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Best Living Room Paint Color Ideas (That Are Not Neutrals)

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The perfect color can truly make or break a space. These living room paint color ideas will help to get you started on your painting journey.

The best living room paint color ideas for 2021

First of all, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a deep breath. You’re in exactly the right spot to get started!

We’ve got some beautiful living room paint colors to show you. And it’s not a huge list, so that makes decisions easier.

Second, since I’m a color lover and this post is about “Living Room Paint Colors…”, I’m showing rooms that actually have color on the walls. So you won’t find any white, gray, greige or beige walls in this list.

For those of you who prefer a more neutral palette, I polled some of my blogging friends and wrote this post on the most popular neutral paint colors.

Living room with walls and velvet sofa in a blue green color
Wall color similar to Farrow and Ball’s “Blue Green”

Now, before we start looking at the colors, you need to ask yourself one question:

How do you want the room to feel?

Because the answer to that question will help to determine what direction your paint color should go in. And that’s how I’ll be breaking down the color choices.

Cool colors (blue, green and purple) are more calming and relaxing. Warm colors (red, orange and yellow) are more invigorating and energizing. So what do you want your room to feel like?

You can find more information about colors and how they affect your mood HERE.

A note about pinning: Some of the pictures below came from other sites and do not belong to me. If you wish to pin them, please click the link below the picture to go to the original source.

Best relaxing living room color: Blue

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If sitting down and putting your feet up in a relaxing room is your idea of the perfect living room, then you might be wondering what the most relaxing living room paint color is.

In that case, blue is a good choice for your walls.

It brings that sitting by the ocean sense of calm. And since it plays nicely with all of the other colors, it acts like a neutral.

That means it’s also the one color that goes well with pretty much any type of hardwood floor. So if you’re having trouble finding something to go with that orangey-oak flooring you’re stuck with, one of these blues may be the solution.

The one drawback of blue is that it can feel a little cold. Especially if your room has north facing windows. Using blues that have less green (another cool color) in them and more gray or purple (warmer) undertones will help to prevent this problem.

Benjamin Moore | Hale Navy

A large, beige sectional couch in a living room with walls painted in Benjamin Moore's Hale Navy
by Laura from theturquoisehome.com

Hale Navy is a deep, dark blue that has mostly gray undertones with just a hint of green.

If you use it alongside wood or lighter colors, you may notice how the gray comes out more.

And it looks beautiful with white accent colors, like the trim in Laura’s living room from The Turquoise Home. (If you’re interested in this color, be sure to visit her page since she has lots of other pictures and color suggestions to go with it).

Farrow and Ball | Pitch Blue

Living room painted in Farrow and Ball "Pitch Blue"

Farrow and Ball is my absolute favorite paint company. Their paint is little more expensive but it is totally VOC free and the colors have so much more depth than other paints. (They use a clay base and real pigment rather than synthetic materials so it is actually made differently).

And Pitch Blue is my absolute favorite color that they make.

It’s a purple-y cobalt blue with a gray undertone that changes between looking more blue and more gray depending on the light.

If you have tried other blues and they always turn out looking too green (i’s happened to me more than once!), then you need to try this color.

Farrow and Ball | Drawing Room Blue

Living room walls painted in Farrow and Ball "Drawing Room Blue"

My mother painted her living room Farrow and Ball’s “Drawing Room Blue” which is a slightly darker version of Pitch Blue with a little less purple in it.

It’s a beautiful color of blue that makes the room feel very rich.

This color has been “archived” by Farrow and Ball so it’s not on their latest color card. But you can still order it from them on their website.

Best color for that Zen feeling: Teal

Teal is a mixture of blue and green that like blue, brings the color and soothing qualities of the ocean indoors.

Many people shy away from paint colors with the name teal, envisioning something super bright and powerful.

But it doesn’t have to be.

Benjamin Moore | Aegean Teal

While Benjamin Moore’s Aegean Teal still holds plenty of color, it is a more subdued teal blending blue, green, and gray together.

This color is calming and relaxing, goes with most other colors, and will fit with most design styles – from Traditional to Coastal to Modern. Which makes it act like a neutral, without being a traditional neutral.

As you can see from the photo above, it looks stunning with black and white. And makes the yellow sofa pop. Working well with both neutrals and brighter colors.

Best cozy living room color: Dark green

Generally speaking, darker paint colors feel cozier than lighter ones.

And when you pair a dark tone with a calming color like green, you get a cozy space that you will want to settle down in.

Benjamin Moore | Salamander

Deep green Salamander paint from Benjamin Moore used for the walls in a small living room.
by Ashley from thegoldhive.com

Benjamin Moore “Salamander” is a deep emerald green with a gray base that makes the room feel very calm and cozy, almost like you’re spending time in nature.

This color can change throughout the day depending on the lighting. In low light, it may appear nearly black, while it emits blue and green hues when the sun shines on it.

For a heavy contrast, add some bright white trim and colorful furniture.

Over at The Gold Hive, Ashley calls her living room “the moody room,” and I’m sure a large part of that has to do with the paint color.

Best cozy living room color #2: Dark red

If you like warm colors rather than cool ones, green may not be what you want to make your room feel cozy. In which case, red (green’s opposite) may be more what you’re looking for.

Painting a whole living room bright red is often not a good idea. All that red paint can cause a room to feel physically hot and has been shown to stimulate arguments.

However a dark red that has a brown base feels more like a big, warm hug. Which may be exactly what you’re looking for in your living room.

HGTV Home By Sherwin Williams | Passionate

Living room with off white furniture and walls painted in HGTV Home by Sherwin Williams "Passionate"

“Passionate” from HGTV Home by Sherwin Williams is a modern take on a traditional color.

It has rich brown undertones that make the room feel warm and comfortable, like you’re nestled in cozy nest.

Pairing it with lighter colored furniture and accessories keeps the room from looking too dark.

Most cheerful living room color: Yellow

Yellow is the color of sunshine and just like a sunny day, it makes any room feel happy and cheerful. It’s also on the warm side of the color wheel, meaning it will bring energy to the space (as opposed to relaxation).

The one drawback of yellow is that it can be a bit overpowering, especially if your living room has south facing windows.

Once again, picking a shade with a gray base will help to prevent this.

Are you seeing a pattern? Gray-based colors are usually the best living room paint colors because they make a statement without overpowering the room, and generally play well with other colors.

Benjamin Moore | Hawthorne Yellow

Large living room painted in Benjamin Moore Hawthorne Yellow

The slight gray undertones of Benjamin Moore’s “Hawthorne Yellow” ensure that the walls won’t overwhelm you by being too bright.

This color is part of the Benjamin Moore Historical Collection. Which is made up of colors that were chosen because they are tried-and-true, don’t go out of style and will go with many decor styles.

You could really get imaginative with this color by pairing it with bold patterns and bright artwork. Or tone it down with more neutral trim and accessories.

Best combination of cheerful and calming: Pink

Besides little girls who dream of being ballerinas, many people shy away from painting their walls pink.

But if you’re looking for a color that is fresh and uplifting but not too aggressive, blush pink may be the way to go. Especially if you have windows that face East. The morning sun will make the room look like it’s glowing. (My east-facing office is painted this color and I love it!)

Since it’s derived from red, pink is technically a warm color. But because it has been toned down with a lot of white, it’s more soothing than the other warm colors on the color wheel.

Benjamin Moore | First Light

Living room walls painted in Benjamin Moore "First Light" with a fireplace painted in Benjamin Moore "Thunder"

Benjamin Moore “First Light” is a soft, blush-like color that has a neutral feel to it and isn’t too in your face like some other pinks can be.

So if you’re looking for a paint color that is feminine but subtle, this one may be just the ticket.

Pair it with Benjamin Moore’s “Thunder” for a modern vibe that is a little less girly. (That’s the color of the fireplace above).

Benjamin Moore | Head Over Heels

Living room painted in Benjamin Moore "Head Over Heels" with trim painted in Benjamin Moore "Chantilly White"

If you like pinks that have more of a peach or coral tint to them, then Benjamin Moore “Head Over Heels” may be the color you’re looking for.

It creates a romantic feeling when paired with woodwork that is painted with Benjamin Moore “Chantilly White”.

Most modern living room color: Black

The last paint color on my list is also the most controversial: black.

It’s a color that many people can’t imagine painting their living room walls.

But if you want a room that feels cozy, modern and dramatic all at the same time, black really can’t be beat.

There are very few true black paint colors, so look for one that has undertones which go with the rest of your decor.

Benjamin Moore | French Beret

Benjamin Moore’s “French Beret” is a cross between navy blue and really dark gray (there’s that gray again!). Which adds elegance to the room without being oppressive.

Brianna from bloomintheblack.com combined it with Pratt and Lambert’s “North Star” on the built-ins and a yellow sofa. The contrasting colors add some extra flair and help to make the room look more interesting.

Valspar | Dark Kettle Black

Small living room with a black velvet sofa, walls painted in Valspar Dark Kettle Black and gold wallpaper panels

For a darker black, try Valspar’s “Dark Kettle Black”.

It has a purple-blue base that gives it a rich feeling and looks more like a true black.

Living room accent wall painted black with a large clock on it

If you’re a little nervous about painting the whole room black, it also makes a great accent wall. And you may decide to keep going once you see how much you like it 🙂

Other color decorating ideas you might like

Have comments or questions about the best living room paint color ideas for 2021? Tell us in the section below.


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