You should never paint your living room this color, according to a psychologist

Your choice of hue impacts your wellbeing – here's how to get it right, in the most sociable room of your home

Crimson painted living room with large book case and sofa
(Image credit: Future / Davide Lovatti)

With an endless choice of paint ideas, the question of color remains a provocative discussion point amongst designers. Naturally, the debate of the perfect paint color changes with the seasons, and trending tones come and go – but according to color psychologists, some shades should be avoided. 

As the most sociable room in your home, your living room may be the first place you may look to experiment with the latest paint trends

However, Psychologist and Wellbeing Consultant Lee Chambers warns against bringing one of the year's most sought-after hues into your living space. Here, Lee reveals his living room paint ideas – and what you need to avoid before picking up the paintbrush. 

Crimson painted living space with blue soft furnishings

(Image credit: Future / Emma Lewis)

The color you should never paint your room – according to psychology 

'Our living room often has multiple uses, and in my experience, the worst color to have emblazoned across your living room is crimson,' Lee begins. 

In all its vivid glory, red is easy to love. However, Lee suggests that increased exposure to this shade may be leaving you feeling more agitated – and less at ease. 

'While red as a color promotes energy and social interaction, being in such an intense color for long periods of time can make us irritable, more aggressive, less relaxed, and even increases your heart rate,' he says.

Crimson living room with coffee table and large rug

(Image credit: Future / Emma Lewis)

'As we look to cultivate a space for us to live and restore ourselves in, crimson can literally keep us on high alert and can leave us feeling unsettled, rather than being at peace and feeling restful.'

Plus, Lee is not exclusive in his observation. According to Color Psychologist from EZ Living, Helen O'Keeffe, 'deep red hues are associated with passion and energy, whereas cool blue shades are considered calming and serene.' 

Therefore, Helen suggests bringing this intense tone into your home office or another creative space, where it can 'raise the room's energy' and fuel productivity. 

Dark crimson living room with monochromatic fireplace

(Image credit: Future / Davide Lovatti)

So, which color should you look for instead? If you're looking to lick your living room walls, Martin Waller, Founder of design brand Andrew Martin, recommends looking towards more muted hues that will make the space feel more therapeutic. 

In his investigation of paint ideas for every room, Martin notes that he understands the attraction of a bold shade that 'adds excitement and fun,' but instead recommends choosing a classic white paint that will create an inviting space that will accentuate other elements in the room. 

'There's a sanctuary to be found in a pure white scheme. Do not underestimate the absence of color, too,' he says. 

White living room ideas with Scandi interior

(Image credit: Future / Jon Day)

Is the secret to a calming living room found in avoiding red and indulging in white? This is the easy paint idea we're getting behind as we speak.

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.