15 Soothing Paint Colors to Create a Calming Space (2022)

Soft blues, grays, and whites aren't just calming colors for bedrooms—they're also suitable for kitchens, laundry rooms, and even large living areas. We have inspiring new shades and classic color recommendations from interior designers and paint pros. Read on for relaxing color palettes that will make every room in your home feel like a blissful escape.

15 Soothing Paint Colors to Create a Calming Space (1)

Tips for Choosing Soothing Paint Colors

Selecting a calming paint color can be a daunting task with so many options. Sue Wadden, director of color marketing at Sherwin-Williams, suggests looking inward before making a color choice. "Color can help shape our day-to-day environments and impact our mood," she says. "So when selecting colors, people should think about how they want the space to make them feel and let their emotions guide their decisions.

Wadden suggests veering towards calming blues and greens, which she describes as "soothing and grounding colors that encourage well-being." Soft neutrals can also encourage relaxation, and Wadden says whites, creams, beiges, and lighter gray are soothing backdrops.

The founder of Clare Paint, Nicole Gibbons, also turns to blues and neutrals to create a relaxing atmosphere. "I love using serene, understated blue and neutral shades to create a sense of instant calm in a space," she says. "Blue-greens and soft grays can feel especially tranquil and instantly put you at ease."

Favorite Blue-Green Paint Colors

Blends of blue and green draw on nature's relaxing properties. Gibbons has two go-to shades she recommends for relaxing spaces, and they're both hazy and ethereal.

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Chill and Headspace by Clare Paint

The first is Chill by Clare Paint and it's sure to help you mellow out. It's a "soft, cool, barely-there gray with a slightly green undertone," says Gibbons. "It's light, airy, and calming: an excellent antidote to a long day." Gibbons also loves Headspace by Clare Paint, which she says is a universal favorite. She describes it as a "soft and airy blue-green hue" that creates a serene atmosphere in any room.

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Sea Salt by Sherwin-Williams

Sherwin Williams's popular color, Sea Salt, is another reliable blue-green favorite. Houston-based interior designer Jennifer Barron says it's the ideal bathroom color. "The soft green undertone creates an ethereal feeling that is perfect for soaking in a bath and relaxing," she adds.

Peaceful Neutral Paint Colors

If you're looking for a neutral wall color that mixes well with serene blue and green decor, try these complementary shades of cream, white, and beige.

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Feather Down OC-6 by Benjamin Moore

Nashville interior designer Katie Gibson loves Benjamin Moore's Feather Down OC-6. "It is a perfect neutral, not too dark but not stark white," she says. It's a relaxing choice for large, open-concept living spaces with a central dining room and kitchen.

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Drop Cloth by Farrow & Ball

If you love a warm, natural aesthetic, try using an earthy taupe on kitchen cabinetry, and you'll feel at ease in the busiest room in the house. Indianapolis-based interior designer Whittney Parkinson featured Farrow & Ball's Drop Cloth in a space that lacked ample natural light. She wanted to create a warm environment without using bright whites, and taupe did the trick. "Drop Cloth has this perfect balance of warm and cool," she says, explaining that it looks different depending on the time of day. "The intent was for this kitchen to feel natural and calming, with a nod to its European roots."

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Cloud White by Benjamin Moore

Interior designer Marie Flanigan recommends Benjamin Moore's Cloud White if you prefer a more modern, transitional aesthetic. "It is one of my most consistently used paint colors, and it never disappoints," she says. "It may be a white paint, but I find it brings warmth and depth to any room." This guest house project was designed to bring tranquility to visitors the moment they step through the door.

Barely There Blue Paint Colors

When it comes to light blues, the shade you fall in love with on the paint chip isn't always what you end up seeing on the wall. But, with expert advice and suggestions, you can find calming colors for bedrooms, kitchens, and living areas in the perfect blue for your decor.

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Gray Owl by Benjamin Moore

Here's one color you can always count on. While Benjamin Moore's Gray Owl looks gray on a small sample, it reads barely blue on walls, making it a pretty choice for spaces with both gray and blue in their color schemes. Interior designer Marika Meyer often recommends the shade to clients. "This particular paint color is perfect for those looking for a calming color to pair with marble, as it is a gray paint with blue undertones," she says

Iceberg by Benjamin Moore

Benjamin Moore's Iceberg is another favorite of Meyer's for calming colors for bedrooms. "It's my number one choice when people tell me they are looking for a calm and soothing shade of blue," she says. "It's both serene and crisp at the same time."

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Oyster Shell by Benjamin Moore

If you're looking for a peaceful, barely-there blue that almost disappears on the wall, turn to Benjamin Moore's Oyster Shell. It's a favorite of designer Shannon Crain of Houston, TX, who says it "feels like a cloud" and has an instant soothing effect. "I love to use it in primary bedrooms, so it feels like a retreat for my clients," she says.

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Lookout Point by Benjamin Moore

Classic white walls can be a relaxing choice on their own, but Washington, D.C.-based designer Anna Matthews took things a step further by adding Benjamin Moore's Lookout Point to the ceiling of this zen living room. "Painting a soft blue on the ceiling of this sitting room brings such warmth," she says. "It created a sense of coziness and allowed the gilded chandelier to really pop." The color balances fresh shades of green on the furnishings and ties in with the drapery pattern to bring the room together.

Restful Gray Paint Colors

Don't forget about gray! It might seem gloomy, but shades of gray, especially those with warm undertones, can ground a room. Gibbons suggests using it on cabinetry coupled with crisp, white walls—it also fits well in kitchens, laundry rooms, and living areas.

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Seize the Gray by Clare Paint

Gibbons suggests Clare Paint's Seize the Gray, one of the company's most popular colors, for a soothing shade of gray. "In the spirit of feeling clean and fresh, it's our most neutral light gray with no undertones," she says.

Pavilion Gray by Farrow & Ball

New York interior designer Shelly Lynch-Sparks of Hyphen & Co. prefers gray when a calming color for bedroom walls is needed. Her go-to choice: Farrow & Ball's Pavilion Gray. She describes this color as warm and sophisticated and says it makes her feel "completely serene."

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London Fog 1541 by Benjamin Moore

Designer Becky Shea recommends Benjamin Moore's London Fog 1541 for open, modern living spaces. Shea says this reliable color has become her go-to recommendation for clients, particularly for living rooms and dining rooms.

"It has a soft, tonal sheen that is simultaneously warm and inviting; it's the perfect layer to bring a neutral palette together," she says. "This color makes you feel calm, refreshed, comfortable, and laid back when you're in the room. I'm sure it's a combination of all the elements living in harmony, but the paint color seems to always draw people's eye!"

Vibrant Blue Paint Colors

While it might seem counterintuitive, bolder paint color options can also be restful when used universally.

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Oval Room Blue by Farrow & Ball

Take Farrow & Ball's Oval Room Blue, which two designers recommended independently. Designer Amy Studebaker of St. Louis, MO, used it in a client's primary bathroom as a trim and custom cabinetry color. Pair dark trim with light wall color for a pleasing contrast. "The undertone of this particular blue is very rich and practically begs you to come in and relax," she says. Interior designer Jennifer Barron suggests the shade as a calming color for bedrooms that envelops guests and creates a relaxing atmosphere.

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Naval SW 6244 by Sherwin-Williams

If you're looking for an unexpected color choice, Wadden says committing to a bold color like an ink-well navy can foster relaxation. "Our 2020 color of the year, Naval SW 6244, is a deep navy hue that is surprisingly both bold and soothing," she says. "Naval is tied to the seas and the skies, making it an incredibly grounding color. Whether it's on one wall, all four, or the ceiling, too, it creates a fully enveloping effect."

Must-Know Tips Before You Start Painting

Once you've gathered your top three choices, test paint colors in person. While nearly all colors look beautiful on paint chips or online, undertones and color complexities can dramatically change when the paint is on the wall. This shift will happen depending on the amount of natural light available, the direction of the room, and even the time of day.

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The best way to test paint colors is to sample them on multiple walls of the same room. This method helps you decide if you like the shade in shadows, full sun, and in the room's niches and corners. Also, does the color stay the same against the existing trim color? These are all important concepts to think through before buying cans and rollers.

If you're still not sold on a single shade, start eliminating options by rolling samples on poster board pieces (rather than the wall) and moving them around the room throughout the day. To make the process even easier, consider ordering large, stick-on sample squares that can be peeled off afterward.

FAQs

What paint colors are the most soothing? ›

"Shades of blue or green are always very calming. Blues are especially known to have a relaxing effect perfect for creating a serene feeling at home," says Nicole Gibbons, interior designer and founder of Clare Paint.

What colors are calming and soothing? ›

Warm colors—like reds, yellows, and oranges—are associated with active feelings, while cool colors—like blues and greens—are widely believed to be calming and healing. Chromotherapy (considered alternative medicine to some and pseudoscience to others) has been hawked as a remedy for illness since Ancient Egypt.

What color room is most calming? ›

One study by Travelodge found that households that have blue bedrooms received the best night's sleep compared to any other color. Having blue in your room can make you feel safe, relaxed, and calm. As a result, it's one of the best bedroom colors for sleep.

What is a calming color for sleep? ›

Blue. Blue is perhaps the best color for your bedroom. Not only is it more muted, but blue tones also tend to have more calming effects on the brain, as shown in a 2018 study of blue walls in a university residence hall.

What's a peaceful color? ›

Peaceful, calm and gentle, blue has tremendous power to manage stress. It's a very soothing color that helps calm your mind, slow down your heart rate, lower your blood pressure and reduce anxiety.

What colors make you feel happy? ›

Happy colors are bright, warm colors like yellow, orange, pink and red. Pastel colors like peach, light pink or lilac can also have an uplifting effect on your mood. The brighter and lighter a color, the more happy and optimistic it will make you feel.

What color is positive energy? ›

In Feng Shui, yellow is the centre of everything, comparable with the Sun which is the ultimate source of positive energy. You can use this colour in any room as this colour has the power of adaptability, flexibility, clarity, etc.

What colors make a living room cozy? ›

Colors that bring warmth to a living room tend to be earthy shades, from warm white through to beige, yellow, orange and red. Be inspired by the colors of spices: cinnamon, turmeric and paprika to bring warmth to a living room.

What can I put in a calming room? ›

Low lighting (avoid harsh overhead lighting) Things to fidget with and distract an anxious mind, such as fidget toys, stress balls, puzzles, coloring pages, play dough, or calming jars. Whiteboard tables, mobile whiteboards, personal lapboards, or other writable surfaces for drawing or doodling.

What is the best color light for relaxing? ›

Blue light

According to a 2017 study in the scientific journal PLOS ONE (9), blue lighting “accelerates the relaxation process after stress in comparison with conventional white lighting.” This study found that stressed people immersed in blue light relaxed three times as quickly as in white light.

How do colors affect your mood? ›

The color green seems to make positive emotions stronger and negative emotions weaker. White and pink may have similar effects, but researchers are still studying those. Meanwhile, the color red seems to have the opposite effect and make negative emotions -- like those linked to failure and danger -- more intense.

What Colour is kindness? ›

Pink As A Color Of Kindness. What is this? Pink is considered a feminine color, and as such, has been associated with softer emotions and values such as love, care, empathy, compassion, nurturing, and kindness.

What is a happy color for a bedroom? ›

Happy colors are bright, warm colors like yellow, orange, pink and red. Pastel colors like peach, light pink or lilac can also have an uplifting effect on your mood.

What color wakes you up in the morning? ›

Blue light has the strongest impact. Exposure to blue light (and white light, which contains blue light) during the sensitive period can make it difficult for you to fall asleep and stay asleep. Exposure to white light during the day can have positive effects, including boosting alertness and mood.

What Colour light makes you sleepy? ›

Red light. Red light is by far the best calming light color for sleep. Choosing a red light as a nightlight ensures that you don't disrupt your circadian rhythm. So switching to a red light a few hours before going to bed will surely help you fall asleep easier.

What is the Colour of love? ›

Throughout history, red has been the color of passion, romance, and sexual energy. Red lips and blushed cheeks stimulate arousal. A red dress attracts attention and captures the imagination. Driving a red sports car is often considered a sex symbol.

What color is anxiety? ›

But it's all just that one emotion. Everything becomes anxiety, and suddenly gray is the only color you have to color your world. It's important to note that anxiety can be both an emotion and also a clinical diagnosis.

What color is positive for a room? ›

That is why you want kitchen paint colors that promote creativity and happiness. Shades of yellow, green, and blue can all improve your room color psychology, instantly improving the mood with the cheery wall color.

What color is a confident color? ›

The right yellow will lift our spirits and our self-esteem; it is the colour of confidence and optimism.

What is the color of stress? ›

Red As The Color Of Stress. Red is an intense color that reminds people of blood and passion. It is strong, aggressive, invigorating, and stimulating, that it why it is used in warning signs and traffic signals.

What's the most positive color? ›

Yellow. Yellow symbolizes happiness and warmth in almost all cultures. It's the color that grabs users' attention more than any other color. McDonald's and IKEA both use yellow in their branding to give off the feeling of friendliness and positivity.

What color gives good vibes? ›

Pink brings strong positive energy into your environment. Mood-lifting yellow is another colour that belongs to the fire element. However, its light shades belong to the earth element. In Feng Shui, yellow is the centre of everything, comparable with the Sun which is the ultimate source of positive energy.

What is the lucky color inside the house? ›

Red. In feng shui, red is the color that supersedes all others. It's the most powerful color in feng shui and is considered very auspicious.

What is the color of negativity? ›

People tend to associate red with negative, danger-bearing emotions. This could be because it is the color of fire, blood, and sometimes of poisonous or dangerous animals.

What are the 6 warm colors? ›

"In general, warm colors are those in the red, orange, and yellow families, while cool colors are those in the green, blue, and purple families," Dale says. Think scarlet, peach, pink, amber, sienna, and gold versus cooler teal, eggplant, emerald, aqua, and cobalt. Remember the color wheel from grade school art class?

What are the 3 warm colors? ›

Warm colors include red, orange, and yellow, and variations of those three colors. Red and yellow are both primary colors, with orange falling in the middle.

What colours are in for living rooms 2022? ›

Green, grey, and navy are the most popular living room colours for 2022. New research by Swyft Home found that we are making bolder choices in our living spaces, embracing bright and rich shades, as well as some more unexpected colours.

What is a calming room called? ›

Comfort Rooms With Other Names …

Tranquility room. • Calming Room. • Peace Room. • Zen Room. • Getaway Room.

What color is replacing gray? ›

Brown neutrals commonly appear in spaces like living rooms where it makes sense for leather or wood furniture to be. But the experts told Insider that you can make brown work anywhere in a home if you know what you're doing.

What is the most popular wall color for 2022? ›

The most popular neutral interior paint color of 2022 is Pure White by Sherwin-Williams. This popular neutral wall color is beloved by interior designers for any room.

What does a red light in a bedroom mean? ›

Red light and sleep

The theory is that red light wavelengths stimulate the production of melatonin. Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that helps you sleep. Your brain releases more melatonin as darkness falls and tends to release less when you're exposed to light.

What light is good for anxiety? ›

Morning light provides the most benefit in terms of avoiding circadian disruption that can lead to depression, anxiety, and insomnia.

Is purple a good color to sleep with? ›

Purple is too Stimulating:

Making purple is hands down the worst color for sleep. It is actually a mentally stimulating color, so it keeps the mind awake. Purple increases your creativity. This might be great during the day, but creates more vivid nightmares at night.

What color is the happiest? ›

Yellow is widely recognized as the happiest color in the world and comes with a scientific pedigree to back up this esteemed honor. Research has suggested two main reasons why yellow is considered the happiest color. Many studies have linked the psychological powers of yellow to the sun.

What colors make people feel? ›

Colors close to the red spectrum are warmer colors, including red, orange, and yellow. These warm colors evoke emotions ranging from feelings of warmth and comfort to feelings of anger and hostility. Whereas blue colors like purple and green are known for evoking feelings of calm, sadness, or indifference.

What color is used for depression? ›

When it comes to depression colors, gray and blue tend to be high on the list of those associated with low mood. In a 2010 study using the Manchester Color Wheel, experts found gray was the color people pointed to when asked to reflect feelings of depression.

What is the color of caring? ›

Pink symbolizes love and romance, caring, tenderness, acceptance and calm.

What colors mean trust? ›

Blue is heavily associated with trust, which may be why many financial institutions often choose it.

What color means honesty? ›

Meanings of color
ColorWestern meaning
GREEN:durability, reliability, environmental, luxurious, optimism, healing, well-being, nature, calm, relaxation, Spring, safety, honesty, optimism, harmony, freshness
10 more rows

What is the happiest color? ›

Yellow is widely recognized as the happiest color in the world and comes with a scientific pedigree to back up this esteemed honor. Research has suggested two main reasons why yellow is considered the happiest color.

What colors make a living room cozy? ›

Colors that bring warmth to a living room tend to be earthy shades, from warm white through to beige, yellow, orange and red. Be inspired by the colors of spices: cinnamon, turmeric and paprika to bring warmth to a living room.

What paint colors help with depression? ›

Colors that Reduce Stress, Anxiety and Depression
  • White. White is truly a timeless classic that sets forth feelings of warmth and presents with calming effects that lower stress and anxiety levels; probably because the color reminds us of the color of clouds. ...
  • Blue. ...
  • Purple. ...
  • Green. ...
  • Yellow. ...
  • Orange. ...
  • Tan. ...
  • Gray.

What color is positive energy? ›

In Feng Shui, yellow is the centre of everything, comparable with the Sun which is the ultimate source of positive energy. You can use this colour in any room as this colour has the power of adaptability, flexibility, clarity, etc.

What colors make you feel comfortable? ›

Calming colors

Pastel colors and particularly cool toned pastels like baby blue, lilac and mint have a calming and relaxing effect. Neutrals like white, beige and grey can also make you feel calm.

What wall colors make people happy? ›

5 Paint Colours that Make You Happier
  • Yellow Will Cheer You Up. Like the sun's warm rays, yellow is a natural source of positive energy and cheerfulness. ...
  • Sky Blue Rejuvenates. Airy and calming, sky blue helps to restore your natural rhythms. ...
  • Violet is Mindful. ...
  • Yellow-Green for Optimism. ...
  • Silver Gray.
9 Apr 2017

What colour is kindness? ›

Pink As A Color Of Kindness. What is this? Pink is considered a feminine color, and as such, has been associated with softer emotions and values such as love, care, empathy, compassion, nurturing, and kindness.

What are the 6 warm colors? ›

"In general, warm colors are those in the red, orange, and yellow families, while cool colors are those in the green, blue, and purple families," Dale says. Think scarlet, peach, pink, amber, sienna, and gold versus cooler teal, eggplant, emerald, aqua, and cobalt. Remember the color wheel from grade school art class?

What are the 3 warm colors? ›

Warm colors include red, orange, and yellow, and variations of those three colors. Red and yellow are both primary colors, with orange falling in the middle.

What colours are in for living rooms 2022? ›

Green, grey, and navy are the most popular living room colours for 2022. New research by Swyft Home found that we are making bolder choices in our living spaces, embracing bright and rich shades, as well as some more unexpected colours.

What is the color for stress? ›

Red is the color that is strongly associated to stress because it triggers similar responses in the body.

Is there a color for anxiety? ›

But it's all just that one emotion. Everything becomes anxiety, and suddenly gray is the only color you have to color your world. It's important to note that anxiety can be both an emotion and also a clinical diagnosis.

What color gives good vibes? ›

Pink brings strong positive energy into your environment. Mood-lifting yellow is another colour that belongs to the fire element. However, its light shades belong to the earth element. In Feng Shui, yellow is the centre of everything, comparable with the Sun which is the ultimate source of positive energy.

What is the lucky color inside the house? ›

Red. In feng shui, red is the color that supersedes all others. It's the most powerful color in feng shui and is considered very auspicious.

What color goes well in a bedroom? ›

Cool, light tones: Soft yellow, lavender, light pink, and fresh blue offer a feeling of calm and restfulness in a bedroom. These colors are also less distracting and easier to pair with bright room décor and lively patterns.

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