The family room, otherwise known as the living room‘s lighthearted sister, is quickly becoming a staple in the home. Whether you use the space as an entertainment center for your children or as a space to relax in therapeutic activities, finding the right family room ideas for your home is an increasing priority. And nothing impacts the room like color.

When planning how to design a family room, its paint color will be at the top of your priority list, and all for good reason. Your bedroom color ideas impact the lighting levels, style and atmosphere of a family space, just like any other space in your home. It is therefore essential to do them correctly. The best place to start? Avoiding these popular shades, say color experts.

5 colors to avoid in your family room

While decorating with white and some gray tones are top color trends this season, they’re best left outside your family room. Here are the five shades the experts avoid.

1. Dark green

Green hallway with green painted walls, daybed with wooden frame and green cushions, abstract artwork on walls in blue and pink, green patterned rug, black floor lamp next to daybed

(Image credit: Polly Wreford)

Dark green is having more of a moment in various rooms in the home, whether through kitchen cabinets or green bedroom ideas. However, in all their organic goodness, green bedroom ideas are less suitable for family rooms.

“Dark green is a contemplative color, best suited to libraries, bedrooms and even, dare I say, guest bathrooms,” says designer Melanie Thomas of Melanie Thomas Design (opens in a new tab). This is because it can “look dull” and often natural light “doesn’t play well with its dark tones”.

2. Bright white

Living room with decorated moldings, parquet floor and fireplace.  Large mirror above the fireplace, blue upholstery and animal skin rugs.

(Image credit: Ti Archive)

“One surprising color people should avoid for their family room is stark white,” says Stefan Bucur of Rhythm of the Home (opens in a new tab). But why does he warn against this family room favorite? “It may sound a bit controversial, but bright white can make a room look sterile and unwelcoming,” says the designer.

However, avoiding bright white doesn’t mean you have to steer clear of clean room ideas. The expert urges you to invest in an eggshell or creamy white to add some warmth to your family room without feeling too clinical.

3. Deep reds

Shelving Ideas for Living Rooms with Red Bay Window Shelves

(Image credit: Future/Emma Lewis)

Deep red knows how to make a statement in a room, but experts warn against choosing red bedroom ideas for your family room.

“Deep reds are overpowering and can be extremely distracting,” warns Geoff Sharp, president of Sharper Impressions Painting. (opens in a new tab). And he is not alone in his warning. Similarly, Melanie insists against this rich hue, adding that – although it “energizes and invigorates” – it “also increases aggression and ability to concentrate”.

Instead, Geoff recommends experimenting with red through other decorating ideas such as pillows or curtains. This will allow you to play with red in a smoother way.

4. Steel gray

fireplace decor with gray wall and mirror

(Image credit: future)

When planning a color scheme, you’d be forgiven for thinking that gray living room ideas can’t hurt. However, just as experts suggest avoiding bright white for its sterile aesthetic, steel gray has a similar effect. “This color is very cold and sterile and does not stimulate conversation or openness,” warns Mélanie.

5. Mustard Yellow

Curtains in a yellow bedroom with a sideboard

(Image credit: future)

Mustard yellow radiates positivity, and it’s totally on-trend — but experts warn against introducing yellow bedroom ideas into your family space. ‘[Yellows] are too happy and [appear] too much for a large room,” says Geoff. Instead, he suggests choosing a softer shade that leans more white or cream with a hint of yellow.

Stefan Bucur adds that – although yellow is in fashion – it may not be the best color for a ‘timeless’ family room, as it could ‘fall out of fashion quickly’.

What Color Shouldn’t You Paint Your Family Room?

“There are no hard and fast rules about what colors to avoid in a family room,” says Homes & Gardens’ Editor Lucy Searle. “And it depends to some degree on what you do in your family room, when you do it, the orientation of your room, and how much light it gets naturally. Plus, of course, the atmosphere you want to create. However, chances are you want to create a calm and relaxing space, even if it’s used for family game nights or parties, so choosing tones that are on the muted end of the color wheel will be better than to opt for primary bold, for example. In other words, pick a color you like, then tone it down by adjusting the light levels.

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