Whether a home has an open plan great room or a cozy den, a living room is the heart of the home. From birthday parties to Christmas mornings, living rooms are the central socializing space in the house. This can make choosing a living room color scheme one of the most important and challenging parts of your home’s interior design.
...Maybe you’re on the hunt for that perfect neutral color,
...or maybe you really want to try something bright but are nervous about how a bold color will work with your palette,
...or perhaps you just want a pop of color from an accent wall and you’re not sure what color combinations will work with the rest of the living space.
How does a savvy DIY painter even begin to choose a color that’s not too trendy but not too bland so it stands the test of time? Start here with a roundup of our expert interior designers’ best living room paint color ideas for 2022 and beyond!
Popular Living Room Color Trends For 2022
The most popular living room paint colors in the last few years have definitely been shades of off-white and gray, with greige beginning to take over more recently as people move towards warmer color palettes. Navy has also been surprisingly popular, both as an accent wall for the dining room area and as a wall color for an entire room.
This year, color trends lean more closely into warm palettes, with pale greens, soft yellows, and even warm pinks and violets. As people spend more time than ever at home, they’re welcoming in lovely shades of color to add energy and warmth to their day.
We’ll take a closer look at some of those favorite shades in a moment, but first: our top whites and grays for living rooms.
Best Neutral Living Room Colors
In modern homes, open floor plans and farmhouse-style details have increased the popularity of off-white colors and pale grays, while dark colors add drama and elegance to the small, closed off living rooms of traditional homes and urban apartments. White paint amplifies the natural light and creates a neutral background so interior design selections like art, lighting, and wood floors can shine.
One of the most popular white paint colors is Simply White; it’s part of the Benjamin Moore Modern Farmhouse color palette, and was chosen Color of the Year in 2016. With its slightly warm tint, this bright white can illuminate a large space without making it feel cold:
Classic Gray is another popular living room color. This pale gray is a nearly off-white shade that’s soft and warm. It’s one of Benjamin Moore’s best-selling neutral colors and a popular choice among interior designers. This versatile light gray has barely-there warm undertones that appear greige in the evening. It’s an elegant backdrop for furnishings and art:
Neutrals will always be popular for living room walls because they're so easy to work with. Light, warm greige colors have enough tint to set off white woodwork without making the room feel dark. Since they complement so many other colors, they’re the perfect neutral for the main rooms of your home. One of the most beloved paint colors of 2021, Revere Pewter is the perfect balance of gray and beige:
Changing the wall color to Revere Pewter and the trim to a brighter white like Decorator’s White or Chantilly Lace creates more contrast between walls and trim. Warm-toned Chelsea Gray on the stair wall adds richness and depth:
The popularity of cool gray undertones is starting to decline as the latest trends feature warm and cozy spaces. Pure white, monochromatic living rooms can feel warm and sunny with the right color choice; in this living room, Linen White paint swathes the walls and woodwork in a creamy shade that matches the furnishings perfectly:
The interior design trend towards deeper colors can incorporate neutral wall colors too. In this open plan home, an accent wall in Benjamin Moore Northampton Putty creates a rich taupe backdrop for linen curtains:
Not all “neutral” wall colors are shades of gray or beige. Nature-inspired pastel shades of blue, green, and aqua are so complementary to furnishings and art that they can function as neutral colors. In this soft blue living room, Beach Glass walls with paneling add a soothing energy to warm whites and beiges:
Gray Living Room Colors To Love
Homeowners have had a love affair with gray for over a decade now, and this versatile color continues to have staying power. One of the best paint colors for rooms with leather furniture, Benjamin Moore Moonshine is a crisp, modern pale gray that creates a stylish backdrop for mid-century furnishings:
If you’d like a neutral pale gray for your living room, Stonington Gray has green-blue undertones that cool it down slightly so it’s a great wall paint for sunny spaces. It has just enough color to make white moldings pop:
Warm shades of gray and greige are the latest color trend. Chelsea Gray is a deep gray with distinctly warm undertones that adds richness to both traditional and modern living rooms. But color doesn't have to just be for the walls! A Chelsea Gray ceiling adds layering and makes a big statement in this living room :
The warmest gray shades have green undertones that make them appear beige in sunlight. Known as “greige”, these warm neutrals conjure the elegance of antique linen fabric. Use a greige like Edgecomb Gray from Benjamin Moore on both walls and woodwork for a classic look:
For more of our favorite grays, check out our guide on The Top 18 Benjamin Moore Gray Colors
The Best Living Room Accent Colors
Anis the perfect way to add color and drama when you have an open-plan , or to create a background for displaying art and antiques.
Charcoal gray is a favorite of interior designers, who love its modern drama on an accent wall. Gray is the perfect complement to wood tones, and it’s the ideal neutral color for displaying art. In this home office corner, Ashland Slate helps bring out the yellows of the painting and chair:
Nature-inspired colors like dark blue and emerald green add character to a large space and bring the outside in. In this open plan home, a deep green called Salamander helps to ground the crisp white dining area:
Of course, accent walls are intended to create drama, so a lot of designers take the opportunity to choose an unusual color. We love how the art stands out against this accent wall painted in Benjamin Moore’s stunning Carter Plum:
Named Benjamin Moore’s Color of the Year in 2021, Aegean Teal is far from a neutral paint color. However, this dusty blue paint has distinct green undertones that give it a certain sophistication and groundedness. Use it in a modern living room to offset bright pops of color, or paint an accent wall for a touch of coastal-inspired color:
How To Choose A Living Room Color Scheme
Now that you’ve looked at the popular options, how do you go about choosing a color scheme for your living room? First, think about the mood you want to create – light and airy, or eye-catching drama? Next, consider how much natural light is coming in, and whether it’s warm or cool light. Knowing whether your living room faces North or South can help you choose between warm and cool shades of interior paint. Before starting your makeover, test paint color samples in your room at all times of day. Finally, don’t be afraid to think outside the box! Interior designers do it every day to create surprising and inspiring color schemes.
Sunny spaces can look chic painted in a deep color like Benjamin Moore Dark Olive:
White furnishings stand out against the deep burgundy walls in this white living room design, painted in Caponata:
Complementary medium shades work nicely together to highlight architectural features. Here the light blue fireplace and pale green walls give off a stylish mid-century vibe:
For the perfect English Country room look, consider pink. Combined with classic furniture and an exotic rug, matte finish Wispy Pink walls evoke high-end style:
Highlight architectural details with historic colors on the wall, like Palladian Blue:
Of course, white walls can help feature architectural details like a wonderful fireplace; in this historic living room, Simply White creates a minimalist modern look:
Whether you live in a modern farmhouse, urban loft or classic cottage, your living room paint color says a lot about who you are. We hope you’ve been inspired to express your unique style with these creative paint color ideas for your living room.