Skip to Content

White VS Colored Walls: Which Is Better For Your Living Room?

Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Deciding how you want to decorate your home can sometimes seem impossible. Do you want to keep your living room walls simple and white, or try something more colorful? Is it better to have white walls in the living room? We will cover these questions and many more below. Let's dive in!

In general, it's easier to decorate your living room if the walls are white. However, that's not to say your living room always needs to have white, plain wall paint.

For example, if you prefer a blue aesthetic, we don't see any issue with painting your walls a similar hue to your decor.

The same goes for any other color, so this comes down to your taste.

As we begin, we will cover all things living rooms and discuss whether white walls are better than colorful ones. If you're planning a renovation or want to freshen up your paint, you've come to the right place. With that said, let's get right into this topic!

Interior of an elegant and narrow white living room, white sofa and a small white TV accent chest, White VS Colored Walls: Which Is Better For Your Living Room?

What Color Should My Living Room Walls Be?

Depending on your style, the walls in the living room can be whatever color you like. As we mentioned, keeping your walls white will make decorating easier, but you don't have to follow this suggestion.

Most times, new homes will have white walls in every room. That is because many people consider white a clean, "new" color desirable to many home buyers.

On top of that fresh aesthetic, white living room walls give you more freedom with your furniture, decor, and finishes.

For example, if your living room walls are white, you can have a hot pink sofa and similar colored artwork without overdoing it.

In contrast, choosing simple, neutral furnishings/decor may be best if your living room walls are pink.

Again, this all comes down to you and the space you're working with, so everyone is different.

Should The Walls In A Living Room Be Light Or Dark?

For those wondering whether the walls in their living room need to be light or dark: assess your space. Generally, smaller living rooms can benefit from light wall paint, as it opens them up.

On top of that, using white or soft wall paint in a smaller room with low ceilings can make it feel a bit bigger than it is. Not only is that good for you, but also resale value.

However, that's not to say you can't use darker hues either. In general, if your living room is bigger and has high ceilings, deeper, richer wall paint can make it feel cozier.

Sometimes, having a massive living room can make you feel like it isn't welcoming. Even buying large furniture and decor isn't always enough to fill the space; in that case, you can try darker walls.

It's also a good plan to assess the windows in your living room before choosing a paint color.

If you have big windows that let in plenty of light, you have more flexibility with your wall color. If you don't have much natural light and don't want your space to feel like a bunker, we recommend going lighter in hue.

Remember, even soft neutral tones will give your living space a bigger, more open feel, so white isn't the only option.

White VS Colorful Living Room Walls

Now that you have an idea of what the pros and cons are of having white versus colorful living room walls, let's take a look at some examples below:

Living Room 1 - White Walls

Modern city apartment on the top floor transformed with white walls

First, you can see how this living room went with the white walls and ceiling. As we mentioned, keeping your paint white for the living room will give it a new feeling, which is the case here.

Additionally, the subtle pops of green, pink, and gold tie the space together nicely without doing too much. If you want your living room to feel modern and upscale, this is certainly an idea to try.

Living Room 1 - Green Walls

Modern city apartment on the top floor transformed with army green walls

Switching it up, we have the same room with green painted walls. Although this room doesn't have entirely green walls and ceilings, the accents make a big impression.

Between this and the white design above, we would say that this living area doesn't like quite as chic but does have more character.

It's also worth noting that even with the green walls, this design still works with neutral furniture, so that's a good place to start in your design regardless.

Living Room 2 - White Walls

Luxurious condo unit transformed with white walls

Next, we have a chic, modern living room with soft white wall paint. Here you can see how the softer, almost marshmallow hue reflects light from the windows, which looks great.

Even though this is a smaller room, you wouldn't know because of the light and openness the design gives it. Furthermore, the warmer sofa, accent chair, and rug help this room to be more welcoming, so that's a good idea for your space.

Living Room 2 - Grey Walls

Luxurious condo unit transformed with light gray walls

Switching gears, we can now see what this room looks like with grey wall paint. Even though grey isn't a far choice from white, it can make a huge difference.

Most importantly, the darker hue of this paint makes the living space feel a bit smaller. If you don't mind that, we say go for it, but the white looks more fresh and welcoming between the two.

Living Room 3 - White Walls

Small cozy living room with fireplace and lake view.

Another living room with white walls we have is this modern, cozy design. Like our previous example, this space is also on the smaller side.

For that reason, the white walls and light furniture help to make this living room feel more open-concept. Also, the sheer curtains allow light into the living area while being chic, so that's an idea to try in your home.

Living Room 3 - Aquamarine Walls

Small cozy beach side living room transformed with teal walls

Here, you can see what this same living room would look like with colorful greenish/blue walls.

Surprisingly, this aquamarine shade doesn't make the room feel smaller but instead fits in with the outside environment, so we like it.

Although this could go wrong quickly, with the neutral furnishings, the brighter walls look elegant. So, keep your decor and furniture simple if you want to do something similar in your living room.

Living Room 4 - White Walls

Traditional luxurious American home transformed with white walls

Fourth, we have a more open-concept living room that transitions into the kitchen. Here you can see how the ceilings are low, but the white walls and finishes help add height through optical illusion.

Also, the simple white walls allow for more fun with the accessories, like the pillows, plants, and artwork. Sometimes, when you have a lot of furniture, it's better to keep everything cohesive and similar in tone.

Living Room 4 - Grey Walls

Traditional luxurious American home transformed with charcoal gray walls

Moving to a darker color, you can now see what this same living room looks like with grey walls. Like our other example, the more severe grey paint does make this living area feel smaller.

Especially considering that the kitchen, dining room, and living room share common air space, it's not always a good idea to throw in deeper wall color.

So between the two, it is better to stick with light, white paint.

Living Room 5 - White Walls

Next, we have a modern, elegant living space with somewhat high ceilings. In this room, you can see how the white walls give it an open feeling and allow for some fun with the artwork and patterns.

Specifically, the gold accents throughout the room add some warmth to it, and the blue abstract wall art above the sofa. The patterned rug is another nice touch, which helps break up all the white.

Living Room 5 - Blue Walls

Old beige living room transformed with powder blue walls

Adding some color, you can see what this same space will look like with blue wall paint. Although blue walls don't typically come to mind, they work very well in this living room.

The wall paint matches the artwork, creating a cohesive design for the space. Also, this lighter shade of blue doesn't make the room feel or look smaller, so that's a great option for those wanting some vibrance.

As we covered, it's not always the color that matters; it's the shade.

Living Room 6 - White Walls

Cozy small living room transformed with white walls

Sixth, we have a tiny living room with white walls and plenty of windows. Following a blue theme, this space uses shades of blue in the artwork and tiling, as well as grey.

Generally, blue and grey work well together, so this room is no exception. One thing to point out is the white walls reflect the natural light from the many windows.

This can help open your living room up, even if it's on the smaller side.

Living Room 6 - Green Walls

Cozy small living room transformed with sage green walls

Changing hues, you can see how this space looks with green walls. Even though the green is deeper in tone than the white example, it still helps reflect light and open the room up.

Typically, lighter shades of vibrant colors will still do a nice job of brightening a living room, so feel free to experiment with your design.

In addition, the light-colored chairs, sofa, and coffee table work nicely with the mixture of hues, so you may want to keep your big furnishings neutral.

Living Room 7 - White Walls

Cozy small living room transformed with white walls

Seventh, we have a square-shaped, mid-level ceiling living room with white walls. In this space, the white walls are a bit warmer, which helps add life to the room.

Furthermore, the similar tone seating pairs perfectly with the wall paint and gives the room more character.

You can see how this designer chose to have the brick fireplace be the centerpiece of the room while adding subtle pops of color around it.

Living Room 7 - Blue Walls

Old English Living room transformed with navy blue walls

For fans of blue, we have another rendering of what this space would look like with more colorful walls. Although blue and brick features can sometimes work, this paint is a bit dark for the room.

Instead, we recommend going up a few shades for your design, which should give everything a more cohesive, airy appearance.

Living Room 8 - White Walls

Country garden house with fireplace with white walls

Next, we have a modern, cozy living room with plenty of character. Although the space is small, you can see how the white walls and light furniture help open it up quite a bit.

Another thing to note, the wooden tables and brown pillows bring warmth into this design, all without overpowering the softer cream furniture.

The tree also brings a natural touch to the living space, so it's all in the details here.

Living Room 8 - Pink Walls

Country garden house with fireplace transformed with peach walls

Switching gears, we now have the same design but with blush-colored pink walls. Generally, gold and pink look great together, which applies here.

However, we aren't sure about the brown and pink color palettes clashing, so you may want to swap the tables and pillows for something lighter and more neutral.

Even throwing a few pink pillows on the couch could help bring everything together, so that's an idea.

Living Room 9 - White Walls

Interior of a living room transformed with white walls

Another living room we have is this narrow, modern option with warmer white wall paint. As we mentioned, warmer white for your living room walls can make your space feel cozier.

Additionally, the tan sofa, TV table, and accent chair follow a similar theme, creating cohesiveness. The black and gold coffee tables are also a standout and, although striking, isn't distracting.

Living Room 9 - Blue Walls

Interior of a living room transformed with powder blue walls

Changing aesthetics, we can now see this same room with blue walls. Even though the paint here isn't dark, it isn't super light either, which adds some drama to the space.

Furthermore, the blue and gold pair nicely in this living room, so we think this is a great idea to consider.

With that said, you could try swapping the coffee tables out for a lighter color and removing the brown/orange leather pillows, so that's something to think about.

Living Room 10 - White Walls

Traditional living room combined with a laundry area, white walls

Coming in at ten, we have this unusually shaped living area with white walls. Although this room has a unique design, the white walls and warm furniture make it feel inviting.

Sometimes, modern spaces lose that "homey" feel, so it's nice this design went with warm-tone accessories. Specifically, the rug, blanket, pillows, and decor stand out here.

Living Room 10 - Grey Walls

Traditional living room combined with a laundry area

Changing hues, you now see what this living space looks like with grey wall paint. Here is a prime example of using light shades of serious colors successfully.

Even though the grey is modern and cooler tone, it still looks great with the warmer decor. Between the two rooms, either will work nicely for this aesthetic, so it's up to you.

Living Room 11 - White Walls

Apartment living room with minimal decor transformed with white walls

Next, we have a squared-off living room with white walls and light furnishings. Like many of these rooms, you can see how white wall paint tends to be the default for modern designs.

The lighter cream sofa compliments the white walls nicely while adding some much-needed warmth—the same applies to the wooden TV table, which although a standout, still looks cohesive.

Living Room 11 - Tan Walls

Apartment living room with minimal decor transformed with beige or cream walls

Making a subtle change, you can now see what this room looks like with tan walls. Considering this isn't a dramatic difference, we think either option will work nicely with the furniture.

Here, the cream sofa is a step lighter than the walls, adding variety. The off-white rug also works great in this design, so tan paint may be the perfect alternative if you prefer something warmer.

Living Room 12 - White Walls

Combined small dining and living room area tranformed with white walls

Lastly, we have a bright, airy living space with white walls. Like many of our rooms with big windows, using white wall paint can help reflect the natural light throughout an area.

The white sofa looks chic here and matches the walls almost perfectly. The hints of green and tan also give this room character, so a bit of color never hurts.

Living Room 12 - Yellow Walls

Combined small dining and living room area tranformed with cream walls

Now let's see this same space with yellow walls. Although this lighter hue might have looked nice in this space, with the current furniture, it doesn't fit in.

Considering the furnishings and decor are all relatively modern, classic yellow paint doesn't create a cohesive final look. Gold finishes and yellow also don't usually mix, so this isn't the best design of the two.

To Wrap It Up

Interior of an elegant and narrow white living room, white sofa and a small white TV accent chest

Whether you have a living room in need of some TLC or want to choose new paint for the upcoming season, knowing how to do this is essential. From what we found, white walls tend to be best for the living room but aren't always the only option.

As we covered, there are endless possibilities for your living space, whether it's blue walls, pink walls, or even green walls. Remember, everyone's taste is different.

Made it to the end? Check out these helpful related posts below!

27 Awesome Beige Living Room Ideas

How To Decorate A Ledge In The Living Room

How To Decorate A Living Room With A Fireplace In The Middle