Mood-Boosting Colors for Every Room

Having trouble winding down at night? Is your productivity in a bit of a slump? Have meals become somewhat bland? Maybe it’s less about you and more about your décor. And by décor, we mean color.

Artists, designers and psychologists have long known that color can affect mood. With the right color choices, you can help turn convention into creativity, inertia into energy, and restlessness into relaxation. Here’s our quick and simple guide—so you can use color to it’s full potential, one room at a time.

The Home Office

Choosing a color palette for your home office is all about balance. On the one hand, you want bright colors that will energize and spark creativity. On the other hand, you don’t want anything to distract you too much from the task at hand. The key is subtle color with pops of brightness.

office mood

Base: Choose a light blue, or white with a touch of blue, like Benjamin Moore® Billowy Down* or Lily White. Think blue skies. The effect is calming, helping you focus and stay on task.

Trim: For the baseboards, crown molding and doors, go with a bright white that will bring out the blue in your base color. Benjamin Moore’s Ultra White and Decorators White are good choices.

Accents: Add pops of bright color throughout the room with accessories like throw pillows, vases, lamps and wall décor. Paint a chair Candy Cane Red or Peony. Or coat the inside of bookshelves in Softened Violet or Scandinavian Blue. Other ideas for accent colors are Rhubarb, Vine Green and Sun Kissed Yellow. But remember, the key is to keep the color small, but intense—accent walls are not recommended.

The Living Room

As the name suggests, the living room is where you live most of the time—or would like to live most of the time. That said, it should be warm, cozy and comfortable—kind of like a big hug. Earth tones and calming blues make you want to kick back and stay a while. Here’s how to do it.

Base: Choose a light blue like Benjamin Moore’s Lookout Point or a warm earth tone like Cocoa Sand.

Trim: Basic white can be used, as well as mellower whites—like Weathered White or Confection.

Accents: Your living room should reflect your family’s personality and the things you love. Framed photo collages, tasteful travel souvenirs and old books with character are some great additions. Shades like Brick Dust, Rum Punch and Burnt Caramel add warmth, while green-blues like Fair Isle Blue and Slate Blue add a reassuring traditional feel.

The Bedroom

Yes, we know you can’t see the paint on the walls while you’re sleeping, but color should set the tone for great sleep—and, for some, romance. (Not necessarily in that order.) A recent survey showed that people with blue bedrooms appear to be getting the best sleep, while people with caramel-colored walls are having a more sensual experience. Lucky for us, the two go together great!

blue bedroom

Base: Choose a soothing blue with just a touch of grey like Behr® Dolphin Blue or Peaceful Blue. Or, if you prefer, choose a neutral caramel tone like Behr Crème de Caramel or Plateau.

Trim: For trims and doors, go with a warmer white like Behr Palais White or Roman Plaster.

Accents: In the bedroom, play up your accent colors in the bedspread, pillows, chair cushions and wall décor. If you choose blue for the base, choose caramel-colored accents that resemble these shades—Behr Soft Bronze, Distant Land or Sofisticata. If you go with a caramel base, choose deep blue accents like Poseidon, Striking or Very Navy.

The Bathroom

The bathroom is not so cut-and-dry when it comes to color. It really depends on the type of mood you want to create. You can choose a soothing spa-like vibe, bright and fun colors, a dramatic atmosphere, or a cozy retreat. It’s really up to you. Here are two of our favorite ways to reveal a bathing beauty.

Calm and Centered

If you want your bathroom to be a spa-like oasis at the end of a hectic day, choose soft greens, whites and earth tones.

mood bathroom

Base: Choose a soft white with a touch of green like Behr® Spring White or a light and airy green like Fresh Dew. Or go with an earthy off-white like Dove or Sand Drift.

Trim: Keep trim and doors a simple shade of white like Nano White or Gallery White.

Accents: Accents like towels, plants and toiletries should be in darker shades of earth tones. Some examples are: Tuscany Hillside, Urban Safari and Chocolate Swirl. Black and white can also be added in small amounts—such as in photos and picture frames.

Fun for All

These bright and cheery bath ideas are perfect for a shared family bath or a kids’ bathroom, but you don’t have to have kids to enjoy these uplifting colors.

kids bathroom

Base: Choose a muted base that makes bright colors pop, such as Olympic® Shooting Star, Bright Star or Diana.

Trim: White and bright all the way—Snow Storm, Pure White or other such shade.

Accents: Make accents fun, whimsical and bold. It doesn’t even have to have anything to do with bathing. Scrabble, Lego or comic-themed bathrooms are cool ideas. But even without a theme, choose cool, bright accent pieces and accent walls or cabinets in colors like Basic Blue, Hot Lips and St. Paddy’s Day.

The Kitchen

What do you want to feel when you walk into your kitchen? Red stimulates the appetite. White or bright yellow can make a kitchen feel energized and full of sunshine. Green is calming and symbolizes nature and health. Blue is serene, but is the least appetizing of colors—perfect if you’re looking to cut down on calories. The point is that are a lot of ways you can go in a kitchen, depending on what you want to feel. Check out these cool color combo ideas for inspiration.

kitchen decorating

Base: Choose a sunny base color like Grape Green or Sunbeam, or a cooler shade like Dew Pointe.

Trim: White, white, white! What can we say? Unless you have gorgeous wood trim, white rules.

Accents: We love red kitchen accents. Red chairs, tablecloths, backsplashes or red countertop appliances are like little bursts of energy. Choose shades like Calypso Berry, 100 MPH or Sunset Skyline.