Selecting the perfect paint color for your living room walls can be a major decision. After all, you likely spend a lot of time in this room (awake—unlike a bedroom), and you'll probably host guests in it at some point. The paint color will need to look great during the daytime in natural light as well as at nighttime in artificial light. And it should be something you love now but also can grow with for years to come, as you probably don't want to repaint your walls frequently. Fortunately, there are many colors that fit this bill, and they can suit most decor styles. You can use them on all your living room walls or just an accent wall, depending on your preferences. Some are fairly neutral and allow other design features in the space to shine while others are bold and will be the star of the room.
- Color Family: Various
- Complementary Colors: Various
- Pairs Well With: Neutrals, white, black
- Mood: Inviting, friendly, upbeat
- Where to Use: Living room, accent wall, accent furniture
Here are some of the best living room paint colors for every personality, according to designers.
01 of 10
You can never go wrong with a solid neutral, and Benjamin Moore's Classic Gray is a stylish option for any living room. It's not too deep of a shade, which makes it a versatile background color for any style preference. "One of my favorite paint colors for living rooms is Benjamin Moore Classic Gray," says Canadian interior designer Karen Sealy. "As the name states, it is truly timeless and will never be out of fashion. It is the perfect backdrop for any space—it helps bounce light, which makes a room feel brighter and airy. It is also a great choice if you are looking to create a gallery wall. It really allows the artwork to take center stage."
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This true gray is perfect for those of us who can't decide between a cool or a warm color palette. Because it's a neutral hue, it doesn't matter whether your decor pieces have cool or warm tones. So if you ever want to change the furniture or accents in your living room, you won't have to worry about finding a new wall color.
03 of 10
"Purple is having a big moment," says Don Torrance, the color expert at Paintzen, based in New York City. "Not only do we see this harbinger of spring on the runways, but it is also a hit on walls too." Velvet Slipper by PPG exceeds expectations for a good purple. It's a dusty shade of violet that can be both elegant and comfortable in a living room. It would look especially striking with accents in complementary shades of purples, as well as with white trim and metallic finishes.
When going from light to dark wall colors, it’s recommended to use a tinted primer first. That way, you won’t need to use as much paint to achieve a uniform color.
04 of 10
"Precious Emerald by Behr looks heavenly when paired with bright white trim," interior designer Tara Polony says. "It gives the main living area an introspective air of a wooded glen." Deep green shades have been popular for quite some time in the form of accent pieces. But using this rich green to paint your walls shows the stunning color's potential as the main focus of a room. Keep the accents in the room neutral to let the wall color be the star.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
05 of 10
To give her home an air of spring year-round, Tara Polony uses Soft Fern by Benjamin Moore. "It is a super light pastel green," Polony says. "The calming shade is light enough to match any brown, gray, or cream-based color scheme while adding a pop of soft color to your living room." Aside from a nod to warm weather, the shade is soothing and evokes a spa-like feeling.
06 of 10
Sue Kim, a color expert at Valspar, recommends this muted blue called Seattle Haze by Valspar to drown out the chaos of everyday life. Paint on all your living room walls to transform the space into an inviting cocoon. The color works beautifully with natural wood and beige tones.
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According to New York City-based architect John Mochelle, Magnolia Home's Winter Solstice is inspired by the ever-popular farmhouse style. "[It] lends coziness to living rooms even on freezing February or March mornings," he says. "Once spring comes, the hue will come to life as days become longer. Pair with white trim for a traditionally beautiful and cozy living room."
08 of 10
Benjamin Moore's River Reflections is an earthy taupe that will be quick to warm up any room. It looks best with cream or white accents but can just as easily be paired with different wood tones without clashing. Experiment with this color on your walls in a matte finish for a modern take on the classic shade.
In general, experts recommend a satin or an eggshell sheen for living rooms, which is moderately durable without being too shiny. But you can go more or less glossy depending on your style preferences.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
09 of 10
"A rustic shade of red on a single accent wall can enliven a living room without being overwhelming," says New York City architect John Mochelle. "Persimmon Orange by The Spruce is a reddish hue that looks spectacular with natural wood furnishings and light blue accents." It can make a large living room feel more intimate, and it can bring energy as an accent wall in a small space.
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"A nautical blue can take many flavors, from blue-green to navy. It is a perennial favorite because it is known to be relaxing," says New York City architect John Mochelle. "For your living room, choose a blue the color of a storm-tossed sea, such as Spectral Blue from The Spruce Best Home. The hue looks fantastic combined with wood furniture and mauve and cream accents. It will give your home a traditional twist with a with a friendly, casual vibe."