Here's how to choose a timeless hue for a space that does it all.
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Choosing the perfect paint color for your living room means selecting a shade that's adaptable and timeless but also shows off your style and personality. "Often a hub of the home, living rooms tend to connect multiple rooms," says Arianna Cesa, associate manager of color marketing and development at Benjamin Moore. "Choosing a versatile color is always a great option, because it gives you more flexibility in selecting the colors for the adjoining rooms." This practical approach is also trending—neutrals will dominate in this heart-of-the-home space come 2022, note our experts. Ahead, how to play with these calm, grounding tones in your living room next year.

living room of kristen blazek family home
Credit: Courtesy of @virtuallyherestudios

Trend towards warm neutrals.

Neutral white, ivory, and beige are classic living room tones that connect seamlessly with more dramatic shades in adjoining spaces, allow for effortless furniture changes, and show off your favorite fabrics and textures, whether you're using the room for cocktails before dinner or a semester of hybrid learning. "Living rooms are now the centers of our homes: Over the past two years, they've acted as offices, classrooms, craft rooms, and family gathering spaces," says Sue Wadden, director of color marketing at Sherwin-Williams. "People have always been drawn to neutrals—they are, almost by definition, timeless. Warm whites and beiges create a neutral backdrop, while still feeling cozy."

She recommends Sherwin-Williams' Accessible Beige and Shoji White, two "warm neutrals" that contrast with the last decade's obsession with cool grays and whites. "While those colors had their place in Scandinavian minimalism and other prevailing design movements, they came to be seen as cold and severe. The warm neutrals of today are much softer and forgiving, allowing people to add personal touches in other ways," says Wadden. "These warm neutrals point to our desire to create an inviting space that works for every aspect of our lives. Family photos, your favorite throw blanket, travel souvenirs, plants, what have you—all have a place in the room, and these colors help bring them together."

neutral-colored living and dining room with greenery
Credit: Photo by Sean Litchfield courtesy of Becky Shea Design

Try gray with a soothing twist.

Cesa often connects with homeowners looking for rich color that doesn't overwhelm their space. "Gray, neutral, and white paint colors will always be integral parts of color palettes, but we are seeing a desire for individuality and escapism through our design choices in our home," she says. "Colors that have a touch of gray or neutral to them, or neutrals and grays that have a stronger undertone of a color like blue or green, create the perfect balance to cater to those needs without feeling overwhelming." Her favorites: The brand's Morning Dew, "a cool, soothing gray with the softest touch of green," and High Park, which "leans more green, but has a gray undertone that calms it," she says. "These colors are a great introduction to bringing more expressive or bolder hues into your home without being too overwhelming." Both shades play well with the rest of your room, too: Cesa likes Morning Dew accented by white, blue, and green fabrics and art alongside warm wood and gold accessories, and High Park with "woven textiles, dark wood flooring, creamy ceramics, and lots of leafy floral accents," she says. "These are great transitional colors as you begin to experiment with finding your personal style with more creative and expressive design choices."

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