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

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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Graphic Wallpaper

This cozy contemporary bedroom is complete with an intimate seating arrangement, plush fabrics and clean-lined accents. Graphic wallpaper adds character and whimsy to the master bedroom. Design by Jennifer Jones

Corals and Grays

Who says contemporary design is cold? The warm, dark gray paint is a beautiful backdrop to the crisp cream and corals. Design by Ana Donohue

Crisp Lines

White on white can be a timeless and refreshing palette. Using a dark paint color to make your whites pop, along with metallic accents, creates a luxury hotel-style bedroom. Design by Domicile Interior Design

Dramatic Bed

When working in a large-scale bedroom, you can use oversized pieces of furniture to anchor your space. This beautiful wood headboard becomes a centerpiece in this contemporary dream room. Design by SPI Design

Seaside Hues

Natural fabrics keep this bedroom feeling light, and organic linen upholstery, breezy window coverings and sea grass area rugs provide a consistent palette without being too matched or themed. Photography by Jeri Koegel. Design by Natalie Umbert

Statement Wall

Make a strong statement with a wood wall or exposed brick. Keeping the furnishings light ensures the final product will not be too dark or overpowering. Artwork can be kept to a minimum with this approach. Design by Madelyn Simon

Subdued Stripes

A cherry wood bed from Thomas Moser positioned in front of horizontally striped wallpaper creates a focal point for this bedroom. Layers of textures lend sophistication to this space. Design by Erica Islas

Playful Details

The vibrant patterns in the bedding and window treatments bring a youthful vibe to this open, bright bedroom. The bold green nightstand pops against the pale blue wall color, and playful wall art adds a girly touch. Design by Erinn Valencich

From: Erinn Valencich

Enticing Red

Bold red fills this intimate bedroom, from the walls to the bedding. Sleek black bedside lamps and textured bedding bring a contemporary vibe to the space. Designer Marie Burgos placed black-and-white photography above the bed for a feminine focal point.

Floral Accents

The floral-print bedding and artwork soften this mostly contemporary bedroom. The deep purple color of the carpet is carried through to the lamps and accessories. The drum shade chandelier brings sparkle to the space. Design by Joseph Pubillones

Spa-Like Features

Soft textures and a subtle color palette create a soothing ambiance in this spa-inspired bedroom. The plush oversized headboard and wall-mounted lamps provide extra comfort when reading a book in bed. Design by Ann Wisniewski

Dramatic Walls

Designer Erinn Valencich implemented bold-patterned wallpaper to make a dramatic statement in this contemporary bedroom. The bamboo-inspired window blinds and headboard anchor the space, while the velvet blue bench adds subtle color.

From: Erinn Valencich

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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