Modern Bedroom Color Schemes

Choose a color scheme that will complement your favorite modern bedroom furnishings.



A dark, rich, chocolate-brown accent wall sets the tone for this modern yet romantic master bedroom.

By: Gina Hannah

If you're decorating your bedroom in a modern style, you can choose from a variety of color combinations that will showcase the strong lines of your furniture pieces. First, however, you'll want to define just what "modern" means to you.

Color Trends in the Bedroom

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Soultry Browns

"People want to simplify their lives, and we're seeing that trend reflected in color palettes for the bedroom and throughout the home," says Jack Bredenfoerder, president of the Color Marketing Group. CMG predicts that the environment will continue to play a big role in soothing shades for the bedroom.

"These hues, especially shades of medium to dark browns, are perfect for the bedroom because they are nurturing and satisfying our souls," explains Bredenfoerder.

Photo By: Ralph Kylloe ©2013 Gibbs Smith, Rustic Elegance, Ralph Kylloe

Green + Brown

"Greens and browns are a classic combo that's very popular right now," says Seattle-based designer Nancy Satterberg. "It's a great combo for the bedroom because of the feeling of warmth. You want to feel cozy in your bedroom."

Satterberg warns you have to be careful to choose the right shades of green, because some shades aren't flattering to skin tone. "You want to choose something fresh and light, not too deep or saturated," the designer explains.

Blue + Green

The Color Marketing Group predicts that the trend towards environmental palettes will only boost the popularity of the classic bedroom combination of green and blue. Look for softer, more botanical greens paired with blues that reflect the colors of the sky and water.

"Blue has always been a soothing color because it's universally understood as cleansing and clarifying," says Leatrice Eiseman, director of thePantone Color Institute.

The New Pink

Of course, there are exceptions to every rule and that's the bold breakout of pink in the bedroom.

"This isn't the same soft, sweet shade of pink you see in little girls' rooms" says CMG's Bredenfoerder, who explains that pink has become a solidarity color for women and that's spilled over into powerful shades in fashion — for men and women alike — as well as color palettes for the home. "This is a stronger pink — warmer with just a little yellow in it — that's very sophisticated for the bedroom."

It is warm, relaxing and sophisticated — everything you'd want in the bedroom.

Light Lavender

"Lavender is by nature relaxing and gives you a feeling of peace, so it's a natural for the bedroom," says Los Angeles interior designer Diann Valentine.

Photo By: Annie Schlechter

A Balancing Act

Valentine always looks for accessories to add a bit of glamour to a space. In this case she chose an ornate bedside lamp and glass vanity table that call back to the days of Hollywood glam but also have a modern feel. "Make sure not to overdo the Hollywood glam," cautions the designer. "One or two accents are great, but crystal chandeliers and heavy velvet drapes in every room can make your home seem like an old movie theater."

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; it features bright shades such as chartreuse and flamingo pink. The contemporary decorating style emerged later, in the 1970s, and continues to evolve based on current trends. While bearing similarities to modern style, contemporary design incorporates a mix of Art Deco, deconstructivism, futurism and other styles. Colors run the gamut, generally dictated by the personal taste of the homeowner.

Whichever school of thought applies to your decorating style, you'll want to choose a color scheme that complements the clean lines of your furnishings without overpowering them. This doesn't mean you must shy away from color, but you should consider which colors will enhance your room's overall look.

The colors you choose 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.

On the walls, you can go with a favorite deep shade (green, orange or gold work well) or, if you have colorful pieces to showcase, let them pop against walls painted in a white or neutral shade.

If you don't want your bedroom to look like a time capsule, balance classic and modern colors for an eclectic look. Consider how your pieces might look against a wall painted royal or navy blue or a rich but soft grey. Deep red shades can work with white or black pieces. 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.

White also works for an eclectic look, particularly if your furnishings have distinct colors you don't want to become lost.

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