Paint color ideas for a living room

Your living room is probably the room you spend most of your time in when you are at home. When it comes time to decide what colour to paint your living room, you will no doubt give this decision a lot of thought. Do you want this space to feel warm and inviting? Calm and relaxing? Or energising and invigorating? Different colours of paint can give you a wide array of options.


Before undertaking a home decorating project, it's a good idea to do some research. Check out magazines and websites that focus on home design and cut out or bookmark living-room colour schemes that you like. Don't overthink this; simply choose photographs that instantly appeal to you. Once you have gathered a group of your favourite looks, you'll have a good idea of the mood and style that you want to create for your living room.

Explore the Options

Visit the websites of paint manufacturers such as Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams, both of which have colour selection applications that allow you to upload an image of your space and experiment with different palettes. If you aren't a very visual person, this is an especially helpful tool for exploring different colour options for your living room.

If you prefer to do things the old-fashioned way, visit your local paint store and gather swatches of colours that appeal to you. You may want to purchase small sample cans so you can paint a small block of colour on a living-room wall and view it--natural light as well as artificial light in the evening. If others will be using the living room, have them weigh in on the options.

Making the Decision

Colours generally fall into two categories: stimulating and relaxing. Reds, yellows and oranges fall into the former category, while blues, greens and greys fall into the latter. Consider the style of your furniture, the size of your living room and how much natural light it receives.

Assuming you are not replacing all of your furniture, select shades that work will with accent colours that are already in the room. For example, if you have a beige couch with a subtle green pinstripe, you might explore shades of green such as olive. This does not mean you have to directly match the accent colour, which actually can be a little boring--just be sure the wall paint will complement it. Also, avoid using too many colours. You shouldn't have more than one main colour (which will be your wall colour) and two accent colours.

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About the Author

Dorian Gray has been a full-time freelance writer since 2009. She has written extensively on the topics of architecture and design for national magazines such as "Architectural Record" and regional publications such as "At Home in Arkansas." Gray also writes about the topics of beauty, health, nutrition and travel. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Arkansas.