You are here:

Decorating & Furniture/Paint color for living room


Hi.  I have a living room 14 by 14 with white walls and ceiling and brown paneling about 2 foot on the bottom of the walls.  I have a new living room suite of red suede furntiture with shipping crates and black tv stand. the rug is black, beige, white cream and maroon with maroon curtains.  I want to brighten the room with paint on the top wall.  What color choice would work best. It is open to the kitchen that has pumpkin spice and brown and darkens the whole area.  I was thinking a butter cream color but am not sure.  The furnishings and décor is beautiful but on cloudy days it is so dark.


Hi Elizabeth,

Thanks for selecting me to answer your question about Home Decor.  

Your living room size is large, which is a good thing.  First and foremost, I must comment on the brown paneling.  Were I to help decorate your house, I would paint that wood and the wall above it in the same color. The dark brown causes much contrast between the bottom and top of the wall space.  If you like some amount of contrast, paint the lower portion a darker shade and the wall above it a paler shade of the same color.  

Secondly, with red suede furniture and it's my opinion that the maroon curtains are probably fighting for dominance in the red family.  My recommendation is to switch those out for something with "less" color (i.e., cream white or a soft grey) which would make the room more coordinated and less jarring to the eye.  Keep the rug, but allow that to be the only area with maroon.  (It will blend in more with the red.)

Since your living room is open to the kitchen, my advice is to coordinate the colors as best you can between the two spaces, carrying one primary color way into both rooms.

My recommendations are:  Paint the LR walls and paneling in a cream white or a soft grey.  (See my note above please.)  Then pull that cream or grey into the kitchen area, toning down the browns.  Add some red (like your furniture) into the kitchen in vases or in some small, but significant way.  

By following these steps, you will have a more coordinated space that will be brighter on cloudy days and even more beautiful!


Decorating & Furniture

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Jennifer Taylor Wojcik


Visit my web site at: Decor: I've written about it, planned it, designed it and colored it, and I've never stopped loving it. It's not what you spend, or who made it, it's how it makes you feel.


College, advertising, public relations, marketing, free-lance writing and a plethora of creative endeavors have led me here. As an entrepreneur in decorative product design, I learned the hard way how tough it can be to be in business for yourself. A stint at a law firm taught me humility too. Some three thousand questions ago, I wondered if I could really help. Obviously, I'm still here and still taking your questions. God Bless You!

"From Day One" and "Day After Day" available nationwide via bookstores and HTTP:// (HomeStyle articles beginning in 1998) Visit me at

BA, Psychology

©2017 All rights reserved.