inspiration5 min read

5 neutral living room ideas

Neutral living room painted in Lick White 02

WordsMegan Lambert


The clue is in the name. Our living rooms are meant for living, and they're where many of us go to unwind, put our feet up and switch off. A room for relaxing, it makes sense that neutral decor would lend itself to the living room.

Neutral design is all about layering textures and colour, and you can really lean into this in a living room. Furnish it with the fluffiest cushions and cosiest throws to create a restful retreat to unwind in. A world away from the formal drawing rooms of yore, today living rooms are geared towards comfort and the bigger and squishier the sofa, the better!

1. Neutral living room idea: neutral colour palette

In case you hadn't noticed, at Lick, we love a neutral colour palette. We're not averse to colour (have you seen our wallpaper?) we just think that neutral decor done well can make as much of an impact as the most out-there of design schemes. That's why we've created some of our very own neutral-inspired colour palettes to get you started (and have even curated sample boxes to help you, such as our warm neutral paint colours sample box). From Japandi-style look for those of you after an earthy, minimalist look to our Timeless Neutrals collection, created in collaboration with Kelly Hoppen CBE, who has been championing neutral decor for much longer than us. From taupe paint to cool grey paint (or any of our grey paint colours), these timeless neutrals will suit any room.

Consider the New Neutrals, which features soft pinks and gentle greens in place of whites. Or if you're after something a bit more industrial-chic-light, a Scandi-inspired living room filled with light and airy whites and blues is a stylish look (check out our warm white paint sample box). If you're not sure what colour palettes would work for your living room, take a read of our blog on choosing room colours depending on room orientation or get to grips with the colour wheel.

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2. Neutral living room idea: textured rug

A good rug helps define the space in a living room, no more so than with neutral decor where the emphasis is on playing with texture and tactile fabrics. Tend towards natural materials and colours: jute, wool, cotton, and fluffy sheepskin piles all look gorgeous.

Consider size too. In our opinion, the bigger, the better. A large rug can help make a small living room feel bigger, but a smaller rug can also help highlight different areas, like a fireplace or home office.

Think about flooring and try to create a contrast to make your rug stand out. If you've got hardwood floors, you could go big and fluffy or choose a darker rug if you've got a light carpet. There are no hard and fast rules. Just go for what works for you.

3. Neutral living room idea: artwork

The beauty of a neutral colour palette is that it provides a blank canvas to display your art. When it comes to curation you've got full artistic license. Keep things neutral with large-scale toned down works or make a statement with some colourful prints.

Whatever you do, make sure you don't overlook the importance of framing. It can make a picture pop. If you're going for a lighter, beachy look, opt for a white or untreated oak frame. Or, if you want to contrast with your walls, a black frame.

4. Neutral living room idea: house plants & flowers

Few things bring a house to life more than house plants and flowers. If a neutral living room is what you're after, they're a great way to play with colour and create a focal point on a coffee table or shelves. And they don't just benefit the aesthetic.

House plants and flowers can boost our mood and connect us to nature too (just read up on colour psychology here). Our brains love natural shapes. By bringing the outside in, it creates a soothing and comforting environment. Exactly what you're after in a neutral living room.