Your bedroom is the first thing you see when you start your day, the last thing you see before you fall asleep, and the only place you want to go when the rest of the world starts to feel overwhelming. (In that case, it may be time to try a light bath.) One way to keep it a legit sanctuary is to ban screens altogether (and, yes, use something else besides your phone as an alarm clock)—but there’s another major factor that can seriously up your bedroom’s tranquility factor: color.
“Color has the power to increase your energy, calm and soothe your emotions, stimulate your senses, and elevate your mood,” says Moll Anderson, author of Change Your Home, Change Your Life With Color. “Different colors will produce different emotional, physical, and psychological responses.”
“Different colors will produce different emotional, physical, and psychological responses.”
In a recent study, scientists found that two identical rooms in different colors elicited completely different responses from people. Warm colors tended to make people feel excited, highly aroused and stimulated, while cool colors were more spacious or restful.
Despite this scientific backing, Anderson notes that not everyone responds to color the same way. “What may be an uplifting color for one may not be a mood-enhancing color for all,” she says. For example, a dark gray room could make your S.O. feel totally relaxed, but it might make you feel gloomy. (Yep, the way to keep things stress-free can vary from person to person.) In choosing a palette, think about how the hues make you feel. So what’s the best color family for a relaxing bedroom?
Easy blues. If you’re looking for a tranquil master bedroom, go with robin’s egg blue, sky blue, or slate blue. Putting it on your walls or ceiling will create a sense of being outside beneath the sky, which evokes a feeling of calm.
Neutrals. Pale tones provide a blank canvas for other, brighter colors to pop. Anderson suggests gray for the perfect balance of masculine and feminine.
Pastels. Anderson says these will “breathe life” into a room because they feel airy, light, and refreshing.
Once you have a color scheme, there are a few more ways to get the blissed-out bedroom of your dreams. Keep reading for Anderson’s advice.
Paint your space
“Paint is the most affordable way to bring change into your home and life,” Anderson says. “When selecting a paint color for your walls, don’t assume the color you see on the swatch is how it will appear in your room.” A color may appear seductive at night, but in the morning light, it may look garish. Live with a few test squares for a couple of days before committing to a hue.
Add soft furnishings
“You spend 365 days a year in bed, and your bedding needs to be luxurious,” says Anderson. In other words: Why not upgrade your sheets and your comforter? Consider different colors, textures, and fabrics to bring out the most visual interest.
“Lighting is is everything,” says Anderson. “It sets the mood from task lighting all the way to a setting for romance.” One inexpensive tool worth picking up: a dimmer. “Being able to control your lighting is mood-altering,” she says.
Turn up some music
“Never underestimate how you can decorate a space with sound,” says Anderson. “Music has the power to elevate your spirits and shift the energy of a room, just like that.”
Don’t underestimate the effect of lamps, vases, throws, fresh flowers—or even essential oil diffusers and other good-sleep gadgets. “When you are ready to change the mood, a color swap is super easy with these decorative accents,” Anderson says. Switch things up each season, and you’ll never be bored by your space again.
Don’t miss these tips on how to design the rest of your home with purpose, and be sure to see some serious wall art inspo, courtesy of Miranda Kerr.