The Best Color Combinations for Living Room Decor

a pink and red living room with fireplace and marble surround

The living room is often the heart of a home, a space where we relax, entertain, and spend quality time with family and friends. The colors we choose for this space can significantly influence its ambiance and mood.

Selecting the right color combinations is not just about aesthetics; it’s about creating an atmosphere that reflects our personality and style. A well-chosen color palette can transform a living room from a mere functional area into a comforting sanctuary or a vibrant gathering place.

Whether it’s through bold, striking hues that energize and inspire, or soft, soothing shades that create a tranquil retreat, living room colors set the stage for the experiences and interactions that take place within it.

Color Combinations for Living Room Decor

earthy tones in a living room with a grey sofa, green wall and juts rug

Selecting the right color combinations is essential in crafting a space that is not only true to your personal style but also emotionally resonates with the inhabitants and their lifestyle. This article explores the best color combinations for living room decor, offering insights into creating a harmonious and welcoming space.

Understanding Color Theory

The color wheel

To master the art of color combination, one must first understand the basics of color theory. The color wheel, a fundamental tool in this field, consists of primary (red, blue, yellow), secondary (green, orange, purple), and tertiary colors.

Complementary colors, which are opposite each other on the wheel, can create dynamic and visually appealing spaces when paired together. Additionally, the temperature of colors plays a crucial role in setting the room’s mood. Warm colors, such as reds and oranges, evoke energy and coziness, while cool colors like blues and greens exude calmness and tranquility.

For beginners eager to apply these principles in a hands-on way, a custom painting by numbers kit by Number Artist serves as an excellent starting point, allowing them to experiment with color harmonies and contrasts on a guided canvas. This method not only reinforces the theory behind color combinations but also instills a deeper appreciation for the art of painting itself.

Harmony and Balance

To soften the intensity of complementary color combinations, you can use various shades, tints, or tones of these colors. For instance, instead of bright red and green, you might choose burgundy and olive for a more subdued look. Using a neutral background like white, gray, or beige can help complementary colors stand out without overwhelming the space.

Practical Tips

Before committing to a living room color scheme, it’s advisable to look at swatches in the room’s lighting to see how they interact. If you’re hesitant about bold color combinations, start with accent pieces like cushions, rugs, or art in complementary colors to introduce vibrancy without overpowering the room.

If you are still struggling with color combinations for your living room decor, it is always a good idea to invest in a color consultation and hire professionals, like a professional painter in Rhode Island to make sure you are happy with the end result!

Popular Living Room Color Combinations

Whether you are a bold color lover or prefer the calmer end of the color spectrum, there is no right or wrong when it comes to decorating your lounge. It is a good idea to look at trends, but always make sure you use a color scheme that works for you.

1. Neutral Elegance

neutral decor living room with abstract art, oak coffee table and cream sofa with caramel cushions

A color combination of beige, gray, off-white, and caramels creates a sophisticated and serene environment. This palette is perfect for those who prefer a subtle yet elegant decor.

Far from boring, a neutral palette is all about layering textures, playing with light, and incorporating subtle design elements to create a sophisticated and inviting space. Pairing a neutral palette with natural textures such as stone, jute, and linen and using furnishings such as velvet sofas, glass tables, and metallic accents can add a touch of luxury.

On the walls, keep the palette neutral and choose art pieces that complement the neutral theme. Abstract art in muted tones or black-and-white photography can add a touch of elegance. Finally, add potted plants or fresh flowers to bring a touch of color and life to your lounge. Greenery can also improve air quality and enhance your mood.

2. Navy Blue and Gold

Image: Wallsauce

Incorporating a navy blue and gold living room color scheme can create an ambiance of elegance, sophistication, and a touch of opulence. Navy blue offers a deep, serene backdrop, while gold accents bring in a luxurious and warm contrast.

Start with a navy blue accent wall to create a focal point. If you want to go bold, paint the whole room a dark navy blue, although be mindful of the positioning of your lounge. If it is north-facing, the room will feel cold, and blue will only add to the chill!

Opt for a navy sofa or armchairs as key pieces in your lounge. They can be in plush fabrics like velvet for added luxury. You can mix and match cushions in various shades of blue, including some with gold accents or patterns. Adding a gold or cream throw can help to balance the look.

A large area rug in a navy hue, or featuring navy and gold patterns can anchor the space and add warmth. Look for rugs with subtle gold threads or patterns for a cohesive look.

To add more gold to the room, opt for lighting with gold accents such as a chandelier or pendant lights. These will serve as a centerpiece and illuminate the room beautifully. Choose artwork with gold frames and use gold vases and candle holders to finish off the look.

3. Green and Pink

a living room with dark pink walls and a green olive velvet sofa. There is a mid century bookcase with plants and a gallery wall

Integrating a green and pink living room color scheme into your lounge creates a fresh, vibrant, and playful color scheme. This color combination balances the calming, natural tones of green with the soft, cheerful hues of pink.

Looking at the color wheel, there are many variations you can try out such as;

  • Olive green and blush pink
  • Forest green and neon pink
  • Sage Green and salmon pink

Salmon or blush pink are great living room colors to start with on a wall. Either paint the whole living room in a soft shade of pink or use floral or botanical-themed wallpapers to help easily merge the green and pink together.

If you decide on pink wall living room decor, choose sofas or armchairs in velvet green such as an olive green sofa or a statement forest green armchair. You could then include a statement piece in pink, such as an ottoman or an accent chair, to create a visual focal point.

Play with patterns and textures in both green and pink in cushions and throws to bring the whole color scheme together. If you don’t want to go with pink walls or commit to green sofas, cushions are a great way to introduce these colors without committing to larger items. Depending on the room’s natural light, select curtains in a lighter shade of pink or green to complement the overall decor.

Wall art in floral or abstract pieces works really well when bringing pink and green into living room decor. Choose a rug that complements the living room colors in your artwork to create a cohesive look.

A green and pink palette allows for a lot of creativity and can be tailored to suit various styles, from modern and chic to vintage and cozy.

4. Earthy and Calming Tones

a green living room with lots of plants and a mustard velvet sofa

Designing a living room decor with earthy and calming tones is about creating a space that feels grounded, peaceful, and connected to nature. Earthy tones typically include various shades of browns, greens, beiges, and greys. These colors evoke the natural world and have a soothing effect, making them ideal for a relaxing lounge environment.

Use a palette inspired by nature, such as forest greens, rich browns, sandy beiges, and stone greys. Choosing muted or softened shades of these colors creates a more calming effect.

The best way to incorporate this living room color scheme is to start with a neutral base. Paint the walls an off-white or taupe shade and start building up color in the form of throw blankets, cushions, and rugs in natural fibers.

Your furniture can be as bold or as soothing as you see fit. Go for a forest green sofa with a cozy wool throw, and opt for furniture in natural wood tones. You could even paint old furniture shades of green or rich browns, however, furniture pieces with a rustic or unrefined finish can add character and a sense of authenticity.

If you love your indoor plants, then this living room color scheme is perfect for you. You can incorporate a variety of indoor plants, from a large fiddle leaf fig to smaller spider plants on shelves. Use stone or textured vases with fresh flowers or branches to bring in elements of nature.

Finally, hang artwork that features landscapes, botanical prints, or abstract pieces in earthy tones, and consider adding tapestries or macramé wall hangings for a touch of bohemian flair.

5. Minimalist Monochrome

a white living room with black accents in the pillows and artwork

A black-and-white monochrome living room color scheme creates a striking, sophisticated, and timeless look. This classic combination offers a bold contrast that can range from elegant and refined to edgy and modern.

When choosing a base for a monochrome scheme, paint the walls white to create a bright and open space, with black as an accent color for a feature wall or trim. You can consider geometric or patterned wallpapers in black and white to add interest without introducing additional colors.

When it comes to soft furnishings, a black and white area rug can anchor the room, while throws and cushions in varying textures add depth. Mix and match patterns in black and white, such as stripes, polka dots, and geometric shapes, for cushions.

With a black-and-white color combination, your living room could end up feeling a little sterile, so make sure you add textures and accents in other ways. Opt for modern, sculptural lighting fixtures in black or white.

Metallic accents in silver or gold can help add a touch of interest and elegance. Use chrome, silver, or gold accents in light fixtures, furniture legs, or decor to add a luxurious feel. Natural wood can help warm up a black-and-white space without breaking the monochrome palette.

Choose artwork that plays with the black-and-white theme, whether it’s abstract, photography, or graphic prints. Pair your artwork with black-and-white items like vases, clocks, and picture frames to maintain and strengthen the color scheme.

And don’t forget the ceiling. A white ceiling keeps the space open, while a black ceiling can add drama and intimacy to the lounge.

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6. Create a Pastel Paradise

a pastel living room with pink walls, pink and lavender cushions, neutral sofa and beech coffee table

If you like the neutral color palette but want to add a bit more color to your living room, why not go for a pastel scheme with pinks and lavenders? Soft blush pinks paired with cream create a warm, inviting, and slightly feminine touch, and lavender can be included as accent colors.

Consider soft pink tones for walls, or use a neutral base with pastel accents. Integrate pink and lavender through accent pieces, textiles, and decor. These colors should complement the cream backdrop rather than compete with it.

Opt for wood flooring in a light tone or a neutral carpet. You can add a plush area rug in a light pink or lavender to anchor the space and add warmth.

When choosing furniture, choose sofas and chairs in cream or light beige upholstery. This keeps the room feeling open and airy. Incorporate lavender or pink in smaller furniture pieces like ottomans, side chairs, or a small loveseat. Coffee and side tables should be light in color like light oak or beech to fit with the overall light and calming theme.

Mix and match cushions in shades of pink, lavender, and cream, and add throws in soft textures for a cozy feel. Your curtains should also be light in color, such as voiles, nets, or airy curtains. This helps allow natural light to filter in.

Finally, add some green plants to bring a touch of nature and freshness into the space. They provide a beautiful contrast to the pastel colors.

7. Ocean Color Scene

an ocean inspired living room with blue and white decor and wicker coffee table and chairs

Creating a living room with coastal decor is about capturing the light, breezy feel of the seaside. This style is characterized by its relaxed and comfortable ambiance, using a color palette inspired by the beach and ocean, and incorporating natural, organic materials.

Start with a base of soft whites, creams, or light grays. These colors reflect the sandy beaches and create a light, airy feel. Then incorporate various shades of blue and green to mirror the colors of the sky and sea. You could also consider adding beadboard or shiplap for a nautical touch.

Opt for light wood flooring or a wood-look laminate for a beachy feel, and add area rugs in natural fibers like jute or sisal. You can mimic the rug in jute cushions for the sofas, and mix it up with linen, cotton, or other natural fibers in light, breezy colors and materials. Incorporating striped patterns, sea life motifs, or nautical themes in your textiles can help with the overall ocean theme.

To continue the relaxed vibe, furniture needs to invite relaxation. Think plush sofas and cozy armchairs with slipcovers in light, natural fabrics. Use weathered wood or driftwood-inspired furniture for an authentic coastal look.

a blue and white coastal inspired living room with oak furniture and a large light blue rug

Try not to overdo the seaside-inspired decor by filling your living room decor with shells, rope, and starfish as this can become slightly cliched. You can add rope in light fixtures and maybe a faux coral piece on your coffee table, but try and create the theme using colors and natural materials.

8. Green Dream

a green living room with green velvet sofa and lots of plants

Green is constantly touted as one of the best living room colors, with its soothing tones immediately connecting us to nature, grounding the room. Creating a green living room involves incorporating various shades and elements of green to create a space that feels fresh, vibrant, and connected to nature.

Green is a versatile color that can evoke a range of atmospheres, from calm and relaxing to lively and energizing, depending on the shades and how they are used.

Before deciding on your living room decor, you need to select the right shade of green;

  • Soft and Subtle: For a soothing and serene atmosphere, opt for soft and muted greens like sage, olive, or mint.
  • Bold and Vibrant: If you prefer a more dynamic look, choose brighter shades like emerald, forest green, or lime.
a green velvet sofa in the living room with orange abstract artwork
A green velvet sofa is always a showstopper

Once you have chosen the right green for you, consider painting one wall in your chosen shade of green. This creates a focal point without overwhelming the space.

For a more immersive experience, paint all walls green and balance them with neutral furniture and decor. If you love green, paint all your walls a bold shade, and use variants of this shade in the sofa, cushions, and rugs!

If the walls are green, choose furniture in neutral tones like beige, taupe, or wood finishes to balance the room. Alternatively, you can have green furniture pieces as the room’s centerpiece, such as a green sofa or armchairs, against more neutral walls.

You can mix and match different shades and textures of green in your cushions, throws, and rugs. Green curtains can add depth and texture to the room, especially if they are in a complementary shade to the walls. I love deep velvet green curtains in the living room, they really provide the wow factor!

Wood flooring works well with green, as do neutral-colored carpets or rugs. A green rug can be a statement piece, especially if it’s in a different shade than the walls or furniture.

Greenery is a must in a green living room. Indoor plants of various sizes can bring life and more shades of green. If the thought of plants in your living room fills you with dread, choose artwork that complements the green theme, whether it’s botanical prints, abstract pieces in various green hues, or landscape paintings. Or add some artificial plants!

9. Go Bold with Red

deep red walls with vintage artwork and deep red sofas
Paprika Paint – Neptune

Creating a living room with deep red or burgundy tones can imbue the space with a sense of warmth, luxury, and sophistication. These rich, bold colors can make a dramatic statement and create an inviting atmosphere and can be paired with soft neutrals like grays or pinks.

Deep Red vs. Burgundy: Decide whether you prefer a vibrant deep red or a more subdued burgundy. Deep red is more energizing, while burgundy offers a more understated elegance.

If you’re using red in your living room decor, make it bold! Personally, I think that red works better if you paint all the walls the same color, instead of adding it as an accent wall.

If the walls are bold, opt for a statement piece in deep red or burgundy, like a plush sofa or armchair in a slightly different shade so it stands out. Incorporate cushions, throws, and rugs in varying shades of red and complementary colors like deep purples and navy blue. This adds layers and texture to the room.

a room with deep red walls, red cushions and dried flowers and a fireplace

You need to use warm, soft lighting to enhance the richness of deep red or burgundy as this creates a cozy and welcoming ambiance. Table or floor lamps with shades in a similar color palette can complement the overall theme.

Wood flooring or neutral-colored carpets provide a balanced foundation for the bold walls and furnishings. A patterned area rug with burgundy tones can tie the room together.

When it comes to the walls, select artwork that complements the deep red or burgundy theme. Pieces with gold frames or accents can enhance the luxurious feel. Finally, use decorative items like vases, candles, and picture frames in deep red, gold, or neutral colors.

Tips for Choosing the Right Color Combination

a neutral living room with cream sofa and walls and artwork with caramel and rust colors

1. Consideration of Room Size and Natural Light with Color Combinations

  • Small Living Rooms: In smaller living rooms, lighter colors can make the space feel larger and more open. Pale shades of blue, green, or neutrals like beige and grey can reflect light, making the room appear more spacious.
  • Large Living Rooms: Larger spaces can handle darker or richer colors without feeling cramped. Deep blues, greens, or even darker hues like charcoal can add coziness and warmth.
  • Abundant Natural Light: Rooms with plenty of natural light can support a wide range of colors. Bright light can enhance colors, making them appear more vibrant. In such rooms, both light and dark colors can be used effectively.
  • Limited Natural Light: In rooms with less natural light, it’s generally better to use lighter and brighter colors to avoid a cave-like feel. However, embracing the darkness with rich, deep tones can also create a dramatic and intimate ambiance.
  • North-Facing Rooms: These rooms get cooler light, so warm colors can help balance the lack of warmth in the light.
  • South-Facing Rooms: They receive more sunlight, so they can handle cooler colors like blues and greens which will appear brighter and more vivid.
  • East/West-Facing Rooms: The light in these rooms changes throughout the day. Consider how the color will look under different lighting conditions, from the strong morning light in east-facing rooms to the warmer evening light in west-facing rooms.

2. The Importance of Personal Style and Existing Decor

a monochrome living room with large black and white abstract artwork and black steel beams
  • Expression of Self: Your living room decor should be a reflection of your tastes and interests. The colors you choose can express your personality, whether you’re drawn to bold, vibrant hues, soft pastels, or classic neutrals.
  • Comfort and Familiarity: A space that aligns with your personal style will feel more comfortable and inviting. You’re more likely to enjoy spending time in a room that feels like an extension of yourself.
  • Cohesive Aesthetic: The color scheme should harmonize with the furniture, artwork, and other decor elements already in your living room. This ensures a cohesive and well-thought-out look.
  • Accentuating Features: The right colors can highlight the best features of your existing decor, such as a piece of art, an antique rug, or unique furniture.
  • Functionality: Consider how the space is used. Vibrant colors might be stimulating and suitable for entertaining, while softer, muted tones might be better for relaxation.
  • Adaptability: Your color choices should adapt to your lifestyle needs, whether it’s a family-friendly space or a formal entertaining area.
  • Emotional Impact: Colors have a significant impact on mood and atmosphere. For instance, blues and greens are calming, while reds and oranges are energizing.
  • Creating Ambiance: The color combination should create the desired ambiance, whether it’s a cozy, warm feel or a bright, airy atmosphere.

Choosing the right color combination in your living room is essential for creating a space that is visually pleasing, emotionally resonant, and functionally appropriate. It’s a key design decision that impacts not only the aesthetics of the room but also the comfort and enjoyment of those who use it.

Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links, meaning that at no additional cost to you, I will receive a very small commission if you click through and make a purchase. These links help to pay the editorial costs of writing a blog. For more information, please read my full affiliate disclosure here.

I also use Artificial Intelligence Image generators to create some of my images. These are to show you examples of my ideas and inspiration when I cannot produce the real images myself.

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