Interior designers and color experts share their recommendations for the best living room paint colors that are both stylish and on-trend for 2023 and will give your space a fresh update this season.
Unlike kitchen trends or bathroom trends which have to be considered through the lens of what might contribute (or detract from) your home's future resale value, there’s much more freedom to be had in exploring different paint colors for your living room trend. After all, it’s much easier (and cheaper) to redecorate a living room according to personal taste.
The tones selected by the experts as the best for living rooms provide a timeless foundation for your living room whilst still acknowledging the most recent interior paint color trends for 2023 which have shown a strong preference for colors inspired by the natural world.
Best living room paint colors of 2023
1. Calming green
Over recent years there’s been a big move towards relaxed and restful living room schemes that are a sanctuary of tonal greens, leafy prints, and soft and soothing textiles. While darker greens are starting to compete for the top spot Sage green is still currently the biggest color trend of all the green shades.
Green is the color of 2023, taking the number one spot as the most searched-for living room color, and one of the most searched-for sofa color trends.
The popularity of green is all part of the biophilic trend that sees interiors connected with nature and choosing a mix of calming chalky green paint colors will help create the perfect tranquil backdrop that can be the basis for a chilled living room scheme.
"An appreciation of the natural world, our trending paint palette showcases modern minimalism, with beautifully crafted furnishings and a quiet palette of neutral tonal color," says Kathryn Lloyd, Color Consultant at Crown Paints.
“To use contrasting colors of the same shade, play with a mix of tones from the same color mix," suggests Paula Taylor, head stylist at Graham and Brown. "For example, try forest green paint with sage green for a layered look and added warmth to a living room."
Ultra Spec 500 Flat emulsion | $124 per 1 US Gallon / £100 per 3.79L: As Benjamin Moore's 'Color of the Year 2022' this sage green has become a perfect choice for a calming living room scheme. Inspired by the stem of a flower, this gentle shade of sage is ideal to anchor and uplift living rooms without overpowering them with intense pigment.
Estate Emulsion | $65 / £54.50 per 2.5L: Farrow & Ball's cheerful shade of Breakfast Room Green, No.81 is slightly more lively than sage green, but muted enough to hold the same soothing qualities. The name is taken from east-facing rooms designed for breakfast, implying this green is made to be seen at its best in natural daylight.
Sage Matt Emulsion| $90 /£48 per 2.5L: Ideal in a matt paint finish this dusky green colorway has a chalky aesthetic that enhances the tranquility of the natural-inspired shade. The organic appearance makes it easy to style and perfect if you’re looking for an effortlessly chic living room scheme.
2. Uplifting pink
Pink loses its sugary sweetness this season and takes on more muted, earthy tones, making it a versatile color option for any living room. While not quite neutral the best pink paints can be warm and grounding and work well with plenty of color combinations. Pink as the main color pairs perfectly with accents of grays, browns, smart navy, or lush green, making it a good all-around choice as a living room background color.
"Pink is perfect for a living room where you want a look that is joyful and uplifting," says Marianne Shilingford, Creative Director at Dulux. "Pink can be a bit cheeky, but it's ultimately warm and super relaxed. It captures a sense of gentle fun and is perfect for warming up north-facing rooms where soft pale shades with just a hint of apricot look amazing teamed with lots of houseplants and verdant green accessories."
"Punchy petal pink shades are perfect for a contemporary look with a bit of energy but if you prefer a gentler vibe that will make you smile rather than giggle, calm it down with blush pink, warm nudes, or soft powder pink."
Estate Emulsion | $65 / £54.50 per 2.5L: Farrow & Ball's new Templeton Pink is the ideal living room paint color for those wanting a gentle pink that welcomes warmth to walls without being overtly pigmented. "With a hint of yellow pigment lends it to north-facing spaces, as it can bring some much-needed warmth and coziness to darker rooms that can risk feeling cold," explains Farrow & Ball's creative director.
Matt Emulsion | $45 / £36.49 per 2.5L: A darker shade of pink but still with an element of gray that tempers the tone welcoming an earthy, sophisticated edge that prevents it from feeling too sickly and sweet.
3. Warm white
White is often avoided when it comes to living rooms as it can make a space feel harsh and clinical. But this is only true if you opt for the wrong shade of white. White can have warm or cool undertones and there’s a shade for every room - and used well, white can look striking. The key is in finding the best white paint color for your space.
Opt for white with yellow or red undertones in a north-facing living room - these will help lift the space and make it feel more warm and cozy. Avoid blue or grey-toned whites which can feel dark and dismal. In south-facing living rooms that get plenty of natural daylight, opt for cooler-toned whites which will counter the warmth of natural light and create a more balanced glow.
"Believe it or not, white is the combination of all colors of light mixed together," says Marianne. "It has magical powers in decorating and since we began to create it in paint, it has been the ultimate blank canvas onto which we tell the story of our lives on the walls of our homes.
"Of all the colors, white reflects the most light and so we use it to make small dark rooms look bigger and brighter, ceilings look taller, colors look more impactful, and woodwork gleam. You could also say that white is the ultimate neutral because it works with everything. There is however more to white than meets the eye."
Estate Emulsion | $65/£54.50 per 2.5L: Farrow & Ball have produced the perfect shade of white that unusually features no other pigments to cater to those devoted to pure white but not wanting the blue undertones so commonly associated with white – it's the blue that can so often make white feel cold and steely.
Velvet Matt Emulsion | $54 /£44 per 2.5L: This white feels almost like the palest of pale grays, with a slight hint of sage in certain lights catering for those who would rather air on the side of cool than go creamy with white walls. But thanks to the balance of pigments this tone still offers a warm white finish.
Modern Emulsion | $65.84 / £56 per 2.5L: This warm white features a very slight yellow undertone to make it a degree warmer than pure white, just enough to make it ideal for adding just a dash of warmth when using white – but not so much so that the white ends up feeling creamy, which is often the case.
4. Pale gray
Decorating with gray shows no sign of losing its popularity any time soon. The biggest-selling paint color after white, gray has secured its place as the modern, go-to neutral. That being said, gray isn’t a one-shade-fits-all color.
It’s important to choose the right shade of gray that will suit your living room, so always consider how much light your living room receives and whether you need a cool or a warm-toned grey to counter this.
Colors with a cool undertone, such as blues and other grays, will complement gray walls well, while colors with warm undertones like terracotta or burgundy will contrast the shade and bring a touch of warmth into the space.
Absolute Matt Emulsion | $67.79 / £54.50 per 2.5L: A greenish-gray is a warming neutral shade that lends towards a stone or putty shade in tone. This versatile gray adds warmth to a calming neutral color scheme. Thanks to the depth of tone this gray is ideal for pairing with punchy accent tones of pink or deep greens.
Estate Emulsion | $65/£54.50 per 2.5L: This light, sophisticated gray features gentle blue undertones which create a subtle depth of shade. This delicate gray is accentuated by natural light and by architectural details, adding interest to the tone by the way it plays with the light.
Flat Matt Interior Wall | $40.33 / £32 per 2.5L: Pale and interesting this soft gray is ideally used in a living space that craves calm. Almost off-white with a hint of gray this calming neutral is an effortless color to build upon with strong accents via textiles and furniture choices – for example, a lush green sofa as above.
5. Sky blue
The latest trend of cooling shades indicates that blue tones remain to be big news for living room paint colors this year. Fresh and uplifting to offer calming qualities, these hues create a sense of calm in the room where you want to relax and unwind.
The Dulux 'Color of the Year 2022' Bright Skies was thoughtfully chosen by the paint experts to fulfill a desire for an airy and fresh tone that breathes new life into any space, especially busy living spaces. It appears our homes still crave that sense of freshness as the color continues to soar in popularity.
Speaking about the shade of pale blue Marianne tells that "people want to feel revitalized and enjoy the freedom of outside, to look out and bring in new ideas.
"What better inspiration can we take than the endless skies around us? It is widely known that nature makes us feel better and taking steps to bring the outside in enhances our sense of wellbeing," she continues. "So whether we are working or relaxing, creating or exercising, it is essential to have a space that reflects the optimism and desire for a fresh, new start."
The thinking is that a dreamy shade of sky blue can help to enrich the soul and make our surroundings feel more hopeful by bringing positive energy into our homes.
One Coat Matt Emulsion | $40.33 / £32 per 2.5L: As 'Color of the year 2022' you can't get a much better blue living room paint color than Bright Skies right now, the perfect hue to create a sense of hopefulness for your home. The pale blue works in all light aspects, it simply darkens with shade but remains a true blue.
Modern Emulsion | $65.84 / £56 per 2.5L: This pale and intriguing blue is also inspired by the color of summer skies, hopeful skies that remain filled with radiant light quality. Thanks to the bright and airy nature of this shade it works equally well in bright spaces or light-deprived living rooms, holding its own in all settings.
Modern Emulsion | $26.09 / £21 per 2.5L: Closer to a pastel blue this summer-inspired blue feels bright and optimistic. The strong pigment of this blue shade is welcome in any light quality, from big bright living rooms to small, darker spaces it will still feel airy and luminescent.
6. Soothing lilac
Lilac is another underrated color that is back in vogue for 2023. Soft and sophisticated and a less-girly option than pink, lilac is a big trend in fashion right now and it seems that interiors are following suit.
Unlike Pantone's Color of the Year of 2022, this new shade of purple is softer and more restful. Lilac sits on the cool side of the color spectrum so can feel chilly in north-facing rooms, but in south-facing living rooms with plenty of natural light, it will feel cozy, warm, and welcoming.
Mylands, House of Color, has seen searches for lilac up 33% on its website. "Lilac is traditionally a romantic and feminine hue, but is increasingly popular for many rooms in the home thanks to its subtlety and adaptability," says Dominic Myland, CEO of Mylands.
"We’re noticing more and more customers choosing lilac for their interiors because it adds a pop of color, but isn’t overwhelming or intimidating like other, bolder shades, and its versatile nature means it pairs well with a myriad of colors."
Marble Matt Emulsion | $69.95 / £55.50 per 2.5L: This gentle desaturated shade of lilac offers a chalky, mineral quality with undertones of gray to ensure it stays on the cooler scale of lilac. While cool in temperature this tranquil tone is the perfect backdrop for welcoming warming accent shades via soft furnishings and accessories.
Modern Emulsion | $65.84 / £56 per 2.5L: Inspired by Scottish heathers this tranquil lilac shade is grounded with a dash of black to prevent the color from looking pinky, instead it retains an element of gray associated with true tones of lilac.
Regal Select Matte | $98.31 per 1 US Gallon / £78 per 3.79L: For a strong take on the lilac trend this shade features heavier undertones of purple plums to make it feel more intense, as opposed to a more gray lilac. This shade is an idea for those who are looking to make more of a bold statement with this on-trend hue.
7. Warming yellow
Yellow is a key color for 2023 with designers taking advantage of yellow’s sunny, upbeat qualities to bring a warm and happy glow to living spaces. Versatile and welcoming, opt for mellow mustard or classic ochre yellow in living rooms, which will feel richer and cozier than pale and buttery shades. Yellow works much like a neutral, partnering perfectly with warm woods and metallics or dark accent black and navy.
"When choosing colors for your living room – think about how you want to feel in the space," says Anna Hill, Brand Director at Fenwick & Tilbrook. "Do you use it most during the day or in the evening? This will impact the way the color looks as bright natural light vs. artificial lamp light will give a very different aesthetic. If your goal is for a cozy feeling, don’t shy away from deeper colors but steer towards natural, muted tones rather than vibrant hues to aid relaxation.
"It’s also good when choosing colors to think about not only the shades you like but the age of the property and any architectural details that could be accentuated with color. An ornate ceiling rose could look stunning painted in a darker shade, using the fifth wall to bring the room to life."
Modern Emulsion | $65.84 / £56 per 2.5L: This refreshing sunshine yellow is ideal for light-filled rooms, as the name suggests the simple shade is ideal for rooms with a sunny deposition. That's not to say it can't be used to brighten up a north-facing room, but plentiful natural light makes this hue come alive.
Chalky Matt Emulsion | $69.32 / £55 per 2.5L: Morris & Co's Weld Yellow really packs a punch of feel-good sunshine vibes. The shade is inspired by the bright yellow substance of the weld plant. Thanks to the chalky finish this strong and purposeful shade of yellow feels natural and somehow soft. Ideal for welcoming an uplifting glow to living rooms.
Modern Emulsion | $26.09 / £21 per 2.5L: This rich shade of nostalgic yellow has the same warming qualities as mustard yellow, naturally darkened with a touch of black to ensure the pigment stays strong without feeling bright. This deep concentration of color would feel beautifully inviting and intimate in a small living room, creating a cozy aesthetic.
8. Almost black
Black is a brave choice for a living room, but experts agree that it is guaranteed to bring drama and a theatrical quality to a living room. Jewel colors, such as gold, fuchsia, turquoise, and lime will pop against a dark backdrop for a smart, Deco-inspired style. Or, for a more relaxed, boho vibe team that is big in bedroom trends this year, black with soft neutrals, sage greens, and blush pinks with plenty of woven macrame, house plants, and greenery to accessorize.
"Eclectic Boho has been a popular style for a while, and this new look moves the trend for