What colors should I paint my living room…

painting your home

…to make it brighter? 5 space-boosting colors, as chosen by designers

Jennifer Ebert, March 16th, 2023

These are the paint colors to choose for small, cramped, and dark living room spaces – plus expert tips on how to use them for the best effect.

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Finding the right color to paint a living room to make it brighter and lighter is a design challenge worth taking on. The power of paint and color is enormous, and getting it wrong or right could mean the difference between a restful or gloomy room. 

All it takes is a living room paint refresh to drastically change the look and feel of a space, and it should be the first course of action you take if your dark living room is feeling cramped or claustrophobic. While you can change the direct light source, the room’s color palette can still sway the overall aesthetic. 

Choosing which paint color to decorate with for any room color ideas can be a daunting process as there are so many to choose from, but becoming your own color consultant is easier than you think, and we are on hand to help inspire you with a range of paint ideas to make your living room look brighter. 

What color should I paint my living room to make it brighter?

Getting the color right in a living room can be a tricky business. Even with all their experience, it can take time for professionals to make a decision. There is a lot to consider if you want to brighten a room – the size and shape of the space, the available natural light, and its direction, who it is for, how the color makes you feel, etc. 

Here interior designers, decorators, and color psychologists reveal what the worst colors to paint a room are, and how to approach choosing paint ideas for room color schemes that truly sing, from using the color wheel to help you avoid making disastrous color mistakes to finding paint colors that will make you feel happier at home.


Limewash paint gives a room such a special feeling that you experience as soon as you step into it. It doesn’t have a flat color, like normal paint, and so the light seems to dance across the walls, making a space feel brighter in an instant.