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The 10 Most Relaxing Colors For Your Home, According To Color Psychology

Photo: Tatiana Gordievskaia / Shutterstock
color swatches

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 creates a calming effect 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.”

What is color psychology?

Color psychology is the idea 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 dining room, living room, nursery, bedroom, and every other room in your home is so important.

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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.

With the help of an interior designer who knows a thing or two about color choices, we’re sharing the hues and calming colors that create a serene atmosphere just by looking at them. Whether you’ve got serious plans to paint a room in your house or you’re just fantasizing about taking the paint plunge, heed this advice.

Here are the 10 most relaxing colors to paint the rooms in your home.

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 creates a soothing atmosphere. 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. This light blue color also pairs beautifully with so many other colors and takes on a different effect throughout the day as the natural light changes.

3. Rich Turquoise

To conjure visions of tropical beaches, opt for a turquoise-leaning blue-green like Benjamin Moore’s Caribbean Blue Water.

It’s a saturated, deep hue with blue undertones that will make a bold statement in any room. For just a touch, try using it as an accent wall color 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.

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.

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6. Pure Gray

If you’re not into the nuances of different shades of gray, like “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.

8. Off-White

A truly neutral color, the perfect off-white is just crisp enough without venturing into stark hospital territory. Clement recommends a hue like Farrow & Ball’s Wimborne White, a creamy white that is just one shade away from pure white paint.

“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 with green undertones, think complex versus elementary. For example, a deep forest green or a soft sage green, like Benjamin Moore’s Saybrook Sage.

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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.

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