It’s the hard-working hub of your home; living room, playroom, TV den, hang out and, more often than not, the place where we literally collapse at the end of the day for some much needed down time. For this reason alone, furnishing your lounge in relaxing colours will take you from stressed to sublime in seconds. But what living room colours should you pick? Forget everything you’ve heard about only using soft pastels when choosing colours for your lounge. We have a few ideas on lounge colours that will make for an inviting and relaxing space.
What are the most relaxing colours?
The key to picking a calming colour is it needs to be something that makes you immediately unwind. Relaxing colours are often those that make your living room feel warm and cosy, but they can just as easily be fresh and revitalising. Let us break it down for you with some of the most popular.
According to Feng Shui, blues can reduce blood pressure and lower your heart rate. It’s the colour of the sea and sky. It’s all around us in nature and it can therefore feel particularly grounding. It’s a soothing tone that reduces tension. Watery hues and mid-tones are particularly calming.
When Pantone released their colours of the year and one of them was kale, we knew that green was the sheen to be seen with. Anything that gives you the feeling of really being immersed in nature is a good thing. Think about how you feel when you’ve been cooped up all day and you finally get outside, or when you sit down on a park bench.
PINKS & PURPLES
Sounds like something that’s going to be hard to sign-off with any men in the house, right? Well here’s your sell-in. Rose quartz was last year’s Pantone colour of the year and it’s cemented itself as a great ‘neutral’, partly due to its chalky appearance and greyed-off hue. Accessorized with silvery grey, black and white, it is calmingly gender neutral. Same goes for purples when it comes to cosy living room colours. A lilac is the acceptable shade of calm but we urge you do go a little darker. Amethyst can turn your lounge into a den and works well as a warm living room colour – a place to snuggle. Give in to the warmth and comfort it embodies.
The Scandi influence has cemented white as the ‘colour’ of calm. Its objective as a blank canvas shouldn’t be underestimated as it almost fades to the background allowing other tones to becomes the focus of your ‘happy’. These could be brights which you love and are immediately uplifting without being overpowering as they don’t have to battle with your walls. But if you want to stay true to the Scandi vibe and the calm it embodies, accessorise your white with natural, neutral tones, greys (from dove to charcoal) and black.
Grey has shrugged off its reputation as cold to become the colour of calm. It’s principles as a new neutral means it works well with existing furnishings. The paler end of the spectrum and its relaxing colours promote serenity and a general feeling of content. Mid-tones help you feel solid, grounded and with a general sense of peace. And darker hues can create a comforting, womb-like atmosphere; a place to hunker down and feel protected.
What are the best living room colour schemes?
If you’ve chosen to angle your living room wall colours towards the neutral (and we’re talking about whites and greys here), the world is your oyster in terms of complimentary colour ideas. Using ‘real’ colour on your walls requires a little more forethought. Look at the walls as your base, or canvas, and layer on furniture, soft furnishings and accessories to show off your lounge in its best light.
Here’s an example of how you can tackle the space. Let’s imagine you’ve picked a watery teal-blue for your walls. Teal looks great with chocolate brown and garnet red; really make it sing with a highlight colour of, say, orange. So, you could select a mocha coloured sofa, a mixture of pale blue and mid-red coloured cushions and throws, together with some dark wood storage (TV units, bookcases and the like). Your highlight colour is a just that: a hint. So pick an ornament, a vase, just to give the room a bit of pop. This highlight could even be one of the colours incorporated into the design of a rug.
Below is a list to give you a steer on successful colour combinations for the colour groups we mentioned earlier:
BASE COLOUR (your walls): blues
COMPLIMENTARY COLOURS (soft furnishings): browns (from chocolate to latte), reds
HIGHLIGHT (accessories): silver, oranges
BASE COLOUR: greens
COMPLIMENTARY COLOURS: pinks (from fuchsia to powder), yellows
HIGHLIGHT: gold/copper, oranges
BASE COLOUR: pinks & purples
COMPLIMENTARY COLOURS: oranges, taupes/greys, monochrome pattern
HIGHLIGHT: gold, jewel-like blues
Our top tip is to get in-store, select a few things, arrange them on a sofa in the showroom (if you’re not getting a new sofa, find one that is the same colour and tone as your existing one) and have a play around. This is the best way to get a feel for your furnishings and to grow your confidence with colour.
One of the most popular colour choices for a sofa is brown. It’s no surprise when it’s a neutral, far from offensive, easily fits into an existing colour scheme, versatile should you choose to redecorate and, maybe most becoming of all, very forgiving when it comes to spillages and stains. Teal, duck egg blue, neutrals (beige, taupe), reds and oranges all work well as living room colours that work with a brown sofa.
But if you’re looking to give a real focal point to your room, a sofa which packs a weightier punch in the colour department could be just the oomph to lift your mood. An emerald green velvet sofa taking centre stage in a pale rose quartz painted room is a thing of beauty, projecting confidence, unique style and statement-led living.
If you’re always reaching for the neutrals when it comes to paint colours, a colourful sofa can give your room impact. Think of a burnt orange sofa against a canvas of dark stone coloured walls; a red sofa against pigeon grey; deep purple against a pebble. Tempering colour against a neutral base is extremely relaxing, as well as striking.
Once you let colour into your home, you’ll wonder how you lived without it.