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Color Trends 2022: Unexpected Living Room Colors

Doesn’t it seem like people are taking more risks than ever before? They’re leaving jobs to discover careers that fit their lifestyles better, going to far-flung places, and taking major design risks at home. While minimalism will always be popular, design pros predict that maximalism will reign supreme for the rest of this year, a trend that’s clear in the latest living room color palettes. 

Whether it’s through painted walls or smaller bursts of color, there are many ways to bring surprising, on-trend hues into your living room. “Using unexpected colors is a great way to add interest and create layers in your living room,” says Andi Morse, founder of Morse Design in Atlanta. “[Color can] do wonders in creating visual interest and cultivating an inviting, one-of-a-kind atmosphere.”

Los Angeles interior designer Hema Persad takes a “go big or go home” approach when it comes to living room colors. “Instead of an accent wall, commit to the color — it’s just paint,” she says. “If you’re going to do one wall, you might as well do them all.” However, if you’re not ready to go all in, Emma Kemper, Principal Designer at Emma Beryl Interiors in New York City, says that you can incorporate a brave color by using neutral furniture pieces as a backdrop. “Add your favorite color purple and throw a pillow on your neutral sofa but make it feel relevant in the room by including another purple accessory on your bookshelf or wall,” she explains. 

Read on for designers’ ideas for how to take a color plunge in your living room.

Morse predicts we’re going to see different shades of green everywhere this year because it brings the outside in and is extremely versatile. She prefers olive green for a living room because it appears slightly matte. Morse says, “When I design with olive green, I weave the color into pillows and accessories. If the client is willing to take the risk, I also love creating a uniquely fabulous and cozy atmosphere with olive green walls.” Persad also has an appreciation of olive for its “earthy and moody feel,” noting it would work well in a Mediterranean or boho-style living room with a cream linen sofa and rattan or natural accents.

For a pop of happiness in your living room, consider a citrus-inspired shade of yellow for your walls or decor. Caron Woolsey, founder of CW Interiors in Houston, is partial to Farrow and Ball’s Citrona No. 33 from their California Collection, calling it “a sophisticated yet playful choice that provides a stunning base upon which to layer textures.” She suggests to pair the color with “woven chairs, a shag rug, a blonde burl wood coffee table, a velvet sofa, and a striking light fixture for a space that’s luxe and modern.” 

Purple is a risky choice, but if you pick the right hue (nothing too intense or Barney the Purple Dinosaur-like), it’ll look just right. “Certain shades of purple are great for a living room,” Morse notes. “I opt for darker shades that almost look black as opposed to bright shades and lavenders.” Persad agrees and suggests choosing “a really dark, moody purple” and leaning into it; she adds, “A monochromatic purple sofa and natural-toned accents could be a really cool vibe.” 

Perhaps you’ve noticed shades of peach and other orange hues splashed across your Instagram feed. Kemper says that color will be coming home this year. “I am expecting to see a lot of shades of orange,” she says. “As we move forward into 2022, I think designers, homeowners, and developers are more attracted to bright, celebratory colors like peach, vermillion, and salmon.” Plus, peach, and its related shades, can wake up a living room and make it glow. 

While you may remember crimson rooms galore back in the 1990s, the color is making a comeback. Persad says that this color on walls is “super- energetic” and “works well in a traditional-style living room.” For a more modern spring on crimson, Morse says that if you find a shade of red that combines with purple to create a sophisticated maroon, “it can be a great way to liven up a space.” 

Shelby Deering


Shelby Deering is a lifestyle writer who specializes in decor, wellness topics, and home tours. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her shopping flea markets, running on local trails, or snuggling up to her sweet corgi.

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