Straight from an interior designer.
Is there a bedroom makeover in your future? One of the easiest ways to refresh and revive your bedroom is with a fresh coat of paint, but as you stare at the huge wall of colors at your local paint store, you might feel overwhelmed. I’ll be the first to tell you it takes some serious skill to tell the difference between Shadow White, Simply White, and Winter White.
While the ultimate choice in selecting the one perfect hue to use in your bedroom is yours to make, we can guide you in the right direction—with a little help from a professional. San Francisco-based interior designer Julia Goodwin was kind enough to share some of her go-to tips and tricks for picking the best paint colors, all of which you can use to revamp your sleep space. It'll be so serene, you’ll never want to leave.
So what’s the trick to creating a relaxing bedroom? Apparently, this is the question on everyone’s mind. “This is one of the most frequent questions I’m asked by my design clients—a calm and relaxing bedroom is always high on the wish list!” says Goodwin. “To create this atmosphere, I use lighter shades on the walls.”
Many people tend to think cool colors—like blue, green, and purple—are the most soothing, but Goodwin explains warm colors can work too: “Both cool and warm tones can provide a feeling of calm, as long as you’re using a less saturated color.” So instead of a bold, bright orange, it’s better to use a light, muted variation.
To this end, some ideal bedroom colors include pale blue, gray, mint green, pastel pink, lavender, mellow yellow and, of course, any of the 100 shades of white. This range of colors allows you to work with your existing color palette or create a new one all together; it depends on how much you want to spend on redecorating.
If you really want to increase the coziness of your space, Goodwin recommends playing with different textures, too: “To amp up the cozy factor beyond paint, bring in layers of texture through accessories, bedding, window treatments, and even wall art.”
Have you ever found a paint color that seemed perfect, but when you put it on the walls, it looked completely different? The lighting in your bedroom can change the appearance of paint quite drastically, which is why interior designers always recommend testing out swatches before you commit to a color.
“Artificial and natural light dramatically change how you perceive paint colors,” explains Goodwin. “To select the right paint color, I always suggest placing paint samples directly onto various walls within the space. After they dry, they should be viewed at different times of day with both natural and artificial light.”
In particular, artificial light can make paint look different, so Goodwin recommends trying out different types of light fixtures to get the vibe you want. “When it comes to artificial light, add a dimmer for overhead lighting and supply the room with different options such as table lamps or wall sconces,” she says. “This will give you the ability to play with the amount of light to create a different mood.”
Finally, you’ll want to avoid colors that are too vibrant, as these will make your bedroom overly energetic—not great for when you’re trying to wind down for the day. “I recommend avoiding high-energy colors such as deep reds, bright oranges, lime green, and vibrant yellows—too much of these will make your room feel invigorating rather than soothing,” says Goodwin.
However, if you can’t live without your favorite bright orange, she recommends placing pops of the hue around the room: “If you love these colors, you can introduce them through accents, such as pillows and artwork.”
And there you have it: The keys to a peaceful bedroom, straight from the professionals. Now go forth and get to painting!
What paint color soothes you? Let us know below!