7 Ways To Decorate With Cool Colors

  • 01 of 07

    8 Ways To Decorate With Cool Colors

    Bathroom vanity in cool lilac shade

    What is a cool color? Good question, since we certainly spend enough time talking about warm and cool shades and the contrast between them. As it turns out, however, there are a few different schools of thought on that question. The traditional approach to color theory separates warm colors like red, brown, yellow and orange from cool colors such as green, blue and purple. On the other hand, the more contemporary perspective holds that any color can be considered cool if mixed with a sufficient amount of white to create a pale tone. As evidence, proponents of this new school cite the fact that a pale pink—a resolutely warm color—has recently been crowned as the most popular of a whole class of new neutrals. Further is the ability of pale pink to tone down warmer colors such as orange or red while green—a cool color—can warm up a room of mostly whites and grays.

    Whichever school of thought you ultimately prefer, cool colors are the calm, meditative tones that come up most often when we're trying to design in island style or create a home spa experience. Where warm colors create a sense of energy, cool colors help us release tension and ease our tired minds. But no matter what type of color you prefer, warm or cool, there's a lot more to using color in a space than just picking them. We've pulled together seven of our favorite ways to use cool colors in a space to share with you for all of your end-of-day meditative needs.

    Bathrooms typically trade in cool colors like white or gray, but there are far more options to choose from. Pale lilac is a cool shade that can spruce up any powder room. In this space, a painted vanity in lilac sets the tone before the brass accents warm things up.

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  • 02 of 07

    Use Cool Colors on the Walls

    Dining room with cool gray walls

    Whenever you're thinking about color in a room, start by thinking about paint. Your walls are your room's biggest display spaces so anything you want to make a statement with is a good candidate for wall space. This dining room uses a slightly dark gray to create a moodier, more contemplative space that's perfect for intimate dinners. The color also works as a perfect backdrop to warm moments such as the wooden table or the potted plant.

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  • 03 of 07

    A Cool Colored Gallery Wall

    Art will always be one of the best ways to get color into a space. And when you want to make a color statement, finding a way to share it between pieces of art is a fantastic choice. This space complements the cool greens of it's plants by echoing them in plant-inspired art pieces. Even the ones that aren't green continue the motif in shades of cool gray.

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  • 04 of 07

    Painted Trim in Cool Colors

    Cool colors are calming, but that doesn't mean they have to be dull. Blue, for example, is a quintessentially cool color, yet it includes some of the most electrifying shades in the crayon box. Here, a glass door is given a glamorous new look with a treatment of blue paint. The vibrance of the color gives the room a sense of kick, even though it's paired with other cool colors such as white and gray.

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  • 05 of 07

    Color Blocking Cool Colors

    Color blocked living room in cool green tones
    Coco Lapine

    Color blocking is a fairly advanced approach to color in which an entire room is decorated largely or even completely in a single color, but often in varying shades. It can be tricky to do, but the results are often spellbinding. Because of their inherent subtlety, cool colors are easier to use in blocks than warm. Their understated feel allows you to fill a room with the shade without making it hard on the eyes. This living room is color blocked in shades of green. Running the gamut from pale to dark accompanied by an assortment of potted plants, this space stays true to its preferred color without becoming boring or overdone.

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  • 06 of 07

    Cool Color Sofas

    A cool way to bring color into a space is with the furniture. Pastel colored sofas aren't a first choice for many designers, but this space shows how amazing the results can be when it all comes together perfectly.  

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  • 07 of 07

    Cool Colors in the Kitchen

    Cool colors work great in the kitchen. Like bathrooms, kitchens are often given the white, black and/or gray treatment which can have them looking clean and efficient, but hardly gives them the most personality of any room in the home. The right cool color can change all that. This kitchen gives itself an island feel, ironically, by focusing on the color of the kitchen island itself. The light yet vibrant blue stands out amid the sea of grays that fill the rest of the space for a burst of color that demands attention as soon as you step in the room.