Learn something new every day
More Info... by email
The best color to use in every room in your home, including the living room, is the one you really love. You should first determine the colors you'd really love to see every day in your living room before narrowing down or editing your choices. Standing in the space and asking yourself what living room color you'd most like to see there and why can start your discovery in finding the ideal shade.
For instance, one person doing this exercise may consider yellow with adding a sunny feeling to the living space as her reason. Upon thinking more about this reasoning, the person may realize that the reason she decided to consider yellow was that her living room lacked light. A soft light yellow reminiscent of sunlight is a great living room color for spaces with few or high up windows because it can contrast with the dimness to give the illusion of a brighter space. Choosing a blue or gray in a low-light living room is likely to only accentuate the dimness.
If your space has large windows that let in a lot of sunlight, then blue or gray may be the ideal living room color. A high rise condo or a house with a skyline view can have the appearance of being even more in the clouds when the walls are painted blue or gray. These colors also offer an interesting contrast with sunlight. Blue and gray upholstery and fabrics tend to coordinate well with many different wood tones. They do look best with silver-toned metals, however; if you have brass living room tables or accent pieces, you may want to choose a warmer color that has an orange, rather than a blue, base to it.
Red is a favorite warmer living room color for many people, while others may find it too bold. Yet, there are endless versions of red from bright to dark as well as cool maroons and warm brick reds. Dark brown or black wood living room shelving and tables can contrast strikingly with red walls, rugs or upholstery. If you have wood furniture with a red undertone, such as light cherry, it's best to get sample swatches of reds to find a complementary paint and upholstery shade.
Try to avoid playing things safe by considering not only neutrals but also shades of green, red, yellow or blue in your living room. In addition to warm and cool versions, there are also dusty and pastel shades in all of these. Small amounts of your favorite colors that coordinate well together can be mixed with the neutrals you like the best whether those include black, white, cream, gray, brown, beige or taupe. Looking at your favorite-colored clothing as well as standing in front of a selection of paint chips at a hardware store may help you identify a living room color that touches your heart.
If you have a custom color blended, make sure you know exactly what color you're getting.
Years ago, I helped my dad paint our living room. My mom wanted a very, very, very pale green, like my aunt had in her living room. They mixed the color at the paint store and showed it to my dad. I thought it looked way too dark, and told him so, but he said it was exactly what my mom wanted. It wasn't. It was institutional green, and when mom saw the finished product, she sat on the sofa and cried.
We went back the next day and bought three gallons of Navajo white and that was the end of the green living room experiment.
I guess I'm not very adventurous when it comes to colors like that. I always prefer a more neutral color. You can play around with either warm or cool neutrals, but you will seldom go wrong with a good neutral.
Just look at a color sample from the paint store! If it's one that emphasizes neutrals, it will have a variety to choose from, and usually, good accent colors, too. Most paint chips will have primary and accent colors on the chip, which really does help a person select colors that will complement each other and not clash. I don’t have the decorating gift, so I always play it safe.
One of our editors will review your suggestion and make changes if warranted. Note that depending on the number of suggestions we receive, this can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Thank you for helping to improve wiseGEEK!