Entryway Living Room

Six Living Room Paint Color Options

Last Updated on January 16, 2017 by Kristi Linauer

Last night, I got my walls in the living room and entryway primed, and then tested out six different potential paint colors. I have to say that Benjamin Moore has the most gorgeous, luscious, richest colors ever. Once I got these colors on the walls, I wanted to use all of them! As in…STRIPES! Don’t worry. I won’t, at least not in the living room. 😀 But I really wanted to, because I think they all look absolutely gorgeous together.

Here’s how they looked last night against my one drapery panel…


And here’s how they looked in the early (this) morning light…


Which one do you think complements the blue in the Tyvek HomeWrap the best? 😀

So here we go. The top one is Benjamin Moore Iceberg. It’s still my favorite. I like how it gives color to the walls, but it’s not so much color that it drowns out the drapery fabric.


Here’s a view of it in a bedroom. I like how it’s blue without looking like a baby boy’s room.

The next one is Benjamin Moore Smoke. It’s a beautiful color, but it’s too dark for my taste, and it blends with the drapery fabric just a bit too much.


Here it is in a bedroom with lots of light…

And then there’s Benjamin Moore Silver Gray. This is also a bit too dark, and has just a touch of purple to it.


Here it is on the walls in this bedroom…

Both Smoke and Silver Gray are beautiful colors, but I think both would drown out my draperies. Remember the green that I originally had on the walls? So many of you said it looked wonderful with my drapery fabric, but I didn’t like it at all. The reason was because it MATCHED the drapery panel, and completely overpowered it. I want a color that will let the fabric stand out a bit and offers some contrast rather than swallowing it up in some matchy-matchy scheme.

So with that in mind, I did want to try another greenish color, so I tried Benjamin Moore Dark Linen. The color looked so pale and almost neutral on the paint swatch, but it glowed on my wall. I definitely don’t want radioactive walls, but I would like to find a similar yellow green that doesn’t have the glowing effect to use as an accent.


I’m guessing other people have been scared away by this color’s glow because I couldn’t find any pictures of it used in a whole room.

And next up is Benjamin Moore Antique Pearl. Oh my gosh, I love this color. Love it. Absolutely LOVE it. But while I want contrast, TOO much contrast just might make things look jumbled and nonsensical. I don’t think there’s enough of this color in the drapery fabric to make sense on the walls. But I definitely want to use it somewhere because it’s gorgeous.


You can see it on the walls in this bedroom. I do tend to get purple overload when it’s used with a bunch of other purple/lavender/lilac furniture and fabrics, but if you can visually block all of that out, it’s gorgeous on its own. Interestingly, the paint swatch looks more like the room below, but on my walls, it looks like it has more red undertones than blue. But the color appears just as subtle.

And finally, Benjamin Moore Porcelain. I definitely want to find a use for this color, but just not on my living room walls.


Here’s the picture of it from Benjamin Moore. I haven’t seen it on my walls during the bright daylight yet, so it looks darker in my pictures.


I really do want to find a use for all of these colors in my house, and I love how they look all together. In stripes. I love stripes.


But don’t worry. My living room will not have striped walls. 🙂 I think there’s a clear winner here, right?

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  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Theresa M
    December 13, 2016 at 8:55 am

    Yes. Iceberg for the win! I love how soft the color is and how it compliments the drapes. I think it looks fabulous next to the white trim.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 13, 2016 at 9:04 am

    Obviously i’m looking at this in a photo and not in person, but I’m drawn to the 3rd one down – Silver Gray. While its obvious you prefer the 1st, in the photos it feels too subtle. All those colors are beautiful and pastels sure are having a moment right now.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      December 13, 2016 at 9:30 am

      I agree!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      December 13, 2016 at 9:44 am

      This is the one I would pick as well! My second choice would be the green (dark linen). I know it’s almost a glowy green, but I did this color in Italian plaster then buffed it to a shine in a spare bedroom and I love, love, love it. It’s so bright and happy feeling. I paired it with purple luxurious carpet and the room pops!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Linda K
    December 13, 2016 at 9:06 am

    I like the Silver Gray from the way it looks on my monitor. But I can tell you Iceberg Blue and you’ve definitely done your due diligence in making sure it was really the right color!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 13, 2016 at 9:09 am

    Love the iceberg!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 13, 2016 at 9:13 am

    Like the comments above, I like the Silver Gray. But, I KNOW there are serious differences in how paint looks in person vs. computer monitor. The other colors are beautiful, too. Kind of classic, but with a modern twist. I can’t wait to see the walls fully painted without the trim work. This is such a big change! And, I still adore those curtain rods. Just love, love, love. Good work!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Ame D
    December 13, 2016 at 9:17 am

    Did you just cliffhanger me? Everyone seems to think you picked the Iceberg but I don’t see why they are so sure… I like the Smoke and the green ! but I am sure it will be brillant no matter what!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 13, 2016 at 9:18 am

    Any of the blues will work. Remember that once the color is on all the walls, it doesn’t seem as dark as it does with just a test. I would steer clear of yellow on the walls. It is very tricky to find the right yellow. I went with the lightest I could find for my daughter’s room and I love it during the day but it glows (as you put it well) at night. I should have tested some off-whites because some of those are actually a very pale yellow. I don’t see how the purples relate at all.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 13, 2016 at 9:18 am

    I like the silver gray, too, but the lightness if the iceberg. Is there any way you could add a touch of the gray pigment into the iceberg?

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 13, 2016 at 9:20 am

    I love Benjamin Moore. It’s the only paint I use in my house because I always manage to find just the right color with them.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 13, 2016 at 9:20 am

    We same to share a love of the same color palette (minus yellow). I would go with smoke, or do a combo. Darker color on window wall, lighter color on wall that light reflects off of, etc.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 13, 2016 at 9:26 am

    My monitor makes the Iceberg look a lot like a little boys’ colour, so I prefer the other blue tones but I understand why they might be too dark for the entire room. I think Shari has a point in suggesting to add a little bit of grey to the Iceberg if you’re still not sure whether it’s the right choice (which I deduct from the fact that you are trying the colours at all, as you already have Iceberg on a wall there, don’t you?)
    I find it fascinating how much deviation occurs between looking at the swatch, at a bit of colour on a wall and later on at the entirely painted room. Thanks for demonstrating this again because I tend to forget how important it is to try the colours with different light etc.!
    Btw, I kinda like the hand painted stripes 🙂 I think they would be too much for the entire living room, but perhaps in the hall or in your room (probably less different colours? or an ombre room as in ombre cakes???)
    I’m curious where this will take you!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 13, 2016 at 9:34 am

    The third one down is the best for the print on your curtains. Very fun choices!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 13, 2016 at 9:35 am

    I think any one of the first three colors would look good, but I really don’t like the other colors for a living room. They look like bedroom colors to me.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 13, 2016 at 9:43 am

    I immediately chose the silver gray, but like many have said in prior posts, I am looking at a computer monitor. Whichever you choose will be beautiful. Good luck on your end of the year projects!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Vickie White
    December 13, 2016 at 9:45 am

    I definitely love the Iceberg the best!! Can’t wait to see the finished results!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 13, 2016 at 9:51 am

    If you ever want to go in another room with that green-y but not really green color, Benjamin Moore Greenmount Silk is very nice. My favorite, and what is all over my downstairs, is Waterbury Cream.
    Iceburg is nice and you’ll enjoy it in your living room.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Carol Kreiling
    December 13, 2016 at 9:53 am

    I love it! So beautiful. It’s all coming together beautifully. I’m learning so much from reading your blog.

    I’ll look through your blog so you don’t have to reply, but I’m wondering what color is your trim? I would love to do that.

    As always, you are inspiring!! 🙂

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      December 13, 2016 at 10:08 am

      My trim is Polar Bear from Behr. It’s been my go-to for trim for many years now. I love it because it’s a fresh, bright white without being stark. It has just a touch of warmth to it.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 13, 2016 at 9:58 am

    My favorite is the Smoke!

    Something to consider…. which color compliments the new kitchen cabinet color best? And which color compliments the tile on your fireplace best? Maybe there is one color that looks great with both. Perhaps you could narrow it down that way.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      December 13, 2016 at 12:35 pm

      My thoughts almost exactly; I love the Smoke but what also complements the new fireplace color and the new cabinet colors?

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        December 13, 2016 at 3:59 pm

        Agree with the both of you (Samantha and Chris) on Smoke and how it would compliment and contrast the fireplace and cabinets.
        I look forward (as always!) to see what you do next!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Diane @ An Extraordinary Day
    December 13, 2016 at 10:03 am

    I’m pretty sure you’ve picked Iceberg… a good choice! At first, I was leaning a bit towards Smoke, but I think it would feel a bit heavy with all the saturated color you’ll be using elsewhere.

    Can’t wait to see the room painted. Have fun!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 13, 2016 at 10:05 am

    I also prefer the third from the top but I prefer a slightly darker color for a living room or family room. It feels calmer to me. The iceberg is very nice too but a bit pale.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 13, 2016 at 10:06 am

    I like Smoke and Silver Gray

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 13, 2016 at 10:09 am

    Several of the shades go well with the drapes…but…what compliments the fireplace color? I find that I (strangely) really like the drape fabric. I tend to gravitate to “plain”, but this fabric (esp. with the added key strip) is very pretty.

    PS Started the “green tea extract” regimen yesterday. I’ll let you know if it works thirty days hence.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      December 13, 2016 at 10:11 am

      Oh good! I hope it works for you as well as it does for me. I can just take it once and feel a difference. It gives me just enough pep to feel energized throughout the day without that “racing” feeling that you might get from energy drinks or unnatural energy products.

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        December 13, 2016 at 6:57 pm

        Wait….what did I miss? Share the green tea extract info. please.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 13, 2016 at 10:10 am

    I actually don’t have an opinion about your paint color. BUT I do have a strong opinion about your paint. BENJAMIN MOORE Aura Paint in the Matte finish is absolutely divine!! I have been using it exclusively now for 5-6 years. It has fabulous coverage and finish. I hate paint with sheen (even eggshell is too much for my taste), but I have to realize that flat finish is impractical in our house with 3 kids (which multiply in number when their rowdy friends come over) and 2 dogs. The durability and wipeability is outstanding!! And I love the Aura Bath & Spa paint, too. I love the ability to have a nearly flat finish in the bathroom.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      December 13, 2016 at 3:23 pm

      Beverly, as I headed to Benjamin Moore this morning, I was planning on getting the regular Ben interior paint. Then just as I was placing my order, I remembered your recommendation of Aura in a matte finish, so that’s what I got. I’m about halfway done painting the living room and entryway right now, and all I can say is…I LOVE IT!!! Yes, the color, but oh my gosh, THIS PAINT is awesome!! It’s just going to take one coat, even on the areas where I did the cutting in with a brush. I’ve NEVER had that happen before. Since brushed paint goes on thinner than rolled paint, I always find that I have to go back and do a second coat on the cutting in. But not this time! I’ll never use another wall paint! THANK YOU!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 13, 2016 at 10:17 am

    I am with Beverly – I really don’t have an opinion on the color because they will look different in personal compared to a computer monitor. What I do like is stripes. Horizontal or vertical. Different sheen for each color or every other color or the same. I am getting ready to paint my whole house and now my brain is a buzzin. By the way, they are all beautiful colors.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 13, 2016 at 10:19 am

    It’s iceberg for me……

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 13, 2016 at 10:25 am

    I love the green/gray undertones of the smoke. I wonder how it would look if you asked them to mix it at say 50% strength so that you get those some beautiful colors but without the heaviness of the current color. I know you love rich colors, and it feels like the iceberg won’t meet that criteria once you have it on all the walls. You always do fabulous things, so I’m looking forward to seeing this room come together!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      December 13, 2016 at 1:02 pm

      Good suggestion, maybe even reduce by only 25%???? Which color will complement the blue/gray of your kitchen cabinets the best? They will be visible through the opening right?

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Jann Newton
    December 13, 2016 at 10:26 am

    Love the Iceberg!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 13, 2016 at 10:46 am

    I like the iceberg. The other colors look like old ladies to me. Light is crazy on paint colors! My living room is Lowe’s Bedford Beigh( which they don’t make anymore. ) it is a soft, soft green!!in the light of my room.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 13, 2016 at 10:47 am

    Silver Gray.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 13, 2016 at 10:53 am

    I like the yellow………….

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kristine Brown
    December 13, 2016 at 11:01 am

    I have been hearing a lot lately that you choose the paint color last, after all other selections have been made. Do you think it is important to pin down your sofa color before choosing paint? Just wondering. All your colors are beautiful!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      December 13, 2016 at 11:16 am

      Yep, I do. But I don’t necessarily narrow it down to just one fabric. What I did is choose three different sofa fabrics that I like — two that would go with a light wall color (each fabric would go with a specific wall color), and one that would go with a darker wall color (pretty much any color as long as it’s a bit more saturated). So that way, depending on what paint color I liked best on my wall, I had a sofa fabric option that went with it. Accent fabrics are easier to come by, so I don’t necessarily feel the need to choose those before.
      So a lot of people feel the need to have the exact fabric(s) chosen beforehand. I don’t. I do need to have fabric options chosen beforehand, and know what type of wall color each option would work with.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Karen Harrison
    December 13, 2016 at 11:21 am

    Dark Linen for the win! I love how it makes the lighter colors in the curtain pop. It would be my first choice because it has so much darn personality. I like the Iceberg and I think it will be lovely. Just a little more understated.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 13, 2016 at 11:23 am

    Our whole house is silver gray and I LOVE it! We have been in the house for 5 and half years and I have not grown tired of it. We redid our kitchen this year which gets tons of light, in that room at times I see the purple in the color, but all the other rooms don’t get a ton of light so it’s very gray/blue. It puts me in my happy place. We have smoke in a bedroom also. I love the top one you like also, might have to find a room to use it in. Love following along on the blog. We gutted our bathroom yesterday, I would never have had the guts to do it without following along with you the past few years. You are inspiring!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 13, 2016 at 11:33 am

    I am pretty sure you’ve already decided on a color, based on all your previous choices…but, for what it is worth… the pastel yellow brings the most subtle warmth and brightness to the fabric and the actual room.
    Again, I know, from previous experience, that you will not appreciate the following opinion… but, here goes anyway… the dark blue strip “should” (visually in the order of ‘things’) be next to your print followed by your border of green.
    And, as I have always said, you can add this to your circular file after reading! ; )

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Linda K
      December 13, 2016 at 11:57 am

      I thought the same thing about the leading edge on the drapes, Marv! I was surprised to see the print and Greek Key beside each other, with the navy on the outside. To each his/her own! They are lovely drapes.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 13, 2016 at 11:53 am

    Whatever you finalize will be gorgeous, I know! However, my 2 cents, iceberg is just that. It looks like an icecycle to me. I would want just a tad more warmth in it because your fireplace is darker. But that’s just me, from looking at a computer screen. Oh, and blues are my favorite colors as well 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 13, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    I was so happy when you decided to remove all the “boxed” trim in this room.

    I love the new drapes, but I cried – cried I tell you – when you decided to get rid of that most beautiful green paint. To me – and I know I don’t get a vote – the soft, happy green made the room sing.

    I can’t even talk about the mural yet. I wish I could have peeled it off the wall (or cut out that entire section of sheet rock and brought it home LOL) and dropped it into my living room.

    I look forward to you email updates, they are never, ever dull.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      December 13, 2016 at 9:53 pm

      Oh, the mural. The beautiful, beautiful, hand-drawn and hand-painted mural. I am in mourning for its demise! It was just so enchanting. My fear is she won’t do another one like it. At least we’ll still have the pictures of it.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 13, 2016 at 12:33 pm

    Silver grey or Smoke are my favorites!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 13, 2016 at 1:11 pm

    I’m still loving the Iceberg. It’s a really fresh take on the blues, and maybe more importantly isn’t everybody’s gray walls. I love your sort of renegade decor spirit, Kristi! One thing is certain…when DIY is possible, wall paint is one of the easiest, cheapest things to change when one tires of a certain background.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    No One
    December 13, 2016 at 1:13 pm

    I would choose the fourth one from the top – the light green. It matches the trim of your curtains!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 13, 2016 at 1:15 pm

    Iceberg. I like it best generally, but also with the fireplace…maybe it is just pictures, but some of the colors (especially the greens) don’t seem to play well with the fireplace color to me.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 13, 2016 at 1:36 pm

    I had the exact top three on my walls and instead…went with Benjamin Moore November Skies with an accent wall in Oxford Gray (the next chip down) around the corner. It is my favorite room in my house. Blue, slightly smoky but not baby boy blue, and just totally pops with the white crown molding! Also had a stager pick out BM’s Grecian Ivory, which is an ivory with a slight green tint (somehow) that really warmed up a room I painted plain Ivory. I was skeptical thinking I was paying for the exact same color, but she was so right. Seems like it would match your curtains and maybe pull in a little green tone if you could do lighter. The November Skies is darker than Iceberg but it is lovely, and worth a look because it looks like your curtains share the color. Good luck, paint is hard!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 13, 2016 at 2:13 pm

    I really like the top color, iceberg? I also like the yellowish green color as an accent. It really brings out that color in the draperies.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Denise C.
    December 13, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    Silver Grey has a nice look, but I also think the Iceberg is your color. I did locate a room in all Dark Linen here: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/ff/19/37/ff19375fa20b921e2ca8aa034ca69ea1.jpg

    It’s really bright, but with the right dark grey trim, who knows?

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Angela N
    December 13, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    I love the smoke! The top one is too light, almost washed out. The others are all pretty, but not necessarily in that room

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Joanne B.
    December 13, 2016 at 3:16 pm

    Just what you don’t need! I’d like to throw a monkey wrench into the mix: How about a green like the color in the trim you have on the drapes?

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 13, 2016 at 5:16 pm

    if you and your husband look good in a yellow base, dark linen would be my suggestion. yellow has a calm and happy effect on people. plus, yellow complements your color palate.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 13, 2016 at 5:23 pm

    I’m crushing on Smoke – it’s gorgeous! But i tend to gravitate to medium tones. I just painted my bedroom in a pale blue shade and can’t wait to get rid of it.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 13, 2016 at 6:37 pm

    Smoke or Silver grey!!! Top one is too light

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sharon C
    December 13, 2016 at 7:30 pm

    Wow, hard choice between Iceberg and Silver Gray. I can imagine you choosing Antique Pearl or Porcelain for your office Kristi.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 13, 2016 at 8:00 pm

    Am I the only one that thinks the stripes would be fabulous??!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Karen H
    December 13, 2016 at 8:23 pm

    I’m pretty sure you have already chosen and begun painting your walls in Iceberg, but Smoke is my absolute favorite. However, I am certain that once your room is complete, it will look fabulous, regardless of which wall color you have chosen!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 13, 2016 at 8:27 pm

    If you’re up for one more color try BM tranquility! You won’t be disappointed and it’ll go beautifully with your cabinets!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 13, 2016 at 9:53 pm

    Silver Gray – all the way

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 13, 2016 at 10:28 pm

    Wouldn’t it be best to get your furniture before you choose the paint colour?

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Carrie B.
    December 14, 2016 at 6:02 am

    My first choice went to smoke but then I looked at the whole picture and thought iceberg would look better next to the fireplace color you have. Can’t wait to see the finished choice!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 14, 2016 at 9:16 am