Paint is a strange, deceptive thing. You could absolutely love it in the can or on the swatch — and sometimes even on a sample wall — but the second the entire room is done, the aesthetic totally shifts. That's why, when you're painting the most popular rooms in your house, it pays to do a little homework first. Rather than relying solely on your imagination, the best living room paint color ideas allow you to see exactly what varying hues look like in a space. (If anything can get the renovation ball rolling, it's visual inspiration.)
That being said, the internet is packed with millions of photos of thousands of paint colors; if you're not sure about your color scheme or preferred decorating style, it can be pretty hard to narrow down your favorites.
Do you want to go neutral, or do you want to go bold? Neutral colors (like whites, off-whites, beiges, tans, and creams) are clean-looking and easy to match — but don't be fooled. Some shades are still capable of making a significant statement.
Bold colors are admittedly a bit trickier, because there are countless hues to choose from and each evokes a different feeling. Consider the psychology of a color to ensure that your living room achieves the look and feel you're going for. For example, blues are refreshing and calming, while reds heighten the senses. Then there's orange, which is inherently energizing, and green, which represents growth and renewal. You get the picture.
If you're still not sure where to start, start with the most popular paint colors for the upcoming year. After all, if there's any way to ensure your living space is stylish and up-to-date, it's knowing the trends and staying ahead of them. These 17 paint colors are recent favorites among buyers and interior designers, and they span all across the color wheel so you can find a hue that speaks to you.
Cream: Home Depot's "Statuesque"
Beige has always been a go-to for interior designers — but lately, it's seen a massive come-back in the form of cream, which has yellow undertones for a warmer, more contemporary feel. Statuesque is one of Home Depot's most popular cream-colored paints for any room, but it looks especially inviting on living room walls; that's because it's clean, bright, and forgiving.
Midnight Blue: Benjamin Moore's "Polo"
This gorgeous midnight blue color (called Polo) adds an unexpected yet cozy element to your living area. When used as an accent wall, like in the photo above, it'll act as a bold juxtaposition between any lighter hues in your color scheme.
Deep Sage: Dulux's "Teahouse"
Sage green can be calming, rejuvenating, and subtle, but due to its pastel-like hue, it can also look very traditional. Teahouse, on the other hand, deepens the shade for a paint color that's serene yet modern. Since it's darker than your standard sage, it'll also pop against whites and beiges.
Raspberry Pink: Dulux's "Shepherd's Warning"
There are countless pink shades out there, but thanks to its raspberry-red undertones, Shepherd's Warning has a more elevated, mature feel than most others. This one works well with an all-warm color scheme, or you can use its complementary counterpart, aqua.
Lilac: Sherwin Williams' "Elation"
Lilac has a reputation as a go-to color for little girls' rooms, but Elation is anything but immature. That's because this purple paint color ties in gray and pewter undertones. The result? A living room that's bright and playful, yet extremely elegant.
Black: Dulux's "Domino"
Black paint has always been around, but as of late, daring interior designers are incorporating it into rooms all over the house. If you're looking to go dark and brooding, Domino is the color for you. Its matte-black finish absorbs light for an eye-catching statement, and it goes beautifully with just about any accent color.
Burnt Orange: Sherwin Williams' "Cavern Clay"
Burnt orange is one of this year's most popular colors — and it's really no wonder why. It's bright, soothing, and earthy, and it goes well with a wide range of blues, browns, and grays. Needless to say, it's a great pick for a Mediterranean-inspired home or modern desert getaway.
Off-White: Dulux's "Whisper White"
Whisper White is aptly named because it's subtle, warm, and discreet. It's a great option if you're looking for bright and airy, but you're not necessarily going for a stark hospital-room vibe. Pair it with light woods for a Scandinavian look, or darker woods for something more traditional.
Peach: Dulux's "Pinkham"
Pink is still making the rounds in the interior design world, but it seems that pale peach has come out on top. Take Pinkham, for example, which is colorful and uplifting without overwhelming the eye.
Powder Blue: Home Depot's "Shadow Blue"
There's just something so retro-chic about this living room, and it's largely due to the shadow blue paint color. A convenient alternative to stark white, this one gives a cozier, more lived-in feel to your living room — but it's still clean and contemporary.
Crisp White: Benjamin Moore's "White Heron"
One of Benjamin Moore's color trends of 2020, White Heron is a crisp white that's sophisticated and endlessly dynamic. It can easily be used in an all-light living room to create a hyper-modern aesthetic, but here, it offsets the dark wood and stone for a space that looks fresh despite the classical elements.
Maroon: Dulux's "Marrakesh Red"
Believe it or not, warm colors can be bold and moody — and this deep red is a perfect example. Use it alongside neutral colors and oranges to create an eye-catching accent, or paint the entire room for a space that feels unique and earthy.
Pale Greige: Sherwin Williams' "Spatial White"
Greige remains one of the most versatile paint colors because it pulls to both beige accents and gray accents at the same time — but this year, instead of its darker counterpart, interior designers are going light and subtle. Spatial White offers the best of both worlds in this creamy, silvery paint color. It's the easiest way to brighten up a room without having to worry about anything clashing down the line.
Coffee Brown: Sherwin Williams' "Dark Clove"
This deep brown is called Dark Clove, and it gives a back-to-basics aesthetic while still somehow coming across modern. Here, it's paired with a brownish tan called Moth Wing, and together, the color combination complements the natural, rustic elements throughout the room.
Spring Green: Dulux's "Rodham"
Looking for something playful, daring, and inspiring? Look no further than Rodham, which is a spring green paint color that brightens up any room. It's a go-to for play areas and modern kitchens, but as seen above, it can break up a monochromatic color scheme in a surprising way.
Moody Gray: Benjamin Moore's "Thunder"
For the past few years, designers have been using all white for everything — cabinets, walls, paneling, you name it. A darker gray like Thunder, on the other hand, brings an element of unique moodiness to a room without making it look too dark.
Slate Blue: Home Depot's "Krimson Lake"
In case you couldn't tell, blues are ridiculously in this season — but Krimson Lake offers something other blues don't: It's bold and versatile at the same time. It goes with grays, blacks, creams, whites, and browns, yet it's still adventurous enough to make a statement.