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How to decide between light and airy vs. dark and cozy for living room

6 years ago
last modified: 6 years ago

Our living room (family room) is in need of paint. It's not a project we will do right away, so I can ruminate on it awhile. But, I've also been thinking about it off and on for the last two years, so it feels like it's about time to get this decision settled.

The room has good light, with windows facing every direction but east. There is lots of sky and greenery outside. The weather here is often overcast, but when the sun is shining in the afternoon, this room is very bright. We use the room all day long and into the evening hours for reading, snuggling, conversation, movie watching, playing games. Basically, for everything but eating meals.

Some days I think I'd like the walls to be white, or some other light and airy color. But, I'd like there to be contrast between the walls and trim. The mouldings in there are nice, and it would be good for them not to blend into the walls. (And, I'm not interested in painting the trim a color other than a white.)

Other days, especially now that the weather is cooler and heading toward cold snowy weather, it seems like it would be nice to have the room painted in some warm, deep, earthy, cozy color. There is no fireplace, so no warm spot to gather around, and I wonder if a warm color would help make up for this "lack."

The couches are a midtone sagey green, so I think the room could lean either warm or cool. Flooring will be midtone wood. Ceiling will be planked. How do you decide whether you like warm and cozy or light and airy better? I don't know which way to go.

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