What Color to Paint Your Bedroom

Choosing paint colors for your bedroom can seem overwhelming, but can be fun if you follow a few guidelines.



If you're attracted to the idea of using yellow on your walls, but concerned the color will be too intense, take a tip from the pros and choose a toned-down version of the hue. "I usually wouldn't paint a large room all yellow," says designer Libby Langdon. "But there's a fantastic color by Benjamin Moore called Weston Flax and it's just soft enough to cover a big space without overwhelming it." In this room, Langdon also added sophistication with furnishings and accessories in cooler shades. "I think a great way to work with yellow is to combine it with a cooler color like gray, navy blue or even black and then layer in white," she says. "There are so many ways you can use yellow with other colors to achieve an elegant, upscale look."

The colors you love to wear, to have around you, reflect your personality and tastes. When choosing paint colors for your bedroom, the number of choices can seem overwhelming. There are no hard-and-fast rules, but it's good to keep some guidelines in mind.

6 Perfect Color Palettes

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Brown, Blue and Cream

Create an effortless and versatile color scheme by combining brown, blue and cream, like designer Shelly Riehl David did in this kitchen, dining and living room. The trick is to keep the values of each color consistent, like the dark-brown furniture that ties into the brown of the rug. (We found it: Company C's Sachi Black Bean rug.) This frees you up to surprise with accents in similar saturations, but different colors, such as the green lamp and red striped pillow.

From: Shelly Riehl David

Cinnamon, Purple and Green

When it comes to color, nature is a natural inspiration. Take a cue from the land right outside your window, or your favorite vacation spot. Designer Lori Dennis used muted earth tones in the master bedroom of a client's Palm Springs weekend home. The cinnamon nightstands and ceiling, muted lilac bedding and live green plants work well together as a triad color scheme.

Tone on Tone

Shades of beige, cream and brown make for a restful, comfortable master bedroom, designed by Linda Woodrum for HGTV's 2007 Dream Home. Creating a monochromatic palette is as easy as picking up paint color swatches at a home improvement store. Simply choose one color you like, then go one value up and down from that color in the spectrum. To prevent monochromatic color from being monotonous, introduce textured fabrics and textiles.

One Color, Same Intensity

When going all-out with color, like in this child's bedroom by designer Steven Miller, make sure the color intensities are similar. That is, don't pair pale pinks with neon pinks, or the room will feel disconnected. Likewise, if saturated blue is your color of choice, a pastel blue will look out of place. Even in analogous rooms, which tend to be calming, pick shades that have similar intensities. Photo by Matthew Millman.

Orange and Blue

Complementary colors or colors that sit across from each other on the color wheel — aren't only reserved for sports teams. Designer Constance Ramos paired muted orange and blue against espresso cabinets in this home office, giving the space a warm, fresh appeal. Other complementary color pairs to try: red and green; purple and yellow.

Black, White and Green

No matter how bold you go with color in your spaces, remember to use the basics to tie it all together. This guest bedroom suite found in HGTV's Dream Home 2007 makes a strong color statement. But it's the white and black that makes it livable. Interior designer Linda Woodrum says "the color is my favorite part of the room. It's strong but appealing, and it's balanced by the blacks and whites." Our picks for easy black and white accents include zebra-striped rugs, black frames and sheer white curtains.

Think about the rooms you spend time in, and how they make you feel. Do you prefer a room that is light and airy, or dark and cozy? Do you prefer solid hues on your walls, or paint with some type of pattern? Stripes, stencil patterns, sponge painting and textures can add a touch of style to any bedroom. Consider your decorating style. Smaller patterns lend themselves to a more traditional look, while larger patterns and geometric shapes, bold stripes and sweeps are more compatible with a contemporary look.

For a tranquil, spa-like space, soft neutrals with touches of warm browns and cool, soothing blues are good choices. Soft green hues can also create a calming effect. White can also create a soothing atmosphere; pair it with soft shades and neutrals or, for a contemporary looks that pops, bright or black accents. Lighter shades and pastels can also help a small room feel larger and more airy, and touches of a bright shade will turn your bedroom into a cheery space.

Whether you're choosing paint for your bedroom or a family member's room, consider the occupant's age. For a room in which adults will sleep, neutral shades are popular, but don't be afraid of color. Rich reds and warm browns can create a sultry and romantic mood, while gold tones can add a touch of luxury. Consider an accent wall, such as the wall behind the bed's headboard, in a bright or dark color if you feel reluctant about adding too much color. You can also choose a muted shade of orange or yellow for a cheery look that doesn't overwhelm the room.

Bright reds and oranges may not be the best colors for adults seeking a space to unwind in the evenings, but bright colors can work well in children's rooms. If a bright shade is your child's favorite, go for it. The same goes for purple; a favorite of teen and tween girls, purple stimulates brain activity and is a good choice if your child studies in her room. A kid's bedroom is a great place to stray from traditional colors, so let your child use his or her creativity to create their perfect space.

Tips for Selecting Paint Colors

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