Home Decorating & Design

Beautiful Homes Made Easy

visualresistance logo

Decorating The Living Room

For some people when it is time to re-decorate their living room it involves just a lick of paint without putting much thought into it, as long as you can live with the color chosen. But with just a little thought and planning, and some understanding of color schemes, you can create something you see in magazines. A stylish room that reflects you and welcomes people to gather together. This article will guide you through the thought processes of creating such a room. You will learn about some of types of paint color schemes and there will even be some examples of paint color combinations that are successfully used in different popular styles.

A good paint color scheme will compliment the room, work with the design style you use and the size of the room, and will set the kind of mood you are looking for. What works well in a large room does not necessarily work in smaller room. If you create less contrast between the walls and the furniture it will blend more into the background and the room will feel bigger. A larger room on the other hand can handle some contrast and different colors. Some design styles are already linked to certain paint colors. Modern and contemporary living rooms are linked to colors like gray, sage, white, beige and other neutral colors. A room that is full of activity would be painted in bright colors, a room that is quieter and more conservative would be more muted in color. Country style rooms have natural colors like apple or grass greens, sky blues, or wheat yellow.

Living room color schemes Light color scheme

Just as important as the paint colors are your furniture and decoration colors. Use the wall color to inspire your choices, or on the flip side, use your current furniture to decide your wall color if your furniture is not going to be reupholstered or changed. Lamps, throws, cushions, picture frames, candles all add to the atmosphere and are a chance to compliment or contrast with your paint color scheme. Avoid over cluttering though. A great place to get visual ideas are magazines or online. If you do not have a great eye for color get a friend to help, it is okay to mix colors up, everything does not have to match.

Types of Paint Color Schemes

There are several types of paint schemes you can choose to follow and it would helpful if you consult with a color wheel to fully understand them. Keep in mind one of the basic ‘rules’ of living room design is that there should not be more than three different colors used in the room.

Contemporary – A contemporary paint scheme uses color hues that are soft both on the wall and in the room.

contemporary color Contemporary cool neutral

Monochromatic – A monochromatic paint scheme takes the same color but uses several tones of that one color to create a soothing atmosphere.

monochromatic wall color Monochromatic paint scheme

Achromatic – An achromatic paint scheme uses the three colors white, black and grey. It is very popular in modern living rooms.

achromatic colors Achromatic paint scheme

Complementary – On your color wheel you would choose colors that are completely opposite to each other, for example blue and orange, purple and yellow, red and green.

Complementary paint colors complementary – Orange & blue

Triadic – If you look at your color wheel, a triadic paint scheme would use every fourth color on the wheel, for example if you start with a red, count along and on the fourth count you get a yellow, and then on another fourth count you get a blue. This creates a very cheerful and bright room.

Living room with triadic colors Triadic colors for that cheerful look

Analogous – Again looking at the color wheel, analogous means choosing colors that are next to each other. So blue and green for example which would suit a sea theme, or red and orange which would work in a Latin themed room.

Analogous color scheme Analogous color scheme

Living Room Styles

As mentioned certain colors work will with certain styles so here is a look at five popular living room styles and color schemes that work well with them.

Metropolitan – Bright colors work in this kind of living room along with furniture that has simple but curved lines. Use one or two warm accent colors for furnishing and decorations like cushions, a rug or lamps. Use triadic color scheme for this style.

Metropolitan living room style Metropolitan living room

Asian – Japanese themed rooms use calm and natural colors like browns, greens, soft blues and grey. Then use hints of brighter colors in the decorations and have a variety of textures. Chinese themed living rooms can use bolder colors like red and gold, with dark wood furniture and flooring. The analogous color scheme is suitable for this style.

Asian theme living room Asian inspired living room style

American country – Use pastel colors on the walls or earthy tones, have exposed brick and warm woods. Rustic furniture perhaps vintage that is hand carved, some floral motifs or domestic ones.

American rustic country style Rustic country style living room

Contemporary – A mix of textures such as floor tiles but soft sofas along with soft warm colors that are in the mid shade range.

modern contemporary Contemporary style

Mediterranean – Blues and greens for the color scheme, use additional touches like terracotta tiles, wrought-iron or bronze furniture and decorations.

Mediterranean living room style Mediterranean style

Whether you choose one of these styles or something else try not to go too overboard with a theme. Keep it simple, uncluttered and remember first and foremost your living room needs to be useable! Also take into account the kind of light the room gets, colors change when in natural light and when in artificial lighting.

Getting Started

When you have chosen your theme and your color scheme for the living room and have bought everything you need you are ready to start the process of re-decorating the room.

  1. Clear out the room as much as you can. Use this opportunity to have a sort out, pack away items you want to keep but do not need out, give everything a clean. It will be easier if you are able to completely empty the room but that may not be possible.
  2. Make sure you have enough sheets to cover the floor and any furniture that is staying in the room. You do not want paint getting on anything.
  3. Wash down the walls and trim and strip off any old wallpaper.
  4. Tape around the edges of the floor, the ceiling and the skirting board edges and door frames too. If paint does still get where you do not want it make sure you have a rag to wipe it up straight away.
  5. You are now ready to paint!