There’s no quicker way to change up the look of a room than a fresh coat of paint on the walls, but did you know the color you choose can change the emotional energy of a room too? Different hues affect our moods in different ways, so it’s important to use a paint color that suits the vibe you want to create in your space. You don’t want to feel energized in your bedroom when you’re trying to ward off insomnia, nor do you want to feel sleepy in your dining room when you have friends over.
Best for: kitchens, bathrooms
Like a ray of sunshine, this mood-boosting hue fills any room with warmth and happiness. Yellow is a terrific color for kitchens because it increases energy levels and lifts the spirits, something we all could use in the morning as we’re making our first cup of coffee. In colder climates, yellow can make any space feel like summer year-round.
Too much yellow in an already-sunny spot, however, can cause eyestrain. Bright yellow is also the most fatiguing color for your eyes to process, so use sparingly, or stick to buttery shades.
Best for: bedrooms, offices, bathrooms
Blue is a serene color that can lower blood pressure, making it perfect for bedrooms and offices. It's also ideal for creating a soothing, spa-like environment in bathrooms, where you wash all your worries of the day away. The 2020 Pantone Color of the Year is Classic Blue, a deep shade that suggests the twilight sky moments before the first star appears.
Best for: any room
White is the go-to wall color of minimalism. It’s as quiet as a blanket of fresh-fallen snow, allowing your decor to do all the talking. Cooler shades of white work best in formal and ultra-modern spaces, while warmer shades make a room feel clean but cozy. A completely neutral paint color, white works equally well in every room in the house.
Best for: bedrooms, playrooms, guestrooms, bathrooms
Pink is a youthful color that makes frequent appearances in pop culture. Besides Pink the singer-songwriter, there’s Millennial Pink, a bubblegum shade strongly associated with the Instagram generation. It seems that pink as a wall color that is more on-trend than ever these days. First Light, a soft shade of blush, is Benjamin Moore’s 2020 color of the year.
Simply being in a pink room calms the nerves, a fact backed by science. Baker-Miller Pink, in particular, is a shade that was demonstrated to ease aggression in inmates.
Best for: dining rooms, family rooms, kitchens, man-caves and she-sheds
Red is the color of heightened emotions. Studies have shown it can raise adrenaline levels and increase heart and breathing rates. Red is the perfect wall color for dining rooms, family rooms, and other convivial spaces where you want to stir up lively conversations.
Best for: studios, craft rooms, home offices, bedrooms
A majestic color long associated with both royalty and magic, purple adds opulence with a hint of mysticism to any room. Studies have shown that purple can spark creativity, making it the perfect color for studios and offices. And, with the combined energy of soothing blue and passionate red, it adds a nice "Netflix and chill” quality to bedrooms.
Best for: kitchens, living rooms, bedrooms, studies
Green is the most restful color for the human eye to process, making it perfect for spaces where you want to promote peace, harmony, and clear-mindedness. When this verdant hue surrounds us, we feel one with nature even when we’re nowhere near the wilderness.
Best for: family rooms, living rooms
Down-to-earth brown evokes feelings of comfort, contentment, and security that transcend the ages. It’s a color that brings us back to our roots, making it the perfect choice for rooms of relaxation and repose. Richer browns are currently experiencing a revival, with Sherwin-Williams dubbing Cavern Clay as their 2019 color of the year.
Best for: dining rooms, living rooms, kitchens, family rooms, home offices
While jumpsuit orange is a little jarring, the more burnt and subdued tones add a rich spiciness to any space. This warm and inviting color brings to mind sunsets, summer fruits, bonfires, and exotic locales. Though its vibrancy is perfect for raising a room’s spirits, it's not ideal if you're aiming for a restful vibe. Orange makes the biggest impact in small doses, so consider using it as an accent color.
Best for: any room
There are a lot more than 50 shades of this elegant neutral, and that’s a good thing. Gray happens to be the number one most popular wall color right now, a trend that’s not expected to go away anytime soon. Like white, it suits any space and goes with just about anything. Though pale shades that resemble overcast skies tend to be the go-to grays these days, darker tones like charcoal and slate meet the growing demand for moodier hues.