Living room colour schemes – ideas in every shade to add character and style

Find the perfect colour combination to refresh your living room

Is your living room in need of a makeover? A new colour scheme could be just the tonic to transform the space in an instant. While it's true that neutral room schemes provide a blank canvas, there's a lot to be said for introducing a splash of 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.

Whether you're looking to add colour to the walls for a dramatic style overhaul or adding accent colours through accessories, changing the tonal pallet is an easy living room ideas to completely change the space.  Let our living room colour schemes inspired you to rethink your colour palette.

Living room colour schemes

Colour plays a huge role in determining how we feel within the environment around us, nowhere more so than in our own homes. A new colour pairing could be the simple answer to reinvigorate a tired-looking living room. Let our colour combinations inspire your decorating journey.

1. Create a calming oasis with neutrals

living room with cream wall and pillows on sofa

(Image credit: Future PLC/ David Brittain)

Who says colour has to be bold to be beautiful? Channel the Scandinavian look by embracing a neutral colour palette. The role of neutrals in our homes right now is to create cocooning, cosy spaces – shifting away from the cooler neutrals of greys. An effortless blend of white, beige and stone hues creates a harmonious scheme with a timeless appeal.

This look works best when all the elements are kept neutral, from the walls paint through to the natural wooden furniture.

2. Mix shades of pink to add warmth

living room with dulux painted and pillows on sofa

(Image credit: Dulux)

When it comes to maxing an impact with pink living room ideas the key is to mix tones, to avoid the scheme from feeling too sickly and sweet. Pink comes in all manner of glorious temperatures and tones to create a grown-up timeless decor, that benefits from sophisticated touches of earthy neutrals such as mink and creamy biscuit tones.

3. Introduce grounding shades from an earthy colour palette

living room with dulux colour and pillows on sofa

(Image credit: Dulux)

Brave Ground is the Dulux Colour of the Year, carefully selected to neutralise our homes. This warm neutral feels both comforting and grounding. It’s the beauty of this neutral hue exudes an understated allure which pairs beautifully with so many different colour palettes, adapting to its surroundings – stick to other earth tones of brown and green to enhance the ethos.

The paint experts at Dulux have identified the warm and grounding neutral shade as ‘the colour that will enable people to draw upon the strength of nature to help them find the courage to embrace the future.’

4. Perfectly pair pink and blue

living room with wallpaper and frame on wall with blue sofa

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Georgia Burns)

Give a pink living room idea a new edge by pairing it with a rich shade of blue. Choose shades of pink on the chalky end of the colour spectrum, from millennial pink to dusky pink, to keep the scheme looking sophisticated – rather than sickly and jarring.

5. Mix botanical greens and marine blues in a living room

living room with green sofa and lamp with potted plant

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Chris Everard)

Pair marine-inspired colours of green and blue to create a calming scheme which echoes the colours of a coastal landscape.  Add extra character to a neutral space by layering different floral and fauna patterns on fabrics and ceramics, leaving your walls, floor and sofa in block colours to keep the look from becoming fussy.

Try playing with scale using smaller trellis patterns with bolder floral prints on curtains and cushions. Oversized lamps and bold ceramics will also add to this eye-catching scheme and a clever leaf display grouped in interesting vases finishes the look.

6. Evoke sunnier climes with the return of beige

living room with cream wall and potted plant

(Image credit: Dulux)

Beige is back – and just in time, too. Because by layering it up, you can transport yourself to tropical climes – in this case, the glamorous island of Ibiza. Given it's hard to get away at the minute, a style staycation in your living room is just the tonic.

Here, Dulux's Summer Linen, Cookie Dough and Natural Hessian are used in combination with rustic and bohemian accessories – think terracotta ceramic pots, wicker baskets and tasselled cushions for a laid back look.

7. Venture to the dark side with on-trend navy

living room with navy wall and pillows on grey sofa

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Simon Whitmore)

Create a brooding sense of intrigue by painting your walls and surfaces in a dramatic dark shade. On-trend darker shades of paint may feel like a risky move but, in the right context, shadowy tones come into their own. Hence why they continue to prove a popular choice for current paint trends.

Create an entire backdrop that blends in by painting a radiator and a wall of shelves to match or play it safer with a feature wall. When using accents of dark paints the key is to balance it with large areas of neutral.

8. Re-energise your room with a green colour scheme

green living room with pillows on grey sofa

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Simon Whitmore)

Choose any shade of green to enliven a tired looking living room. The colour spectrum for green is so broad, from vibrant bottle green to gentle mint there's a shade of this energising shade to suit all tastes.

Pair tonal green, blue and yellow furniture and accessories to create a cohesive, calming feel for a winning green living room idea.

9. Add terracotta accents to warm up neutral colour schemes

living room with pillows on white sofa

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Dominic Blackmore)

Create different moods in a neutral living room with colourful accessories. This cosy burnt orange shade is back in fashion! It's perfect for adding warmth to any neutral decor. 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.

10. Invite the sunshine indoors with shades of yellow

living room with yellow wall and yellow pillows on sofa

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Simon Whitmore)

The feel-good vibes of yellow can instantly create a sunny decor. Walls painted in buttercup yellow provide the ideal backdrop for any furniture style, particularly neutral and grey. Add further rays of sunshine with brighter yellow accessories to compliment the walls.

11. Team turquoise with tonal blues

living room with frame on blue wall and lamp

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Dominic Blackmore)

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.

12. Colour match walls and shelving

living room with grey book shelf

(Image credit: Future PLC/ James Merrell)

Make a feature by painting a wall and its shelves in the same shade, as demonstrated perfectly in this gorgeous grey living room idea. 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.

13. Combine complimentary colours

living room with green wall and lather sofa

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Deep forest green has the unusual quality of making a room feel cosy and enveloping in winter but cool and shady in summer. Bring it to life with woods and leathers that have an orange undertone for a pairing that’s direct from nature.

Add in a shot or two of indigo blut and whether you create a room that’s rustic or glamorous – or somewhere in between – this colour mix will exude quiet confidence.

14. Keep colours sweet and sugary

Opt for impact with a sugary shade - decorating with pastels needn't mean going entirely pale. Pair with furniture and accessories  in a darker colour, which will serve to balance the lighter tones. Use matt emulsion to create a fashionable low-sheen look - a velvety, almost chalky finish - ideal for uneven walls in the living area.

living room with pink and white curtains on window and pink sofa

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Polly Wreford)

15. Stick solely to shades of blue

living room with blue coloured shelf and blue pillows on sofa

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Dominic Blackmore)

Create a fabulously fresh space with a splash of invigorating blue. Marry steely blues, from mineral to aqua shades, to devise a scheme you won't want to leave. If you're sticking to a single colour, try mixing textures to add interest or working in accessories in an accent colour. Keep the feel classic with white or natural wood furniture. 

16. Blur the lines when it comes to decorating

living room with blur with blue colored wall pillows on sofa

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Dominic Blackmore)

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. For an imaginative living room paint idea try layering 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.

17. Furnish with jewel toned colours

living room with grey wall and fire place

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Dominic Blackmore)

Deep turquoise, jade green, true pink, amethyst, citrine and emerald. This group of gorgeous colours work naturally together for a vibrant, non-clashy mix. Offset them with black, grey and white to create a successful scheme. Walls painted in a flat steel grey let you use jewel tones fearlessly on fabrics and accessories.

18. Pack a punch with warming plum tones

purple living room with fire place and wooden table

(Image credit: TBC)

Warm up your living room in the colder months with plum tones. Combine shades of claret and dusky rose to create a toasty and snug purple living room ideas.

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.

19. Make a statement with mustard

living room with mustered colored wall and pillow on sofa

(Image credit: Future PLC/ David Brittain)

Warm and inviting, in shades that vary in intensity from spun gold to natural shades of Maize and honey, it looks great in classic and contemporary settings. Team it with wood-effect living room wallpaper ideas and relaxed mid century styled furniture for a cool retro feel.

Mix different tones of Honeyed Oak, Maple and darker timbers to give a room depth and character. A cluster of rattan mirrors gives a nod to 70s nostalgia and makes a great wall display.

20. Perfect an understated elegance with peach

peach and grey living room with pillow on grey sofa

(Image credit: Future PLC/ David Brittain)

Peach has shaken off its sickly sweet image this season and has been reinvented in a myriad of velvety soft shades from delicate peach blossom to peach skin blush. Team it with classic French Grey for a warm Mediterranean feel.

Choose a pared back Moroccan style wall paper in soft, peachy tones and team it with Mediterranean style shutters to fill the room with light. Choose an eclectic mix of informal furniture in honeyed Oak and painted pieces. Add subtle hints of Peach by painting the odd piece of occasional furniture.

21. Play with pattern and striking colours

living room with designed dishes on wall and pillows on yellow sofa

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Jon Day)

In a neutral living room idea you can afford to go all out with colour and pattern. 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 for attention.

22. Awaken your senses by experimenting with colours

living room with white window and couch

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Simon Bevan)

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.

23. Add style with artistic brushstroke prints

living room with green wall and lamp

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Simon Whitmore)

Paint effects are back. No, we're not talking nineties-style rag rolling or stencilled borders. If you have zero confidence with a paintbrush, get the look with pretty watercolour-effect cushions covers or a freehand-striped lampshade, instead. Or, look for rugs and curtains that feature an ombre-effect wash of graduated colour.

Love these living room colour schemes? Will you be incorporating colour into your living room?

Additional words by Nicky Phillips