11 colorful living room ideas for a vibrant update

In need of some refreshing colorful living room ideas? Energize your living room - small or large, with bright color infusions for a mood-enhancing boost.

Color block living room with bright palette, and yellow sofa
(Image credit: Fable & Plumb)

Colorful living room ideas explore a rainbow of possibilities. It's out with the dreary grey and blaa beige, and in with all things bright and alright.

You heard us, folks - let's all have some fun. Living room ideas are all about flexible living, so it's now or never to bring in versatility, coziness, and joyfulness through mood-enhancing color choices, and easy updates. 

Amy Stansfield, interiors writer, WallSauce (opens in new tab), says: 'The living room is the perfect place to embrace color. Different from a bedroom or bathroom, this space is all about socializing and hosting. Choosing colors that are energetic and warm is key. Tones of terracotta, red, orange, yellow, or even multi-colored, are perfect shades for a fun lounge.'

From scheme-changing living room feature wall ideas to affordable updates with accessories for a quick refresh, there are living room color ideas for every lounge, and every style. 

1.  Explore a rainbow of possibilities

Yellow sofa with assorted, playful scatter pillows, two tone painted wall, tactile patterned mono rug, and large typo sign on wall.

(Image credit: Photo: Katie Lee Photography)

For a quick, easy, and affordable apartment living room idea that you can switch up every season, bring in color accents with bright accessories. 

Assouline Publishing (opens in new tab) is a good spot to get colorful coffee table books and Juniper Print Shop (opens in new tab).

Mel Bean of Oklahoma-based Mel Bean Interiors (opens in new tab), who is well-known for her use of bold colors and prints, says: ‘Color can be instantly interjected into a neutral space by incorporating bright accessories. Think about adding colorful glassware and vases on open shelves, books, trays on the coffee table, and vibrant throw pillows to re-energize a room for the warmer months.’

Combine colorful fresh picks with modern coffee table decor ideas for the ultimate finishing touch.

2. Color drench walls for bold impact 

Cobalt blue wall, with pink wall art, and coordinating pink and blue armchairs with bird cushions.

(Image credit: Anna Jacobs)

Dress your modern living room from head to toe in one saturated hue, and transform your space from drab to fab with added oomph. A seamless color scheme is one of this season’s hottest interior paint color trends - so go on, we dare you to go bold! 

Simon Morris, Marketing Manager at The Radiator Company (opens in new tab), says: ‘The attention to detail we take when designing our homes has never been greater. Gone are the days when standard neutral finishes are the norm. The trend for embracing color has never been stronger and as a result, there is a greater demand for products that complement or blend with decorating schemes. Color drenching has become particularly popular. These saturated tonal schemes provide a beautiful canvas for accessories and furniture to sit within.’

Justyna Korczynska, senior designer, Crown (opens in new tab), says: ‘Injecting colors into our homes can give us a boost of positive energy and improve the comfort in the spaces we live in. Color drenching is a simple and effective way to achieve a dramatic transformation, even to the bleakest of rooms in our homes. Rich, bold colors work best.’

As shown, for a similar electric blue, try Sherwin Williams's blue paint colors (opens in new tab)

3. Or choose a color palette 

Lounge with leather sofa, multi colored sofa, yellow sideboard, chalky green walls, and alternative trunk coffee table.

(Image credit: Elizabeth Ryan Interiors)

If you’d prefer a more subtle approach to color, with a variety of shades in the mix, Elizabeth Ryan, Elizabeth Ryan Interiors (opens in new tab), advises: ‘Don’t choose just one color, choose a palette.’

‘To avoid your color being too punchy, select some supporting colors to round out the palette. If you love a soft color, look for a deeper color to help ground it, and a zingy color to give the room some life! If you are excited about vivid colors in your spaces, choose two like the yellow and orchid in this sitting room and surround them with a few different neutral tones.’

We love how the trunk has been used as a creative coffee table alternative, for an eclectic addition. 

4. Shine bright with neon lighting 

Funky lounge with orange snuggler, dark green walls, quirky accessories, and fun neon light sign.

(Image credit: Snug Sofa)

Make a fun-loving statement with a colorful living room lighting idea that’s sure to grab everyone’s attention.

Jess Munday, Co-Founder, Custom Neon (opens in new tab), says: ‘There's no better way to incorporate bright colors into your living room than adding a luminous LED neon sign! Not only does it illuminate the space with a colorful neon glow, but it also doubles as a gorgeous piece of light-up wall art to spruce up the place.’

For a fun crafty evening, you could always make a neon sign in five easy steps.

5. Create a glam ‘Femme Den’ 

Glam, eclectic living room with chinoiserie wallpaper, hot pink chair, leopard print chairs, traditional rug, and brass statement pendant.

(Image credit: Rachel Cannon; Photo: Jessie Preza)

Escape everyday stresses, recharge with color, and introduce pattern into your home, as demonstrated here in this extrovert living room, designed by Rachel Cannon (opens in new tab). Affectionately called the ‘Femme Den,’ Rachel's client, wanted a very colorful space where she could retreat to relax, read and restore her energy at the end of a long day. 

Rachel says: ‘Contrary to popular belief, a peaceful, restorative space does not mean it needs to be void of color.’

When designing the space, Rachel was able to incorporate some of her client's heirloom pieces, including the rug, crystal sconces, and armoire. She loved that these pieces brought in a lot of history and character instead of using all-new pieces.

Punchy abstract gallery wall idea above grey sofa with plain and abstract scatter pillows.

(Image credit: Mel Bean Interiors; Photo: Laurey Glenn)

Nothing says ‘unique decor idea’ like a gallery wall idea bursting with artful prints and artwork in color-pop hues. For a cohesive look (as shown here) choose a single theme for your gallery wall, and uniform frame finishes and sizes.

Grace Baena, interiors curator, Kaiyo (opens in new tab), says: ‘A great way to make your open plan living room more fun and colorful is to add a gallery wall. Each gallery wall is entirely unique, so you can make yours exactly the way you want it to be. You can choose a theme of one or multiple colors and create a symmetrical pattern with them, incorporating the color(s) into the frames, pictures/art, or both.’

‘You can also choose to be more random with your color choices, simply choosing colorful frames and pictures/art that you like and hanging them in a more spontaneous pattern. Regardless, you can make it entirely your own, choosing the colors you want and the level of playfulness or sophistication that you want the gallery wall to convey in your living room.’

7. Go bold with a maximalist wallpaper mural 

Rainbow agate design statement wall mural behind white, locker style low sideboard, woven basket, and chair with round purple cushion.

(Image credit: WallSauce)

Take inspiration from wallpaper trends 2022, and unleash your home’s inner maximalist side with a bright-delight wallpaper idea bursting with personality and a sassy attitude. 

Stansfield says: ‘Invite color into the room in stages. Firstly, the walls. Choose a bold paint color or a colorful wallpaper mural (by Wallsauce) (opens in new tab). Then use the walls as inspiration for the rest of the room by selecting décor in shades taken from the design. A plum-purple-toned scatter cushion to bring out the indigo shades in a marble effect wallpaper for instance. And most importantly, make it fun!’ 

8. Explore rich, jewel hues in a small living room 

Rich jewel tone lounge scheme with

(Image credit: Perlmutter & Freiwald)

Just so you know, color isn’t just reserved for spacious lounges. Treat your modern small living room to a luxe revamp with rich jewel hues, and metallic details dripping in decadence. 

Mark Manardo, principal designer, Perlmutter & Freiwald (opens in new tab), says: ‘I find that rich tones, like this peacock blue, in a smaller living room can do wonders in terms of making the room feel like a little jewel box. It adds instant character and interest and will help anchor the rest of the room's design in a very cohesive way.’

Feeling seduced by the peacock paint shade on the wall in this blue living room idea - addictive isn’t it? Recreate the same look with Twilight (opens in new tab), by Benjamin Moore. 

9. Let a statement sofa determine your entire color scheme 

Pastel blue sofas, modern abstract rug, and graphic mono accessories, with sculptural furniture.

(Image credit: Swyft )

Kelly Collins, interior designer and head of creative at Swyft Home (opens in new tab), gives advice on how to pick the perfect color scheme for your living room and a new sofa color:

‘The sofa coloring and style set the tone for the whole room. The design, with everything from mid-century modern to baroque, dictates how the rest of the room will look and feel. This single style choice will inform every other decision you make.’

‘If you’re starting from scratch or feel like adding a dash of color to your living space, then blue or green sofas offer classic tones. Green has a calming effect, echoing the natural world and works well with feature plants and geometric black and white patterns.’

‘The material is also important. Whether you choose luxurious fabric sofas in velvet, opt for opulent leather or pick a bold print, you can use these as motifs throughout the rest of your space.’

Feeling inspired? Discover the best sleeper sofas and host in (slumber) style.

10. Embrace ‘new neutrals’ for gentle color infusions 

Rustic lounge with pastel pops via chairs and scatter pillows, and wood paneling on wall, with giant screen.

(Image credit: Marian Louise Designs)

Colorful living rooms can have a softer side too… Giving gray and beige a nudge to one side, soft pastel shades (think baby blue, calming coral, dreamy lilac, and sea green or mint) are the modern neutrals of the now. 

And pastel decorating ideas are a great way to enhance your space with subtle color infusions, that are also uplifting and playful. 

As shown, pastel tones work beautifully in rustic living rooms, lending a flirty yet cozy vibe. 

11. Use rugs as wall art

Colorful, patterned rug as wall art, with yellow armchair, and potted housesplants.

(Image credit: OUIVE)

Hang a wonderfully bright, patterned rug as wall art, in a jungalow-inspired, boho living room design. 

Kristina Williamson, Founder + CEO of OUIVE (opens in new tab), says: 'Living rooms are where you get to set the tone for your free time. It’s a place to lounge, play, and get together with loved ones. Designing a colorful living room can energize your home and showcase your personal style.'

'Textiles are a great way to add color to your living room: an eye-catching rug, wall hanging, pillows, or throw blankets are easy ways to incorporate color into your home.'

How can you add color to a neutral living room?

Ryan says: 'When you have your color palette selected look out for these colors as you shop. Accents in art, fresh flowers, and even book spines are great ways to emphasize your color palette.'

What's the best quick color update for a living room?

Lily Wili, founder of Ever Wallpaper (opens in new tab) says: ‘There are many ways to make a living room more colorful. One option is to add brightly colored accessories, such as pillows, rugs, or paintings. You could also paint one or two walls a bold color.’ 

Content Editor

Holly is a Content Editor at Real Homes, and has previously worked at Future Homes brands including Country Homes & Interiors and Livingetc. She has a background in interior and event styling spanning a decade, which previously took her from coast to city and beyond to Australia. 

Holly loves working with creative minds and discovering fresh, indie brands, and is a firm believer that no home can have too many cushions, unruly blooms or decorative details of happy