Neutral Colors for the Living Room

Many homeowners want neutral-colored living rooms because, except for the foyer, it's the first room that guests see upon entering. The thinking is that one can have vibrant, goofy colors and exotic accent walls in the back of the house, but the front had better present a sober face. I suppose it's the same as they say about mullets: party in the back, business in front.

If that's you, then here are some attractive but non-offensive colors for your quasi-public area. But just remember that neutral paint colors aren't just three shades of gray. Instead, they run the gamut, from warm to cool neutrals. Warm neutrals get warmer by the addition of yellow, orange, or red. Cool neutrals cool down by adding green, blue, or violet

  • 01 of 06

    Neutral Behr Colors

    Taupe Living Room Color

    Taupe is often derided as being "mousy" (indeed, one variation of taupe is referred to as a mouse). But taupe can have accents, ranging from brown to sandy to pale to purple.

    This Behr color is called Tyler Taupe (HC-43). A nice, strong counterpoint is the Warmed Cognac below the windows.

    This is by far the strongest neutral in the photo gallery and it shows that neutrals can have some grit. The other photos fall in the "let's start with gray" category, some not straying too far at all from pure gray.

  • 02 of 06

    Neutral Living Room For the Gray-Lovers Out There

    Gray Neutral Living Room Color

    Yes, you can have gray in your living room.

    Stormy-looking, it's appropriately called Thunder (AF-685), from Behr. What saves it from pure grayness is the addition of subdued accents: Hawthorne Yellow on the chair, Chatsworth Cream on the trim.

  • 03 of 06

    Classic Monochrome Living Room

    Monochromatic Living Room Color
    Dutch Boy

    This is another dead-center neutral that straddles the line between warm and cool. Dutch Boy's Colonial Cobblestone (B13-3) has light touches of tan that evoke the classic look of a New England residence. With Big Blue Sky.

  • 04 of 06

    A Paler Shade of White

    Off White Creme Neutral Living Room Color
    Dutch Boy

    Dutch Boy's Head for the Hills (C14-4) is paired with Off-White for a living room of different shades of cream and white. It's an elegant color scheme that infuses the room with radiant light.

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    Living Room: Feelin' Neutral?

    Tan and Gray Living Room Neutral Color
    Dutch Boy

    Dutch Boy's Eco-Gray (DW 36) is about the most neutral living room color I've seen. Just when you think you've got its color figured out and defined, it seemingly turns around becomes another color. Is this a light tan? Or is it a tanned-up gray, as the name of the paint suggests? In any case, this paint color has enough dark shade that the white trim pops out very nicely.

  • 06 of 06

    Rose-Tinted Living Room Neutral

    Rose Neutral Living Room
    Dutch Boy

    Here's a living room color with faint touches of rose, but still staying within the neutral range. It's called Destiny's Dream, by Dutch Boy.