Just like an all-black wardrobe is timeless, versatile, and irresistibly chic, neutral interiors can make a style statement while also remaining, well, neutral. If that's your style, you should definitely stick to it, but all too often we tend to shy away from color and opt for neutrals because they feel safer. There's no denying that it's intimidating to paint a bright accent wall or opt for that colorful sofa when designing a living room from start to finish.
But there's definitely a right way to use color in the living room that doesn't feel like a scary commitment or look too aggressive. So if you're ready to start decorating with more color at home but could use a little inspiration and some pointers, take a look at the 25 beautifully colorful living rooms that will have you embracing that color wheel in no time.
Get Colorful but Understated
Though this living room is playing with plenty of bold colors, it manages to look sophisticated and cohesive, thanks to the balance of neutrals, sophisticated and streamlined silhouettes, and traditional artwork.
The dainty, feminine pastel tones are balanced out perfectly by the chocolate browns and olive hues, both of which are given a more formal, tight feel with the sharp black details.
Stick to the Primaries
We love how this living room plays with different design traditions for a unique and friendly space with just a touch of contemporary, colorful fun. The low-key angular coffee table and cozy seating are inviting, while retro-inspired black-and-white floor tiles bring in a nice contrast. The floor-to-ceiling drapery also plays up the great proportions of the room while keeping this casual in a lovely oat hue, which also reflects the wood finish of the coffee table nicely.
Pick an Anchor Piece
If you're worried about overdoing it with color, just pick one item to make that pop, and then use neutrals for everything else. In the living room space above, the vibrant green sofa adds some personality without being overly bold. It's 100 percent livable, yet the velvet upholstery brings in a touch of formality should you be entertaining guests.
Play With Prints
While this room isn't necessarily bursting with bright colors, the few bright pops go a long way. If you prefer decorating with neutrals but would like to experiment a little more with colors and prints, consider this living room your guide. It helps if you opt for more traditional pieces, like a vintage Persian rug or preppy paisley armchair. This keeps things exciting and colorful without being overly edgy.
Stick to a Theme
If you want to decorate with a ton of colors, make sure you choose artwork and patterns that work well together. Bonus points if they look like they were created by the same artist, but the general rule of thumb is to make sure they feature similar motifs, colors, and shapes. This simultaneously keeps things consistent, cohesive, and interesting.
Feel free to start with the wall art of your choice, and then decorate around it so it really pops.
Focus on Accents
There's something about moody hues that make interiors feel much more regal, which is why deep greens and turquoises are a great choice for the color-shy. The rich, textured carpet is balanced out by the cozy, approachable armchair and crispy cream walls for a more open and livable feel overall. Then, the throw pillow really adds that extra pop of texture and color. Opting for unique throw pillows is also always a great option because you can swap them out at any time.
Color doesn't have to be super saturated to do the trick. Everything about this living room is incredible, thanks to the attention to scale, proportion, shape, and color. The low-to-the-ground sofa and armchair are oversized perfection, which is further emphasized by the large brown pouf. We can practically feel the warmth and softness of this living room through the screen. The indoor plants really connect it to the garden outside, opening up space so it doesn't feel too much like a midcentury desert den. The rose gold mirror also reflects the circle motif throughout the space and keeps things warm.
If you want to use color but still want the space to feel timeless and neutral, use lighter shades of classic colors, like blues, reds, and greens. This living room is a gorgeous representation of how to style a colorful space that still manages to look and feel formal without being pretentious. The blue daybed, textured carpet, and simple coffee table work together to create a calming environment. And of course, a gorgeous bouquet of flowers is always a nice, colorful touch.
Choose Colors That Can Go Neutral
Blush pink is a great color to incorporate because it can be neutral depending on the rest of the hues in the space. For instance, in this tonal space by House of Harvee, the blush sofa looks peachy and warm, but if the rest of the decor were bright and loud, the pale pink shade would almost look neutral.
Tie the Shades Together
Generally, any two colors can work if there is an element that seamlessly ties them together. In this living room, the olive-toned shelving unit and the brick-colored throw pillows pair well together, courtesy of the area rug that features both shades.
Remember: Color Doesn't Mean Bright
Yes, you can create a colorful living room that isn't necessarily bright. Case in point: this super-stylish space by Becca Interiors. The glossy navy walls are such a mood.
If you want to commit to a colorful scheme, go big. We tend to associate pink—especially bubble gum pink—with little kids' rooms, but there's definitely a way to outfit a space in pink decor without making it feel too juvenile. Mix in complementary shades like bright red and turquoise to up the sophistication factor.
Don't limit yourself when it comes to adding moments of color to your living room. Tiles are a fun and whimsical way to incorporate some color without having to do a whole lot. For instance, in this Southwestern-inspired space, the tiled fireplace works with the decor to add just the right amount of dimension.
Skip the Paint
Dazey Den is no stranger to bold color, and this bright living room is proof. With a patterned wallpaper in the same tone as the funky sofa, colorful art, and tall cacti, where isn't there color? Even the cognac leather armchair is pretty bright in this space, and we're loving it.
If you love a color, use it more than once. In this living room, the pale blue wall is the perfect complement to the deeper blue sofa. Dazey Den took the blue theme a step further and added an even darker blue in the rug. You can never use too much of one color as long as you're incorporating different shades.
Choose Your Rug Wisely
You can create a colorful living room even if all of your furniture and art are neutral. How, you ask? Opt for a large and colorful area rug that works with the furniture on top of it. In this space, the romantic blue rug adds an undeniable element of drama.
Set the Mood
Before choosing your color scheme, think about the mood you want to set in your living room. For instance, if you want the space to feel serene and relaxing, go for a palette that's easy on the eyes. Earthy tones like olive and navy are always safe bets.
Leave the Walls White
Stark white walls may seem uninviting, but when paired with jewel-toned furniture and bright art, they make the space look even more colorful. Plus, if most of the decor in your living room is colorful, adding another hue by way of the walls may be a bit too much.
Mute the Colors
If you like the idea of a colorful living room but fear you may tire of such a bright space quickly, go for the muted versions of your favorite colors. This space by Katie Martinez is a great example of how to do that. The sofa, a toned-down orange, and the pink-purple rug add just the right amount of color without going overboard. Plus, they're quiet enough that you'll never get sick of looking at them.
Pick a Focal Point
If you're a little hesitant about swathing your space in lots of colors, you can pick one or two places where you'd like to focus the color and leave the rest of the room neutral. In this living room, the emerald dueling sofas and pale blue glass coffee tables offer a good amount of color without feeling random in the otherwise neutral surroundings.
Try a White Sofa
New York-based designer Sasha Bikoff is the queen of color, and this Bridgehampton living room is only touching the surface of what she can do. If you want to break with tradition when it comes to adding color to a living room, skip the colorful sofa, and instead, opt for a white one. The color can come into play with other design elements, like the coffee tables, rugs, and art.
Connect Each Area of the Home
In this New York living room, Bikoff left the walls white to let the colorful decor shine. Here, she expertly tied the living and kitchen areas together with that soft shade of pink.
Head to a Vintage Store
Vintage furniture is always a good idea. We love how the beautiful colors have faded over time, giving the pieces a slightly worn-in look that makes a space feel warmer and more welcoming. In this living room, all of the seating, from the pearly swivel chairs to the mustard-colored sofa, is vintage.
Play With Pattern
Mixing patterns may be considered a design taboo a few decades ago, but now, layering patterns is ultra-cool. Plus, it's an easy way to incorporate more color!
When we think of soothing decor, neon-colored pieces don't exactly come to mind. However, this Black Lacquer Design living room's clever use of the highlighter shade by way of a chic ottoman is making us reconsider. It's an exciting and totally unexpected element that, somehow, works wonders in this space.