Color really can be transformative in interior design, whether that be through paint on the walls or from a beautiful piece of furniture or artwork, and choosing your living room color ideas will be one of the most important decisions you face in your home.
For many of us, the living room is where we spend most of our time, from relaxing and watching TV to entertaining with friends and family, so getting the color choice spot on for your living room is vital to ensure you create an inviting space that truly celebrates your unique and individual style.
Choosing which colors to decorate with for any room color ideas can be a daunting process as there are so many to choose from, but becoming your own color consultant is easier than you think, and we are on hand to help inspire you with a range of colorful ideas for your living room.
Living room color trends 2023
Understanding color trends lie at the root of all interior design decisions, and exploring the latest living room color trends, along with consulting the color wheel, basic color theory and recent paint trends will ensure that you choose the perfect palette for your space.
1. Take inspiration from nature with a sky blue palette
Sky blue – this fresh hue comes in a range of beautiful tones to suit all interior styles, and it is slowly making its way from the bedroom to the living room this year.
‘Sky blue shades can add such joy to a space with their inherent freshness but just be careful they don’t appear too chilly as the natural light will have a big impact on their perception,’ says Patrick O’Donnell, international brand ambassador, Farrow & Ball. ‘It’s a wonderful shade for coastal living where it will respond to the light you get near the water.’
Interior designer, Pandora Taylor shares this enthusiasm for decorating with blue: ‘Joyful sky blues are perfect for using in spaces you spend lots of time in, such as the living room. If the room gets a lot of natural light the blue will appear quite pale, then when evening comes you get a stronger color developing, a bit like the perfect day-to-night outfit.’
‘Blue is the most wonderfully gender-neutral color,’ says Nicole Salvesen, co-founder, of Salvesen Graham, who designed this blue living room above. ‘Avoid using cold blues in north-facing rooms. Instead, find those that have some warm tones in them and they will be a brilliant backdrop for florals, patterns and plains.’
Patrick O’Donnell is Farrow & Ball’s color consultant & brand ambassador and has been with the brand since 2012. Patrick works with designers in the UK and North America, helping to bring their projects alive with the iconic, F&B color palette.
2. Take a gentle approach with new neutrals
Decorating with new neutrals, inspired by colors from the natural world, adds a gentle and soothing touch to interiors that can be layered with textures and tones to ebb and flow with the seasons. Not to be confused with cold and bland palettes, new neutrals are warm by nature.
The power of a neutral color palette to add warmth and elegance to a room should not be underestimated. A soft scheme of harmonious neutrals creates a reflective backdrop to the ever-changing light of the seasons. When decorating with neutrals a key element is the importance of layering with textures and tonal shades.
Decorating a living room in neutrals can create a feeling of seamless calm in a home, as shown in this Albion Nord-designed space. Mimic the warm color scheme on the walls with equally warm-toned soft furnishings to complete the look.
If you are going for a beige living room color scheme, be sure to add depth and contrast. ‘For a warmer aesthetic, consider a red-based neutral shade such as Wimborne White or Dimity by Farrow & Ball,’ recommends Louise Wicksteed, design director at Sims Hilditch.
3. Soothe with sage
Uplifting and tranquil, this nature-inspired shade of green has its herbal origins to thank for its soothing properties, making it the perfect choice for a restful living room scheme this summer.
Many design houses have recognized that some muted shades are a good option to use tonally throughout a whole room scheme, and sage green is one of these; strong enough to hold its own yet a considered color to pair with vibrant feature shades.
Here, sage green is used throughout the room, including a large painting and the central sofa, and is paired with a bold chartreuse. ‘Sage green has come to occupy a central spot in our signature palette. It’s a color that pairs so wonderfully with others, whether they are rich and earthy or punchy and bright. It helps to elevate those other hues and acts as a gorgeous glue holding the scheme together,’ says Michelle White, brand and marketing director at Arlo & Jacob.
4. Embody the rich hues of terracotta
For a long time, painted walls in cool whites and grays have dominated interiors but warm color schemes are competing. Terracotta is spicing up living room interiors everywhere – its sunbaked and artisanal qualities ensure it’s a favorite of the design set.
‘Rich shades of terracotta are surprisingly versatile. Ideal for creating welcoming yet sophisticated living rooms, these uplifting burnt oranges work brilliantly on their own or with everything from crisp whites to mustard yellows and deep reds,’ says Colin Roby-Welford, creative director, of Fired Earth.
‘In this small living room, the terracotta color allowed us to create a space offering a soft, warm light which captures the enveloping sensation of a sunset,’ says Damien Langlois-Meurinne, interior designer and founder of Damien Langlois-Meurinne Studio, Paris.
5. Decorate with a gentle pink
Gentle yet somehow also a statement shade, soft pink is an evocative hue that has a wonderful sophistication, allowing it to work for both modern and classic living rooms.
‘Soft pink is our absolute favorite color to work with, and has become a popular living room color trend in recent years,’ says Caroline Stemp, co-founder, of Sascal Studio. ‘We often use it in living rooms and bedrooms. We don’t tend to use pale pink in darker rooms like WCs with no windows or north-facing rooms, as it can tend to look gray.’
This color errs on the side of androgynous, which is perfect when trying to balance tastes, too.
6. Make way for ochre
Ochre is making its mark in interiors for 2023/34 – bringing much-welcome energy and elegance to our living rooms.
‘There is a richness, a warmth and an earthy quality to this color, ochre, creating a distinct mood in the room,’ says Rose Uniacke, interior designer. ‘The shade captures light beautifully, with an immediately energizing effect.’
In this case, the buttery yellow works so well with the colorful accessories and oak furniture. The ochre yellow adds color and depth to the space, bringing a relaxed sophistication without feeling forced or impractical.
Bryan O’Sullivan, founder, of Bryan O’Sullivan Studio adores using this living room color trend in his designs: ‘A rich mustard shade works particularly well in a living room as it brings warmth, helping to create an enveloping feeling. By incorporating several soft caramel tones, it helps to create a space that feels calm, elegant and welcoming.’
What colors are in for living rooms in 2023?
‘For 2023 we are noticing a change to the use of softer hues, such as sage, being used all over as a base color, just how neutrals have been used traditionally,’ says Ruth Mottershead, creative director at Little Greene.
‘These are very calming, positive shades with a timeless quality, that are muted but not enough that they fade into the background, so they work beautifully as a foil for similar earthy tones and richer colors such as browns and ochre, which can give a more dynamic effect.’
Ruth Mottershead is the creative director of the family-run paint and wallpaper businesses Little Greene and Paint & Paper Library, which specialize in creating luxurious paint and wallpaper that represent 300 years of decorative history.
Our affinity towards certain living room color trends has a lot to do with our personalities, environment, and experiences, so it is always important to choose a color that resonates with you, and makes you happier at home, whether they are on-trend or not.