The Best Living Room Colors to Refresh Your Space

The Best Living Room Colors to Refresh Your Space

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Jamie Wiebe
Aug 29, 2018
The fireplace with shelves, typical of Logan Square apartments is filled with their collection of records and books. The original stained glass windows flanked with prints by two favorite artists, Jean Cocteau & Piero Fornasetti purchased at Jean Cocteaus home at Milly-la-Foret and the Fornasetti exhibit in Paris.
(Image credit: Emilia Jane)

If your living room feels like a relic from a past life, it may be time for an update. But refreshing your furniture and replacing all your objets d'art can be a pricey proposition. Enter: paint! A new coat can dramatically change the look and feel of your living room without costing you a fortune. But here's a challenge: consider a color that's not white. These 11 shades are gorgeous and bold—and they're guaranteed to give your space an unforgettable makeover. Hate the look? Just repaint. But we bet you won't.

1. Pale Pink

Millennial pink may have brought blush back to our must-use color palette, but it's rare to find a homeowner brave enough to slather their entire living space in the shade. And that's a pity: paired with mustard-yellow curtains in a funky pattern and a granny-chic armchair, pink makes a serious statement. Sherwin-Williams's Innocence integrates just enough peachy goodness to keep this sweet shade from overwhelming your space.

2. Blue-Gray

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Gray may be a little overused these days, but this charming living room proves an ice-blue variation on the color can be transforming. Offset this barely-there neutral with bold wallpaper and crisp white molding to make a small space feel expansive. You'll soon find that grayish-blue walls make an ideal backdrop for copious greenery—has a cactus ever looked so charming?—and plush furniture.

3. Lilac

Sure, the world's most colorful home makes this shade look easy, but there's no reason you can't pull off the same feat yourself. Pick a cotton-candy inspired lilac (Sherwin-Williams' Free Spirit is lovely) and turn your living room into a sugary sweet paradise. If you're a little nervous—it is a dramatic departure from normal white walls—try a single accent wall first.

4. Taupe

The design world has been ignoring the color brown for years — except when found in its natural state, wood. But Harlem resident Habiba Koroma makes a compelling argument for pushing the shade back in the spotlight. Try a soft variant, like Benjamin Moore's Smoky Taupe, to turn up the gallery-wall drama. Bright orange makes for the perfect accent color.

5. Deep Teal

In a world where deep blue rules, try giving this thought-provoking, oceanic shade a shot. Blogger This Maine House coated her living room in Benjamin Moore's Pacific Sea Teal, giving the space a romantic, writer-in-a-forest vibe. Light wood flooring balances the look, keeping the darkness from feeling too heavy.

6. Merlot

Let your walls mimic your favorite wine: this colorful Chicago home proves that a deep, smoky purple adds an enormous amount of depth. This seductive shade would look fabulous covering an entire room, but it's also a dramatic way to style a fireplace—especially when paired with vivid yellow accents and velvet furniture.

7. Hunter Green

This dark, '90s-throwback shade is trendy again—and if you want your living room to feel like a lush library, there's no better choice. (Try Behr's New Hunter for the perfect cigar-lounge look.) Choose leather furniture and deep, plush armchairs to create a living room plucked straight from a luxurious mansion.

8. Mint

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Freshen up your living space with this crisp, low-key color. Cover the bottom half of your walls with white-painted wainscoting and slather a minty green across the top to promote calmness and relaxation—with a hint of class. And if your home resembles a greenhouse, there's no better shade to pair with your plants.

9. Red

Combining a bold, in-your-face red with an art and decor collection that could be considered, by the layman, "cluttered" may feel like a daring decision—but Minneapolis resident Matthew Hodgman proves the combo works. By covering most of the vibrant shade with an avant-garde, graffiti-inspired artwork, he tones down the impact and centers the space.

10. Peach

If your home is "blessed" with outdated '70s wooden walls, don't despair—cover them with paint. Peach beautifully grounds this Australian river shack, providing a gentle (but still potent) backdrop for a luscious blue sofa and mid-century accents. Choose a luscious, barely there variety, like Sherwin-Williams's Impressive Ivory.

11. Black

Hey, if you're going to go dramatic, why not go all in? Bold, statement-making blacks are an excellent choice for sun-filled spaces, like this Chicago apartment. And while you not might think about pairing black walls with a black leather sofa, the setup works surprisingly well. Just make sure to integrate some color, otherwise even the brightest rooms may feel cave-like.

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