The 10 Most Relaxing Paint Color Ideas According To An Interior Designer

Photo: getty
The 10 Most Relaxing Colors You Can Paint a Room, According to an Interior Designer

You know that pouring yourself a hot cup of tea, listening to your favorite low-key music, or taking a walk through the park can be therapeutic and calming for your heart, mind, and soul. But did you know that simply being surrounded by certain relaxing colors can potentially have a similar effect?

This science is referred to as “color psychology,” and the idea is that every color on the spectrum can impact our mood in a certain way. This is why companies spend so much time figuring out the exact color of their logo or font, and why choosing the right paint color ideas for the nursery, bedroom, or living room is so important.

Color can affect your mindset, your concentration, your mood, and, yes, your ability to relax. Modern science believes this burst of emotion is usually short-lived, and that empirical evidence still needs to be collected for a more comprehensive understanding since it’s ultimately a subjective topic.

That said, some studies have found strong correlations between certain colors and moods.

RELATED: Quiz: This Color Test Is Like Getting Your Palm Read, But For Free!

With the help of an interior designer who knows a thing or two about color, we’re sharing 10 hues that can make you feel calmer just by looking at them. Whether you’ve got serious plans to paint a room in your home or you’re just fantasizing about taking the paint plunge, heed this advice! 

1. Greige

A soft, warm gray isn’t just classic and chic, it’s downright mind-soothing. Take Farrow & Ball’s Elephant’s Breath, for example.

“This is one of my favorite colors — a stunningly sophisticated ‘greige,'” says interior designer Gilles Clement. “It’s warm, inviting, soft, and soothing. The crown of greiges in my opinion. It definitely symbolizes a calm atmosphere and it is perfectly suited for a dining-room or a living-room.”

2. Muted Blue

Blue conjures feelings of open air, sparkling beaches, and tranquil lakes. A bright and splashy blue has its place, but a muted version — such as Donald Kaufman Color’s Azurite — offers a sense of depth and complexity. It also pairs beautifully with so many other colors and takes on a different effect throughout the day as the light changes.

3. Rich Turquoise

To conjure visions of tropical beaches, opt for a turquoise-leaning blue like Benjamin Moore’s Caribbean Blue Water. It’s a saturated, deep hue that will make a bold statement in any room. For just a touch, try using it as an accent color on a wall or in the bathroom.

4. Pink-Gray

For a feminine-leaning hue that’s not too girlish, opt for a pinkish-gray like Farrow & Ball’s Peignoir. “Variating between a warm stone and a dawn summer sky, it’s an ultimately soft hue that’s harmonious for a den or a breakfast nook,” says Clement.

RELATED: Where Should You Build Your Dream Home? Let This Personality Test Figure It Out!

5. Smoky Lavender

Another one of Clement’s favorites is Farrow & Ball’s Brassica “due to its depth and sex appeal.” It’s a moody lavender tinged with a hint of smoke — slightly feminine, sensual, and just different enough to make a statement without overwhelming your senses. Clement recommends this hue for a study or master bedroom suite.

6. Pure Gray

If you’re not into the nuances of “warm gray” and “lavender gray,” maybe the purist in you will appreciate a non-fussy gray hue, like Farrow & Ball’s Worsted. “It’s graceful, intimate, and subtle,” says Clement. “Deep, unequivocal and confident — a perfect color for an entrance hall or an office.”

7. Creamy Yellow

Even thinking about the color yellow can make you feel cheery. A room painted a super rich, bold shade of yellow could very easily elicit happiness, but if you’re going for more calming than electrified, try a creamy, buttery yellow instead. Benjamin Moore’s Weston Flax is the perfect example.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Hey You! Want more of YourTango's best articles, seriously addictive horoscopes and top expert advice? Sign up to get our free daily newsletter!

8. Off-White

The perfect off-white is just crisp enough without venturing into stark hospital territory. Clement recommends a hue like Farrow & Ball’s Wimborne White.

“It’s delicate and sincere, symbolizing notions of purity. It’s comfortable and reminiscent of cotton — fluffy and warm” he says. “Off-white is an evident choice for a master bedroom or a guest room.”

9. Red-Gray

Clement says that a neutral, red-leaning gray — like Farrow & Ball’s Charleston Gray — is another diverse hue that will make you feel warm and cozy in your room. “This color is chic, rich, and unapologetically neutral; a statement gray with a hint of red. It’s ideal for a library or a seating room,” he says.

10. Sage Green

The green spectrum is another one that’s inherently relaxing, probably because of how closely it’s tied to nature. When painting a room green, think complex versus elementary. For example, a deep forest green or a soft sage green, like Benjamin Moore’s Saybrook Sage.

RELATED: What Your Favorite Color Says About Who You Really Are

Wendy Rose Gould is a freelance lifestyle reporter based in Phoenix, Arizona. She contributes to NBC, Refinery29, Brides, Allure, Spotlyte, Total Beauty, Soko Glam, and others.