Ask the Editor: Choosing Paint Colors for Dining & Living Rooms

Editor Lindsay Bierman answers your decorating questions.


Hi. Lindsay Bearman, editor and chief of Southern Living, and I'm here answering your questions from Facebook. I have one from Sharon Girly Hudson. What are the best paint colors for dining rooms and living rooms? I'm having a really hard time trying to decide the best color for my dining room that has no windows. Paint colors are really hard for everybody, including me. And I have to say I'm gonna give you a good place to start that will never fail you. Go to your closet. Start with something that you love to wear all the time. A color that makes you look really good. And that's where you should start with your dining room. Because if you look good in that sweater or shirt or whatever it is, you're gonna look good in your own dining room. I also recommend looking at the color at night. Get yourself a piece of foam core, or you know, something that are two feet by two feet. A piece of cardboard. Well, actually white, make sure it's white. Paint the color on that piece of paper. And tape it up the wall and look at it at night. And especially in candlelight. Because if you like to have candlelit dinners, it's, that, that color is really gonna be completely different in that kind of light. So, I think you really can't fail if you sort of go with what looks good on you and start there. For living rooms, you know, it depends on all kind of things. It's a very personal question as well, depends on the fabrics and furnishing that are in the space. But I would say that I would start with the sweater and things that you wear with the sweater. And maybe, sort of, pair it with something that's a little bit lighter. So if you're a white shirt and khaki pants kind of woman, then, you know, I might go with khaki in the dining room and white in the living room, if that makes sense. So, let us know how it goes and if anybody else has some great color suggestions and ideas, let us know. And I'm agonizing over this at my own house right now so I will keep you guys posted.
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