Living room paint ideas: easy ways to transform a space with just a few coats of paint

living room with blue wall white sofa with designed cushions and white round table

Nothing beats a clever living room paint scheme when it comes to quick updates. Paint can be used to cover up a mess, redo a room or create a clever trick.

You can update your ideas for living rooms with paint in many ways, whether you want to go bold and bright, or neutral and calm.

living room with blue wall white sofa with designed cushions and white round table

Instead of painting an entire wall with metallic or textured paint, stencil the paint in squares, circles, or stripes onto a base colour for added drama and interest. Paint the wall behind a focal point in your room, such as a sofa, desk or other furniture. This is a great way to create different zones.

Consider painting the skirting boards, window frames, and door frames the same colour as the walls to add a simple, yet stylish touch to your living room.

Living room paint ideas

Not sure where to start? These easy living room painting ideas are suitable for people of all abilities. From easy Paint Ideas which can be completed in just a few hours, to room updates which can be accomplished over the weekend… grab a paintbrush and a roller!

1. Add bold blocks of color

white living room with paint block wall and open shelf unit

Living room paint ideas can be a great way to create a focal point in rooms without having to spend money or time on structural work. Paint can be used as a trick to draw attention to certain areas, or to create faux architectural detail to give a plain space extra oomph.

In a plain living space, paint a large block of colour to create feature wall ideas. Open shelving, adorned with art, greenery, and decorative items, can be styled with a simple panel painted a contrast colour to create a colourful backdrop. Choose an arrangement that is off-centre to add visual interest. Fill in the empty wall space by hanging artwork and plants.


2. Half-painted walls are a great way to add color

living room with yellow and white half painted wall

Paint walls with a half and half paint treatment to give white room ideas an instant colour boost. Painting only the lower part of the walls is less work than painting the entire room. It also allows you to introduce a brighter, warmer or more dramatic color into your scheme, without overwhelming it.

Paint the lower wall section in the darker “hero” colour to help ground the scheme. It also provides a contrast background for furniture such as a sideboard or sofa. A lighter color at the top can help create a feeling of height which is great for ideas for small living rooms.

Hanging artworks that cross the paint line will make the paint look intentional and as part of a carefully thought-out scheme. Mix and match frames for visual variety. Choose colours that complement soft furnishings and furniture.


3. Chalkboards are a great way to get creative

living room with black chalkboard wall and armchair

Paint a feature wall or panel in a playroom or family den with black chalkboard. This will allow children to express themselves with drawings and doodles, or it can be used in a family study space or WFH area as a large memo board with notes and reminders.


4. To create a chic style, try tonal stripes

pink and white living room with alcove shelving

Paint the alcoves in your living room a vibrant color to make them stand out. Art and ornaments will ‘pop’ when displayed against a darker or lighter background.

Try painting the alcoves with a mixture of tonal colors, from dark to lighter for a fun effect. Try mixing up the colours with a variety of squares to create a patchwork look.


5. Create a stunning diagonal design

retro living room with diagonal paint effect in yellow and grey

Paint feature walls with bold diagonal blocks of color to create a mid-century modern vibe. Choose colours that complement furniture and soft furnishings for a retro scheme.

Choose just one or even two colours that contrast, and limit the color to one corner. Painter’s tape can be used to create diagonal lines with a sharp edge. Start with the longest line and create a second colour area from there. For added impact, you could also paint a section on the ceiling with your chosen colour.


6. Add edge to your blocks by combining them with stripes

yellow and black stripe living area with desk

A bold colour block can be used to highlight a WFH or brighten a dull corner in the living room. Start with a midtoned color and paint a large panel that will act as the backdrop to a desk or other large piece of furniture. Add a second, narrower stripe in contrasting colour to the adjacent corner for more definition. Try adding a crisp white border around each colour block to give it an extra impact.

As shown in the image above, a bold navy can be paired with neutral living room designs.


7. Colour blocking can be used to break up walls

living room with blue wall white sofa with designed cushions and white round table

Use a palette of tones separated by a border of white to create a wall with uplifting colours. Use blocks of pastel green and blue to create height in the room. Divide the space with a white stripe that is off-centre.

Use of white as a dividing line reflects the skirting board and ceiling to create a frame in colour that makes the colored blocks seem more striking.

Co-ordinate the look by using matching accessories and soft furnishings. Select a colour scheme that suits your personal taste to create a unique look for your home.


8. Turn an empty fireplace into a beautiful focal point

yellow wall empty fireplace with candles

Why not add a splashes of colour to your fireplace if it is only ornamental and not functional?

This vibrant backdrop is perfect for displaying a variety of home accessories from photo frames to candles. The yellow accent color is used to match the fireplace and the wall colour in this stylish living room.


9. Accent colours can be used to highlight certain features

blue wall wooden sideboard with plants and books on

Instead of trying to cover up features, highlight them. A border in an accent color will bring attention to beautiful period features such as door frames, skirting board and picture rails. Selecting key architectural features can add depth and interest to your living space.

You can fake features even if your space lacks them. No skirting board? Paint a feature in two tones on the wall and you will create the illusion that it is there.

What are the colours of the moment for living rooms?

grey room ideas remain the most popular choice for mainstream colours. Grey has replaced cream and beige as the most popular neutral colour for modern homes.

The most popular colors are dark, brooding shades of blue. Instagram allows us to see what’s trending in other people’s homes. This gives homeowners the confidence to choose bolder colours. The most fashionable colour to decorate living rooms in 2021 is a rich navy.

What colour will you use in your next decorating scheme?