How To Pick Colors For Your Living Room

The living room is the heart of any home. With an exception to the kitchen this space garners high traffic making it quite busy.

It is the room where memories are made, laughter is shared and a sense of togetherness cultivated.

Selecting the correct color codes to set the mood can be quite consuming.

The design market is saturated with too many options and interior advice which ironically makes the job even tougher.

How then do you arrive at a sophisticated chromatic theme for your living room?

Here are a few tips to keep you grounded as you maneuver this intricate task.  The basics to any interior design details are

  • Keeping an open mind

It is best to approach design flexibly.

You may have certain ideas that you are aiming at, however be open enough to accommodate new foreign suggestions.

Step out of your comfort zone once in a while, the end results could surprise you.


  • Understand the basics of color theory

Before anything, learn the fundamentals of color codes.

Color schemes and palettes are often used interchangeably, however the two are different.

The former describes a framework, while the latter goes into hue particulars.

To plan effectively, develop a scheme first before progressing into the specifics.

At the least, this should give you an idea of what to expect.


  • The 60-30-10 color rule

This is an integral color compass for any home owner.

In a nutshell the rule states that home spaces work best with a main color (60%), secondary color(30%) and accent shade (10%).

The three should complement each other rather than repel.

Working with a color scheme should help you draw out hues that work side by side.


  • Consider what you have

Are you designing from scratch or revamping a few elements? 

If it is a new home, you have broader options to select from thus are unlimited.

With the other option (unless it is a complete makeover) you already have an input from existing features and décor.

Play around with the present colors, considering only more of accent colors for a fresher look.

Let us now take a look at the central aspects to achieving a beautiful living room design. 

The following steps are useful when it comes to color selection


  1. Think of the mood

Different hues create different ambiances, so consider what mood you would like to depict.

Are you looking for a calm serene setting or a dose of energy and vibrancy?

Are you seeking to transform your space into a larger frame or incline towards a cozy, more intimate feel?

Depending on your taste, choose the appropriate corals.

Generally, blue hues initiate a deep relaxing effect, while shades of green echo the natural world .

Try reds or deep orange if you would like a dramatic burst of energy within your living space.

Cool neutral shades equally create a soothing classy effect for less daring owners.


  1. Start Small

Having established what mood you are going for experiment first, it helps gain confidence with the selected hues.

What appeals on a computer screen may not necessarily play out well in a real setting therefore refrain from sudden moves.

Try work with tape paint strips or a paint board to sample the color combinations as you progress to bolder wall spaces.


  1. Consider the lighting

Natural lighting is a mirror when it comes to testing shades.

Houses fitted with large window frames collect more light thus exaggerating saturated colors once the curtain drapes are drawn.

A subtle neutral shade however works perfect in such instances.

Consider accent walls when trying to tone down glaring settings.


  1. Landscape details

Other than the light effect also look at the exterior.

Tropical or nature resembling color schemes can be derailed by natural light especially if you have a lush green landscape.

Try work with contrasting shades that stand out as opposed to blending in. 

This extends to the interior color schemes as well.

For a bold look always go for contrasting shades that still balance together.


  1. Try a monochromatic scheme

Such schemes are far from boring.

Although they revolve around a single color, they equally bring out diversity without trying too hard.

The difference comes in the color temperature and saturation levels. 

Varying corals within  the same family bring out a unique visual combination  that other patterns fall short of.

For a modern appeal, you can never go wrong with monochromatic schemes.


  1. Apply different types of finishing

Paint finishing makes all the difference in your living room.

It creates both subtle and bold variations depending on how you use them.

For an even greater monochromatic distinction opt for different sheen levels. 

A semi- glossy finish contrasts beautifully with a matte wall. 

Add a bit more spruce with broken color textures on those dull flat surfaces.


  1. Follow the color wheel

In addition to the design principle (60-30-10 rule) the color wheel should be your next solid guide.

Be careful to always fall back on the cohesive shades rather than straying too far away.

With this tool you have a clear visual of both warm and cool shades that create exemplary tones for your living room.

Additionally, the wheel offers broader options for the decorating rebel who likes to think outside the box.

It extends further than the three standard color combinations while still giving you a balanced way to present your coral ideas.


       8. Always balance the warm and cools

No matter how creative you get, this balance is tested and true.

Bold colors pop off better with neutral ones.

An overdo of either one creates chromatic tension; neither should you limit your living space to just a single option.

Interior designers advice for cooler shades if your space is abnormally small. It helps to create a larger illusion in conjunction with a light airy feel.


  1. Add depth with decorative elements

Fresh paint doesn’t have to be the only option when decorating; you can use complementary features to amp up the room.

This applies to carpets, sofas, art pieces, lamp stands, throw pillows, the list is endless.

Art work especially is good inspiration for accent shades that may not sit well on larger pieces. 

Bright seats exude life and fun making the room interesting.

Throw in a vintage lamp or designer wall clock to create a bold statement. The little details should never be ignored.


  1. Draw ideas from the next room

If you are torn between options the next room can act as a deal breaker.

Color palettes across the house should harmonize each other effortlessly.

When deciding the theme for your living room be cautious of the adjacent space.

Many times this is the dining room or kitchen.

You do not have to replicate the exact shades but a motivation for what would blend well or at least flow naturally, will do you good.  


  1. Do not forget the Whites

Homeowners can get caught up in chic modern styles that come with peculiar shades out of the norm.

Sometimes all you need is a touch of white that speaks classy yet simple. As you embrace new palettes do not override a tinge of white. 

Off whites are currently in trend for gorgeous spaces. Some of the advantages with these shades is that they:

  • Provide a clean bright finish
  • Contrast any yellow rays from bright sunshine
  • Balance out the cold light in darker areas
  • Perfectly show case art materials
  • Reflect the exterior scenes onto your internal setting
  1. How about black

In contrast to the white campaign, this charcoal shade comes with an exclusive flavor.

It is away from the conventional decorative themes however when paired with the correct shades the outcome is breathtaking.

Black enhances visibility to tiny architectural details that would easily go unnoticed. 

Against a colorful sofa the effect is enhanced.

Additionally, it has a laid back temperature that works to absorb any conspicuous natural rays.


      Top Color trends this 2020    

 Here are a few colors trends to start you off.  From a recent research, interior designers are taking to:


  • Champagne- it is the new replacement for neutral boring shades and grays. Its playful nature makes it excellent option to pair with gold or silver.
  • Olive green –sharp greens are now obsolete, take to this fresh mimic of natural settings.
  • Dark red- a rich red will chase out dull fall seasons with an extra touch of warmth.
  • Light pink-for a refreshing alternative to beige or white, this hue gives a fascinating look. It equally blends with almost any other color.
  • Mango- accent colors are embracing more of mango for fun accessorizing.


Color combinations can either make or break your home.

Take time to explore your options before settling on a long-term palette.

Remember to go with hues that resonate with your home’s energy levels along with creating the right psychology space.

Lastly, have fun with it! You might as well make the best of this once in a lifetime opportunity.




Leave a Comment