Open Plan Living Area Paint Colors

by Carin
(Billings, MT)

I need advice on painting my living room/dining room/kitchen, which are all in one big space, not separated by walls into individual living areas.

I have hardwood floors with a golden hue and white leather furniture. My trim is wood.

My questions are: what is the best color for the walls (I'm leaning toward a brown shade)?

....and should the whole living area be painted one color or should I separate the living room and dining area/kitchen walls with a different shade (this can be done nicely)?

Although the wood trim is beautiful, shouldn't it be painted with a distinctive color to add dimension and color?

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Sep 15, 2010
Beautiful browns...
by: Charlotte

Hi Carin

That sounds a lovely open space to decorate, and with pale (but warm) flooring, and pale furniture you have a great light and airy base to start, and can pretty much have your pick of colors.

Pale colors will keep your room feeling nice and light and spacious, whereas darker colors may make it feel a little darker and smaller, but with a more cosy feel.

I would go not necessarily with one color throughout, but with one color theme or group - if you want to stick with browns, you could choose 2 or 3 shades - (pale, mid and dark) and use them around the different areas...

...or you could choose one as your 'base' color for the whole space, and add accents of different shades of brown (or different colors) in the different areas.

Sometimes you can have a light base with dark accents in one area, and then just reverse this, with a dark base and light accents in another area, so that the whole area is at once separate areas, but unified into one whole scheme.

You might like to decorate in shades of brown for each area, then bring it all together with red accents - or use red accents in one area, yellow in another and orange in another (make sure you also keep these brighter accents co-ordinating with each other too!)

As for the wood trim, I think it is up to your own personal tastes - although if it is a different wood to the flooring, I would be tempted to paint it out...

...a co-ordinating, deeper brown would work well, or you can never go wrong with trim in a clean, simple white, if you wanted to paint it.

Hope that help - best wishes with your decorating :)


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