Karen, a reader from sunny California has a dilemma. She wrote, “My living room is so blah and I don’t know which direction to take the wall color. The sofas are a soft green, the art and rug also have that sage green in them. Do I paint the walls more green or should I try something different?”
THE CURRENT ROOM
Karen, thanks for sending the photo of your room – it helps to visualize your style and the current colors.
It looks like Karen currently has a light beige or taupe on her walls (those colors often read a little pink in photos). This traditional room can sure use a little spice. To help you all visualize the possibilities, I have used my art program to show what happens to a room with just a little change of wall color.
WALL COLOR OPTIONS
The first option shows a sage wall color which would make for a very monochromatic room. It appears the rug is a little darker than the sofa fabric so consider painting the walls that color or one shade darker for drama, one shade lighter for calm and serene. One thing we don’t know is how much light the room gets and that would certainly impact how dark you might like to go in the room.
Try a warm golden color to play off the greens and warm the room up. Stay with a greyed down, duller gold, nothing too bright. Notice how the artwork now has more importance. I might suggest changing out a couple of the sofa pillows to a fabric that includes the rich gold and maybe a hint of another accent color (red or orange or something warm).
A last, bolder option would be to paint the room a contrasting color for maximum drama and energy. The complementary color for green is red, but that would probably be too bold – take a duller version and use a rust tone. The greens will really take on new life against their complement.
Karen, as you contemplate these options, there are a couple other things to keep in mind. This room seems fairly self contained, however you should always consider the colors in the surrounding rooms. Integrate your new color carefully.
If you decide on one of the bolder options, pull the new color into the adjoining rooms with accessories – a few candles, a vase, a piece of art. It will help the house feel more cohesive.
Use your window treatments to reinforce your wall color. Either pick a pattern that incorporates the green and the new color or pick a softer version of the wall color. If the room doesn’t get much light, use sheers to let as much light in as possible. Or, if you want to really have a cozy, intimate space, choose a darker tone, use rich, heavy draperies (which would fit your traditional style) and really snuggle in to your new space.