7 Unexpected Bedroom Paint Colors That Are Worth the Risk

These shades make the case for saying goodbye to basic beige.

Living in a rental apartment means I've come to accept the plain, white walls that surround me day after day. I've done my best to customize the place with artwork, books, statement furniture and plenty of accessories, but I can't help but dream about adding some color to the walls, especially in my bedroom.

And after living with plain white for so long, I know when I finally have a home I can actually paint, I'll be picking out some truly unexpected shades. I love the look of bold bedroom walls, so I'm sharing the colors that are currently at the top of my wish list. Read on for seven hues that are totally worth the design risk.

1: Gunmetal Gray

This moody shade is a total eye-catcher, but it still feels like a neutral thanks to its blend of blue and gray tones. So it's the perfect backdrop for pastel pops and gold accessories.

2: Kelly Green

Formal Master Bedroom With Nature Inspired Green Walls

Formal Master Bedroom With Nature Inspired Green Walls

Damask-print pillows top a small white elegant sofa in this formal master bedroom.The padded headboard with nailhead trim accent the faux canopy style of the bed and set the formal tone.

Paler shades of green are frequently used in bedrooms, but how fab is this unapologetic emerald-esque shade? If you really want to make a statement, consider painting your ceiling the same poppy color.

3: Bright Orange

Twin Bed With Upholstered Navy Headboard and Striped Comforter in Boy's Bedroom With Bright Orange Accent Wall

Twin Bed With Upholstered Navy Headboard and Striped Comforter in Boy's Bedroom With Bright Orange Accent Wall

A bold orange accent wall creates a bright backdrop for the navy details in this boy's bedroom design. Thick navy and white stripes on the comforter match the striped curtains and upholstered navy headboard with small nailhead trim. Orange pillows and upholstered cube stools tie the accent wall into the design.

Photo by: Dan Piassick

Dan Piassick

Orange may not be the most popular paint choice when it comes to home decorating, but seeing how impactful it looks on a bedroom wall makes me wonder why that is. The hue looks right at home when paired with subdued navy and white accessories.

4: Jet Black

Black Master Bedroom with Room Saving Furnishings

Black Master Bedroom with Room Saving Furnishings

The bedroom in this small apartment also makes very good use of its space. A slender dresser has been placed just under the window, and a bedside table has been hung from the ceiling to create space beneath it.

Photo by: Regan Wood

Regan Wood

There's just something about black walls that I can't get enough of; they're somehow sexy, mysterious and simplistic all at the same time, and they make any room feel undeniably cool. 

5: Pastel Purple



Photo by: Helen Norman

Helen Norman

While you're more likely to catch this soft shade on the walls of a nursery than a master bedroom, it's actually a great choice for a grown-up space. The pastel color feels relaxing and soothing, and it looks gorgeous paired with greens and grays.

6: Fiery Red

Bold, Bright Modern Bedroom With Built-In Window Seat

Bold, Bright Modern Bedroom With Built-In Window Seat

Bold and bright, this modern bedroom makes a serious style statement. With such a strong wall color, the room's furnishings are kept muted or matching so as not to overwhelm the space.



Red may seem like an intense choice for a bedroom, but the romantic shade can feel simple when paired with quieter shades like white and muted gray.

7: Hot Pink



Interior designer Linda Woodrum took one look at the carpet in a shade of bright bubblegum, and knew immediately that one room would be over-the-top colorful. “That room feels joyous and happy, and it’s fun to be in the space,” she says.

Photo by: Eric


A shade that's definitely not for the faint of heart, hot pink feels fun, upbeat and a little sweet when used on bedroom walls.

Can Neutrals Be Edgy?
This Room Proves They Can

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Soothing Multipurpose Bedroom + Office

Ultra-white, black-brown and sand tones transform a multipurpose room into a tranquil space that doubles as an at-home office and a cozy spot for guests to sleep. Accented by a muted tonal mix, the room's organic textures add visual depth.

Woven Rattan Chairs

When decorating rooms with neutrals, a wide mix of textures keeps the space feeling layered and tactile. In addition to adding a sculptural element, this pair of hanging chairs introduces rough, woven rattan to contrast against the bright, white walls.

Photo By: © Rustic White Photography

Ebony-Stained Millwork

Interior designers often choose black-brown wood tones for floors, ceilings and custom cabinetry. The darkness evokes a sense of glamor and high-end appeal and also adds high contrast when paired with sand tones or white. Ebony is a super-dark shade of brown that appears black, but if you look at it closely, it’s actually a few shades lighter.

Photo By: © Rustic White Photography

Mix of Light + Dark Tones

Overall, this neutral space is a play on contrast. The walls and ceiling are covered in bright white paint to keep the room feeling open and airy, and the built-in storage wall introduces contrast with modern cabinetry finished in an ebony tone.

Photo By: © Rustic White Photography

Contrasting Black-Brown + White Pattern

If you're looking for a neutral-toned pattern that's graphic and packed with contrast, stick with white and black-brown prints. Chocolate brown, which has a touch of red in its coloring, can become washed out when paired with a light color; however, the "almost black" character of black-brown maintains its contrast regardless of available natural light.

Photo By: © Rustic White Photography, LLC

White-Painted Brick Walls

Indoor brick walls add industrial, historic and rustic charm; however, the brownish red tone of the brick drastically limits the possible color palettes a homeowner can use. To keep the brick pattern and the rich texture, paint the brick bright white in a flat finish. The white brick will make a room seem much brighter and allow virtually any color scheme to work well.

Photo By: © Rustic White Photography

Sculptural Wood

Natural wood accents introduce rich texture and organic shape to a space. Keep driftwood or burl in its natural state by adding a clear sealant. This will allow the walnut tones of the wood to read naturally and also keep the material authentic.

  1. driftwood
  2. organic

Photo By: © Rustic White Photography

Charcoal + Taupe

The most commonly used neutral is beige; however, this color can be considered boring, cold and even contractor-grade. Two excellent alternatives are charcoal and taupe. Taupe has slightly more white undertones that keep it from reading yellow as beige tends to do. Charcoal is a great alternative for homeowners who are interested in dark colors but afraid to use black.

Photo By: © Rustic White Photography, LLC

Wall-to-Wall Sisal

Wall-to-wall carpet often gets a bad rep from design enthusiasts who associate it with the cut pile carpet popularly used in the 70s and 80s. Seagrass and sisal are both excellent options for homeowners interested in introducing pattern and texture in a way that feels organic. Available in a wide range of colors and weaves, sisal can make a room feel more relaxed or tailored, depending on how it's applied. Because this is a high-traffic room, a sand-tone sisal was used to help mask spills and general wear and tear.

Photo By: © Rustic White Photography, LLC

Upholstered Closet Doors

To add a touch of high design, ready-made bifold closet doors were given an update with fabric and batting. For a not-too-overwhelming pattern, a transitional geometric with shades of charcoal, greige and brown was used.

Photo By: © Rustic White Photography

Black Iron Detail

Nail-head detail is commonly used by designers and decorators to add layers of interest to furniture. While nickel, chrome and brass are the most popular metallics, iron and bronze are less expected and can add a more masculine vibe.

Photo By: © Rustic White Photography, LLC

Receding Details

Dark neutrals such as black, brown and charcoal can be a design trick for making things recede. Here, the closet was given more depth thanks to the black-brown millwork used for its interior.

Photo By: © Rustic White Photography

Aged Brown Leather

The trick to using leather correctly is to stick with tones that don't read overly rich, sexy or gaudy. Here, the room's main door was given an update with leather upholstery in an aged brown tone that's slightly faded and worn, resulting in more of a vintage look. In addition to a mix of tones, the room was outfitted with organic textures that add visual depth.

  1. brown photos

Photo By: © Rustic White Photography

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