For many of us, bedrooms are more than just places to sleep. They
are personal, rejuvenating retreats in which to relax and unwind from
the stresses of the day. And not surprisingly, the use of color has a
big impact on how we view this special space.
Borrowing tones from nature creates a tranquil environment.
Harmonious neutrals and browns, soft blues and soothing greens make up
the color schemes of many winning bedroom designs. "Some of the
most successful palettes tend to be monochromatic, tone-on-tone
combinations in cappuccino colors ranging from ivory to rich
browns," says Amy Carman of Amy Carman Design in Wauwatosa.
"Stick to earth tones and keep it understated." Carman also
recommends warm grays or slate tones mixed with weathered finishes,
bleached woods, or other antiqued or natural finishes to create a cozy
Creating a spa-like atmosphere is another option for a peaceful
bedroom retreat. Use bed linens as a starting point for this type of a
look. "The majority of my customers buy white or ivory
sheets," says Laura Smith, owner of Percyís Fine Linens in
Mequon. "Mix and match whites and ivories as a bedroom color
palette that results in a restful, clean, somewhat contemporary look,
like those you see in a luxury hotel or spa."
used colors inspired by nature to create a color palette for
this luxurious bedroom. Soothing walls painted in Sherwin
Williams Kilim Beige (SW 6106) provide a soft backdrop for
layered neutrals and browns on bedding and furnishings.
If color is more to your liking, soft blues and greens are also
calming. Spas often use these shades as well. "Lavender can be
restful too," observes Carrie Weintraub, Percyís store manager.
While some people think red in the bedroom is romantic, donít use
too much ó itís aggressive. Watch the use of orange and stay away
from loud or neon colors, too. Carman also warns against another color
that is a potential problem in bedroom design. "You need to be
cautious about yellow. People tend to underestimate it. Yellow can
actually be bold and saturated. It can seem like a good idea but it
doesnít always work unless you are planning to use a very soft or
However, it is possible include a touch of bold color in the
bedroom without overwhelming the space. "Use a complimentary
accent to add a punch of color, like mixing in a little orange with a
blue palette or even a bit of red in a green room, although too much
red looks Christmassy, so donít overdo it," Weintraub says.
Both Carman and Weintraub recommend staying with rich tones. Avoid
primary colors that give a juvenile look. For example, instead of
yellow, use gold combined with deep purple accents.