Tangerine + Cornflower + Shades of White
Complementary colors such as orange and blue in bright shades come on strong, yet the right decorating strategy ensures people aren't reaching for their sunglasses. Sprinkling the shades in against a backdrop of white softens the effect. Using the colors in patterns, rather than large blocks, also tones down the color scheme.
Kelly Green + Brick Red + Earthy Browns
A fearless combination of colors and design styles gives this family-friendly living room its edge. The Moroccan-inspired diamond print of the pillows on the window seats and the green chair serves as the jumping-off point for the room's color scheme. It guides the selection of the other pillows, curtains, and accent furniture, such as the tables and pouf. The exotic colors stand in juxtaposition to the room's traditional coffered ceiling and rustic stacked-stone fireplace, proving that mixing and matching styles can be done.
Build these paint colors into your living room color scheme for a palette that shines.
Peachy Yellow + Chartreuse + Oatmeal
The right color scheme can give traditional style a fresh update. Drawing on a foundation of traditional elements, such as white trim and beaded board, classic furniture shapes, and antique accents, an infusion of color gives this living room its own persona. The muted peachy yellow is a fail-proof alternative to basic beige. Repeating an accent color, in this case chartreuse, throughout a space delivers continuity. A consistent use of oatmeal color, on the sofa, rug, and dining room chairs, also provides a sturdy base for the room.
Bluebird + Gunmetal + Snowy White
Cool gray walls paired with plenty of blue captures a modern tone in this living room, which is enhanced by contemporary furniture and accessories. Using soft white, rather than a stark shade, injects the space with warmth, as does the wood coffee table top and touches of nature.
Not ready to undergo a complete color makeover? Do it gradually and in stages. Watch and learn how.
Leafy Green + Cream + Coal Black
Greens of the garden variety appear both literally and figuratively in this living room. Plants and cuttings dress up the mantel and a stylized botanical print carries the look to the club chairs. A striped upholstered ottoman and tribal print curtains keep the living room out of dreaded theme territory. Cream walls linger in the background, but complement the yellow undertones of the greens. Hints of black offer a bit of sophistication.
Clean White + Pale Turquoise + Coral Red
While blue and green are standard beach color scheme fare, red also has a place. Inspired by coral, a few hints of red bring something unexpected to this crisp white living room. Watery shades of turquoise are a more familiar nod to coastal decor and appear more frequently than the red to keep the beachside ethos strong.
Citron Green + Wheat Beige + Driftwood Brown
Almost any time green leans more yellow than blue, it has more zing. The pastel citron green on this living room's walls and fabrics is countered by rustic browns, a light hue on the sofa, and the textural browns of the coffee table and rug to give the space a comfortable yet peppy vibe. Sleeker furniture and doses of gray would have taken the citron from casual to chic.
Robin's Egg + White + Driftwood
While blue is technically a cool color, shades, like the wall color in this living room, that sport a little bit of yellow come off as warmer. In this space, the warmth is enhanced by a cozy gray chair and wood coffee table. The white fireplace and mirror are brighter counterpoints to the warm hues. Accessories in shades similar to the wall color tie the space together.
Cloudy Gray + Mustard + Linen
Muted neutrals and refined furnishings hint at sophistication, while a mix of metal and wood capitalize on the industrial trend. The neutrals in the room read as monochromatic, but mustard yellow accessories play up the wood tones, which keeps the scheme from falling flat.
Cottage White + Foggy Gray + Wood Tones
Soaring ceilings and airy whites lend a sense of grandeur to this living room. Wood tones and foggy gray add subtle dimension to the white and elegant furnishings and patterns take the look into sophisticated territory.
Cerulean Blue + Mustard Yellow + Khaki Beige
Taking a risk with color is a big step, but the payoff can be incredible. Balancing a bold color with neutrals and repeating the color are two keys to success. In this living room, a vivid cerulean blue colors the walls, and similar hues appear in the artwork, upholstery, and area rug to carry the color through the space. A midtone khaki on the side table and sofa temper the blue, and mustard yellow accents provide further contrast. To balance a saturated wall color, try this living room paint idea: Paint the top portion of the walls one color, install a chair rail, and paint the bottom portion of the wall a less saturated version of the top color (use colors on the same paint strip).
Kelly Green + Saffron Yellow + Steel Gray + Bleached Beige
Combine sophisticated tastes with everyday sensibilities by using easy neutrals alongside colors with flair in your living room. In this space, a comfortable steel gray sofa and a beige rug underfoot lay a family-friendly foundation. A color combination of Kelly green and saffron yellow adds an uptown feel, as do chic pattern and lacquered accents. Textured wallpaper in a variegated bleached wood tone creates a neutral yet interesting backdrop for the room’s colors and patterns.
Navy + Taupe + Sailcloth White
Muted neutrals soothe this large-scale room and hints of navy add a sophisticated color to the formal space. With a monochromatic base of neutrals, shape and texture are important players, and the woven wicker chair and large round coffee table step up to the plate.
Forest + Asparagus
Greens don't shy away from the spotlight in this formal living room, whether it's the strong asparagus on the ceiling and chairs or the rich forest on the sofa. A neutral with green undertones on the walls helps the greens mesh with the room's other neutrals, such as the icy gray chairs, white built-ins, and pale gray rug. Jewel-tone accessories enhance the look and support the strong shades.
Antique White + Leafy Green + Wood Tones
Natural greens and timeworn white evoke an island cottage feel in this living room, but rely on the support of other island-inspired elements to carry the look. A grass-cloth rug, woven baskets, and a cabinet with bamboo inlay all do the trick. Plenty of wood tones and a sprinkling of antiques ensure the look is classic cottage, not cutesy.
Indigo + Paper White + Rusty Red
You can rarely go wrong with a blue-and-white color scheme. In this living room, it takes a twist, thanks to detailed paneling. Introducing rusty red, rather than bright apple red, on accessories captures an Americana style, without coming across as themey. A brown sofa keeps the look relaxed.
Ocean Blue + Cottage White + Lacquer Black
Use color for purposes other than visual interest. In this living room, ocean blue paint along the top of the wall plays up the room’s architecture, such as the beamed ceiling, trimwork, and fireplace wall. Accessories throughout the living room carry the color. While the white carries the cottage vibe intended for the space, the unexpected comes by way of black accents on a singular throw pillow and two framed prints. Adding a hint of something a little different will give a space its own personal look.
Fuchsia + Raspberry + Browns
Warm neutrals in a range of light white on the walls, medium latte on the sofa and rug, and dark browns on the furniture frames and floor, are key to pulling off the pink in this living room. Richer tones of pink, raspberry, and fuchsia, rather than pastel hues, and punchy patterns are fun, not froofy.
Cornflower Blue + Lime + Black and White
Blue takes a bold stand in this living room. Equally strong citron and high-contrast black and white keep up with the blue, but because they are used in smaller doses, the look remains livable.
Blush Pink + Gray Green + Cheeky Magenta
A living room enraptured by blush pink is destined to be a feminine, showstopping space, especially when it is supported by classic touches and elegant accessories. Incorporating both white and cream will play up the gorgeous characteristics of pink -- all white would make the color come off as childish, and all cream would muddle the color. In this living room, balance is achieved with white trim and doors, and cream upholstery. The right accent colors will also help you pull off blush pink. Here, a stately gray-green on the drapes and mirror frame and magenta accents do the trick.
Emerald + Jade + Linen
Green pulls out all the stops in this jewel box living room. Jade and emerald on the walls play out in subtle contrast and the hues are sprinkled in with accessories throughout the space. A neutral sofa and slipper chair calm the vibrant colors.
Wisteria Purple + Linen Beige + Cloud White
Although this living room is mostly neutral, the exact shades selected for the space bear a certain colorful quality. A hint of wisteria purple on the fuzzy pouf and the throw pillows guided the choice of cooler neutrals on the gray built-in cabinets, brown armchairs, and clean white on the walls and trimwork. The linen beige color on the sofa, coffee table top, and mirror frame warm up the living room, as do the wicker baskets and leather-bound books.
Golden Wheat + Country Blue + Clean White
When classic colors are applied to a decidedly modern aesthetic, the result is striking. In this living room, golden wheat beige colors the sofa, drapes, and walls for a monochromatic background, while country blue pillows add pep. Paired with the clean lines and modern silhouettes of the furniture, the colors come off as chic, not country.
Lakeside Lavender + Tidal Blue + Fern Green
When banded together, soft colors produce a strong style statement. In this living room, the wall color can skew purple or blue, depending on the light, which gives the room an ethereal glow. The blue properties of the wall color are picked up in the drapes, upholstery, and accent pillows and are complemented by soft green. Hints of colors outside the color scheme will give a space a collected look. All the colors swirl together, recalling a lakeside at sunset.
Buttered Toast + Pure White + Bubblegum Pink
Neutrals take a fun twist when bubblegum pink becomes part of the equation. Starting with a neutral base and adding one big pop of color is a savvy way to dive into color without going over-the-top. Pulling in a few smaller doses of equally bright colors ensure the pink doesn't stick out.
Barely Gray + Golden Khaki + Smokey Black
Give neutrals presence by applying them in a mix of patterns. Using one pattern that includes every color in your scheme will create a polished look. In this living room, the medallion and scroll pattern on the sofa serves as a jumping-off point for the khaki trellis pattern on the chairs and the large-scale espresso geometric rug, as well as the color for the beaded-board walls. Even the black scroll in the background of the fabric is played up by glossy black trim and garden stools.
Sunshine + Ruby + Vintage White
Lofty rooms rarely see colored walls, but this living room took a chance with a sunny shade of yellow. Sticking to a similar shade of yellow for the room's larger furniture pieces contributes cohesiveness. Working in a little ruby red keeps the yellow from overtaking the space, as do billowy antique white draperies.
Coral Orange + Uptown Aqua + Milk Chocolate
Traditional style relies on a refined composition and classic styling. Have fun with this graceful look in a living room by layering in a punchy color scheme. With a foundation of timeless neutrals, a complementary color scheme of coral orange and aqua blue brings this living room to life. Hints of chocolate brown recall the coloring of the wood floor, tables, and chair frames. Limit a traditional color palette to a few neutrals and two colors to maintain a formal air.
Cloudy Blue + Garden Soil Brown + Bluegrass Green
Combining two styles you love can often be done by way of a color scheme. In this living room, an earthy palette is given a sophisticated makeover, thanks to the specific colors chosen. The green curtains, garden stool, and the blue wall color are cooler in tone, a more refined approach to earthy colors of sky blue and grass green. A brown sofa directly resembles the color of rich soil and is repeated in the armchair upholstery’s stripe.
Clear Sky Blue + Lemony Green + Maplewood
Bring your living room to life with exuberant colors. Start your scheme with one or two main colors, then add in more hues via accessories and fabrics. In this cheery living room, a blue sofa and green chair are the mainstays, along with a maple finish on the wood furniture. From this foundation, almost anything will go. This space gets its unique character from patterned curtains and a rug, both of which carry the furniture's colors.
Ecru + Dove Gray + Yellow
Soft ecru lends a glowing quality to this living room, while gray is an elegant addition. A restrained use of yellow on the pillows draws out the yellow undertones in the ecru, while adding dimension.
Nickel Gray + Gold Yellow
Use neutrals inspired by metallics to create a chic look that's not overpowering. In this living room, nickel gray walls envelop the space, and golden yellow patterns the window treatments. Bringing the colors of your walls and window treatments into the rest of the space is a smart step in good decor. Here, the gray pops up on the upholstery, and the golden color appears in variations on the rug and the side table between the chairs.