Choosing Calming Colours for a Bedroom

Your bedroom is more than a room; it’s a haven for rest and rejuvenation. Sleep is fundamental to our well-being and mood; waking up refreshed after a good night’s sleep is vital for facing the day ahead.

How do you decorate your bedroom to support this environment and avoid colours that overstimulate the mind and impact sleep? When it comes to decorating our bedrooms, there is nothing more powerfully transformative than colour. Choosing calming colours for a bedroom can make an incredible difference.


How do we respond to colour?


Let’s begin by understanding what colour is. Light travels from the sun in wavelengths of differing lengths. Some wavelengths are absorbed, others are reflected from an object’s surface – this is what our eyes experience as colour. Colour is the brain’s interpretation of the signals from our eyes when light enters them. The brain receives colour signals in the same part of the brain that processes emotions.

Where there is light, there is colour; where there is colour, there is emotion. Every tint, tone and shade of colour has an emotional impact.

Our all day, every day, we are unconsciously responding to colour.

Our brain does not process colours in isolation, so the whole scheme needs to be considered. For decorating, this goes beyond the paint we choose for the walls; it includes the floor, accessories, bedding, and lampshades.

The topic of colour psychology is vast, but paler colours that contain more white soothe, while deep, intense colours stimulate.


Choosing Calming Colours to Decorate Your Bedroom


A starting point for using the transformative power of colour is to consider the behaviour you want to see. For most, this will be relaxing and unwinding in a bedroom to promote good quality sleep. Here’s how you can use different colours to achieve this.



If a colour were a hug, it would be pink! Pink is nurturing and compassionate. It’s a physically soothing colour. Used in a bedroom, it can help overcome grief and loneliness. Pink is particularly soothing when used in a nursery; it eases tension.

Farrow and Ball Tailor Tack no 302 would be a brilliant choice for bedroom décor:


The colour of sunshine, yellow, promotes happiness, optimism and confidence. However, when the wrong tone is used or is used in excess, it can lead to irritability and feeling anxious. If overused in a bedroom, over time, you may wake up feeling annoyed and irritable. Babies are susceptible to colour, so in nurseries, using yellow, or even cream containing yellow, is not recommended.



Always joyful and full of fun, orange provides physical comfort and warmth. If too much orange is used, however, it can feel overstimulating, which would not be conducive to good sleep. In a bedroom, you can garner the positive effects of orange by using a soft peach or apricot tone.

A soft shade like Craig and Rose Adam Cream would be beautiful


The colour of the earth, brown, is a very grounding colour that evokes feelings of warmth and cosiness. Brown is a supportive colour, but it can make a space feel heavy when used in excess. Lighter shades of brown, including beige, stone, and taupe, can be used in a bedroom to create a feeling of safety. Dark brown should be avoided in nurseries and children’s rooms as it will be too unyielding and not support the refreshing night’s sleep that babies and young children need.

Try a soft, warm neutral like Little Greene’s Rolling Fog to create a warm, cosy bedroom:



Blue is a popular colour and a favourite for many. Blue creates feelings of calm and serenity and reduces mental stress and tension. Paler tones of blue soothe the mind and help relax the body in preparation for sleep. In excess, blue can feel cold and depressing, so using the right tone of blue with other colours is a great way to reap the soothing benefits. Dark blues should be avoided in bedrooms as this will create alertness in the mind and be unconducive to restful sleep.

For a sumptuously soft blue that won’t feel cold, try Dulux Heritage Clear Skies


Green is a beautiful colour choice for a bedroom. It creates feelings of peace and harmony and is also restorative and restful. Light greens are refreshing and will support feelings of rest and tranquillity. Green can create a lack of motivation, but this is not a consideration for a bedroom. Lime green should also be avoided in a bedroom, as it contains a large amount of yellow, which will overstimulate the nervous system.

Little Greene’s Hidey Hole is a beautiful soft green to create a restful bedroom scheme:


Purple, the colour of spirituality and self-awareness, will create a bedroom sanctuary for quiet reflection. Purple is an excellent choice for anyone who meditates before bed or in the morning. Just be aware that overusing purple can cause introversion and feelings of inferiority.



Grey was a mainstream trend for many years, seen as a safe neutral, and often used in bedrooms. As a colour, a pure grey (mix of black and white) is psychologically neutral. It can be draining and create a feeling of sluggishness; over time, you would likely wake up tired in a grey room. The lack of feeling produced in grey spaces is why you see people using pops of colour to overcome the impact of grey.



I’ve saved red to last as it’s not strictly a soothing colour. Pink is the gentle form of red recommended for bedrooms. However, red shouldn’t be dismissed entirely in a bedroom scheme. It creates physical energy and excitement and is a great way to inject passion into your bedroom scheme. Red should be used in small measures to avoid being overwhelming. A deep shade of fuchsia pink will result in the same behaviour.


In Summary


  • Using soft, gentle colours in a bedroom scheme will create a sense of calm and the right environment for restorative sleep and well-being.
  • Colour in a bedroom is not just about the walls; consider the ceiling, the bedding, and other décor. If you want to include just a splash of colour, a cushion or lampshade may be an excellent way to introduce it. Remember, colour is never perceived in isolation.
  • Consider the feelings and behaviours you want to evoke in your bedroom, and then start your decorating scheme.
  • If you cannot decide on the colours for your bedroom, start with green, a failsafe way to create a refreshing environment and sanctuary.

Posted Jun 6, 2024 | 0 comments

About the Author

About the Author

Mike Cupit has been in the decorating industry since 2002 and has mostly worked as a Trade Decorator in the domestic sector (peoples’ homes). Self-proclaimed “product geek”, Mike has a passion for paint and decorating tools. Mike now spends most of his time testing paint products and tools, comparing them to similar products on the market, and blogging about the industry in general.


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