Gone are the days of homes as pure as snow, where solid white paint coated everything from the wall to the wooden furniture. Though it’s still a favorite because of its versatility, these days, more and more people are ready to experiment with color.
And where better to experiment than in the bedroom, the most personal and private area of the home?
As a child, you might have had the opportunity to paint your bedroom in your favorite color. That’s still an impulse you can follow if the color makes you happy. Or you can track trends. Either way, it’s a bit of a big task that could potentially overhaul the look and feel of your bedroom.
To be sure you get the picture-perfect bedroom of your dreams, here’s a quick guide on how to choose your bedroom colors.
1. Look for inspiration
Say you already have a color or theme in mind for your bedroom. The question now is, how do you incorporate it?
To avoid buying a mismatch of objects that are “brown” or vaguely “Victorian,” it would be a good idea to pull inspiration from multiple sources.
Magazines will have spread upon spread devoted to most classical designs. If you’re looking for the right amount of grandeur, you’ll often find photos of celebrity homes in magazines too. Cut them out and put them on a vision board, so you can start planning how to cop the look for cheaper.
Of course, if you can’t remember the last time you even saw a magazine, much less bought one, there are similar sites online too! Sites like Pinterest and Behance will often have up, and coming interior designers post their work there, on top of their social media accounts.
If you haven’t nailed down an idea yet, a general home decor inspiration website – like this one – is a good starting point.
2. Consider your bedroom architecture
Once you have the basics of your theme down pat, you can start planning. Curiously enough, a lot of the planning stage involves looking inward. First, in the room you already have and then within yourself.
Make your home interior feel more personal by painting to emphasize your bedroom’s unique architectural features. An odd nook, a long and narrow room, a slope in the ceiling of an attic, a part of the wall that’s pushed slightly forward than the rest – all of which make fantastic accent walls. You might want to paint them a different shade or color from the rest.
Additionally, if you have a studio or open plan apartment, it would be a good idea to pick a color that sets the bedroom apart for its function. It’s either that or at least pick one that matches the color palette of the space.
3. Look for the light source
Going beyond the shape of your room, it might be a good idea to consider where your home is. Does your bedroom have large windows that allow generous amounts of natural light? If it does, what’s the view outside?
The best bedroom colors for a beach house view might differ vastly from that of a city home. Where you might not mind bright seashell tones in one, it would be harder to argue for cheery walls when your windows open to an empty alley.
Natural lighting can affect your color choice quite a bit too. Having it aplenty could encourage you to pick lighter shades to better reflect it and give the area an airy feeling.
On the other hand, there’s a lot of fun and exciting lighting choices on the market, including purple backlights that could push you towards a more sci-fi or bar scene aesthetic.
4. Take size to mind
Every expert agrees about the effects colors have on small versus ample living space. The point of conflict is deciding which effect is best for your bedroom.
As a rule, light-colored walls will make a room look larger and breezy while darker colors give off a more closed-off and intimate feeling. Knowing this, you have a few options to choose from.
You could disguise the size of your bedroom by letting in as much light and reflective surfaces as you can. This is especially helpful if you’re feeling claustrophobic in a small apartment. Or you could flaunt the size of your space by keeping it breezy, though white in large rooms can sometimes feel a little bare.
In contrast, it’s always a good idea to aim for a cozy bedroom, and that’s a strong case for dark colors. Just keep in mind that it’s easier to pull them off in large areas. Dark colors need a wide berth, so they don’t get overwhelming.
This has an effect on your ceilings too. Painting the ceiling of your bedroom a shade or two lighter than the walls would make them seem higher. Darker shades will make them look lower.
5. Work with your current furniture
By now, you should have a shortlist of themes and colors to choose from. Your research might have told you that the “boho chic” look works best with earthy tones, with a few greens sprinkled here and there. Or that creating a gemstone-like bedroom involves mixing vibrant amethysts and emerald with gold and silver to amp up the luster.
But where should you put which color? More importantly, what primary color should you work on your walls?
Your walls can grab your attention, but the furniture and little pieces are what pull a look together. Unless you’re planning a complete overhaul, such as when you’re moving, you’ll probably want to keep as much of your current furniture as you can. It’s cheaper that way, and a few adjustments here and there will get it closer to the aesthetic you need.
If there are a few colors available in your furniture, you can pick one of them and maybe use a different hue for your wall. It’s easier to paint according to your furniture than to buy furniture to match your paint.
6. Decide on the amount of color
For the most part, this is a matter of preference. Now that you know the colors you have in your current bedroom and the colors you need to add, you can leverage them against each other.
Bright, sunny rooms are guaranteed to bring a smile to your face when you wake up. For that, you’ll probably need yellows, reds, whites, and wood in shades closer to caramel or honey.
The options that would then be available to you are to either find more golden trinkets or paint your wall in a cheerful yellow. A word of caution about the latter choice: people tend to get more irritable when surrounded by yellow. So, it advisable that you use the color sparingly, in accents and accessories.
There’s also a problem with copious amounts of yellow when you try to sell your home later. Since few people like it, you might need to repaint.
7. Think about how you use your bedroom
Your favorite color can make you happy, but, according to science, so can green. Studies have shown that color can affect everything from appetite to mood. If you’re having trouble deciding from a range of palettes, why not let science guide your answer?
Green makes you feel more energized, and it jumpstarts your synapses to let you do better in creative tasks. If your bedroom is also your workspace, painting your walls green could boost your productivity.
Also, green, along with white and pink, could help you strengthen your relationships. Seeing loved ones against blush background could make you feel more attuned to their positive reactions. You might run into the risk of being a little tone-deaf when they make it harder to read sad ones, though.
Vibrant purple and red are romantic, on top of being sophisticated choices, making them seem like good options for an intimate space. Lastly, blue is the popular choice for when you have insomnia, or you need to reset your body clock.
Dig a little deeper into the psychology of colors and find out how you could benefit the most out of your bedroom wall.
8. Test for the right shade
Once you’ve decided on your colors, it’s time to test them. In the same way that you might swatch lipstick on your wrist before buying, you’ll also need to dab on a bit of paint on your wall. Makeup and paint share a surprising amount of expressions too.
If you’ve set your heart on beige for your bedroom, you might be surprised to find that there’s a whole catalog for (supposedly) different hues of the same-looking color. There’s even a couple of different brands to choose from.
When you’re at the store, you’ll be given a swatch that shows the lightest and darkest shades of the same color. To pick the perfect color, look at the darkest shade to figure out its undertones. Have you ever gotten into a lengthy discussion about whether a wall’s painted white, off-white, or cream? Doing this trick will help you avoid that.
After you find one that’s closest to what you wanted, you can buy testers and apply them on a bit of your wall. This lets you see the color in different lighting. You can also test how your paint finish, whether flat or glossy, might look against the interior of your home.
Lastly, if you’re having trouble distinguishing the colors, you could bring an inspiration pic to your local Home Depot. They offer color matching services to help you make the best decision.