What is the best color for bedroom walls? Why experts favor this color palette over all others (2023)

There are so many ways to make bedroom walls attractive, beautiful, and rejuvenating; the walls in our bedroom offer so many design possibilities, but it can be hard to know where to start when it comes to finding the best color for bedroom walls.

According to interior designers and decorators, the best color for bedroom walls is 'neutrals'. Sophisticated and timeless in their simplicity, neutral schemes are a stalwart in the world of interiors – to get them right in the bedroom, we asked those in the know for advice.

The best bedroom color ideas can do more than just look pretty, the right room color in your bedroom may also help you to rest, relax and sleep better at night.

Here designers and decorators reveal why decorating with neutrals is the best option for your bedroom walls – and how to curate neutral bedroom ideas that are warm, tranquil, and stylish by using the color wheel to create calming color combinations for rooms, using neutral as an accent shade, and what variations to use to create a scheme that won't overwhelm.

What is the best color for bedroom walls?

Perfecting a pared-back palette is essential in the bedroom, especially if you wish to curate a space that calms the mind.

Using a white or natural palette is all about adding depth and contrast in different layers and textures, says Jane Landino, creative head of studio at Taylor Howes. ‘To make a neutral palette feel designed and considered it’s important to mix and match patterns, albeit neutral ones and occasional pops of color. Just because a bedroom wall is neutral or white doesn’t mean it has to be plain: think about the application – is the wallpaper silk or textured, as an example.

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Neutrals are one of the most versatile shades in all of design – it instantly brightens while evoking a sense of calm and flawlessness. Add interest to neutral room ideas through colorful art, accent soft furnishings, and antique furniture and objects. It also makes it easier to change up the look of your bedroom.’

The beauty of a neutral bedroom wall color scheme is that it provides a wonderful scaffold upon which to hang accents of color, adds Deborah Bass, founder of Base Interior.

‘This is especially true in a bedroom where a neutral wall or a textured plaster or wallpaper wall finish creates a background for books and art, both of which can take the decorative center stage.’ She recommends grounding subtler shades with deeper, richer natural timber to create a balance.

What is the best color for bedroom walls? Why experts favor this color palette over all others (1)

(Image credit: Future/ Paul Raeside)

What bedroom color helps you sleep?

If you ask any designer or decorator, they will tell you that 'neutrals' are a good choice if you want a bedroom wall color that will help you sleep. Curating a bedroom that will help you to sleep better will improve your mood, health, and wellness. Insufficient rest can cause our body to produce increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol, so getting a good night's sleep can improve your ability to rationalize concerns and boost your mental and physical health.

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Getting the color right in a room can be a tricky business, especially as neutrals run a whole gamut of shades. Even with all their experience, it can take time for professionals to make a decision. There is a lot to consider – the size and shape of the space, the available natural light and its direction, who it is for, etc.

‘A large bedroom can often handle warm or deep-toned neutrals that work with both north- and south-facing light,’ says Tom Morris of Morrisstudio. ‘If bedroom wall colors are strong, I tone down the colors in the furnishings or vice versa.'

According to Karen Haller, color psychology specialist, and best-selling author of The Little Book of Color: 'Warm and earthy neutrals are also believed to be the best colors for reducing stress and anxiety.' She also recommends staying away from red on bedroom walls – one of the most stressful colors to use in the home due to its link to danger, aggression, and overstimulation.

Should you paint a bedroom ceiling?

Ceiling paint ideas are a great way of adding another layer of interest to your bedroom wall and making a space feel cozier. All too often they are an afterthought but we make sure to consider their decorating potential,’ confides interior designer Nicola Harding.

When decorating a neutral ceiling, yet wanting to curate a space that isn't bland, remember that accent colors can be introduced else using elegant bedroom light ideas, says Sarah Ward, co-founder of Ward & Co Interiors. ‘Colored ceiling lights add vibrance, particularly when paired with neutral bedroom walls; they can be used creatively to weave in another color or tonal contrast.’

How to use a neutral bedroom wall color scheme

Predominantly neutral color schemes – from beige through caramel and on to taupe and café au lait – bring serenity and tranquillity to any space because they are easy on the eye and restful in their nature.

There’s plenty of debate as to how to define ‘neutral’ colors. We tend to think of them as tones such as white, beige, grey, ivory, and khaki that don’t appear on the color wheel. In general, neutrals are calming and easy to use – they work with almost every other color, but it’s important to consider how pigments are affected by light. ‘The light in a room is key to deciding whether to choose warm or cool tones,’ says Ruth Mottershead of Little Greene. There is a difference between warm neutrals (with a green or yellow undertone), which work well in north-facing rooms as they bounce light around, and cool ones (with a bit of pink, violet, or blue). When decorating with neutrals, texture and layering are essential.

(Video) How to Pick Colors for NORTH FACING ROOMS

Here is how to use neutral on bedroom walls to create a scheme to be proud of.

1. Invite subtle texture into your bedroom

What is the best color for bedroom walls? Why experts favor this color palette over all others (2)

(Image credit: Gunter & Co)

This is a modern bedroom but the use of rich tones, shapes, and details creates a connection with nature that makes it appear almost timeless.

‘For this Chelsea house project we worked to a selection of nature-inspired finishes with a strong preference for earthy terracotta and green and blue hues, which are offset against sleek black details,’ says Irene Gunter of design practice Gunter & Co.

Irene describes this room as having 'a lovely, cozy shape’, which was enhanced by the ‘warm, enveloping’ hand-woven texture of the bedroom wallcovering – Casablanca from Altfield.

(Video) How to Choose Paint Colors for your home

2. Create contrast

What is the best color for bedroom walls? Why experts favor this color palette over all others (3)

(Image credit: Nicola Harding)

In this bedroom by interior designer Nicola Harding, the jewel green of the client’s husband’s dressing room contrasts perfectly with the soft neutral walls of the bedroom (Farrow & Ball’s Setting Plaster).

‘We created an overall neutral color palette that flows through the house and therefore gives a sense of harmony,’ says Nicola. ‘We used paler colors in the rooms that have good light and stronger neutral colors in the darker rooms.’

3. Warm up with materials

What is the best color for bedroom walls? Why experts favor this color palette over all others (4)

(Video) Sherwin Williams Accessible Beige with Coordinating Paint Colors

(Image credit: The White Company )

'Even a bedroom that’s lacking in color can still be bursting with visual appeal,' says designer Bobby Berk. 'In fact, I love working with a neutral color palette on bedroom walls because it can really translate to any design style. But the key to doing it successfully is to embrace a variety of elements that will add interest.'

Here, a combination of materials and textures works well to create contrast and a sense of dimension. 'A bedroom without a lot of colors can tend to look really flat when you stick with similar materials, he says. 'That’s why I like to bring in warm wood tones, stone, and textured accessories that will create a sense of depth.'


What colors are best for bedroom and why? ›

Colors that may help you sleep

Certain colors may evoke relaxation, while others stimulate your mind and make you more awake. Overall, muted colors are the best for your bedroom walls, and blue, green, and yellow may offer the most benefits.

What is the most popular color to paint your room? ›

When it comes to living rooms, a neutral background is often the preferred choice as it allows your furniture and art to stand out. Popular paint colors for living rooms include black, beige, dove gray, white, and maroon. If your living room gets plenty of sunlight, dark black color can add a sense of opulence to it.

How do you use a color palette in a bedroom? ›

  1. Choose a Color Scheme From the Largest Pattern in the Space. ...
  2. Decorate From Dark to Light, Vertically. ...
  3. Start With the Formal Areas of the House. ...
  4. Use the Color Wheel. ...
  5. Back to Black. ...
  6. Go With Grays. ...
  7. Contrast Warm and Cool. ...
  8. Showcase Your Personal Style.

What color is best for bedroom walls psychology? ›

Bedroom Color and Moods
  • Light green and blue create a feeling of relaxation.
  • Pink lifts spirits.
  • Dark navy gives off a dramatic air.
  • Classic white conjures clarity.
  • Warm gray is equally soothing and sophisticated.

Is light or dark paint better for bedroom? ›

If natural light and a room that feels larger are important to you then a lighter color is a great choice. If you rarely open your curtains and love to sleep in, then a darker color will help you create a cozy environment, like this example below (not one of our projects).

What colors help you sleep? ›

Research studies discovered red to be the best color light to help you sleep, because it increases production of melatonin as well as full darkness. On the other end of the spectrum, blue is the worst. Despite being a calm-inducing color on most occasions, blue is not suitable for lighting a bedroom.

Should I paint all my bedroom walls the same color? ›

Most interior designers will say, as a general rule of design, that you should never paint your entire home one singular color. That isn't to say that you can't use the same color palette throughout your entire home.

What colors make a room look bigger and brighter? ›

Lighter paint colors like off-whites, light neutrals, pales, and pastels give the illusion of larger, brighter rooms.

What colors make a room look expensive? ›

Fresh Paint will make your Home look Expensive

Light airy neutral paint colors make a room look expensive. Choose from white, beige (yes beige is back!), cream and off-white colors. Dark brown and black are also on trend so will make your interiors look more upscale as well.

What colors improve mood in bedroom? ›

6 Mood-Boosting Paint Colors That Will Make Your Home A Happier Place
  • Nature-Inspired Greens.
  • Cheerful Yellows.
  • Glorious Pinks.
  • Feel Good Blues.
  • Warm Reds.
  • Zingy Oranges.
Mar 29, 2023

What color makes a room look better? ›

Stark White

Naturally, white is an obvious choice for making a room feel bigger. It's no secret that light colors make a room look larger, especially if the space is bathed in natural light. Eggshell or satin finishes will help reflect the light, creating the appearance of even more space.

What colors are best for master bedroom? ›

According to leading design experts, the best wall colors for a bedroom are warm pastels, soft white paint shades, and neutral-leaning blues and greens.

What is the best color for a small bedroom? ›

Earth tones and neutrals are a frequent choice for small bedrooms. If you prefer softer shades, grey, green or yellow can lighten a small room. Neutral shades can make the wall visually recede into the background, making the room appear larger and bringing more attention to the accessories in the room.

Should bedroom colors be warm or cool? ›

In designing your home, it's helpful to think of what rooms are intended for when choosing your colors—warm colors are often used in social areas, like kitchens and dining rooms, while cool colors are used in spaces for relaxation, such as bedrooms and bathrooms.

What color is best for bedroom anxiety? ›

Start feeling more zen with 15 of the most calming bedroom color ideas.
  • Lush Lavender. The flower itself is the perfect shade of purple with a light blue tone — perfectly regal and relaxing, but not overwhelming. ...
  • Tranquil White. ...
  • Blue-Gray. ...
  • Sea Blue. ...
  • Pastel Purple. ...
  • Dusty Pink. ...
  • Neutral Beige. ...
  • Sage Green.
Sep 20, 2019

What are the most psychologically pleasing colors? ›

Yellow is the epitome of joy, happiness, cheerfulness, optimism—you name it. Anything happy is almost always yellow. The wavelength of yellow is particularly long, making it have one of the most powerful psychological meanings while also being the easiest color to visibly see.

What color should not be used in a bedroom? ›

Avoid bright blue, greens, pinks, oranges, and yellows and instead opt for muted pastel versions of the color, as these will work to encourage sleep. Easy rule of thumb: the brighter the hue the worst for sleep, the softer the hue the better a calming bedroom paint idea.

Should darker color be on top or bottom of wall? ›

Use Multiple Colors Wisely

If you have a chair rail or wainscoting and you want to paint the top and bottom of the walls different colors, it's best to use the darker color on the bottom portion and the lighter on top. The light color will dominate, and the dark color will have a grounding effect.

Is grey good for a bedroom? ›

Gray is a safe color for nearly any room in the house, but it is particularly versatile in the bedroom. No matter your home decor style, there's a gray shade that will work for you. A color often misunderstood, gray is rarely depressing or one-note.

What color light helps with depression? ›

Bright white light is amply used to treat depression. It is shown to suppress melatonin (the hormone that controls the sleep-wake cycle), synchronize circadian rhythms and soothe anxiety. The spectral colour of light is significant to understand its therapeutic quality.

What color light makes you happy? ›

*Pro Tip Warm light colors like orange and yellow generally provide happy and lively moods, while cool light colors like green or blue can provide a quiet or balanced mood.

What is the most relaxing light color? ›

1. Blue light. According to a 2017 study in the scientific journal PLOS ONE (9), blue lighting “accelerates the relaxation process after stress in comparison with conventional white lighting.” This study found that stressed people immersed in blue light relaxed three times as quickly as in white light.

Does painting a room all one color make it look bigger? ›

What Colors Make a Room Look Bigger? Light, airy colors typically make a room appear larger. In a small space, painting the entire area the same color can also make it appear more expansive.

How often should bedroom walls be painted? ›

For the best results, your interior walls should be repainted every 3-5 years. If you remodel your home or change the style of a room, you may need to repaint sooner. Depending on your lifestyle, family, and your activities, you may have to paint more often to keep walls from looking dingy.

Can I paint 2 walls in one room and accent color? ›

When it comes to accent walls, only one wall gets to be the accent wall. If you were to pick more than one, then it wouldn't have the same effect and you may as well paint the entire room. Because only one wall gets to be the accent wall, you must choose wisely.

What color makes a small bathroom look bigger? ›

What is the best paint color for a small bathroom? According to basic design principles, light colors such as white, crème, pastel blue, gray or yellow will visually expand a room, while dark colors such as a deep red, green or brown, will make a room feel smaller.

What makes a small room look bigger? ›

Some expert tips to make a room look bigger include using lighter paint colors, hanging curtains at ceiling height, incorporating large mirrors, using multi-functional furniture, and utilizing wall space for storage.

What colors make room look smaller? ›

Dark, Warm Paint Colours: How to Make a Room Appear Smaller or More Intimate. Generally speaking (oh there are ALWAYS exceptions), dark colours make a room look smaller. Why? Because dark colours advance, making the walls seem closer than they actually are.

What color is considered luxurious? ›

PURPLE. Purple has been associated with royalty in the past and is often thought of as a luxury color. Think about beauty products and anti-aging lines–more times than not, they will incorporate a shade of purple in the branding.

What color increases home value? ›

"Generally, going with neutral colors like shades of white, beige, taupe, and grays lead to a faster sale," she shares. "Neutral colors are also more appealing to potential buyers because many want the creative freedom of a blank canvas to add their personal touches to when looking for a new place to call home.

What color gives luxury? ›

Purple is the color of royalty, and is therefore associated with nobility, luxury, and power.

What room color makes you the happiest? ›

'Generally, the warm tones of yellow, and orange, warm lavenders and blues, such as periwinkle and warm red or warm pink are associated with happiness. '

What colors reduce anxiety? ›

Blue can calm your mind, slow your heart rate and lower your blood pressure, in turn reducing anxiety.

How can I make my small bedroom look amazing? ›

Make Your Bedroom Look Bigger Using Paint
  1. 1) Paint your walls light colors. ...
  2. 2) Monochromatic paint. ...
  3. 3) Paint the trim a slightly lighter color. ...
  4. 4) Paint the ceilings darker or with a bold pattern. ...
  5. 5) Use space-saving furniture. ...
  6. 6) Avoid excessive furniture. ...
  7. 8) Keep low to the ground. ...
  8. 9) Transparent furniture.
Jan 23, 2018

What are the interior colors for 2023? ›

A veritable rainbow of nostalgia, Indigo, Peppery, and Goldfinch offer elevated twists on the three primary colors, while Kale Green, Fabulous Grape, and Chartreuse play supporting parts. When neutrals like Pure White or Skyline Steel are added in, the versatile, brilliant Origin can re-energize an environment.

What colors make a room feel warm and cozy? ›

Cozy colors are saturated tones, and they tend to be dark shades of a warm hue, such as red, orange, and gold. A cozy color also can be a neutral, such as chocolate brown, caramel, fawn, or charcoal.

What color makes rooms look bigger? ›

Stark White

Naturally, white is an obvious choice for making a room feel bigger. It's no secret that light colors make a room look larger, especially if the space is bathed in natural light. Eggshell or satin finishes will help reflect the light, creating the appearance of even more space.

Should a bedroom be warm or cool color? ›

In designing your home, it's helpful to think of what rooms are intended for when choosing your colors—warm colors are often used in social areas, like kitchens and dining rooms, while cool colors are used in spaces for relaxation, such as bedrooms and bathrooms.

What is the most relaxing color? ›

Blue is the Most Relaxing Colour, Scientists Say.

What colors make rooms look brighter? ›

Go for pale shades of grey and blue for maximum lightening effect. If it's warmth you're after, don't be afraid to use light terracotta or yellow paint colours – a sunny hue can brighten and warm a dark, dingy space. Just be careful not to clutter the room with brown furniture so the scheme doesn't become overpowering.

What room colors are calming? ›

"Shades of blue or green are always very calming. Blues are especially known to have a relaxing effect perfect for creating a serene feeling at home," says Nicole Gibbons, interior designer and founder of Clare Paint.

What color should not be combined? ›

Red and green

The number one reason to not use these two colors in your design is accessibility. To people who are partially red-green color blind, these colors look identical and different at the same time. Also, these colors clash on packaging and decrease conspicuousness so they can make a person feel unsettled.

What are 3 colors that go well together? ›

If you're looking for a few basic but perennially popular 3 color combinations to kickstart your color palette, think about combinations like:
  • Yellow, red, and blue.
  • Green, orange, and purple.
  • Teal, magenta, and gold.

What color attracts the human eye most? ›

Red and orange seem to be the clear winner when it comes to eye-catching colors. These colors tend to stand out and are therefore used on many warning signs or safety equipment. Yellow is another color that comes in a close second to red and orange in popularity.

What are the 5 cool colors? ›

Cool colors are shades of blue, green, pink, purple, violent and indigo.

What colors make a cozy room? ›

Cozy colors are saturated tones, and they tend to be dark shades of a warm hue, such as red, orange, and gold. A cozy color also can be a neutral, such as chocolate brown, caramel, fawn, or charcoal.


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