5 Expensive-Looking Wall Colors That Will Make Your Living Room Feel Like a Sumptuous Retreat

If you're looking to create a living space that feels indulgent and expensive, these are the palettes to try

A dark near-black living room
(Image credit: Nicole Franzen. Design: Corinne Mathern)

When it comes to designing your living room, you priority should be creating a space that feels timeless so you're not quick to grow bored of your scheme. Color is a key component of pulling a room together, and paint has the power to create a range of atmospheres and moods. 'Choosing colors that evoke a sense of luxury, and a fresh coat of paint can make a world of difference,' says Artem Kropovinsky of Arsight, an interior design studio based in New York.

So what are the colors that the design experts turn to again and again to create a space that feels luxurious? We've spoken to our favorite names in the industry, who turn to these colors for a reliable finish that helps living rooms feel cozy, calming, and high-end. Here are our top recommendations (and some paint ideas for where to shop the designer's go-to shades too).

1. Go dark and moody with near-black

Benjamin Moore's Temptation on the walls of a lounge area

(Image credit: Benjamin Moore)

There is something luxurious about a deep and smoky color that is close to black. It feels deliberate and when confidently executed, it has a luxurious quality to it. 'Dark hues, when used correctly, can add a dramatic and expensive feel,' says Artem Kropovinsky of Arsight.

This example by Corinne Mathern perfectly exhibits the near-black wall color trend that highlights the rustic wood incorporated into the palette. It gives the room an atmospheric quality. 'We wanted a moody room that felt lounge-y and appropriate for its vineyard location - perfect for a glass of the family vineyard’s estate cabernet,' Corinne says.

The color is Benjamin Moore Temptation, which plays with light to create a space that feels rich in its charcoal quality. In some lights, a hint of blue shines through this living room color.

2. Keep it classy with the perfect off-white

A living room with off-white wall color

(Image credit: Malissa Mabey. Design: Susannah Holmberg Studios)

On the flip side, the perfect off-white feels curated and elegant, mainly because it will never go out of trend. For Grey Joyner of Grey Joyner Interiors, white walls will never omit the same quality of luxury because they can often feel cold. ‘I do not like white walls as it can feel sterile and lacking in luxury,’ says Grey.

'Opting for cream instead of stark white can create a cozier and more inviting atmosphere,' suggests Xandro Aventajado, designer at Studio D. 'It's gentler on the eyes and tends to be better received overall, as it imparts a warmer and more comfortable feel to the space. Creamier whites often have subtle undertones and textures, which can add depth and visual interest to a property.' For inspiration, look to Portland Stone by Little Greene Paint CompanyAccessible Beige by Sherwin-WilliamsSchool House White by Farrow and Ball.

Grey advises going one step further with your off-white, with a monochromatic color scheme alluding to a sense of luxury. ‘Use tones of a single color on the walls, the ceiling and the trim for a finished and elevated look.’

3. Ditch gray for earthy browns

A living room with a grey-brown paint

(Image credit: Fabian Martinez. Design: direccion)

2023 was the year when earth-tone living rooms dominated, and gray was banished once and for all. Where gray felt cool and austere, browns has a retro edge, and feels cool, modern and sophisticated. Grays with brown undertones are perfect for a luxurious living room color scheme and are wonderful paint shades for a cozy living room too.

'When most people think of darker colors in home design, jewel tones usually come to mind, but I would encourage digging deeper and exploring muted earth tones as well,' recommends designer Kathy Kuo.

'In the year to come, alongside the rise of design concepts like wabi-sabi and organic modernism, dark earth tones like olive green, mahogany, rust, and slate gray are all fresh takes for things like accent walls.'

4. Be bold with a deep blue

dark blue living room with grey couch

(Image credit: Studio Heimat)

'It depends on the space, but darker blues are great for making a living room feel luxurious and elegant,' says Regan Baker of Regan Baker Design. 'Darker blue living rooms allow you to really embrace mood,' she says.

Deep blue paint is certainly having a moment, moving away from navy tones for something that has a smoky quality to it. Benjamin Moore announced late last year that their color Blue Nova would be the Color of the Year for 2024. It works well for a color-drenched room and feels a little more muted than the bright tones of navy. It's not far from from this living room designed by San Francisco-based design firm, Studio Heimat, featuring Farrow & Ball’s Stiffkey Blue.

'Blue Lapiz by Benjamin Moore makes a bold statement with its dramatic allure, perfectly balanced with a touch of sophistication,' suggests Rayman Boozer of Apartment 48.

It comes with a luxurious feeling because it plays with light throughout the day and across the seasons. At dusk, this living room's color deepens for something that feels enigmatic and mysterious.

5. Go for a timeless finish with greens

A dark green walled room with pink sofas

(Image credit: Nicole Franzen. Design: Bespoke Only)

Timeless living room colors will always help your room feel luxurious and expensive, and green is one of those colors that feels effortlessly timeless in all its manifestations because it calls to nature.

'I like to think of shades of green as ‘nature's neutrals’,' says Nicole Gibbons, founder of paint brand Clare. 'They’re timeless, easy on the eye, and will never go out of style which is why we’re confident they’ll be as sought-after in a decade as they are today.' Whether it’s a calm, sage green or deeper shades, greens are vibrant yet evoke the calm, enveloping spirit of the great outdoors which is why they’re so timeless.

I love the sage tone of this living room, designed by Bespoke Only. It feels stylish and works to elevate the furniture. But darker green can also make a statement and feel luxe in the same way a deep blue does. 'Dark olive is an often underappreciated color when going with a dark room. It has an incredible beauty that is soothing, yet uplifting. It goes with every other color so well,' says Juan Carretero of Capital C Interiors.

3 perfect paints for a luxurious living room

Oonagh Turner
Livingetc content editor and design expert

Oonagh is a content editor at Livingetc.com and an expert at spotting the interior trends that are making waves in the design world. Writing a mix of everything and everything from home tours to news, long-form features to design idea pieces on the website, as well as frequently featured in the monthly print magazine, she's the go-to for design advice in the home. Previously, she worked on a London property title, producing long-read interiors features, style pages and conducting interviews with a range of famous faces from the UK interiors scene, from Kit Kemp to Robert Kime. In doing so, she has developed a keen interest in London's historical architecture and the city's distinct tastemakers paving the way in the world of interiors.