Help Selecting Paint Colors For Living Room — Good Question Apartment Therapy

Help Selecting Paint Colors For Living Room — Good Question Apartment Therapy

Help Selecting Paint Colors For Living Room?

Q: We just bought a home we fell in love with in Reston, VA, and are now having a difficult time working with the endless possibilities of this dining/living room area just off the kitchen. We are keeping the dark hardwood, and love the brick fireplace and really want to incorporate that as the homey feature of the home — but we are absolutely stumped! We have green sofa and green-tiled dining table (green comparable to rain forest- dark green) which we would like to use in this space. What is the best paint color for the wall behind the fireplace, and the 2 walls adjacent to the fireplace?

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I’d choose a blue colour of some kind. It’s difficult to be more precise whith such a small photograph. How bright is the room and what kind of light does it get?

You could try a light (but not to pastel-y) yellow, tan, or light grey. Our living room is a light yellow, Valspar Spun Honey, and I love it. Plus it looks good with pretty much every color.

Not yellow. I’d paint most of the room neutral with something reddish brown on the brick wall. Or pick up one of the accent colors on the fireplace for that wall and painter a lighter version of it on the other walls. With your green furnishings I would avoid too bright or dark colors as they’ll compete.

I think a light gray would look really great. If you pick a warm tone it will look wonderful with your floors and fireplace and it is neutral enough to go with the green.

Have a look at this color:

www.younghouselove.com/2011/01/workin-nine-to-um-nine/

I would definitely tone it down with a very pale, neutral grey/beige — something along the lines of Balboa Mist by Benjamin Moore. Keep all baseboards/woodwork white.

If you are daring, that fireplace would look smashing painted white!

Accessorize with different shades of green — chartreuse, forest green, teal, etc to tie back to your existing furniture.

Add natural elements like a sisal rug to tie back into the neutral wall color.

See that indigo blue on your countertop tilework?

That, or a shade lighter, would be a great color and go with your brown floors, brick red fireplace and green sofas.

just make sure that everything else in the space is in one of those 4 colors or white to remain cohesive.

Whatever you do — don’t select a green as they don’t mix well.

You’ve got to decide what you want to showcase. The green sofa/tile and brick red are complimentary colors that can be a good foundation. I would probably do something more neutral on the walls and add some interest with your accents. This room could handle some pattern. Your best bet, find something with some pattern-rug, drapes, pillows, art—whatever and go from there. Whatever neutral background is in any of those would be a good place to go with wall color. How dark you want to go depends on sun exposure and what you decide to do on the floor. I have good luck with Benjamin Moore Historical colors. Just be prepared to do some serious priming because that yellow will be tough to cover.

I think that Canyon Echo by Glidden would look lovely. It’s a warm grey but a very light grey. I searched for the perfect grey for months and that’s what I finally settled on. You can see it in the photos here. I’d say the bottom photo is the most true:

operation-paper-cut.blogspot.com/2011/01/living-room-switcheroo.html

Anyway, I think this color would work because of the warm undertones- it wouldn’t compete with the floor or fireplace.

Although, if you chose the right pale blue, it would look lovely, too.

I would try to avoid colors with green undertones, which most greys seem to have.

I’d also avoid anything too bold- you have a lot of richness already and I think that anything dark or saturated would be chaos.

Good luck!

second the vote for warm gray. green walls and green furniture doesn’t sound good and indigo blue walls with green furniture sounds awful. If you like green furniture and a calm, soothing interior, I think a warm gray will be up your alley. then you can add pops of orange and red in pillows/throws/lamps and bring a little spunk in.

I’d dry wall/skim that ceiling too if you can afford it.


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