Making a good impression starts with your curb appeal. But maintaining one is all about the living room—and the best living room paint. After all, this is where we wile away cocktail hour—martini in hand. It should be the definition of absolutely fabulous for both your guests and yourself.
But it’s not easy. Whether you’re in a starter apartment or a sprawling manse, your living room is likely the largest living space you have to decorate. And given the bottomless options for everything from white paint to pastels, living room paint colors feel impossible to settle on. You’ll want to consider the natural light (or lack thereof) that flows through the windows; your preferred room feel, from matte and minimalist to splashes of fanciful DIY; and even which paint brand suits you best (be it splurgey Farrow & Ball or the girl next door of paint brands, Sherwin-Williams). Keep in mind that natural, fluorescent, and incandescent light can all change the look of interior paint colors, which is why it’s important to see each of your living room paint ideas in your space before you break out the roller and brushes. We pored over AD archives and reached out to designers for scene-stealing living room paint ideas.
What is the most popular color for a living room?
If you guessed white, you guessed right. Benjamin Moore reports that easygoing hues like White Dove and Chantilly Lace repeatedly top their list. “I typically go with a great neutral and get my color pops from fabrics and art,” says designer Gray Walker. “My favorite neutrals range from a pure white to a neutral white that doesn’t lean to grey or yellow. This concept can also be reversed for a bold impact…imagine bold color on the walls with neutral fabrics and art that bridges the aesthetic connection.” Designer Tracy Morris also opts for versatility when selecting living room paint colors. “Pale Oak OC-20 will allow you to add any color to the space.”
Which colors should I paint my living room?
“Living rooms can be anywhere from light and bright to dark and moody—and anywhere in between,” Morris says, noting that deep greens (like Benjamin Moore’s Lafayette Green) and warm peaches (such as Benjamin Moore’s Salmon Mousse) can have a transcendent effect in the space. Some of Walker’s go-to neutrals are Benjamin Moore’s Decorator’s White “for a pure white” and Seapearl or Dune White “for a good light neutral”. Want something even warmer? Walker recommends Farrow & Ball’s Peignoir or Pink Ground “for a flirty softness.”
Which color combination is best for the living room?
The possibilities are literally endless, but Morris has her combos of choice. “I prefer a mid-tone color like Benjamin Moore’s Smokey Taupe 983 paired with White Dove Trim OC-17,” she says. “Some might say it is boring, but I say it is classic.” As for Walker, she says that: “My advice is to invest in one object that speaks to you…art, rug, fabric, an accessory—and pull colors from that piece. A great color scheme evolves from an anchor that guides the color direction. Who knows color better than a great artist, right?”
What paint to use to brighten up a living room?
Maybe your teensy studio overlooks a brick wall, or you live in a dreary, drizzly locale. Paint can help. “If you are looking to brighten your living room, try a warm, soft tone like peach or pink,” Morris says. “It will breathe new life into your space!” Or maybe it’s less about the color itself and more about how it’s applied. Walker says: “Nothing brightens a room like glistening lacquered walls!”