The Best Color Schemes to Set a Bedroom's Mood

Romantic neutral bedroom.


When it comes to setting the desired mood in your bedroom or—any other space in your home, for that matter—color plays a powerful role. The hues you choose for your bedroom walls, bedding, flooring, and furnishings subtly influence your general frame of mind, for good or bad. While your personal preferences do of course play a part in the way certain colors make you feel, there are general guidelines for choosing the best colors to set a particular vibe. So if you are looking to create a room that feels cozy, romantic, clean and simple, sophisticated or calming, read on for each mood’s best color choices.

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    Calm light blue bedroom.

    As a general rule, turn to the cool side of the spectrum if you want to set a calm, tranquil mood in your bedroom. From dark shades to pastel tints, you’ll feel most soothed in a bedroom decorated with green, blue or gray—the only caveat is to avoid the brightest shades of these colors. Think of the serene feel of a peaceful summer sky, or the ocean when it’s still, or the clouds before the rain starts falling. Calm colors are slightly muted, without any sort of edginess. White is another good choice, but be sure to choose a white that’s not too bright or sterile.

    • Pastels
    • Blue
    • Green
    • Gray
    • White
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    Romantic bedroom with beautiful headboard.
    House Beautiful

    When you think of romance, you probably think of red and pink, but a room decorated with too much Valentine’s-Day-bright tints of these colors isn’t romantic; it’s garish. The romantic palette actually has a lot of variation—not only do dusky pinks or muted shades of red create tender appeal, so do creamy shades of off-white, warm neutrals, caramel brown, and peachy-gold. Also, the intensity of the colors you choose plays a big part in the room’s overall feel; the darker you go, the more the vibe turns towards romance’s sexier side.

    • Blush pink
    • Dark or dusky red
    • Creamy white
    • Neutrals
    • Taupe
    • Caramel
    • Gold
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    Cozy bedroom.
    Homes Showcase

    A cozy room feels warm and welcoming as if it’s giving you an emotional hug. The way to create that feeling is with the warm side of the spectrum: golden yellows, soft oranges, muted reds, browns with yellow undertones, honeyed neutrals—basically, think soft, warm and slightly muted. That doesn’t mean pastels, however; cozy colors tend to be mid-tone or darker. Nor does a cozy room include a lot of bright tones, cool dark shades or too much pure white.

    • Golden yellows
    • Muted red
    • Orange
    • Brown
    • Warm beige
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    Black contemporary bedroom.

    The hardest mood to pin down when it comes to décor is sophistication, but generally, this is a contemporary bedroom skillfully decorated to look of-the-moment, yet not overly trendy. As such, your palette can be quite varied: feel free to choose dark colors, neutrals, brights or a striking combination of hues, as long as the palette isn’t too extensive. This isn’t the room for pastels, lots of white or an excess of varied bright colors, however.

    • Black
    • Gray
    • Brown
    • Silver
    • Neutrals
    • Brights, in small doses