These colourful living rooms are brimming with character and will inspire bold colour choices, whether for your walls, floors, furniture or even ceilings.
The rooms below show how even a little splash of colour can go a long way. For example by painting internal doors and door frames an energising turquoise, or introducing tangerine in the form of a bright artwork, you can make a big impact. It’s easy to change things around when you want to, without too much upheaval too.
Whatever the time of the year, a vibrant shade will lift your mood and make a room feel alive. Colourful upholstery is a bold choice, but take a considered approach for larger pieces. A good sofa can last for twenty years, so choose a colour you can live with for the long term.
Check out these colourful sofas.
For shorter term shots of colour; rugs, throws, curtains and cushions are the obvious solution, as you can swap them when the seasons change and reintroduce them again. Choose brighter colours and lighter fabrics for spring-summer and heavier textures and richer tones autumn-winter. They’ll feel like new each time you bring them out.
Don’t be afraid to clash colours either. As you’ll see, the most unexpected hues make good bed fellows – turquoise and burnt orange feature in more than one space ahead.
Collect paint and fabric swatches and experiment with which shades work best together. If you choose one key colour that you love, the others will fall into place.
See these new paint shades.
If you’re more used to neutral or muted tones, and brighter colours are a step into the ‘interiors unknown’, take your time and build up the palette slowly; a new armchair here, a fresh coat of paint or a graphic poster there.
By building colour gradually, you’ll give yourself a chance to get used to living with bolder or brighter hues, and will be on the way to creating a colourful living room for all seasons.
Colourful furniture and flooring make a plain space bright and playful.
Get the look This is the Mah Jong modular sofa by Hans Hopfer for Roche Bobois. The carpet squares are from Flor. This is Anthropologie’s Rhododendron chandelier. For a similar coffee table, try West Elm.
The colours of nature outside have been magnified via a palette of vivid blues, yellows and greens, punctuated by a dramatic shot of turquoise in the low-slung sofas.
Get the look The Limalaya sofa, Ybris round tables and cushions are all from Caravane. The fireplace was created by architect Aida Djahandari.
The owners here like to find furnishings in thrift stores and on their travels, and buy artworks from fairs and friends. The only furniture bought new for the apartment is the pink Muuto sofa.
Get the look This is the Rest three-seater sofa by Muuto at Heal’s. The artwork above is by Sister Corita Kent, a nun who became a prominent pop artist in the Sixties.
Beautiful dark-wood floors and panelling act as a foil for the furnishings and artwork.
Get the look The antique chandelier was found at Jonathan Burden LLC. Try Rainbow for similar. This is the Bear Chair by Hans J Wegner for Johannes Hansen. Try 1stdibs.com for Wegner classics. The leather pouf is from Mecox Gardens. John Lewis sells similar. The cushions and colourful rug, opposite, are by Nanette Lepore Villa.
The couple try to keep this as a grown-up space for chats and late-night cognacs. Bold colours pull the look together.
Get the look The painting above the fireplace is by Tim Garwood. The Modigliani is an old reproduction. The glass knot on the mantelpiece is by William Yeoward. The vase is by Jonathan Adler. The chairs are from George Smith and the footstool is from Arlo & Jacob. The sofa is from Christopher Wray with a cushion from Designers Guild. The rug is by Suzanne Sharp for The Rug Company.
Architectural elements are the crucial foil to these punchy pastel shades, and give a fresh zing to the space. The architects gave the intersecting steels of the building coats of rich purple and turquoise and also created a triangulated light fixture for the vaulted living area.
Get the look The sofa is from loaf.com, custom-upholstered in fabric from Designers Guild. The cabinet was bought at The Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair in Battersea (decorativefair.com). The two fairground panels on the wall are from The Old Cinema. The glass pendants are from Heal’s.
Floral motifs fill every space and cover surfaces, from wallpaper to sofas, embroidered cushions to paintings in this florist's home. New upholstery has given an old Terance Woodgate sofa a new lease of life.
Get the look This is the Triangles rug by Bertjan Pot for Golran. The vintage armchair, left, is covered in a Manuel Canovas linen. The painting above the mantelpiece is called Minkiquittine by Andrea Byrne. The Terence Woodgate sofa is covered in Beacon Hills’ Moon Blossom in Midnight. The photographs hanging above the console table are by Martyn Thompson from his Heart of Glass series.
The impossibly tall windows are swathed in a Pierre Frey tropical fabric that could be straight out of a Slim Aarons print. The owner loves how the blues and greens sing against the sunshine yellow. The red cabinet acts as another décor wake-up call.
Get the look The Lampert sofas and X-benches are by Jonathan Adler. The artwork is by Yves Krief – find his work at byart.co.uk. The red cabinet is from Miami-based Sabina Danenberg Atelier. For similar modern lacquered furniture, try Julian Chichester. The side tables are by Nicola Falcone. This is the Sellarsbrook Yellow rug by Suzanne Sharp for The Rug Company. The curtains are made in Pierre Frey’s Mauritius linen.
Everywhere there are flourishes of green - the chair, the lamp and plenty of plants inject subtle vibrancy.
Get the look for a similar chandelier, try Norfolk Decorative Antiques. This is an Eero Saarinen for Knoll coffee table. For similar grain sacking cushions, try Anton & K. This is the low pad chair by Jasper Morrison for Cappellini. The artwork, top, far left, is by Ray Marsh – find his work at artforsale.co.uk. The other paintings in the room are by Liza Giles.
What makes Jonathan Adler’s ‘unbridled, eclectic’ style work? The quiet rigour of a restricted colour palette (blue, green, orange) and the repetition of key motifs. The pared-back, all-white décor lets the furnishings shout out loud.
Get the look Giant Sputnik chandelier; turquoise Baxter sofa; Big Hair Bob cushion: all Jonathan Adler. Black and white chair, Eero Saarinen. Round chrome table, Xavier Feal. Michael Jackson head, flea market find. Eyes artworks, Jean-Paul Philippe.
Pops of colour sing out – such the blue wing chair and bold artwork in the living room – while industrial-style lighting adds a little grit.
Get the look The armchairs are from Soda. The artwork, entitled Mr Whippy, is by Anna Marrow at Gas Gallery. The Paint Stroke cushion is from French Connection Home.
Against the pale backdrop of oak floors and white walls, a subtle but vibrant energy comes from bursts of colour – from the orange Victor desk by Roberto Lazzeroni, pale blue sofa from The Conran Shop and lime-green sculpture by Simon Taylor.
Get the look An 18th-century painting hides the TV screen. Bonhams regularly auctions similar artwork. This is the Victor desk in Orange by Roberto Lazzeroni for Lema. The floor lamp is by Rabih Hage. The exploding Lámpara de Mesa by Los Carpinteros was bought at a contemporary art fair in Madrid.
There are no fancy wallpapers or fussy finishes here – just simple bricks on the walls and sturdy concrete on the floor, enlivened with bold textiles.
Get the look The rug is custom-made by Loom in Melbourne. Etsy does similar rugs. The leather sofa is a custom design by Temperature Design in Melbourne. Head to Cassina for a wraparound sofa like this. This is the Glo-Ball T table lamp by Jasper Morrison for Flos.
This beautiful room is a clever mix of femininity, style and daring. The wallpaper is only featured in the alcoves, highlighting the property's original features. With pops of shocking pink and contemporary florals, it takes mix ‘n’ match to another level.
Get the look The floral wallpaper is Caprifoglio Ecru PDG676/02 from Designer’s Guild. The rabbit lampshades are by Moooi. The Hayward sofa in Leighton Natural FDG2341/10 is from Designer’s Guild.
Although the walls are white, and the sofa grey, colourful accents bring the space to life and make the room feel colourful.
Get the look The sofa was made bespoke by Andy Martin. The coffee table is by Jeremy Pitts. The series of artworks is by Peter Blake. These are 222 wall lights by Lampe Gras at Heal’s.
A collection of contemporary art and photography makes this room zing. A set of Peter Blake artworks, Chris Floyd photographs and Stuart Semple’s vivacious prints pop up throughout the space.
Get the look The Godzilla vs King Kongscreen print is by Russell Young. The Pure Evil bunnies are a collaboration between Pure Evil and Royal Doulton. This is the Cable Neutral rug by The Rug Company. The chair is from Viaduct.
Introduce splashes of colour through painting doors in bold colours, and leaving the rest of the room more neutral. In this sitting room, a grey palette is lifted by the Tiffany blue door, the two fuchsia chairs and tangerine artwork.
Get the look The I Like It. What Is It? poster is by Anthony Burrill. The pink velvet armchairs are from Fern & Grey. The coffee table is from West Elm.
Serene pastels provide a calming but colourful backdrop to this living room. Then, the randomness that always comes with vintage pieces injects the surprise elements.
Get the look The mirror and wall lights are vintage finds. The table lamp is by Hans-Agne Jakobsson. The coffee table and Hungarian chair are from In House Junkie.
A deep indigo anchors the lower half of the room, with a textured wallpaper above and a strip of blue as a zingy divide. The look was inspired by French interior designer Sarah Lavoine who is known for the way she divides a room with a stripe. The coffee tables were made bespoke in India. (woodndesign.in). Yellow pendant lights were chosen to complement the blue and yellow in the coffee tables.
Get the look Coffee tables, Wood’n Design. Pendants, Holloways of Ludlow. Wallpaper (upper part of wall), Élitis. Sofas, Roche Bobois.
Sorbet shades are used as a backdrop to vintage lighting and a dreamily intense artwork. The armchair’s ombré look was accidental. It had been cleaned and parts of the mint green velvet turned pink.
Get the look The painting is by Rachel Glittenberg. The wall lights are Italian vintage and the vintage table lamp is from In House Junkie. The back wall is painted in Teresa’s Green estate emulsion by Farrow & Ball. The chair is from The French House. The sofa is by Sofas & Stuff. The side tables are by Zara Home. The rug is by Designers Guild.
The green sofa adds a welcoming spring-fresh colour that pops against the dark wall.
Get the look This is the Reposer sofa by Stuart Scott, covered in Designers Guild’s Varese cotton-velvet in Emerald. For a similar lamp, try the Flos Spun by Sebastian Wrong at Nest. The London Calling by Night cushion, left, is by Charlene Mullen; the check cushion, right, is from Burberry.
A brown Mid Century cabinet pops against the indigo stripe. Slim Aarons photography has a way of making you feel like you’re jumping inside a story.
Get the look The print of Slim Aarons’ Poolside Glamour is from Grapefruit Gallery. Console, Wood’n Design. Indigo Blue paint (on lower half of wall), Sanderson.
Sure to bat away any seasonal blues, this look is all about punchy, vibrant shades. The electric fuchsia sofa almost glows in this dark room, and is a fresh and vibrant shade compared to the mustard yellow and Farrow & Ball’s railings wall colour.
Get the look The two-and-a-half seat velvet sofa in Peony pure cotton matt velvet, £1,840; Georgette footstool in Canary pure matt cotton velvet, £710; House scatter cushions in Peony, Deep Turquoise and Canary pure cotton matt velvets, £60 each; and Dune rug in Blue, £109, all from sofa.com.
In a neutral living room, an oversized artwork or large mural creates a bold and eye-catching look.
Get the look The futon is handmade with a wood base, Ikea mattresses and layers of upholstered cushions. The cushions are covered in Berwick fabric by Prestigious Textiles at House Décor. The vintage chandelier, is from Dezanne in Clapham Common. The mural is by Ricardo Cavolo.
The real work of art is not the collection of artworks but the sumptuous velvety deep teal sofa taking centre stage. After commanding your attention, the sofa then allows your eyes to wander up to the gallery wall hanging above. The eclectic group of pictures include postcards by artists such as Billy Childish, from the Royal College of Art’s Secret sale.
Get the look The sofa, rug and cushions are by Designers Guild. The Donna Wilson pouffe is from SCP.
Tactile cut velvets in dreamy shades of blue conjure up images of sunlight playing across the dappled Mediterranean Sea.
Get the look Vintage armchairs upholstered in Murrine FDG2661/02 cut velvet in Delft, left, and Iridato FDG2663/03 cut velvet in Sky, right, £1,200 each, Designers Guild. Henri brass-clad bookcase, £2,349, Julian Chichester. Armand Table Lamp, £110 at Habitat. Peeling Paint II wallpaper mural, from £40 per sqm, Surfaceview.co.uk.