A little colour in your life reflects your personality and lifts your mood, so why not chose one of these living room colour schemes?
While it’s true that neutral room schemes provide a blank canvas, there’s a lot to be said for introducing colour. Different shades can have an uplifting or calming effect and your choice of colour and soft furnishings can go a long way to reflecting your personality. If you’re feeling bold, have a look at our wallpaper ideas for living rooms.
Colours seen in nature, such as sky blue and restful leaf green have a calming effect on us, while red is a stimulating shade and yellow is uplifting (sunshine yellow… need we say more?).
The key to decorating with one colour on walls and furniture is to use different shades of the same colour together, such as a soft apple green sofa alongside emerald metal side tables. It?s also a good idea to mix textures, for example combining matt paint on walls with a sleek, glossy lamp base. Try and work your colour scheme into all areas of your living room – such as your bay windows.
Want to create a dramatic, modern look? Paint walls in a dark midnight blue for a moody backdrop and choose furniture in rich shades such a hot pink sofa for an opulent look.
Combine pattern with block of colours – why not go for a gorgeous teal patterned wallpaper and add a modern, low-level sofa in a deep coral shade? Contemporary carpet and rug designs are another way to add vibrancy to your interior. Pastel shades can work equally well for a touch of colour – go for powder blue, pink or lilac – and add interest with striped or floral accessories. If you have a small living room, keep colours and shades light to make the room feel a big as possible. If you fancy something a bit different, have a look at our ideas for fabulous feature walls. Take a browse through the modern, country and traditional living room schemes in our photo gallery for more decorating inspiration.
Pick a vibrant shade that adds personality and character to your living room in daylight and snuggly warm cosiness at night. Pick a turquoise hue with an energising vivacity about that isn’t brash or overwhelming. It’s also a perfect partner for mid blue. Keep flooring pale for a bit of balance and continue the colour across woodwork, including shutters, architraves and skirting. Hits of white on artwork, shelving, lighting and furniture have a cooling influence on a colour-saturated scheme.
Get the look:
Buy now: Similar sofa, Jackson 3 seater sofa, £447, John Lewis
Warm up your living room in the colder months with plum tones. Combine shades of claret and dusky rose to make the space toasty and snug. Colour-block the main wall with a port-wine red to introduce a rich, heritage element. Prevent the colour scheme going into overdrive by using softer mauve-greys, browns and greys for accessories and other elements in the room.
Get the look:
Buy now: Similar paint, Mulberry Burst matt emulsion paint, £22.93 for 2.5l, Dulux at B&Q
Opt for impact with a sugary shade – decorating with pastels needn’t mean going entirely pale. Paint an accent wall in a darker colour, which will serve to balance the lighter tone on an adjacent wall. Use matt emulsion to create a fashionable low-sheen look – a velvety, almost chalky finish – ideal for uneven walls in the living area.
Get the look:
Buy now: Sofa, Mayor sofa, £447, Arne Jacobsen at Made
Make a feature by painting a wall and its shelves in the same shade. It’s a trick that works especially well with expansive boxed shelving that runs wall to wall and from floor to ceiling. The on-trend mid grey matt-finish paint used here makes a mellow contrast to white woodwork, while blending effortlessly with toning flooring and furniture. Use lovely autumnal shades, such as olive green and burnt orange, for a seasonal feel.
If you’re sticking to a single colour, mix textures to add interest – the glossy finish to rough-luxe textures ups the glam factor in this living room. A curvaceous royal-blue lamp adds sleek contrast to the chair and rug.
Get the look:
Buy now: Absolute Matt Emulsion in Smalt, £38 for 2,5l, Little Greene Paint Co. at John Lewis
Buy now: Blue Armchair, from £179, Made
Buy now: Framed 3D Vintage Butterfly Artwork, £70, Not on the High Street.
Create a brooding sense of intrigue by painting your walls and surfaces in a dramatic shade. Dare to use darker shades of paint – it may feel like a risky move but, in the right context, shadowy tones come into their own. Use a deep grey to add moody sophistication to a library or cosy nook. Create an entire backdrop that blends in by painting a radiator and a wall of shelves to match and bringing in a carpet in the same colour.
Pick a hold-on-to-your-hats shade for an instant living room transformation. This stunning emerald green is one of those precious shades that is able to make a splash both in its own right, while also making stars of the furnishings it provides a backdrop to. This collection of artwork, accessories and minimalist furniture is all the more impressive for the vibrant green it shares space with.
A family space is the perfect place to go big on colour. Choose a low-slung modular sofa in a mix of pretty colours for flexible seating that will bring a sense of fun to a family room. Paint walls white to create a backdrop that makes the colours really pop. Keep other furniture minimal so the sofa takes pride of place.
Create a fabulously fresh space with blue. Marry steely blues, from mineral to aqua shades, to devise a scheme you won’t want to leave. Mimic a dado or picture rail in paint – and take it all around the room for added impact. Keep the feel classic with white or natural wood furniture or create a more exotic look by adding texture and pattern for that year-round holiday feel.
Paint doesn’t have to be pedestrian so get creative with how you apply your chosen colours and you could end up with a truly individual look. Layer an accent colour over the top of a base colour and dry-brush half way up the wall to create a dip-dye effect. From ombré to watercolour washes, the two-tone trend shows no signs of fading away.
Create different moods in a neutral living room with colourful accessories. This cosy burnt orange warms up the whole room and works perfectly with the iconic 1960s chair. Large squashy cushions and table lamps in the same tone create a coherent colour scheme that can be easily updated for changing seasons and trends. Stick to large ‘look at me’ shapes and be bold with your colour – the porcelain background can take a punchy shade!
In a living room with a spectacular view, use colour and pattern carefully. Bring in a rug and use it to demarcate a specific area for colour. Use a mix of pretty shades and organic patterns on the cushions and furniture around it that are beautiful enough to be noticed yet not so bold as to battle with the view for attention.
Set spicy shades against a dark background for a dramatic and elegant feel, and mix patterns for a laid-back look. A sophisticated glass coffee table is perfect for the opulent setting, while coloured glass and metal accessories add further vibrance.
Work with a limited palette to create a striking design scheme in a modern living room. Stick to just two main colours, such as blue and white, and use them in specific areas so they balance each other out. This will free you up to use different patterns without making the room’s décor look sporadic and overwhelming. Bring in a single piece of furniture in black and the contrast will turn it into a centrepiece.
If you’re a fan of rich shades, but don’t want to go all out with wall-to-wall colour then introduce colour on furniture, soft furnishings and accessories instead. Choose one shade as a foundation to your scheme and then pick one item of statement furniture. Develop your room around it, picking accessories and soft furnishings in different hues and tones of the same colour.
Learn to use block colour in your home and you will never look back. Start with a white base and add colour with simple, clean shapes. The bright blue sofa in this living room sits happily on the graphic yellow rug, alongside the smaller furniture pieces in the same slightly muted tone – match some of the shades to make sure your room doesn’t start looking like a rainbow.
A wallpapered feature wall is a striking focal point in this living room, and is offset by a clean-lined modern sofa to create maximum impact. The sofa has been upholstered in a vivid, coral block colour to add extra panache. A blue rug and blue paintwork echo the wallpaper pattern for a stylish finish.
Bold wallpaper defines a lounging area in this two-tone living room, while grey paint on the adjacent walls creates a work zone, reinforced by the at-odds carpet. The bolder the better with wallpaper in this case.
There’s a foolproof way to experiment with combinations of different hues, just use a colour wheel to find which shades work well together. Opposites attract in this case and three or four vibrant colours will look balanced when properly combined. Here, a punchy teal backdrop makes the coral red side table pop and bright yellow graphic print works harmoniously with both.
Paint a chimney breast in a favourite shade that contrasts with your living room walls and fire surround. The pink and grey combination used here introduces warmth to the room without dominating it. If you are worried about a colour overwhelming a space, hang a large mirror to break up your block of colour.
Let the sunshine in with cornfield yellows and olive greens – all inspired by nature. Canary-coloured furnishings add bursts of energy to a cool, contemporary backdrop worked in soft greys.