Selecting living room paint colors can be a difficult decision to make. If your family is involved, everyone may have different ideas and suggestions!

Even if all the choices are left up to you, where do you start? There are thousands of colors on paint swatches, and even more if you have the paint mixed.

So first we have some color suggestions for you. Then further down the page you'll find a couple of videos from some professionals.

Charts for living room paint colors

To give you some ideas we've prepared a selection of colors. They're based on different color styles, such as country, modern or traditional. They are a guide to color styles and combinations, so you can change them to suit your own needs. You don't have to use all the colors, but you can see that each chart has a character of its own, and you may want to use the other colors in items such as carpets and fabrics.

When you choose your living room paint colors, remember the following points.

Large areas of lighter colors make a room appear larger

So if you want your living room to look spacious then use the lightest of the colors on the chart for the walls. But don't overplay this - use darker colors if that's what you want. Darker tones can give a room more character and set it off from standard decorating solutions.

Use neutral shades for resale value

If you know you'll be moving in the near future, then you'll be best using neutral colors for your room. Darker colors tend to be more personal, so you'll stand more chance of selling if you use neutral, or at least softer tones for you main colors.


traditional paintsA traditional living room is timeless. It doesn't surprise you like a modern room can. It is always comfortable, and the colors you use reflect this.

Although the paint colors are a vital part, don't forget that you'll need to make sure your furnishings are also in keeping. Classic styles work well, and furniture and other items such as pictures should be arranged symmetrically.

To go with your living room paint colors you could use classical window treatments such as formal swags, and bring in some of the other colors using the fabrics.

You can also use fabrics for splashes of more intense color by using pillows and hand made rugs.


contemporary paintsA contemporary style is ideal for your living room paint colors. The colors can be quite subdued, but they are never drab.

One safe way to achieve this look is to paint the walls in gray, and use more dominant colors for other features. You can use light or dark gray, or sight variations of gray, such as blue-gray or brown-gray

You can also use bright abstract artwork to emphasize this look. It will stand out well from the background paint color.

An overall feature of your room should be soft, rounded shapes, and a neutral background effect.


modern paintsUsing a modern scheme for your living room paint colors means using mainly neutral tones for the main areas, with splashes of brighter color elsewhere. There is no hard and fast rule, but this is the safest way to implement a modern scheme.

Such a scheme also works well if you use strong geometric shapes for furnishings and fixtures. Try and avoid clutter, as this style tends to have clean lines and a sense of orderliness.

Using different tones of the same color will also help to achieve a successful modern effect.



cottage paintCottage living room paint colors are based on ideas of a bygone era. Painted wood furniture, the colors of nature, a restful and comfortable look.

A simple way to keep to this style is to think of garden colors. Soft greens of grass and leaves, apricots, reds and pinks of flowers - all these are used.

Pale yellow or soft cream are always good colors for your walls if you want to keep to a simple and safe scheme. Or use stronger tones for a more vibrant effect.

A good way to get your furniture is to buy old wooden items such as dressers and paint them. To bring some sharper colors into your room, use pillows with bright floral or geometric designs.


soft blueWe've put in a selection of soft blue colors as an example of how you can use delicate colors in your living room, but you can apply the same ideas for any of your favorite colors.

Pastel colors such as these will tend to produce a feminine effect, so be aware of this if the room will be used by males as well as females.

These styles of rooms will be enhanced by the use of lots of ornaments and pictures, and pillows scattered on the sofas and chairs.

A good way to keep the soft, clean effect is to use sheer or light fabrics for your window treatments, which can compliment blue on the walls.


mediterraneanA Mediterranean color scheme covers a wide area of styles. Some are often referred to as Spanish, or South American, but these all have a strong Spanish, Italian, Greek, French, and north African influence.

These colors are usually quite vivid, necessary to cope with the long hours of strong sunlight prevalent in those parts of the world.

As well as the color you select for your living room paint colors, you can also texture the walls. Use terracotta on a stucco finish texture and you'll achieve a great effect.

A key element of this style are the architectural elements - window frames, curtain rods, as well as the furniture, which often has heavy and dominant woodwork. Use pottery and iron fittings such as chandeliers to add to the atmosphere.



One of the safest ways of selecting your paint color is to go for colors which have been proved to work time and time again. Professionals know what these colors are

The Shortcut to Perfect Paint Colors - Paint Color Cheat Sheets



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