18 Neutral Living Room Ideas That Are Anything but Boring

living room with starburst mirror over fireplace
Photo: Adam Albright Photography

Neutral colors can provide the perfect base for a cozy living room. Applied through paint colors, furniture, and decor, shades of white, cream, gray, brown, and black create laidback, liveable color schemes. These neutral living room ideas will help you fashion an inviting space that suits your style.

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Modern Neutral Living Room

gray living room with warm wood floors and modern chandelier
Suggested paint color: Silver Mine PPU26-18, Behr. Peter Molick

A combination of cool gray and crisp white sets a modern tone in this neutral living room. Richly stained wood floors, along with a handful of wood furnishings, inject warmth into the palette. The darker wood tones help ground the space and ensure the neutral living room colors don't appear too cold or washed out.

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Cozy Neutral Living Room

renovated neutral-colored living room with pink and blue accent pieces
Lisa Romerein

Apply one neutral living room color in large doses for a restful effect. Here, warm white covers the walls, ceiling, trim, area rug, sofa, and window treatments, enveloping the room with coziness. Throw pillows and accent furniture introduce muted color that doesn't distract from the overall neutral look.

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Black and White Living Room Ideas

black and white living room
John Bessler

Black and white make a simple yet striking neutral color scheme for living rooms. A black paneled accent wall breaks up the white in this shiplap-covered living room. Black and off-white furniture is strategically placed to highlight the contrast between the two neutral living room colors. When choosing black paint colors, opt for a slightly reflective finish, such as satin or semi-gloss, to add a bit of life to the dark shade.

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Metallic Neutral Living Room Decor

living room with starburst mirror over fireplace
Adam Albright Photography

Mirrored and metallic surfaces add flair to neutral living rooms. Consider the undertones of wall colors and furnishings to determine which metal finish to use. Warm neutral living rooms, featuring shades like cream, taupe, camel, and cognac, benefit from the addition of brass or gold accents. Silver, chrome, and black iron details complement cooler schemes of crisp white and steely shades of gray.

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Contrasting Neutral Living Room

living room with white furniture fireplace and tree branch lamp
Annie Schlechter

Incorporate light and dark contrasting details to boost a neutral living room's appeal. Use a rich beige as a neutral paint color for the living room, set off by white or creamy painted woodwork. Outfit dark wood floors with natural woven area rugs, and hang a shimmering chandelier above a weathered wood coffee table. Juxtaposing light with dark lets individual elements shine, which in turn directs attention around the room.

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Glam Neutral Living Room

neutral palette living room with taupes and pinks
Dane Tashima

A neutral color palette doesn't need to lack personality. If you love everything that comes with glam style (such as gold finishes, crystals, and animal prints), use them as small embellishments to dress up beige walls. Here, a muted zebra accent chair pairs well with a gold geometric coffee table and shiny accessories.

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Warm and Cool Neutral Color Scheme

bookcase outside living room seating area
Reed Davis

Mix cool neutrals, such as silvery blues and grays, with warmer browns and tans to create a balanced color scheme. This neutral living room uses barely-there blues to lift up weightier brown furnishings and architectural details. The blue accents appear minimally as patterned accents that subtly further this room's nautical leanings while maintaining a mostly neutral look.

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Decorating with Neutrals

Watch and learn how to put together the perfect palette of neutral living room colors. When choosing shades, keep in mind that neutrals aren't just gray, black, white, or beige. They can also be colors from the color wheel that are tinted with white or black to create a new hue.

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Neutral Palette Plus One Color

white living room with brown and blue elements
Colleen Duffley

In a living room where neutrals reign, choose a single high-impact hue to liven up the palette. In this neutral color living room design, cream, medium brown, and white combine for a peaceful backdrop that could have come off as boring without the addition of aqua accents. The color pops up as a faux-leather chair and a sculptural glass chandelier.

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Brown Living Room Ideas

Beam ceiling in rustic white room

For a warm, inviting living room, incorporate a mix of newer furnishings and antiques in varying shades of brown. The subtly shifting wood tones make neutral living room furniture feel as if it's been assembled over time. Let the wood finishes and their undertones be your guide when adding in lighter or darker browns as solid lampshades, leather ottomans, and patterned fabrics.

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Traditional Neutral Living Room

sitting room with tall windows
Eric Roth

Dress up your neutral living room with an updated take on traditional. Use shades of beige for this warm neutral living room idea. Select furnishings covered in casual linen fabrics or reupholster antiques with striking patterns. Neutral living room furniture with classic profiles will prove timeless, while the newly added textiles create an original look. Weave in refined and rustic accessories for a personalized mix.

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Versatile Neutral Living Room

living room with stone fireplace
Ryann Ford

Neutrals are flexible shades that partner with most colors and decorating styles. Here, bold citrus hues and retro motifs make this living room appear livelier than its neutral bones initially suggest. The room's off-white walls, stone fireplace, and neutral furniture could work equally well when paired with a beach-inspired color scheme or earth-toned hues.

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Neutral Living Room Colors

living room with tuxedo sofa and side chairs
Michael Luppino

Brown tones make beautiful neutral living room colors. Opt for one light color (such as linen) and a deeper tone (such as cocoa brown) to form a versatile living room color scheme. Here, brown shows up as patterned pillows, a striped area rug, and nailhead trim and welting on upholstered furnishings. Variations of the hue repeat as metal tables, distressed patinas, and furniture finishes to fashion a calming, collected look.

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Neutral Living Room Pattern Ideas

white living room with rug
Edmund Barr 

Incorporate a variety of patterns to give neutral living rooms a more interesting, layered look. Accent and upholstery fabrics are a great way to bring in pattern, but you can also use paneled woodwork, wire coffee tables or magazine racks, woven blinds, and natural materials. These elements can contribute patterns such as geometric grid designs or abstract striations, adding additional texture without causing a space to feel busy.

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White Living Room Ideas

white living room with blue decorative pillows
Kim Cornelison

Use navy blues, sandy beiges, and bright whites to create a neutral living room with a coastal vibe. White is a go-to neutral paint color that lets living room decor shine. Place white furnishings and accessories against white walls to create a breezy backdrop for coastal colors and beach-combed treasures.

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Gray Living Room Design

off-white sofa cream toned living room
Werner Straube

Go with gray for neutral living room ideas that feel fresh and modern. Here, charcoal walls add a layer of warmth that partners nicely with sleek chrome sconces, zinc-top tables, and wood furnishings with distressed and silvery driftwood finishes. Keep the mood bright with linen-upholstered sofas, white area rugs, and naturally neutral window shades.

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Mixed Neutral Color Scheme

living room with white couch with chaise
Edmund Barr

Create comfortable conversation areas with sofas and chairs upholstered in complementary, but not matchy-matchy, textiles. Since most neutrals play well together, you can mix (or switch) them whenever the mood strikes. This living room's stone fireplace inspired an organic, neutral palette that blends limestone and charcoal grays with off-white, black, brown, and russet hues.

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Monochromatic Neutral Living Room

airy living space modern white
Laurie Black

A soothing color scheme of bright white and barely-there grays give this neutral living room a monochromatic look. Decorative accessories in similar colors supply interest to the subdued room. The shaggy area rug, galvanized-metal table, shimmering silver and glass vases, distressed geometric mirrors, and tone-on-tone patterned draperies contribute remarkable textures and distinctive forms.

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