Stylish Paint Color Ideas for Our Brand New House?

by Jessica
(New York)

How can we make this look stylish?

How can we make this look stylish?


Hi everyone! My husband and I just bought our first home (brand new).

The living room is one of those open concepts, though extremely large, and it flows into the dining room.

We have sage green living room furniture, and gold curtains. The carpets are a smokey gray, if that matters in deciding paint colors - though I'd prefer not to decide colors based on this carpeting as it's throughout the whole house.

I was thinking that I wanted to paint the living room a red/burgundy, but the more I got to thinking about it, the more I started to feel it was probably going to be a huge mistake.

Then I started thinking about maybe painting 2 walls a tan color, and 2 walls red. I just have no clue where to go with this living room - and my furniture (and curtains).

Please help, ANY and ALL suggestions appreciated for living room colors!! THANKS!!

I think I'm OK with the kitchen, I plan on putting in a black and white tile backsplash, painting the kitchen gray, and using my red curtains. I think it'll work.

We have 1 gallon of Ralph Lauren Cranberry paint, so I'm considering painting one wall of the breakfast nook area this color. If not, I'll just paint the whole area gray, and use the Cranberry color for one of the bathrooms. How does this sound?

Sorry about the picture! We haven't moved into the new house yet, so I had to tack up one of the curtains as the rest are in boxes, just to show the color of the curtains for the sake of this photo.

Thanks again!


Jessica, I agree that red might be a mistake for your living room area.

Bold colors like red are best used:

  • in small amounts (accent walls, accessories),

  • in small rooms (e.g. powder room),

  • or in rooms where you don't see much wall space (for example, rooms with lots of large windows and/or lots of wall art or furniture against the walls).

Because of the size of your room, red walls can really overwhelm both you and your living space, fast. And seeing how dark your furniture is, red will make the room color scheme even darker and heavier than it is now.

Burgundy is too heavy for this decor

But I can tell that you really want to use some red in your home. So paint your dining room red instead - it's a great color for an eating area, and it will be striking next to your black/gray/white kitchen. It will also help break up the large open floor into smaller, more manageable spaces that will be easier to decorate and live with.

And I like your idea of using red for painting your main area bathroom and the accent wall in your kitchen (if the kitchen lends itself to an accent wall).

That's how you create a color theme. Then, to reinforce it further, add some red accents to the living room as well (via throw pillows, vases, wall art, etc) - that way the entire floor will have a common thread of red and look connected.

NOTE: if you already have and love Cranberry, use it in the dining room also. In other words, use the same shade of red for painting all the areas you want to paint red (dining room, kitchen accent wall and bathroom). Using different shades will look inconsistent and confusing.

Ok, now what about a tan color you are considering for the living room?

I have to say no to that as well - because next to your furniture and curtains, it just looks drab and dated. Also, you might not like how it transitions to the gray in your kitchen (gray plus tan is not the best color combination, and is often difficult to get right).

Tan looks boring and blah here

So what do I recommend as a living room wall color then? A lighter sage green like SW 6191 Contented, and here's why:

  • it relates to and freshens the color of your sage green furniture, and coordinates with the curtains

  • it looks almost neutral (making it a great choice for large areas), but still adds color and interest to the space

  • it is grayed down, so it will transition well to the gray walls in your kitchen

  • it will be a beautiful backdrop for the red accessories you will add later (because red and green are complements)

Green looks fresh and related

So that's your new color plan now - have fun painting and decorating, and enjoy your new home! :)

Leave a Comment:

I second that
by: Gloria

I like Yelena's suggestion, the green looks very organic.

Paint and curtains
by: Anonymous

I also have sage green furniture and am thinking about almond wall color, but what color curtains do I need?

by: John

Beautiful color.

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