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 it feels 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. Sure, hot pink is my favorite color right now, but what if it changes? What if I find an accent piece that clashes with the current color scheme?
We've been there. But there's definitely a right way to use color in the living room that doesn't feel like a scary commitment nor look like a Lisa Frank calendar barfed all over the place (don't get us wrong, we love those nostalgic rainbow kittens and cartoon illustrations, just not as the inspiration for our living).
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 eight beautifully colorful living rooms below. They'll 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 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% liveable 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 pops of color 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. You could even start with your wall art of 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.
Be Bold Yet Neutral
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 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.