Like fashion color trends, interior design changes are generally a reflection of our reactions to the throbbing of the world around us. In some cases, we embrace the positive by surrounding ourselves with celebratory, bright shades. When we feel a bit stressed or overwhelmed, we may retreat to softer, quieter, calming spaces. Major paint producers such as Benjamin Moore, Behr, and Sherwin Williams track our purchases and then identify emerging trends from that data. For 2014, living room wall color ideas are leaning towards "relaxed luxury" or a more laid-back traditional approach.
Gray is firmly entrenched as the new black and favorite neutral. However, new depth and richness of color allow it to be both elegant and even slightly mysterious. Sherwin Williams offers a full-bodied Library Pewter, dark Sealskin, and softer Anew Gray for stunning living room backdrops. Wool Skein is an interesting combination "greige." Benjamin Moore also has Wickham Gray and Earl Gray to bring to the table, but this company has gone a step further with its own Neutral Palette, a collection of 23 softer shades that will work together for the decorator who is transitioning from room to room.
Today's newest neutrals are grays with pastel tints in blues, greens, pinks, or lavenders added. Before trying one of these, you'll want to determine whether your project calls for warm or cool colors. Warm colors generally suit elegant or traditional settings, while cool colors speak to modernist, playful, or futuristic leanings. Generally, once that decision is made, you'll want to carry it out through most of the house, at least in adjoining hallways and rooms. Pastel grays are on the cooler side of the spectrum.
The advantage of painting today's calmer, muted neutrals on your living room walls is that you can still indulge your love of brighter colors, but in a very controlled way, through accents and accessories. Benjamin Moore's Palladian Blue and Sherwin Williams' Raucous Orange, Houseplant Green, Quixotic Plum, and ShowStopper are just a few tantalizing choices.
Some popular decorating schemes from 2013 will still be popular for living room wall colors in 2014. For example, the natural earthy browns of stones and soil are still favorites. Bringing nature indoors continues to inspire calmness and tranquility. Sherwin Williams has also added some Bohemian colors of the rain forest and ethnic excitement with Arboetum, a deep, dark green; Sunday Afternoon, a feel-good, sunny yellow; and New Shoot, a perky bright green.
White or off-white continues to be the trim of choice for most living room walls. Black along the baseboard definitely makes a statement, but Pantone's Miami Weiss is an adaptable white for many combinations.
Since personal preference is usually a driving force behind any decorating project, don't be afraid to consider other choices for your signature living room. How about bringing the seaside indoors? Natural, light-toned floors and furniture against Pantone's new Ocean Liner Blue living room walls with South Peach accents and Miami Weiss trim will create the perfect blend of energy and peacefulness.
Choosing the right living room wall color could set you on course for the rest of your home makeover. Before you begin, try several shades by painting large enough swatches on your wall to really appreciate each sample. Study your test areas under both natural and artificial light conditions. Once your living room walls have been given new life, you'll be amazed at how easy it is to bring the rest of this important room into its own.
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