No Reno Necessary—These 7 Living Room Paint Ideas Will Do the Job

Living room wall colors—Victoria Smith
Courtesy of SFGirlByBay

The living room is often the heart of the home—where your best memories take place from holiday mornings to family game night—it’s also where your design elements culminate in the most public part of the house. This pivotal function means it has to be on point, much like these pretty rooms.

Nominating a paint color that best expresses your inventive side, while simultaneously accommodating your Netflix binge moods can seem like a daunting task.

That’s why we tasked some of our favorite design experts to aid us in narrowing down the most-adored living room paint ideas both bold and breezy depending on your style. Proceed with caution, they’re all pretty dreamy and we don’t advise trying them all at once.

Living room wall colors—Catherine Kwong, emerald walls
Courtesy of Catherine Kwong

Emerald Symbolizes Balance and Harmony

We’ve been seeing more and more designers opting for the deep dark interior wall colors and we’re here for it. One look in particular that we can’t get enough of is a living space swathed in deep glossy emerald green. Seek a green that scales more jade than shamrock (blue undertones over yellow), to get that opulent look.

Benjamin Moore Sherwood Forest
Benjamin Moore Sherwood Forest $37
Living room wall colors—Victoria Smith, SFGirlByBay, white walls
Courtesy of SFGirlByBay

White Represents Light, Goodness, and Purity

Victoria Smith of SF Girl By Bay sticks close to her signature: Benjamin Moore’s Oxford White. “It's got a very bright, clean look to it and doesn't lean too cool or too warm,” she tells us. In living rooms with optimal natural light, this sleek ivory allows rays to bounce off filling the room with a glow. Play up this crisp color with mustard throw pillows, dusty pink accents, and polished hardwood floors.

Red Is the Color of Extremes

Follow in the footsteps of the late great Diana Vreeland and blanket your busiest room in a bright rich red. A color synonymous with so many power words, it sends a serious message. This look reads best finished with a gloss to aid in bouncing ambient light from wall to wall instead of absorbing it. If you’re not ready to paint the whole town red, start with a statement wall.

Benjamin Moore Oxford White
Benjamin Moore Oxford White $37
Farrow & Ball Blazer
Farrow & Ball Blazer $125
Living room wall colors—Christine Markatos Design
Courtesy of Christine Markatos Design

Neutral Brings Elegance and Serenity

If the eye-catching wall color is not within your design scope, a soft versatile neutral is always a safe bet. “We typically opt for the wow color moments in the fabrics and accessories, rather than on the walls, to keep the living room a more transitional space like the formal center of the home,” says Christine Markatos Lowe. Seek a natural tone like Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray—it has the ability to be a comforting blank slate for your creativity to shine through décor accents.

Charcoal Symbolizes Strength and Mystery

Benjamin Moore's color and design expert, Hannah Yeo, suggests a deep neutral that brings a big mood to your living room. Her suggested hue is Taos Taupe, a warm charcoal color that can make its designated space feel instantly cozy and nested. “Study its undertone within the color to see how you can enhance or downplay other hues in the room,“ says Yeo. We suggest pairing it with a natural-colored sofa, or cream trim to really make its versatile color profile pop. Once the paint dries, pull on a chunky knit throw blanket and hunker down until summer.

Sherwin-Williams Agreeable Gray
Sherwin-Williams Agreeable Gray $28
Benjamin Moore Taos Taupe
Benjamin Moore Taos Taupe $37
Living room wall colors—Katie Martinez
Courtesy of Katie Martinez

Black Brings Sophisticated Elegance

This well-achieved matte black interior wall is totally grown-up punk and we love it. To nail this look, ensure it’s either opposing a window to allow light to pool around the black and balance the darks and lights, or call your handyman and have them place strategic sconces to illuminate the chosen black wall or walls. Avoid the harshness that’s often associated with black with brass brushed fixtures or uplifting abstract art pieces.

Sherwin-Williams Black Magic
Sherwin-Williams Black Magic $28
Living room wall colors—Katherine Carter
Courtesy of Katherine Carter

An Accent Wall

Marina Hanisch wants you to cozy up to the idea of an accent wall. Whether painted or clad in wallpaper this statement can speak volumes in creating a unique experience within a living space. If you’re unsure how loud of an accent you’re ready for Hanisch suggests starting with neutrals, “Alternating between black and white walls.” However, if you’re ready to go bold, she prompts you to jump right in with some wallpaper and matching paint. ”A sure way to get that wow factor and instantly whip up a more intimate space,” she says.

Anthropologie Pacifico Palm Wallpaper
Anthropologie Pacifico Palm Wallpaper $149

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