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Choosing paint colors for living room walls

Updated April 17, 2017

The living room and kitchen are the most lived-in rooms of the house. When choosing a colour for your living room, you want it to be pleasing and comfortable. So, where do you start? Interestingly, to choose a paint colour for your living room, you don't start with the walls.

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Room Elements

Choose furniture, art and area rugs for the living room before you choose the paint colour. You can have a custom paint colour mixed at no extra charge for any colour you like. Just take a piece of anything with the colour you want to the paint store and they will mix the paint to it. It is not so simple to do this in reverse by trying to match the other items in the room with the paint colour.
Choose three colours out of the room's elements that you feel would make good wall paint choices. If you have a print in your sofa, fabric chairs or area rug, you might choose the background colour as one choice. However, if most of the elements in the living room are a solid colour, choosing the same colour for the wall paint will cause your furnishings to melt into the background. You might want to choose a contrasting colour that is only in small amounts within the room's elements. You can then splash that colour throughout the room with sofa pillows, vases or other decorative items. Let's look at how combinations of colours affect the look and feel of a living room.

Using the Color Wheel

A colour wheel will help you make a final choice about your living room wall paint colours. You will see through colour wheel pairings how your previous choices will create individually different atmospheres. Analogous colours blend together, creating a cohesive tonal range within the room. They include colours that are set next to each other on the colour wheel. For example, if other elements in your room are primarily in the beige area, you could choose a yellow or orange tone to liven up the room, yet the colours would blend, also. Complementary colours are those that are opposite on the colour wheel. The colours complement each other, yet they are widely contrasted as well. This would cause the walls as well as the other main elements in your room to stand out. So, in a complementary colour scheme, with your beige room elements, you might choose a blue or blue-violet paint for your living room walls. Triad colour schemes are chosen by mentally placing a triangle over the colour wheel. These choices will give you a varied, but balanced appearance to the living room. By placing one point of the triangle on beige, you would choose a wall colour in the blue-green or red-violet colour range. Whichever you chose, you would use the alternate choice in choosing accessories for the room.

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About the Author

Karen Ellis

Karen Ellis has been a full-time writer since 2006. She is an expert crafter, with more than 30 years of experience in knitting, chrocheting, quilting, sewing, scrapbooking and other arts. She is an expert gardener, with lifelong experience. Ellis has taken many classes in these subjects and taught classes, as well.

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