Colorful living room ideas – 10 vibrant, characterful schemes

1. Choose The Colors You Love

When it comes to family room paint ideas don't be afraid to follow your heart advises Molly Mahon. 'My reaction to color is very instinctive and I allow this instinct to shape my design decisions. I’m very inspired by the creative fearlessness that Vanessa Bell embraced when creating a home at Charleston and I’ve taken this liberating approach in my own home,' says the fabric and wallpaper designer.

2. Get Creative With Paint

Paint is a quick and easy way to create a head-turning look in a living room, but it can also serve as a clever visual device. It's well known that light colors will make small living rooms feel larger and rich, dark colors will help bring the walls in for a cozy feel, but why not team the two for an exciting, bold look?

3. Take Care With Tone

Interior designer Susan Deliss is another champion of decorating with the colors you love. 'Don't pay too much attention to rules about color wheels and pink not going with green or other conventions. Do what pleases you or your client and what suits the property you are working on,' she says.

4. Introduce Colorful Accents

Adding soft furnishings and accessories in bold accent colors is a fabulous way to bring life to a living room decorated in a single color, as demonstrated in this beautiful blue living room by Barlow & Barlow.

5. Make A Lasting Impression With Contrasting Colors

Using a more unusual color pairing in a room will alter the atmosphere in the space, explains interior decorator Nicola Harding, founder of Nicola Harding & Co. ‘The greater the degree of contrast there is, the more drama there is in the room and when there is less contrast, the space is calmer,’ says Nicola. 'As a general rule of thumb, you want to include high contrast when you want a dynamic, high-energy feeling.'

6. Use Pattern As A Starting Point

Pattern plays a leading role in living room schemes designed by Turner Pocock. ‘Our starting point is always a pattern with at least three colors in it,’ explain co-founders Bunny Turner and Emma Pocock. ‘It can be a floral, geometric, ikat or stripe and it can come from something as small as a cushion or a large-scale fabric for a sofa, but it will form the basis of our scheme.'

7. Choose A Colorful Wallpaper

A living room wallpaper is a fabulous way to bring color into a space. A mural or a large-scale design can make a  bold statement but is not for everyone. For something that's easy to live with choose a small-scale repeat design such as the joyful Honeysuckle design from Jane Churchill in this yellow living room idea.

8. Mix And Match Colorful Living Room Furniture

To liven up this wood-clad living room, interior designer Anne Hepfer created a playful focal point with an assortment of living room seating and furniture in contrasting colors, bold prints and sculptural shapes.

9. Bring Softness With Colorful Fabrics

If you love the idea of a colorful living room but are cautious of using flat, bold hues then try decorating with colorful fabrics with small-scale patterns for a softer look.

10. Customize Furniture

Decorative painting on furniture is a big trend right now and we're seeing freehand folksy designs in particular cropping up everywhere. Not only is upcycling furniture a wonderful way to create a unique statement piece for your home but it also saves unwanted furniture going to landfill.

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