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Is It Okay to Paint Walls Different Colors in the Living Room? If so, How Many is Best?

Living room with carpet flooring and multicolored walls.

It is certainly okay to paint walls in different colors in the living room. I love the various shades’ dynamic finish, making your living room come alive. Whether it is a room with the standard four walls or one with an open plan to include adjacent rooms, there is a style to suit every need.

Even though you can paint all four walls, painting one or three walls presents the best results. Nonetheless, I would go for coloring all the walls if my living room features an open-plan design.  

Painting three walls

Living room with colorful walls and built-in shelves highlighted with yellow hue.

Painting three walls is a lifesaver that can help take attention away from a space’s awkward shape. I love it because it can emphasize an interesting architectural detail while showing off my personality. Besides these, I like putting color on three walls since it lets me combine various interior design elements, such as incorporating an accent wall.

Painting three walls in your living room require perfect coordination to ensure you achieve a seamless finish with an updated and fresh look. It is always best to pick the three colors from the cool or warm palette and even better to use three shades from the same color. For example, using the cool colors in this case, I can paint the three walls in turquoise blue, light blue, and icy blue.

Besides, playing with the shades allow you to paint each wall in one color or create an interesting geometry via lines in the different shades.

If you are adventurous like me, do not be afraid to go outside the box and create a bold look. Our example presents an outstanding accent wall with its bright yellow that adds to the fun and bright overall interior décor. You can also apply an analogous color scheme and paint two to six shades on the wall.

This style lets you create horizontal or vertical designs depending on your preference.

Living room with green wainscoted walls and hardwood floor.

For example, this living room incorporates an analogous design with two shades on one of the walls. This wall features a green hue in the top half, while the bottom section has a lighter shade. I like this style because it delivers a dynamic look that makes it convenient to play around with accessories when finishing the décor.

In addition, it makes painting easier since you can use the two colors to work on all three walls, with one being green, the other being white.  

The accent wall

Living room with a red accent wall and a white brick fireplace.

The accent wall is among my favorite décors since it always gets the conversation going when having guests, regardless of whether it is a hit or a miss. Painting one wall in your living room demands creativity above all skills because you are free to do whatever you want with it. Nonetheless, you want to design a unique look that stands out yet simultaneously blends with your other walls and living room décor.

Our room here shows how you can create a subtle accent wall using the lighter peach shade that combines effortlessly with the surrounding white color. In addition, it incorporates geometric details featuring larger rectangles aligned across its face and smaller, centralized shapes. These designs add uniqueness and give the wandering eye somewhere to pause and admire.  

I support painting your accent wall a bolder shade than the other walls to make it stand out. Here the red paint delivers contrast and balance that instantly grasps your attention without feeling awkward. The shade also blends well with the other lighter shades of the ceiling, walls, and floor to create visual appeal.

Notably, you want to follow the same rule if your accent wall is a part of three painted walls. Using my previous example with the cool blue shades, I would paint the wall turquoise, the darkest of the three hues.

Open-plan walls

Open floor plan with white living room and black kitchen.

I love open-plan living rooms because they offer seemingly endless creative opportunities. It is one of the designs where I believe you should never limit to a single color. This loft-style room features a living room connecting to a kitchen.

It features different colors on all walls, with the main theme being various shades of the color brown.

The wall in front of the sofa features a light brown hue, whereas the one behind it has a darker palette. Additionally, the kitchen wall carries a slightly lighter shade than the front wall in the living room. In contrast, the wall opposite the kitchen has the darkest brown tone that complements the dark brown cabinets.

The kitchen and front living room walls match the tiled floor, whereas the shade behind the sofa blends with the living room table.

Notably, the wall beside the kitchen leading to other rooms has a different shade that combines grey and white. The lighter color complements the brightness of the sofa, cushions, and dining sets while preventing brown monotony around the space.

The fifth wall

Spacious living room with multicolored walls and an orange ceiling.

The fifth wall refers to the ceiling, a section many people often forget when considering painting and decorating homes. Andree Putman once described design saying, “For a house to be successful, the objects in it must communicate with one another, respond to and balance one another.” Forgetting to consider the ceiling means there will always be something missing no matter how remarkably you paint the walls.

The general guideline is to apply the lightest shade of the paint colors if the walls feature lighter shades of one color. In contrast, you can paint it darker, like black or dark grey, if your walls and décor primarily feature a light shade.  

It is okay to paint the living room walls in different colors, with my preference being one to three partitions for the standard space or all walls for an open-plan design. The key to getting it right is being creative, bold, and coordinated to ensure you achieve the perfect color scheme that blends with the rest of the décor.

Regardless of the number of walls you paint and the styles you prefer, it is also always critical to include the often-forgotten wall, the ceiling, for best results.