What paint colors go with dark wood floors in a living room?

Updated April 17, 2017

Nowadays there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to home decoration; what is more important is creating a living space that reflects your personal style. This is particularly true when it comes to colour. Pay attention to trends, but choose a colour scheme that you will not tire of, and that is versatile enough to be modified at regular intervals, without requiring an extensive, expensive redecoration. If you have dark wood floors in your living room, there are certain complementary paint colours that you may want to consider.


White paint is extremely versatile, and is a perfect wall colour for a living room with a dark wood floor. White paint will instantly brighten the room's interior, and create a dramatic contrast to the dark flooring. White paint is available in a seemingly endless array of shades. For a softer, warmer look, go for white paint with pink or peach undertones. Think about what other colours you are going to use in the room, as this will also affect your choice of white paint. If you have blue or green upholstery, for example, look at white paint with a slight tint of blue or green; the difference is very subtle but can really bring the room together.


Gray paint is a popular choice for rooms with dark wood floors; it is more elegant than white paint, and also comes in a variety of shades, with bluish and greenish greys offering subtle effects. Dove grey is a great choice to complement all shades of dark wood flooring. Again, consider what other colours you want to have in the room. Rich autumnal shades of red and purple work well with grey and provide depth to the overall decor.


If your living room floor is a very dark wood, try ochre paint to add brightness and create a subtle contrast. Ochre can take on a yellow, brown or grey appearance depending on surrounding colours in the room and the exact colour of the wood. Be careful not to choose too yellowish an ochre, especially if your floor is almost black, as this can give a bumblebee-like effect that may not be your desired look!

Dark Red

To give your living room a sumptuous, rich feel, dark red paint makes a strong statement. Many interior designers use dark red paint in rooms with dark wood floors to create a Victorian look. A wine red shade works well with walnut and mahogany wood; for lighter wood colours, go for slightly brighter reds, such as blood red or cranberry. Make sure the red is not too close in tone to your wood colour, as this can make the room look smaller.


Green is a popular choice for those who want a natural, earthy, calming living room environment. Cool greens, mint greens, olive greens and sage all work alongside dark wood floors, each giving quite different looks. Green paint works well for many different design themes, from classic to contemporary.

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About the Author

C. Giles is a writer with an MA (Hons) in English literature and a post-graduate diploma in law. Her work has been published in several publications, both online and offline, including "The Herald," "The Big Issue" and "Daily Record."