Paint Color Advice for Living Room, Dining Room and Entry?

by Jeanne
(Riverside, CA)

Dining room looking towards the front door entry

Dining room looking towards the front door entry


I just bought a new house along with new furniture. I would like to paint but need help as I want to go with green shades (sage), along with having some accent walls.

The furniture is dark brown with shades of burgundy, so I would like to warm up the room. Possibly a dark green accent wall behind the couch, with light green walls and white trim?

We plan to add crown molding, pull out the carpet and go with wood or slate flooring.

When you walk in, I have an entry way, go left to the hallway, straight to the open dining room, and to the right is our living room. This means paining the entry way, hallway, dining room and living room.


Congratulations on the new home, Jeanne!

I have a few suggestions for you:

You said you'd like to "warm up" the rooms, but sage green will not do that - because it is gray based. It will add some color, but not "warmth".

In fact, without good natural light sage green can look pretty drab, and in your case (lack of light and dark furniture) it can really shift the mood towards the gloomy side.

Besides, all your wooden pieces, leather couch and even your artwork have warm, golden undertones. So in order to bring them out and enhance the warmth of your decor even more, your wall color needs to have a yellow undertone.

Here's a beautiful chartreuse (yellow-green) that will work great in your home: 9027 Pale Moss from Sherwin Williams.

SW 9027 Pale Moss

This interesting chameleon-like color will change with the light, and look more yellow in some areas and more green in others. You'll love watching it shift!

Now if you want to add an accent wall to your living room, it should be the wall with the fireplace. The reason is, that wall is a natural focal point in the room - any other wall with an accent color will only compete for attention and add confusion.

Also, I would paint the accent color just on the upper part of the wall.

I recommend 6423 Ryegrass (Sherwin Williams) as an accent color - it is a lovely green with just a hint of yellow to it.

SW 6423 Ryegrass

It will harmonize with the chartreuse and add some vibrancy to your home color scheme. Here's how they look together:

Let me know what you think!

P.S. The colors may look very different on your monitor, so make sure to see them in person before buying paint for your project.

Leave a Comment:

Response to suggestion
by: Jeanne

Thank you so much! I like the colors you have selected very much but I have a few questions and concerns.

To be honest, the yellow scares me but I am not good with colors so I was somewhat expecting that. I do like the two colors together.

Should I carry these colors throughout the house as I was trying to achieve somewhat of the two-tone look?

Should I stay with the white trim, crown molding, baseboard, & fireplace? We will be replacing the mantel and removing the board which goes the length of the wall, and I am thinking of wainscoating as currently it is painted paneling.

Also, I have concerns because the house and rooms are fairly small. Are these colors dark for small areas?

In regards to accent walls, should there only be the wall above the fireplace or should I do something in the entry way or hallway or bathrooms?

Currently, we are remodeling the guest bath which is at the end of the hallway. Should it be tied into the colors of the hallway?

I could keep going and going because a designer I am definitely not! I appreciate all your help and advice! Thank you!

More suggestions...
by: Yelena


If you are not a fan of yellows, you can try 6407 Ancestral Gold - it's a more subdued, toned down version of Pale Moss and a great alternative.

It's always a good idea to stick to 3-4 colors in your decor, and re-use them throughout your home - that's how you create a theme and continuity. Your colors are: green, gold, orange-red, and brown. I would keep all the woodwork pure white.

Having said that, a bathroom doesn't have to be the same color as the main areas of your house because it's a separate world once you close the door! So pick the wall color based on your bathroom decor (go to "Choosing Paint Colors From Decor" for some examples).

To address your concern about the colors being too dark for your home, I'll send you over to: "Paint Colors for Dark Rooms".

Finally, I saw your entry, dining room and living room and the only appropriate place for an accent wall there is your fireplace wall. As far as the other rooms in your home that are not in the photos, I have no way of knowing if they need one or not, but you can see "Painting Accent Walls" for guidelines on how to choose the right wall to highlight.

Also remember that accent walls are not the only (and not always best) way to spread and repeat the accent colors throughout your house. You should rely mostly on throw pillows, wall art and other home decor pieces to do the job.

P.S. If you are removing the mantel/board, apply the accent color to the entire wall, not just the upper part (unless the bottom is wainscoted, in that case paint it the same white as the rest of your trim).

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