Tips on How to Choose Colors for Your Bedroom

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The bedroom is where most people spend a majority of their time when they are at home. It should be a place of peace, a place for rest and a place to relax in. Choosing a bedroom color scheme for your home is important for creating an atmosphere where you feel the most comfortable. Unlike the living room or dining room, the bedroom is a place your guests don't typically see. It is an intimate room, reserved only for you. There is no need to seek out complicated designs or color patterns; just remember to choose something you absolutely love and wouldn't mind seeing on a regular basis.

Setting the Mood

The bedroom is where you go to unwind after a long day. It should reflect a place of rest and relaxation. Try to avoid colors that may be too bright or vibrant. Remember, the bedroom is where you sleep, and vibrant colored walls and furnishings may keep you up at night. However, selecting colors that may be too dark can make you feel glum or depressed. Neutral colors like beige, taupe and lighter shades of grey can induce a calming effect for your bedroom. Rich, earth tones of tans and browns can help make your bedroom feel warm and cozy. Keep in mind, colors can turn into different shades depending on your room lighting, or the time of the day.

The 60-30-10 Rule

If you have been reading up on interior design, you've most likely come across the 60-30-10 rule when considering a color scheme for a room, where 60 percent of the room should be your dominant color, 30 percent your secondary color, and 10 percent of the room reserved for an accent color. When using this rule for your bedroom, select a dominant color that sets the mood for the room. If you want to give your bedroom a tranquil feeling, but don't want to use a neutral color palette, try cooler colors like a light shade of blue on your walls. Keeping with the cool color scheme, use a deep shade of green for your bedding to make up the secondary color of the room, then finish off with violet pillows for an accent color.

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Color Shades

Selecting a color scheme or pattern is important to tie your bedroom together. If you wish to stick to a particular color scheme, but can't think of three different colors to use, try different shades of the same color. Ocean blue walls, light blue carpeting and sky blue bedding can create a cool color scheme that fits into the 60-30-10 rule. Using various color patterns like a two-toned wall or plaid bedding are other ways to incorporate multiple shades of the same color in your bedroom. Stripes and floral patterns can also use multiple shades of the same color to tie your bedroom together.

Using Color for Size

A small bedroom may appear even smaller when using darker shades. To maximize the feel of your bedroom space, try lighter colors like white or yellow to color your bedroom. White ceilings can give the illusion of higher ceilings. If you don't like the high ceiling in your bedroom, try making the room feel shorter with a darker paint on the ceiling paired with a dark shade on the wall that continues down to the floor. If you prefer the small size of your bedroom, use rich, warm colors to make the room feel quaint and cozy. The color patterns on your wall can also affect the feel of your bedroom size. Horizontal color patterns can make your room appear long and more spacious, while a vertical pattern leading towards a light colored ceiling can make the room feel taller.

Finding the Colors Right for You

While many suggest warm or neutral colors for a relaxing effect in the bedroom, the most important thing to remember is the colors for your bedroom should reflect what you like. If you've never been a fan of beige, white or taupe, then it makes no sense to use these colors. If you're a fan of monochromatic colors, find the shades that work well for you in the bedroom.

Don't be afraid to get a little creative when selecting your bedroom colors. You can even think outside of the 60-30-10 rule if you would prefer coordinating your bedroom colors using a different method. There is nothing wrong with a navy blue wall and a cherry oak floor, as long as you feel comfortable with the color scheme. If you were to break conventional design ideas anywhere in your home, the bedroom would be the place to do it in. If you absolutely love your bedroom color scheme, and it suits your tastes, others can learn to appreciate it because you are just being honest with yourself.

Last Updated: January 27, 2012
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About Matthew Cenzon Matthew Cenzon has been writing for numerous publications since 2003, covering topics ranging from health and nutrition to the real estate industry. He is one of the contributing writers for, and is a college graduate of the University of California, Riverside, with degrees in English and Asian literature. Matthew’s interest in interior design and home improvement stem from his background working in the residential real estate appraisal business for over five years, where he witnessed many of the Do's and Don'ts of home decor.

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