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Elegant Living Rooms in Neutral Colors

Beautiful living rooms decorated in soothing hues

Written and produced by Lucy Fitzgerald
  • Living rooms are a place to relax, converse, and relish in the comforts of home. With a palette of soothing neutrals and abundant texture, these spaces exude timeless elegance.

    At the Lake Forest Showhouse in Illinois, designer Gail Plechaty was inspired by formal French salons to create a beautiful living room that is dressy without apology. As a fine example of elegant symmetry, a grand presentation of botanical prints hangs between soaring windows dressed in luxurious silk panels. The coral color of the prints echoes the hue in the rug that grounds a marble-topped coffee table and a pair of Louis XVI chairs flanking a sofa slipcovered in ivory cotton.

    See more of this stately showhouse here.

    Photo: Werner Straube
    Design: Gail Plechaty

  • Serene Living Room with Blue Accents

    A clean and contemporary living room is accented with vibrant blue coffee table cubes from Jonathan Adler. A pair of armchairs from A. Rudin boasts subtle stripes to break up the room’s neutrality.

  • Light-Filled Living Room in Soft Blues and Ivory

    A serene palette of blue, ivory, and silver balances large-scale seating and a heightened sense of dimension in this living room. Sofas from Lee Jofa sit by the fireplace for a comfy spot to linger and enjoy the room’s casual elegance. A large framed mirror above the mantel makes the room appear even more spacious while reflecting the natural light pouring in through ample windows.

    See more of this room on the following slide.

  • Airy Neutrals with Deep Green and Warm Brown

    An antique Flemish tapestry grounds the room’s airier neutrals with its deep hunter greens and warm browns. “The tapestry is by far the most significant piece because it creates the color scheme for the entire house,” says designer Roger Higgins. The sofa under the tapestry is from Lee Industries. A sisal rug lends a touch of informality.

    See the rest of this home here.

    Photos: Reid Rolls
    Design: Roger Higgins and Ann Shipp

  • Cream and Ivory Living Room

    Light neutrals in this living room are highlighted by gauzy window treatments that let the sunlight flow in.  Designer Natasha Baradaran included sculptural pieces to incorporate texture and dimension, like the custom fireplace screen and table from Donghia with Moroccan influence. An Eric Orr painting leans against the mantel, injecting a pop of royal blue over the fireplace.

    Take a look at the rest of this elegant home.

    Photo: Luca Travato
    Design: Natasha Baradaran

  • Naturally Neutral Living Room

    A stone hearth flanked by large windows forms the stunning focal point in this living room. The natural texture of the stones is reflected in the gray area rug from Tamarian Carpets as well as the wood-and-iron coffee table. Pops of orange at the couch, like the throw from Hermes, breaks up the room’s neutrality.

    See the rest of this gorgeous home here.

    Photo: Werner Straube
    Design: Rosemary Merrill

  • Neutral Background Accented with Vibrant Hues

    An array of neutrals in cream, grays, reds, and violets lend a surprising amount of color to this living room. Crisp white walls with classic molding maintain a fresh backdrop for the room’s more substantial elements, such as a tufted ottoman from Hancock & Moore. The painting above the mantel gives the room a major color boost with vibrant purples and greens.

    Tour the rest of this home here.

    Photo: Emily Followill
    Design: Debbie Cummins

  • Living Room with Rustic Palette

    This living room’s rustic palette is informed by the wood and iron elements throughout. The antique fireplace (circa 1740) serves as the focal point with a classic mantel and fleur-de-lis fireplace screen from Architectural Accents. Salvaged wooden beams add textural interest to the ceiling.

    See the rest of this remodeled home here.

    Photo: Gordon Beall
    Design: Mary Jo Donohoe

  • A pair of sculptural chaise longue chairs covered in durable chenille basket-weave fabric and a chocolate brown sofa form a cozy sitting area in this living room. The earthy hues are complimented by airy blues at the windows and accent details, like floral pillows and a plush throw. Venetian plaster walls provide a cool backdrop for the lovely palette.

    See more of this Atlanta home.

    Interior design: William C. Huff Jr., and Heather Zarrett Dewberry
    Photograph: Emily Followill

  • Inviting Cream and Brown Living Room

    A geometric sisal rug and stone fireplace surround give this living room a big dose of texture, which blends marvelously with the peaceful palette of cream and ivory. Touches of baby blue lend airiness to the space while tying the artwork above the fireplace in with the rest of the color scheme.

    See more of this remodeled Tennessee farmhouse-turned-hotel.

  • Soft Beige and Ivory Living Room

    Traditional style mixes with clean, contemporary simplicity in this airy living room. Drapery from Cowtan & Tout cascades elegantly to the sisal rug below, lending verticality to the space. Black details—like a pair of pillows and wingchair opposite—lend subtle contrast. A small wooden bench with curvy French lines tucks underneath a wood-topped iron cocktail table for additional seating.


    See more of this remodeled row house here.

    Interior design: Paul Corrie
    Photograph: Gordon Beall

  • Formal Living Room in Warm Pastels

    An elegant formal living room is dressed in sweet blues, greens, and yellows to create a inviting space. French doors open up to an outdoor dining area, while a large mirror from Dennis & Leen helps bounce the light around the space. Maroon details—like the piping on the armchairs and pillow tassels—offer gracious notes of contrast. The leopard print area rug from Stark lends a subtle touch of sass.

    See the before-and-after photos of this remodeled Maryland home.

    Interior design: Mary Jo Donohoe
    Photograph: Gordon Beall

  • Stylish Cream and Beige Living Room with Red Accents

    Adjoined to the dining room, this contemporary living room is light, bright, and open. A neutral color scheme is enlivened with vibrant red-orange accent pillows on the sofa, as well as a pair of upholstered square benches for additional seating. A wide tufted ottoman from The Shop pulls double duty as a coffee table.

    Explore the rest of Bethenny Frankel’s stylish TriBeCa loft.

    Interior design: Mariette Himes Gomez and Brooke Gomez
    Photograph: Joe Standart

  • Sophisticated Palette Against a Crisp Backdrop

    Simple lines and crisp white walls establish a classic backdrop for this living room’s lovely palette. Elegant French antiques and a pair of shapely armchairs add traditional sensibility, while the calm blend of wheat, mint, and soft crimson create a sophisticated palette. A painting above the fireplace features more concentrated yet complementary hues.

    See more before-and-after photos of this Dutch Colonial home.

    Interior design: Debbie Cummins
    Photograph: Emily Followill

  • Cream and Gray Living Room

    This room’s floor-to-ceiling windows provide ample light and open up to the front and back porches, where the antique brick pavers extend for visual continuity and textural interest. Venetian plaster adds drama and substance to the fireplace, complementing the ash-colored club chairs. A sisal rug adds warmth to the space; botanicals arranged in a column add verticality to the space.

    See more of this Houston-area home.

    Interior design: Virginia Mary Brown
    Photograph: Werner Straube

  • Rich Neutral Living Room with Blue Accents

    The living room of this Fort Worth home is decked out in rich neutrals and striking blue accents. Slipper chairs from E.C. Dicken float above the sisal area rug, providing a counterpoint to the gilt details throughout the space. The homeowners’ collection of blue-and-white china establishes the running theme of blue accents, like the satiny sofa pillows. A pale blue paint on the walls and barely-there sandy hue on the molding and ceiling subtly tie the room’s colors together.

    View the rest of this gorgeous Texas home here.

    Interior design: Joseph Minton, with Paula Lowes and Michelle M. Wade
    Photograph: Emily Minton Redfield