9 Best Paint Colors for Rooms, According to Science

Let psychology and the perception of color guide you towards mood-boosting hues

A light blue room with different colored blue accents

 

KatarzynaBialasiewicz / Getty Images

Colors can convey a sense of style and set the tone for different moods in our homes. So it makes sense that the right shades of paint can enhance your quality of life at home. To help you select the perfect colors for rooms, we share the psychology behind favorite paints. With science backing your choices, you can feel confident that you're finding the very best colors that can have a positive effect on your emotions.

Overview

  • Color Family: Neutrals, jewel tones, and citrusy hues
  • Complementary Colors: Varies, consider the paint's undertone
  • Pairs Well With: Colors universally work with bright white trim and all shades of gray accents
  • Mood: Calming to energizing and motivating
  • Where to Use: Walls, accent walls

Here are 10 of the best feel-good paint colors for every room with a few tips from design experts.

  • 01 of 09

    Magnolia Home Ella Rose

    Ella Rose Pink by Magnolia Home

    The Spruce

    There is plenty of proof that some shades of the color pink can be quieting in hectic environments. We think the hue could be perfect for any busy space where you need to be reminded to breathe and relax when entering the room. If you need to bring the high energy down a notch in a mudroom, playroom, hallway, or even an entryway, Magnolia Home's Ella Rose, with its gray undertones, may be the right neutral pink for you. Add soft gray accents, bright white trim, or consider creating a fun feeling by mixing this pink with pastel shades of mint or pale yellow. 

  • 02 of 09

    Benjamin Moore Sounds of Nature

    Sounds of Nature Benjamin Moore Paint

    The Spruce

    For a feeling of nature and balance, a green like Sounds of Nature (556) from Benjamin Moore works brilliantly. Because it has a calming effect, we think any green hue from zesty to earthy can work in most spaces in your home. We are especially fond of the idea of using this spring-like shade of green to create a gender-neutral nursery, complete with neutrals such as bright white trim plus beige and gray accents.

  • 03 of 09

    Behr Bicycle Yellow

    bicycle yellow behr paints

    The Spruce

    Victor Tirondola, the CEO and owner of Manor Works Painting, says a butter yellow, like Bicycle Yellow (370A-3) by Behr, is an excellent color for eat-in kitchens. The cheery hue boosts appetite while also enhancing one's energy levels. Not a morning person? Having your breakfast in a yellow kitchen can increase your enthusiasm and motivation. 

    Tip

    Choosing the right yellow can be a challenge, but it can be done when you identify the color's undertone. Yellow often has a green or orange undertone that changes how it can look in a room. Once you've narrowed your choices, make sure to sample large swaths of the colors on all four walls.

  • 04 of 09

    Farrow & Ball Hague Blue

    HAGUE BLUE No. 30 by Farrow & Ball

    The Spruce

    Color psychology shows that blue walls provide a sense of serenity and protective feelings, which makes it one of the best colors for rooms, especially for a master bedroom. Look to mix bold shades of blue with lighter tones to balance the look, such as midnight blue with sky blue. Start with Hague Blue (No. 30) by Farrow & Ball as a must-have shade of deep blue for your bedroom.

    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • 05 of 09

    The Spruce Best Home Persimmon Orange

    Spruce Paint color swatch in Persimmon

    The Spruce

    If you are looking to make a bold, passionate statement, a bright shade of reddish-orange, like Persimmon Orange (SPR-01) from The Spruce Best Home can energize your space. In fact, studies point to our perception of the color red can boost our physical performance while orange signals to our brains that it's time to get motivated. That combination makes this color perfect for an accent wall in a home gym.

  • 06 of 09

    PPG Paint Lilac Time

    Lilac Time PPG Paints

    The Spruce

    Think out of the box with an unexpected paint color like Lilac Time (30RB 59/088), suggests Dee Schlotter, the color expert at PPG Paint. Unlike much darker shades of purple that may feel too heavy in some rooms, lilac has an air of mystery that also evokes a feeling of creativity. It is an excellent color for sparking imagination in a hobby or craft room. Consider pairing it with a neutral shade such as gray or with pretty berry tones.

  • 07 of 09

    Benjamin Moore Ballet White

    Ballet White Benjamin Moore

    The Spruce

    There are seemingly a never-ending number of white paint shades to choose from, so which one is best for your dining room? While it's all based on preference, a warmer, creamy off-white, such as Ballet White (OC-9) from Benjamin Moore, will evoke a more welcoming and inviting tone in the room.

  • 08 of 09

    Glidden Silvery Moonlight

    Silver Moonlight Glidden Paint color

    The Spruce

    Create calming vibes in your entryway with a warm color gray. Known as a reticent hue, it can make one of the most hectic areas in your home feel subdued, reserved, and comforting. Glidden's soft Silvery Moonlight (50BF 63/014), however, has all that and it's also a gray that shows more silvery white. It's silvery streak illuminates an entryway and make it feel lively and sparkling rather than too quiet and still. The color looks beautiful with bright white trim and black, dark blue, darker gray, or aqua accents for a contemporary look.

    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09

    The Spruce Best Home Electric Kumquat

    Spruce Paint color in Electric Kumquat

    The Spruce

    Orange is an invigorating color that lends a warm feeling to a room. It's an ideal hue for core areas in your home where you entertain, such as the living room or dining room. Orange is also a motivational color making it equally suitable for home offices. A color like The Spruce Best Home Electric Kumquat (SPR-02) works well in a home office because it's a good mid-afternoon mood booster. If painting all four walls in a room orange seems daunting, use this delicious color to create a single accent wall.

    Determine how much paint you need with The Spruce's Paint Calculator.

Article Sources
The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  3. 4 weird (But wonderful) ways the color red affects our brains. Health.com.

  4. Kelly D. The psychology of color — orange. Medium.