How to pick a living room paint color

Sarah Robinson
"Cozy living room painted light grey with homey furniture"

When it’s time to refresh the look of any room in your home, the most important choice is the wall color. Choosing a paint color can be tough! With so many options out there, it can be tricky to find a color that you really love, and will still love for years to come. So, what’s the secret to finding the perfect paint color for your space? While there’s no one magic formula, there are a few tricks and tips to consider the next time you’re putting together a dream palette for your home.

Look to your furniture for inspiration

Do you have a favorite piece of furniture in your living room? Or perhaps a decorative item like a throw pillow, piece of art, or a lamp that you really love? Use those pieces as inspiration for your starting point! Pull three colors from your favorite items and take those to the paint store! Pull two or three paint strips for each of your chosen colors—that will give you a whole library of paint options to choose from!

From there, you can choose one as your allover wall color and use the others for accent walls or other accents like furniture or trim. Voila! You have your perfect color palette.

"Neutral tone furniture, with light salmon accent wall"

Reflect the mood of the room with color

Another approach is to consider how you want people to feel when they’re in the space. For example, if you’re painting a formal living room, you’ll likely want a bolder color that makes the room feel lively and full of energy. (Purple, red or orange can all stimulate the senses and encourage lively conversation.) For a more casual space or a family room, you might want to look for a calming color that gives the space a tranquil, relaxing vibe. (Green and blue are both soothing, calming tones that bring in elements of nature.) This is where color psychology comes into play—learn more about how different colors can affect your mood here.

"Living room painted light blue for calm setting"

Stay safe with neutrals

"Neutral painted living room with matching furniture"

Sometimes the best option for a wall color is something that has just a mere hint of color. In certain spaces, white is the perfect way to showcase the features of the room. The key to going with white or other neutral tones is to get the right shade. In most cases, you won’t want a pure white for your walls.

If you have a room with a ton of natural light or a larger room that you want to give a cozy feeling to, choose a white with warmer undertones—think cream, latte, or hints of blush pink. On the other side of things, if you have a darker space that you want to open up and seem a little larger, go with a cooler undertone like a soft gray, hint of blue, or a slight lavender undertone. Read our guide to choosing the right white paint colors for more details.

Top living room paint colors in 2021

Of course, you’ll also want to consider current color trends before making your decision. What’s trending in the world of home decor often reflects how the world is feeling collectively, so this can be a great source of inspiration if you’re not quite sure where to start. We’re experiencing an interesting time at the moment, and the current top trending living room colors definitely reflect this. Many people are seeing their homes as places of serenity, offering a quiet and comforting place to escape from the busy outside world. Hence why soft greens and blues are both so popular at the moment! Both of these colors bring some elements of nature indoors, which can instantly create a calming, soothing atmosphere.

"Top living room paint colors, light tones"

For neutrals, it’s all about creating a softness in the room. (If you’re familiar with the concept of hygge, you’ll definitely see this trend still going strong!) For wall colors, look to gentle, soft shades of beige, cream, and gray to provide the perfect backdrop to any color palette. What makes these all such great choices for a living room is that they really allow the different textures in your room to stand out—different fabrics, natural wood elements, clean lines from modern furniture will all really stand out with a neutral wall color.

Finally, for something a little more dramatic, black is where it’s at! This probably seems like a bit of a wild concept for a living room, but that’s why so many people are loving it! Black walls are perfect for showcasing any cool architectural details or making your favorite pieces of furniture really pop! It also works well in rooms that get a ton of sun, as it can help to reduce the glare from sunlight on the walls. Of course, for many rooms it might be a bit much to cover all your walls in top to bottom black, so you can always play with it by adding a feature wall in black.

The main thing to remember when choosing your paint colors is to have fun with it! If you need a hand with selecting your colors, WOW 1 DAY PAINTING can help! We’re happy to offer guidance on which paint colors will work best for your space. To get started, book your free, no-obligation estimate today!