​10 great colours to paint your small living room walls

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
Design Studio Details Eclectic style living room
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Isn’t playing interior designer great? You get to choose from decorations, furniture, patterns and so much more to spruce up your spaces – but, of course, this also comes with responsibility, like knowing which colours to pick when you want a room to appear larger. 

Yes, colours most definitely play an essential role in a room’s ambience, and can immediately affect the mood of the person/people in it. Generally speaking, cooler and lighter colours (whites, creams, mint green, baby blue) expand a room, while brighter and warmer hues (tiger orange, apple red, magenta pink) close a room in. 

But sometimes a burst of bright colour is exactly what you need to enliven a room and make it feel more energetic, especially one that gets as much attention as the living room. Thus, on with today’s piece where we inspire you with 10 very different living rooms that each has their own colour scheme (and unique vibe).

1. Marine blue

This nautical-style space flaunts a cosy and elegant vibe – and that deep blue on the walls definitely plays a part. Because of the low ceilings, white is a key tone in keeping the balance of the room, which is why it has been used in various furniture and décor pieces. 

Notice how the lemony yellow cushion covers, cups and gold trim brighten the space and add a refreshing contrast.

2. Teal and turquoise

These two hues go a long way in making a room feel bright and youthful. When paired with white, these cool tones are happy, optimistic, peaceful and friendly. But be careful not to overuse them, as they can easily overwhelm a small space and make it feel too cold. 

Our advice is to pair them with light-coloured wood, yellow tones and cream colours for an overall uplifting ambience.

3. Candy red

Living Room Clean Design Modern living room
Clean Design

Living Room

Clean Design

A bold shade such as candy red will make sure your small living room doesn’t go unnoticed. 

This energetic space is the perfect mixture between ‘loud’ and ‘quiet’. How so? The pale grey sofas and carpet tone down the intensity of the walls while the red continues ever so slightly in the cushions and carpet patterns.

4. Various shades of grey

For a room that needs a more minimal and subdued look, we recommend grey. The key is to use slightly varying shades to keep it light and joyful rather than sombre and sad. And pale grey always works fantastically well with stone feature walls and natural-coloured tiling.

Pair these hues with white or wooden furniture and warm lighting, and you will definitely enjoy a room with a light and elegant look and feel.

5. Powder blue

Need visual proof that light grey, powder blue, white and charcoal is a match made in heaven? Divert your eyes downwards to this delightful living room. This colour combo is refreshing, relaxing, contemporary and quite clever. 

Used around the doors, in the cushion covers and in the rug of this living room (just enough so that it doesn’t evoke a feeling of chilliness), powder blue lightens the look ever so slightly.

6. The neutrals

If you spend a lot of time in your living room, neutral hues are a safe bet for the walls and furniture. They won’t overwhelm or control a space and can be paired with many different bright colours. Plus, they will always be in style. 

This example shows us how different neutral shades make a room feel graceful and, when paired with hot red tones, can stop a room from being too muted.

7. Chartreuse green

It is amazing how a colour can come to life when paired with certain materials, and chartreuse combined with wooden furniture becomes positively bubbly. We love this lime green hue which is such a perfect option for a feature wall, as it flaunts a look that is memorable and energetic. 

Notice how this particular open-plan living room/kitchen uses decorative tiling with oranges and reds to break up the intensity of the green.

8. Whites

The number one rule for visually enlarging a small room is to use whites or light tones. 

It's easy to see why white and the various off-white hues are such popular choices: this all-white living room leaves us dazzled. It's serene, sophisticated and oh-so stylish.

9. Red wine

Burgundy, red wine, merlot… whichever name you prefer, this particular set of hues always look sophisticated. Best saved just for one wall, it is an intense shade that will make your small living room look lavish and very luxurious. 

We recommend light-coloured furniture to balance out that deep shade.

10. Pretty pastels

Ah, the wonderful world of pastel colours, where you will encounter tones with delightful names like frosted tulip, spring waterfall and sunbeam. They are gentle, mellow and appropriate for smaller rooms – and not just children’s bedrooms. These hues will never choke a room and can be used on all walls if you want. 

Pastels are also easily adaptable, which means you can use more or less white when mixing your tint, depending on the intensity you’re aiming for. 

From colour to just about everything else, see how: We solve your common living room design mistakes.

Bonus: Between whites and neutrals

We've listed some of the best living room paint ideas for you above, but there's one color that doesn't quite fit. Beige is always a great choice for a home in any sense. Not quite white but not quite your average neutral, a warm beige can really transform a living space. Warmer colors like this can be overwhelming, but in a lighter shade, warm tones will enhance your space, making it feel lively and welcoming. 

Beige is also a great paint colour idea if you have neutral furniture in your living room or very overall colourful taste — it will suit both attitudes. It's also a good colour to paint the walls if you're interested in hanging up artwork, such as paintings or murals. Beige will allow the artwork to stand out without feeling empty like white can. 

Another bonus? Beige will look stunning in different lights — since it's not too dark, it will still brighten the room like a white would, but will retain depth and add character. 

Looking for more room colour ideas? We've collected some ideas for your small bedroom here. 

We’re dying to know which colour you picked for your lounge!

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