5 colors you should never paint your living room – according to interior designers

These tones may excel in other spaces, but they’re to be avoided in your living room, say the experts

neutral living room with pops of color, pale pink walls, chandelier, fireplace, tapestry and velvet sofas and chairs
(Image credit: Future/ Brent Darby)

Your living room is one of the most important spaces in your home – meaning your paint decisions in this room have the potential to elevate your entire home. However, whilst this power has its benefits, it makes it even more vital to get your paint ideas right.

Hues such as green and pink have recently had their moment at the peak of color trends; however, some experts predict that some of these most sought-after living room color schemes should be avoided. 

5 colors you should never paint your living room 

These are the colors that come with caution – so you can ensure your living room remains timeless, welcoming, and stylish for a long time to come.

1. Brown

Small living room with brown and grey color scheme

(Image credit: Paul Raeside / Future)

It is easy to see the appeal behind beige living rooms – but despite its safe versatility, there are some tones that are best left beyond your living room – and this includes brown. 

Designer Nishtha Sadana suggests that a brown living room can 'weigh you down' and give a dingy feel to your space – especially if your room is north facing and preserving light is a problem. 'If you're fond of darker colors, consider a dark blue tone or something in dark teal,' Nishtha suggests instead. These colors will appear bolder and introduce vibrancy into your living room ideas – rather than bringing a dampness to the space. 

2. Blush Pink 

pink living room with white sofa , patterned rug and colourful accessories

(Image credit: Polly Wreford / Claudia Bryant)

Blush Pink was firstly amongst the most popular hues of the recent seasons – but designer Nishtha Dhand suggests that this formally-fashionable hue has no place in (arguably) the most important room of the home. 

'Even though blush pink living room ideas are fragile and calm, it's a big no-no for the living room. It can end up making your living room look too feminine, which therefore is not a great option in the long run,' the expert says. 

If you're aiming for a particularly feminine-chic style, blush pinks may work in your living room, but as the designer suggests, they should be used with caution.

3. Black 

Black living room with white walls and black door and window frames

(Image credit: James Merrell / Future)

While a tinge of black is not always a bad option, 'too much can definitely make your space feel overwhelming and intimidating,' Nishtha Sadana shares. 'Unless you have the size and space for it, don't use black on all the walls of your living room. It can also make your space feel dark, dingy, and dull.' 

4. Moss green 

green painted living room with botanical print sofa and stripy drum side table

(Image credit: Polly Wreford / Kiera Buckley-Jones)

Just as pink sat at the peak of recent color ideas, green was equally sought-after when it comes to living room trends as one of the best colors for a living room if you are looking for a relaxing scheme.

'I will say from a design perspective that colors like moss green, sage green, muddy brown, and aubergine, will not be appealing,' says interior designer Stacy Lewis. The designer shares that her recent client shared that mossy greens and sage make her feel like she’s in a 'dirty aquarium', just like muddy brown. 

'It does make your living room look like it has not been cleaned for more than a year. As for the aubergine paint, I have on good authority to say that it is headache-inducing and not inviting at all' she adds. 

5. Yellow 

living room with yellow walls black sofa and framed portrait and old standard lamp

(Image credit: Brent Darby)

'Yellow is a color that definitely must be avoided in the living room,' Nishtha says. According to the designer, this color can 'overexcite you and overwhelm you', whilst making your room feel uncurated. 'Hence, a big no,' she adds. So, while this tone may seem like an optimistic shade, it may be best to experiment with the hue beyond your main space.

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.