It's easy to identify colors schemes we love or don't love when looking at a finished room. But when staring at a wall of paint swatches at a hardware store, it can be a little harder to envision what's best for our room—rendering most of us to revert to the simplest of fallbacks: pure white. Don't get us wrong; there's absolutely nothing wrong with a white living room (see below), but paint-swatch paralysis is a real thing that often stops us from being a little more daring in our spaces.
The solution: Instead of looking at paint swatches, turn to rooms you love. Interior designers have a knack for dreaming up living room color schemes that we would never have imagined but that look and feel great. To help kick-start your dream space, we rounded up a few of our favorite living room color schemes, from the most color-averse to the boldest—and yes, there's even an all-white one! Grab your paintbrushes and roll up your sleeves. Your living room is about to get a stylish makeover.
White + White + White
White on white is the most classic of color schemes and will never go out of style. The trick is in finding the right white—one that's not too cool or too yellow—and layering different shades of white. For instance, if your sofa is a crisp white, go a little warmer on the walls. Smaller accents, touches of black, natural wood, and greenery complement this color scheme well.
White + Black + French Blue
For those a little more daring, a stark black-and-white statement room can make a big impact. Try using a black grasscloth instead of paint to add more dimension and texture to the space. Soften the space with a French-blue velvet sofa and add metallic accents and greenery.
Muted Green + Blue-Gray + Cream
Courtesy of Studio Ashby
This is a simple—almost neutral—color scheme we love. Start with gray walls with a subtle blue undertone, add muted green accents, and warm up the space with rich ivory tones and warm wood accents. This look is fresh and modern while still being inviting and timeless.
French Blue + Lavender + Ivory
One wouldn't necessarily think of pairing blue and lavender together, but it's actually a wonderful combination that's both vibrant and subdued. Try it with soft furnishings or wallpaper to add texture to your space. Finish it off with black and ivory accents and a few metallic finishes.
Black + White + Deep Plum
For those who are big fans of the classic black-and-white color combo, try mixing in a large piece in a deep jewel tone like plum or navy blue. This will instantly soften the harsh look of a purely black-and-white room. You can also add soft accents in warmer ivory tones to add another layer to the space.
Red + Orange + Plum
Not for the color averse, this combination of plum, orange, and red works quite well in a room with light wood paneling. Try this in a cooler color palette as well—ranging from blues to greens and yellows. Complementary colors typically always fare well together.
Dusty Pink + Gray + Natural Wood
Want a pink wall but don't want it to feel too kid's room? Mix it with a blue-gray piece and blond natural wood. Finish everything off with ivory accents and lots of sculptural greenery to add dimension.
Deep Red + Crisp White + Royal Blue
Red, white, and blue is a classic color combination that's as old as time. The secret to pulling it off? Keep your space predominantly white, add a larger blue accent, and include a smaller red one. Red can easily overpower a room, so it's best to tread lightly, while blue is a grounding calming color that's ideal for larger pieces like a rug.
Next up, these will be the big paint color trends of 2018.
This story was originally published on July 22, 2017, and has since been updated.