Living room paint ideas: 17 color schemes to switch up your space

Looking for living room paint ideas? Take a scroll through these gorgeous color schemes and get inspired...

Living room paint ideas
(Image credit: Debenhams )

On the hunt for living room paint ideas to brighten up your space? Well, you'll find plenty of inspiration here! Whether you are starting a new living room color scheme from scratch in a brand new room or are just looking for a quick, easy (usually) and cheap way to spruce up your space, keep scrolling for loads of gorgeous living room ideas... 

1. Be bold with a multi-colored living room

Want an on-trend look? Combine pastels with color blocking to create a feature wall. Simply use the paler tone as an easy-to-live-with backdrop and paint different shapes in similar tones and a single, contrasting bolder color on one wall. It’s a very effective - and quick - way to add interest to an existing scheme, too. 

(Image credit: Crown)

2. Create an accent wall with teal 

Who says blue has to be a cool tone? Turquoise is fresh and inspiring, yet warm, too, making it the perfect living room paint idea for rooms that face north or south.

To achieve a color like the one below, try Valspar Vintage Teal. Team it with mid-tone colored wood as shown here for a warming look. 

(Image credit: Fired Earth)

3. Create depth with one bold shade for walls and doors

Painting walls a deep color might look a tad too traditional for your taste, but this kind of color scheme can be given a contemporary twist if the paint shade is carried through to the woodwork – doors, skirting and picture rails – too. Balance it with furnishings in paler colors, and add texture to the scheme with wooden flooring.

Make the palette practical by using matte paint on the walls, but a wipeable paint on the woodwork. Here the walls and woodwork are painted Paint and Paper Library's Grenache 372 and the wall above the chair rail is Paint and Paper Library's Lady Char’s Lilac 368 . Since this paint company is U.K. only, try Behr's Fine Wine and PPG Romantic Pink to recreate the look stateside. 

(Image credit: Paint & Paper Library)

4. For a different take on living room paint ideas, tackle the ceiling

The hottest paint trend for the year ahead is to paint your ceiling a color. Yes! So, swear off standard white ceiling paint, and pick up a bold shade, like Farrow & Ball Citron instead. Carry the shade down the wall a bit for a graphic feel, and pick a light but warmer tone, such as Behr Falling Snow for walls. Pair this fun look with accessories and furnishings that have touches of your chosen ceiling color to complete the look. We should probably mention too, you can easily paint your ceiling yourself, just check out our step-by-step guide. 

(Image credit: Clive Nicholls)

5. Pick tonal pairings for space-enhancing living room paint ideas

Painting a room with two tones of the same color is an easy way to add interest while maintaining the palette of a space – but always use the darker shade on the lower part of the walls and the lighter one above if you want to make your ceiling feel higher than it is and your room seem larger.

(Image credit: Dulux)

6. Make it monochrome

Black isn’t often a color we consider for decorating living rooms, but take a tip from the Scandinavians: it works. Here, it looks fabulous contrasted with crisp off-white paint, but bear in mind that the key to getting the finish right is balance. In other words, break up the black with plenty of white: on ceilings, flooring, and other walls. Introduce texture and warmer tones, too, with accessories. In this living room, pendant lights, the artwork on the sideboard, and the white and wood tones of the sideboard itself all provide relief. 

Monochrome living room with large wooden coffee table, cow print rug and leather sofa

(Image credit: Kasia Fiszer)

7. Experiment with darker shades

Darker, dramatic paint colors are increasingly popular in living rooms, especially in spaces that are mainly used during the evening. But, if you want your living room to feel warm, bright and welcoming during the daytime, too, contrast furnishings and flooring in lighter colors with the paint color on your walls. If you love this look, go and find more inspiration in our dark and moody decorating ideas

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

8. Looking for a calming living room paint idea? Try a pale shade of blue

Reminiscent of the Caribbean sea, a pale blue-green wall color is the perfect shade for creating a serene feel. It's also incredibly versatile, accenting midcentury interiors as well as it does traditional or coastal ones. We especially love it with wood tones and neutrals for a subdued look. Get the look with Benjamin Moore's Ice Blue or Baby Green

living room paint ideas

(Image credit: Benjamin Moore)

9. Choose on trend grey living room paint ideas

There’s something very classic about grey and white together and it’s a color scheme that works brilliantly for both modern living rooms and traditional living spaces. There are many different shades of grey to choose from; some have blue tones, others are pinker. Not sure which to choose? Err on the side of caution with pinker tones, which will make your room feel warmer. Obsessed with grey interiors? Yep, us too, so we wrote a whole feature on grey living room design ideas

grey living room ideas - CB2

(Image credit: CB2)

10. Try soothing green living room paint ideas

Green is soothing color – perfect for a busy family living room – and one that's ideal for merging indoor and outdoor spaces, so a great choice if your living space overlooks the garden. The key is to pick the right tones to suit your room. Yellow-greens will add warmth to east- or north-facing rooms, and greens with a hint of grey, like Valspar's Emerald Ice are great for rooms that get lots of sunlight as they will cool the room down. 

Get more inspiration from these green living room design ideas

living room paint ideas

(Image credit: Valspar)


Pink isn't always super-girly. Your living room needn't look like the inside of a Polly Pocket house. Pair these sugary hues with a simple monochrome scheme for a grown up take on the trend. The bold print of the rug and the dark fireplace surround really work to ground the room, stopping it becoming too... pink. 

You can find a similar rug to this one at Wayfair

And if you love pink interiors as much as we do, we have dedicated a whole feature to pretty pink room designs

Pink living room with fireplace and bold monochrome rug

(Image credit: Katie Lee)

12. Or go for a pastel pink living room paint 

If pastel pink is a bit too saccharine for you, choose a more muted, plaster toned pink. If you are after a shade that's more... mature, pick a living room paint idea that has a warmer, duskier undertone. Something like Farrow and Ball's Sulking Room Pink, which has been used in this living room. Keep the look fresh by pairing it with bright, crisp whites.  

Sulking Room Pink Farrow & Ball

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

13. Go bold with coral-colored living room paint

Since Living Coral was named at Pantone's Color of the Year 2019, there has been a surge in orangey hued interiors. We admit that at first we were dubious, but now we can't get enough of this bright and versatile color! You could be brave and paint all four walls or, for you commitment-phobes, try out just painting one feature wall. If you just want a pop of peach, snag the idea from this living room and just paint your shutters or pick out a coral window treatment instead for a more subtle nod at the trend.  

Shutters in a living room by California Shutters

(Image credit: California Shutters)

14. Or opt for a pink-toned neutral

Living Coral just a tad too bright for you? Go for a muted coral or pink shade instead. It'll add more depth to your space than classic white, but it's still neutral enough that your decor options will be almost endless. 

To get the look below, try HGTV HOME Sherwin-Williams Diverse Beige and HGTV HOME Sherwin-Williams Sand Dollar.

living room paint color ideas

(Image credit: HGTV Home Sherwin Williams)

15. Paint the floor boards in your living room 

Much like the neglected ceiling, we often forget to look to the floor when it comes to decorating our living rooms. Painting floorboards is a great way to update a room on a budget – especially if you have the time to tackle the job as a DIY project. Ideally, you should use floor paints for a long-lasting finish, but most good quality paints suitable for woodwork will give you a surprisingly tough floor. 

Check out our guide to how to paint floorboards

Living room with black wooden floor, blue sofa, monochrome cushions, rug and houseplant

(Image credit: Malcolm Menzies)

16. Add a pop of color to an alcove

Go for a twist on the feature wall and add some interest to your living room by painting an alcove. In this living room, even just the small pop of yellow adds some sunny vibes to the space and gives the otherwise all white living room a lift. Also because you are only painting such a small section you can afford to be pretty bold and brave with your color choice. You could go dark, or if you want to try this living room paint idea, go for something like Behr Buzz In.

For more yellow room ideas, check out our full feature. 

Alcove painted yellow

(Image credit: Future/Alun Callunder)

17. Go for an all white color scheme

Can you believe we're all the way to number 17 and have not mentioned white paint? White living rooms, while perhaps not the most practical are really dreamy spaces, so if you've got a lifestyle that can hack it, go for it. Paint the walls white, paint the floors white. Just give it a bit of a lift with some house plants, wooden accents and a few pieces of darker furniture. 

There's plenty more where this came from in our white living room design ideas feature, so head there next. 

living room with a white scheme by debenhams

(Image credit: Debenhams)

For more tips on styling with our favorite colours, check out The Real Homes Show

Every fortnight our in-house stylist, Anna Morley explains the best ways to style with a signature colour, be it mustard, forest green or blush pink

Looking for more living room ideas?

Sophie Warren-Smith
Sophie Warren-Smith

Sophie has been an interior stylist and journalist for over 18 years and has worked for many of the main interior magazines during that time. On the side, as well as being the News Editor of indie magazine, 91, Sophie has a passion for flowers and colour and has recently launched an online styling course, Style with Blooms.