Modern Bedroom Colors

Create the perfect color scheme for your modern bedroom without turning your bedroom into a midcentury time capsule.

The warm gray walls create a strong background against the light and crisp cream-colored bedding. Pops of coral bring a bright splash of color to the bedroom. Design by Ana Donohue

DP_Donohue-contemporary-gray-orange-bedroom_4x3

The warm gray walls create a strong background against the light and crisp cream-colored bedding. Pops of coral bring a bright splash of color to the bedroom. Design by Ana Donohue

Photo by: Warren Patterson

Warren Patterson

By: Gina Hannah

If your bedroom follows a modern style, you have many colors from which to choose. First, however, you'll want to decide just what "modern" means to you.

Inspiring Contemporary Bedroom

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While the terms "modern" and "contemporary" are often used interchangeably, there are differences. Modern design isn't technically new; it emerged in the late 1800s and leans on Asian and Scandinavian design. Modern furnishings incorporate straight, simple lines and neutral colors. The emphasis is on simplicity and function.

"Midcentury modern" emerged during the 1950s. Post-war optimism led homeowners to choose bright shades such as chartreuse and flamingo pink to go with their streamlined furnishings and sunburst wall clocks and mirrors.

The contemporary decorating style emerged later, in the 1970s, and continues to evolve based on current trends. While having similarities to modern style, contemporary design pulls on a mix of Art Deco, deconstructivism, futurism and other styles. Clean lines and geometric shapes are dominant in furniture design. Colors run the gamut, generally dictated by the personal taste of the homeowner.

The colors you choose for your modern bedroom will depend on the goals you have for your personal retreat. If you want to go all-out in pulling your look from the past, you can do just that. Choose which specific style (or combination of styles) you like best, and choose your colors accordingly. You can create a room that has the feel of stepping back in time.

What if you don't want to turn your bedroom into a time capsule? You don't have to, but you can still incorporate the modern touches you love into a fresh look—one that balances the classic and the modern.

If you have great modern furniture pieces you wish to take center stage, neutral walls are a great choice. Light beiges and grays will let the design of your furnishings shine through. You may also choose to keep your walls white, particularly if your furnishings have distinct colors you don't want to become lost.

If you prefer to use color on your bedroom walls, you can go bold. The clean, simple lines of modern furniture will keep a room with walls in deeper shades from being too heavy. Be sure to choose colors that will complement, not overpower, any wood or fabric tones you want to showcase.

For a truly balanced look, consider painting an accent wall in a bold shade that plays off your headboard and other furniture while leaving the other walls white. Your choices are limited only by your imagination, and what will give your bedroom the look you want.

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