Living room colour schemes – decor ideas in every shade that are brimming with character and style

A little colour in your life reflects your personality and lifts your mood, so why not chose one of these living room colour schemes?
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  • Looking for a new living room colour scheme that you’ll love for years to come? 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 living room colour schemes to get you started.

    Want more colour inspiration? See all our living room ideas

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

    BOTANICALS - Living room

    Image credit: Chris Everard
    Styling credit: Alyce Taylor

    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.

    2. Evoke sunnier climes with the return of beige


    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.

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

    living room colour schemes

    Image credit: 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 2019.

    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.

    Get the look
    Buy now: Porter Fabric 2 Seater sofa in grey, £699, Ideal Home at Very

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

    Image credit: 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 energizing shade to suit all tastes.

    Pair tonal green, blue and yellow furniture and accessories to create a cohesive, calming feel.

    5. Invite summer indoors with shades of yellow

    living room colour schemes

    Image credit: 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.

    Get the look
    Buy now: Willow East Fit Pendant, £69.99, Ideal Home at Very

    6. Team turquoise with tonal blues

    Image credit: 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.

    Get the look:
    Buy now: Similar New Dante Fabric 3 Seater Sofa, £999, Very

    7. Add terracotta accents to warm up neutral colour schemes

    living room colour schemes

    Image credit: 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.

    8. Colour match walls and shelving

    Image credit: James Merrell

    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.

    Get the look:
    Buy now: Similar paint, Purbeck Stone No.275 matt modern emulsion paint, £43.50 for 2.5l, Farrow & Ball at B&Q

    Love grey living rooms? READ: Gorgeous grey living room ideas to inspire you

    9. Combine complimentary colours


    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.

    10. Keep colours sweet and sugary

    living room colour schemes

    Image credit: Polly Wreford

    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.

    11. Stick to shades of blue

    living room colour schemes

    Image credit: 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. 

    12. Create a calming oasis with neutrals

    living room colour schemes

    Image credit: David Brittain

    Who says colour has to be bold to be beautiful? Channel the Scandinavian look by embracing a neutral colour palette. 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.

    13. Blur the lines when it comes to decorating

    living room colour schemes

    Image credit: 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. 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.

    After more colour advice? READ: Green living room ideas – redecorate with the colour of the season

    14. Furnish with jewel toned colours


    Image credit: 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.

    Get the look:
    Buy now: Smog matt emulsion, £32 for 2.5l, Graham & Brown

    15. Pack a punch with warming plum tones

    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.

    Read more: Purple living room ideas that are easy to live with

    16. Make a statement with mustard


    Image credit: 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 wallpaper 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.

    Speaking of honey tones: Dulux Colour of the Year 2019 is announced – are you a fan?

    17. Perfect an understated elegance with peach


    Image credit: 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.

    18. Play with pattern and striking colours

    living room colour schemes

    Image credit: Jon Day

    In a neutral living room 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.

    19. Awaken your senses by experimenting with colours

    Bold modern living room with blue sofa and red armchair

    Image credit: 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.

    20. Add style with artistic brushstroke prints

    Living room colour schemes

    Image credit: 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.

    Also see: Dining room colour schemes – decorate your eating area with bold, beautiful, lively shades

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

    Additional words by Nicky Phillips

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