› 6½ Color Makeovers

Living Room Color Schemes:
How To Use Living Room Paint Ideas,
Textiles And Rugs!

Living room color schemes and living room paint colors can completely change the look & feel of a room.

living room color schemes

For each of the 6½ living room color makeovers below ...

... 3 key elements have been changed:

1. the living room paint colors (and/or patterns) on one wall,

2. the area rug color/pattern,

3. the colors of the upholstery & cushions.

Click a link to skip to specific living room color schemes (or just read on :-)

  • Coastal living room colors: brown, straw, white & blue - these make good neutral livingroom colors for a relaxed home.
  • "English rose garden" fabrics & paint colors for a living room: cool pink, salmon pink & sage for a year-round, summery feel.
  • Cherry & plum orchard living room colors (the kind of living room paint ideas you might find in contemporary French interiors!)
  • Punchy 'Bohemian' 1920s living room paint colors.
  • Classic 1950s London living room paint ideas in yellow & gray.
  • Mediterranean-inspired aqua & lime living room colors.

Neutrals-Plus-Blue Living Room Color Schemes
For 'Nautical' Living Room Styles

The only difference between the following two color schemes for living rooms is the color of the couch and armchairs:

German living room in sand, white, brown and blue
Coastal colors for a living room in Germany: sand, off-white, blue and coffee.

Coastal colors for a living room

A brighter version of the living room colors above:
Off-white upholstery for a 'summer holiday' feel.

You can see that our 'model room' contains several unrelated wood colors (from light brown to almost-black), so one of the challenges is to somehow pull these colors together into a unified scheme.

A large, natural-fibre area rug can do the trick, particularly if it's highly textured (rather than just adding a sheet of "flat" color to the room).

When you compare the two living room color schemes above, notice how much color space the seating takes up in the room, and what a difference it makes to the atmosphere when the seating is dark, rather than light.

At the same time, the dark blue wall color provides an elegant backdrop that helps set off any light/bright livingroom colors, making them appear lighter than they actually are.

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English Rose Garden:
Natural Red/Green Living Room Color Schemes

The combination of red/rose/pink and green can inspire lovely living room color combinations. We're so used to seeing red and green hues together in nature that we perceive this color combination as a happy, life-affirming match.

red-green living room color conbination
The 'rose garden'-themed colors for this living room
were picked from floral wallpaper and fabrics.

If you want to make the 'nature' reference obvious, use natural imagery in the form of wall art, wallpaper, or patterned decorating fabrics. The logical order of creating living room color schemes would look something like this:

  • If you already have the seating and/or the floor covering (usually the most expensive items in a living room) ...
  • ... the next elements to choose would be wallpaper and/or decorating fabrics.
  • In the final step, pick your living room paint colors to complement all the other livingroom colors.

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Living Room Color Schemes That Pack A Punch:
a) Lipstick Red & Dusky Plum

red, plum, pale blue and white paint colors for a living room
Cherry, plum and bluish grey make elegant colors for a living room.

Deep cherry (or lipstick) red and dusky plum combine elegantly with cool, bluish gray and dark wood. This color scheme would be just as perfectly at home in an 18th-century French château as in a contemporary Parisian apartment.

In the above room, surrounded by a lot of white, the deep glowing living room colors dominate the space even more than they would do if the background colors were darker.

For a completely different take on deep and intense hues, check out the following set of living room colors:

b) 1920s Bohème

living room in dark cherry, teal, olive and rust
The same living room as above, but with teal and brick colored upholstery.

Notice that we've kept the cherry red dining chairs from the previous color scheme - but this time, they're mixed in with warm, earthy, vibrant colors from early twentieth-century interiors.

This black olive/teal/brick/cherry combo is a (rather dramatic) variation of the red-green living room colors of the last section. But this room needs an injection of bright, zesty green to really come to life. Which is easy to do: two cushions were all it took ;-)

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Micentury British: Vintage Colors For A Living Room

grey, yellow & white colors for a living room

Yellow and grey living room color combinations became popular in the 1920s,
but they really came into their own in the Fifties.

Midcentury modern interiors are a goldmine for living room painting and decorating ideas. Here's just one example of a cool yellow/white/charcoal living room.

To make the look more 'vintage', find original fabrics of the period (e.g. Lucienne Day prints), mount them to display on the wall - or turn them into sofa cushions - and use them as a starting point for your living room paint colors.

The white floor tiles and simple white walls would also make a good background for fifties-style three-primary color schemes (red, yellow, blue). If you paint the walls off-white and choose slightly muddied, mellowed 'off-primary' colors, you will end up with a beautiful vintage look for your living room.

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"Mediterranean Watercolor" Living Room Color Schemes

mediterranean-inspired colors for a living room: pale blue, white, lime and coral
Mediterranean-inspired colors for a living room: Great for white walls & floors!

This last set of living room colors is inspired by European 'dream holiday' destinations that come with dramatic beaches, sunshine and a clear, turquoise sea. (Think Santorini, the Algarve or the Calanques in Southern France.)

Under the bluish, pale daylight of the Northern Hemisphere, these living room colors can look somewhat kitschy if they're not grayed down a bit. Also, 'watery' living room colors like these are not suited for north-facing, sun-starved living rooms!

They do, however, look great against a white backdrop, in full midday sun, with added 'citrus' color accents.

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Special Thanks to Shaan
for allowing me to use her living room photo!

For More Living Room Color Schemes,
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