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Paint Colors for a Relaxing Home

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Rachel Stone

Our homes can be a refuge from the stress we face in our day-to-day lives. Choosing the right paint colors can enhance the relief we feel when we retreat to our homes. Certain color schemes can create a sense of calm and peace in our spaces. Read more to learn about creating a serene atmosphere in your home.

What Makes A Home Relaxing?

Creating a relaxing home is not difficult once you understand the basics of what makes a space restful. Some common relaxing elements are:

  • Clutter Free: By organizing a space and clearing things away your space will instantly feel more serene. This holds true for the color palette used in a room. By choosing a simple color scheme, you will create a sense of peace.
  • Neutral Colors: The natural softness of neutral colors is easy on the eye. The lack of strong contrast, or much contrast at all, allows the eye to float smoothly around the space. Having a limited color palette gives each item a sense of belonging, which is calming.
  • Cool Tones: Cool colors are well known to bring a serenity to any space. Sky blue, ocean blues, Mint green, sea greens, are all relaxing colors which create visual calm for the eye.
  • Warm Tones: Warm color tones tend to be more stimulating and can detract from the peacefulness of a room. Perhaps you need to work around existing features that have a warm color base. If your design requires the use of warm colors, consider using muted warm tones. For example: instead of choosing a bright, very saturated bright yellow wall color choose a light, soft candlelight color. both are warm but the second choice is more calming.
  • Soft Surroundings: A soft cushy throw or overstuffed pillow will make your space relaxing. In the same way, using a soft color palette will help create serenity in your room. Bold invite excitement and drama which will clash with your goal of creating a peaceful space.

Cool Tones Are More Relaxing

Interior room with painted walls and ceilings

Cool tones are more relaxing to the eye. They create a more subdued feeling in a space rather than the excitement of warmer colors. Learn more about the difference between warm and cool colors here.

Relaxing Cool Colors:

  • Light Blue
  • Soft Greens
  • Light Gray

Warm Neutral Colors Can Be Relaxing Too

Warm colors can be more challenging to use in creating a relaxing space. By choosing warm colors that are muted with gray tones or very light neutrals you can counteract the tendency for warm colors to add stimulation and excitement to a room.

Muted Warm Tones:

  • Greige
  • Very Light Tans
  • Pale Yellow
  • Sage Green
a list of cool colors that would make a home relaxing
warm neutral paint colors that would be relaxing in your home

Use The Right Tone and Saturation

Tones are created by adding gray to a pure color. It visually “tones down” a pure hue by muddying the true color. By choosing a tonal color the intensity of the color relaxes making it more relaxing on the eye.

chart of relaxing colors
As you can see, these blue colors are all similar, but the three on the right have been toned down from the pure hue on the left. These colors will have a greater calming effect in a room.

Which Rooms Are The Most Important To Make Relaxing?

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While it may be your desire to make your whole home relaxing, some may feel this is too bland. Often common areas and kitchens will benefit from bright or bolder colors that bring more energy and excitement. There are some rooms however that seem to always benefit from a serene color palette.

  • Bedrooms: Bedrooms are the place where we go to relax and retreat from the world. They are also literally the place where we rest at the end of the day. It makes a lot of sense to use calming colors in these rooms. Beginning and ending your day in a restful environment is a wonderful way to reduce stress.
  • Bathrooms: Bathrooms also act like an oasis in our homes. Making your personal bathroom calm and relaxing means you will likely begin and end your day in a serene space.
  • Nurseries: There is a good reason we often use light pastel colors in a young child’s bedroom. These colors help you and your little one feel calm in that space.

Tips For Creating a Relaxing Color Palette

#1 Choose no more than three colors. These colors would include everything in the room. Paint, trim, furniture, textiles, and accessories.

#2 Using a monochromatic scheme is a simple, sophisticated way to achieve a relaxing color palette. Interest can be added through decor accessories, hardware finishes, and lighting choices.

#3 For more personality in your space choose two colors from the cool palette, say two shades of blue, then select an accent color opposite that color on the color wheel like orange. This will provide just enough difference to catch the eye while not being too busy.

Choose The Right Sheen For Your Paint

Sheen refers to how much light a paint reflects. The glossier the sheen, the shiner the paint will look, and the more light it will reflect. Flat and Matte sheens with little shine will give the most relaxing look to a room. Consider choosing a satin finish for woodwork and trim and an eggshell finish for walls. For more information about sheen, read our paint sheen guide.

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Author: Rachel Stone
Rachel is a wife and homemaker with a passion for creating an inviting home with cottage style. She runs the blog StoneCottageHome.com and has a Youtube channel about interior design and home decor.

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