like the walls in this room by Acquire Boutique, are all viable options for the living room. This is a color that can be combined with all sorts of colors, like the leaf green chairs, blue rug and floral footstool. Altogether it makes for an eclectic and comfortable space.
Brown was once the most maligned color for fashion as well as home decor, probably because of some horrible styles that emerged during the 1970s. Now, however, the current penchant for neutral colors has put brown on the list of the best paint living room paint colors. This transitional living room by Carolina Design Associates uses a rock brown on the walls to serve as a counterpoint to the off-white sofa and lighter armchairs. The darker walls also help highlight wall art as well as the large armoire.
For a soft and gentle mood, lilac is a perfect, if not unexpected, choice among the best living room paint colors. Lilac paint provides a hint of color without dominating the space. It’s the ideal choice for a room that is either a little frilly or eclectic where you want a bit of color but still have pieces that need to stand out. A good example is this room in San Francisco, where the highlight is the painted cupboard.