Living Room Color Trends and Tips

In part three of our ‘Living Room Designs That Pop’ series we show you how to select colors that bring out the best in your living room design and really make your décor ‘pop’.

Whether you’re looking to give your living room a whole new look with a fresh coat of paint or want to spice things up with some new artwork and accessories, choosing the right color combinations can make or break your living room design.

Read on to learn the latest in color trends, color theory for interior design and how to update your living room or sitting room with the perfect color scheme!

In a living room that is modern in style bold colors can really inject some energy and design flair.

Dramatic Living Room Color Palettes

One wall painted brightly will create great contrast and a natural focal point in your living room.

Choosing a color scheme that truly highlights your living room is all about the unexpected. Color affects how small or large a space feels, whether you want to relax or feel more energetic and much more.

With a nearly unlimited spectrum of interior wall paint colors from which to select, the colors you choose should fit everything from the direction windows face, to the shape, height, width and depth of the space, the style and design aesthetics of your living room design and, most of all, your lifestyle and personal tastes.

Warm Tones Inject Energy

The trend in living room colors these days is definitely toward the warmer end of the spectrum. Warm shades of mocha and gold, paired with sensual tones of red and orange make for a dramatic and energetic living room, well suited to entertaining guests.

Warm gold, tan or taupe are always favorites, a trend that won’t change anytime soon in living room colors. Spicy colors such as an earthy brown, chocolate brown or even a rich, dark purple can add drama and energy.

One reason warmer tones like gold are so popular is that they create a warm glow in the room and reflect this warm light on your skin, which complements people’s faces and is “conversational” in tone. Gold accents work well with these warmer colors; a gilded gold mirror frame on the wall or painted gold drapery rods for example will nicely complement the warmer color palette.

Cool Tones Sooth the Soul

Often the living room is the ‘front room’, located just off the entry where you can greet guests without exposing the more private rooms of your home. It also typically has large windows and if the windows are south-facing it gets a lot of direct sun. If this describes your living room you may want to consider a palette that features the cooler color tones such as blues or greens.

These days you can find many shades of gray with undertones of blue or green if your preference is toward the cooler side of the color spectrum. Silver accents will complement these cooler colors nicely; silver or pewter candlesticks on the mantel, a silver tea set on the coffee table, etc.

Neutral Tones Showcase Other Design Elements

Neutral remains one of the most popular color schemes in living room design. Light green accents liven this natural, yet modern living room.

Many people still prefer the neutral white or off-white colors for wall paint in their living room. This is a natural choice if you have artwork to display since a neutral background won’t compete with the colors in your paintings, fine art prints or photographs.

Modern décor often eschews bright colors on the walls, allowing design elements of line, form and geometry to take center stage instead.

Getting Bold with Vibrant Colors

Vibrant orange gives this living room a bright, energetic feeling.

Another color trend gaining popularity is the use of vibrant colors such as gulfstream blue, gold crest, red ablaze or luau green. If you want a living room that really pops go with vibrant, highly saturated colors. Bright colors will certainly add interest and zest to your living room design.

A good way to use these colors without turning your living room into a carnival funhouse will be to paint one wall a bright color and leave the others white. Use white paint on your door trim, window trim, crown molding and baseboard to create a clean, crisp color contrast. Black accents can also work well with these assertive colors and create contrast; a wrought iron coffee table with glass top for instance.

Top 10 Living Room Color Tips

White and black can be accented with bold contrast such as these bright red pillows.

You may not have the budget to redecorate your entire living room but adding color with paint and a few accent items can go a long way to updating the look of your décor. Read on for our top ten ways to add color in the living room:

  1. Paint one wall in a bold color – you can add nice color by just painting one wall in your living room; especially if you want that wall to be the primary focal point. Pick up accent colors in your furniture upholstery or choose a color that really creates contrast. Be sure to try painting a few test swatches before you settle on one to pain the entire wall.
  2. Add house plants or floral arrangements – Mother Nature always has plenty of color. If you aren’t the green thumb type go for an artificial floral display on the mantel or coffee table. Changing out floral arrangements is also a great way to give your living room a fresh new look with each change in the seasons.
  3. Add a new floor or table lamp – lighting can really change the color and tone in a room. Pick a lamp with stained glass lampshade and you’ll be surprise how it can change the feel of the entire room.
  4. Buy a new area rug – especially if your living room has a wood, wood laminate or stone tile floor, adding a new area rug will warm the room and add color at the same time.
  5. Recover chairs and sofas – if you can’t afford new furniture, you can re-upholster an existing love seat, chair or sofa to give it new life and change the color until budget allows for a replacement.
  6. Throws and decorative pillows – one of the most obvious ways to infuse color in your living room is to add pillows on the sofa or love seat or drape a handmade quilt, nubby woven throw or colorful blanket over the back or arm of a neutral-colored chair or sofa. Practical and colorfully stylish!
  7. Add a mirror to help reflect light and color – mirrors make a space feel larger and help brighten things by reflecting light and color. Choose a large wall mirror with a decorative gold or silver metallic frame to add even more color and complement the rest color scheme in your living room.
  8. Add some new art – paintings or art prints nicely framed can really help add color, especially in a living room with neutral wall colors.
  9. Paint book and display shelves – changing the color of a bookshelf unit can give it new life and color. One trick is to paint the face frames one color and the inside/back of the unit a contrasting color.
  10. Buy one new piece of furniture – when budget is tight you can still add color and update the look of your living room with a single new piece of furniture. Pick the one item in your room you hate the most and which will impact the color scheme and look the most if you replace it!

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