Living Room Paint Colors for 2012

Choosing a color scheme for your living room walls may be the most important decision you make when repainting the interior of your home. After all, family members spend a significant amount of waking hours in the space, and guests see more of this area of the house than any other. Choose colors with appropriate associations, then pick a hue fresh to 2012. Benjamin Moore, Sherwin-Williams and Behr all have introduced several exciting color palettes this year. Let's take a look at one from each.

Open Space Living Room with Cream and Blue PaintSense & Sensibility by Benjamin Moore - The color blue sets a serene scene, with different shades eliciting different feelings, from the openness of a sky to the power of the sea. Benjamin Moore's Sense & Sensibility color palette shown in a living room features Montpelier, a refreshingly cool blue that when combined with the warmth of Dunmore Cream creates a calm yet uplifting space. Ballet White covers the trim and other architectural details in the room, providing a crisp and contrasting pop.

Living Space with Burnt Orange Painted WallsHGTV Home Traditional Twist by Sherwin-Williams - For the second year in a row, Sherwin-Williams sponsored the HGTV Green Home. Designed to resemble an early Georgia farmhouse, it features modern amenities, eco-friendly features and the Traditional Twist color palette. One of the living rooms in the home shows Gingery on the walls and Well-Bred Brown on the trim. Orange serves as an inviting color, creating a casual atmosphere despite the boldness of the hue, and Gingery does exactly that.

Plum Painted Room with White AccentsRed Repose by Behr - Red proves as another bold choice for walls, but one a spacious living room can easily handle. In the Red Repose palette, Behr uses a darker shade of red, Deep Garnet, on the walls of a living room. It sets a rich and stately tone that would work well in a Victorian home or with other stately architectural styles. The grayish white of Brook Trout covers a fireplace mantel and trim, while the creamy Canyon Cloud accents other woodwork in the room such as a built-in bookshelf.

When choosing a color scheme for your living room, first decide whether your current furnishings and décor will stay or go. If you plan on keeping signature pieces such as a sofa, you will want to keep its color in mind when making your choices. If you plan to start from scratch, let the paint colors serve as the base for the room and pick pieces to complement.

Head to your area paint or home improvement store next to explore your color options and to gather sample cards. The options will seem endless, but just trust your instincts and pick up as many color palette cards as you like. Once home, tape the different cards to one wall and live with them for a week or so. You can also preview color palettes online at the websites of Benjamin Moore, Sherwin-Williams and Behr.

Once you have your choices narrowed to two or three, bring your professional painter into the project. He or she can apply real samples to the wall so you can see the colors and how they react to the light in the living room throughout the day. Your professional painter also can advise you on choosing colors that allow each room to flow into the next.

For example, if you plan on painting areas adjacent to the living room, you will want the colors to complement each other, especially if they can be seen from room to room. Whatever you do, don't rush your decision. Live with the samples as long as necessary and involve the entire family in the process. After all, they will spend just as much time as you looking at the walls and should feel comfortable with the choices.

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