Choosing your colour palette is the very first step to take when redecorating a living room. Just like buying a sofa - or even a house - paint choices are instinctive.
But if you have yet to find a colour with the 'ooh!' factor, colour psychologists say the colour you should never paint your living room is red - and possibly yellow. You can also narrow things down by looking at this year's trends and Colours of the Year 2022, which could get the ball rolling with your living room paint ideas.
'When it comes to our main living space, we are often looking for somewhere we can relax and feel at ease in,' says colour psychologist Lee Chambers. 'As a space, we are also likely to spend a fair amount of time in it, and it is likely to be a bigger space than some areas of your property.
The colour you should never paint your living room
'Given that it’s a place for regeneration, I would suggest avoiding large amounts of intense reds,' Lee says. Although red promotes energy and socialising, but the vibrance can quickly become overwhelming, irritating and ultimately stop you from finding that restful rhythm after a long day.
'I would also suggest being careful with bright yellow shades, as these can fatigue the eyes and generate a feeling of restlessness that again doesn’t allow us access to the peaceful serenity we are often craving when we slip into our living room and sit in our favourite chair.'
It ultimately comes down to personal preference. After all, mustard yellow is among the top paint trends of the year, inspired by Farrow & Ball's Babouche No.223.
Colour consultant and therapist Suzy Chiazzari says that colours of equal brilliance are to be avoided. These 'create a see-saw effect as they compete for attention,' she says.
'Instead, include a variety of light and dark shades in your room,' suggests Suzy. She also comments that choosing the colour for your living space should be a communal effort.
Living rooms are shared and social spaces that we spend many of our waking hours in. Therefore, she says that when choosing a colour scheme, we should try to avoid colours that anyone in the household does not like.
'These would make them feel unwelcome and uncomfortable,' Suzy says. Even if you have very different tastes, everyone needs to be onboard with the colour choice.
So, what does Dulux think? Marianne Shillingford, Creative Director at Dulux suggests going for pinks for a reassuring hug rather than red's full-on passionate embrace.
'It’s a fact that red is the colour we find hardest to be surrounded by in rooms we spend the most time,' she says. 'Just like being a passenger in a car driven by James Bond, it’s just far too exciting for every day.' She recommends trying Pressed Petal, Blush Pink from Dulux - or a combination of them both.
Get the Ideal Home Newsletter
Sign up to our newsletter for style and decor inspiration, house makeovers, project advice and more.
Millie Hurst was Senior Content Editor at Ideal Home from 2020-2022, and is now Section Editor at Homes & Gardens. Before stepping into the world of interiors, she worked as a Senior SEO Editor for News UK in both London and New York. You can usually find her looking up trending terms and finding real-life budget makeovers our readers love. Millie came up with the website's daily dupes article which gives readers ways to curate a stylish home for less.
This kitchen was transformed on a tiny budget of £500 - it's completely unrecognisable
New tiles and lashings of Barbie-pink paint have turned a tired scheme into a colourful, knock-out design
By Laurie Davidson
How to hang stockings in your home - including the best approach if you don’t have a fireplace
Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without stockings
By Lauren Bradbury
7 bathroom plants that absorb moisture – to help prevent mould, damp and condensation
Struggling with excess moisture in your bathroom? Invest in these 7 plants that will absorb it right up
By Sara Hesikova