How to Choose the Right Paint Colors for Your Bedroom


The Spruce / Aubrey Hays & Niv Rozenberg

A bedroom is your personal sanctuary for rest, relaxation, and intimacy. Whether it's a primary bedroom, guest room, teen's room, or nursery, the wall color serves as a reminder of what you want to feel in the room.

For most people, calm and soothing colors are best in a bedroom. However, you may prefer deep, bright, or saturated colors to help you feel more awake, alert, or romantic. Set the right mood by considering how to pick colors for bedroom walls from these three groups of popular hues.

About This Term: Primary Bedroom

Many real estate associations, including the National Association of Home Builders, have classified the term "Master Bedroom" as discriminatory. "Primary Bedroom" is the name now widely used among the real estate community and better reflects the purpose of the room.

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Soothing Neutrals

Neutral colors are always safe and classic choices for a bedroom. Popular neutral colors include:

  • Ivory
  • Taupe
  • Black
  • Gray
  • White

Neutral colors are clean backdrops for bedrooms because they work with other bright colors in bedding, curtains, carpeting, and artwork. Neutral bedroom walls allow you to let loose by using accenting vivid colors and patterns to transform the space. If you prefer to keep your bedroom all neutral, add interest with layered bedding and textured accessories for a soft tone-on-tone style.

Learning how to choose neutral bedroom colors means taking into consideration the paint's underlying tones. For instance, white paint is rarely just pure white. Paints are often mixed with other hues to create subtle undertones of pink, blue, yellow, or brown, for example. The undertone should match your furnishings, carpet, and bedding or the room could feel unpleasant. Paint experts at your paint store can help you determine the best neutral shade and undertone for your bedroom.

Peaceful Pastels

Pastel colors are soft, relaxing, and result in serene surroundings. The best pastel colors for bedrooms include:

  • Soft blues
  • Lavenders
  • Greens
  • Yellows
  • Pinks

A bedroom with a pastel wall color can look elegant. Find the sophisticated side of pastels by mixing and matching a few washed-out colors that you'd find in a favorite quilt, add light gray bedding and accessories into the mix, become inspired by watery coastal hues, or anchor a bedroom with light and pretty walls with darker furnishings.

Expressive Colors

If bold and bright colors make you happy, why not paint your bedroom walls to bring a smile to your face? If you're an energetic person who loves to be surrounded by saturated colors, embrace the look. For example, if you love bright, fresh interiors, try deep spring green walls. Experiment with lively combinations, such as coral and dark green or red and taupe.

There are a couple of guidelines to remember when choosing dark paint colors for bedrooms, such as black or navy blue, especially if the space is small.

  • Avoid feeling boxed in. You don't need to paint every wall the same color.
  • Accent with color. Choose an accent wall to paint and leave the other walls a lighter color.
  • Emphasize length with color. If you have a deep, narrow bedroom, paint one of the longer walls to highlight the length of the room.

Keep in mind that light colors make a space look larger and darker colors make a bedroom appear smaller. If there's a lot of natural light streaming into the bedroom, the room can also appear larger