What Are the Most Calming Colors to Use in Home Decor?

Published February 2, 2022
room with calming colors

Creating a calming environment at home shouldn't be stressful. There are easy ways to bring calm into your space, and color is the simplest and most impactful. Transforming your home into a relaxing retreat starts with color. The most calming home decor colors are often muted so they don't have the vibrancy that makes other colors too energetic for a relaxing room. All relaxing colors are not muted though, because some colors are still relaxing even if they're saturated. Deep ocean blue and natural green are not muted but can still be used in a calming home decor palette.

Infographic Calming Colors in Home Decor

The Most Relaxing Colors

The softness of calming colors makes them easy to combine in a palette for your home. Pairing a relaxing neutral with a muted blue, green, or lavender, creates a simple color scheme that's easy to translate into home decor. The look of a monochromatic color scheme - using varying shades of the same color - can also be very relaxing, but adding calming accent colors can provide more visual interest.

Blue

soft blue bedroom

Blue is considered the most-common favorite color around the world. It's no surprise it's so popular, as it evokes the calmness of the open ocean and a clear blue sky. Not all blue colors are considered relaxing, due to their undertones. The undertone of a color is the presence of another color that may not be apparent at first. Too much of a yellow or green undertone in a blue color can make it too energetic to be calming. To find the most relaxing blue shades, look for the colors you might see in a painting or photo of a beautiful beach or coastline.

Green

soft green bedroom

The prevalence of green in nature makes this color one of the most calming on the color wheel. Natural shades of green with slight undertones of blue or yellow are the most relaxing. Some shades of green can be too vibrant, like chartreuse or lime, but you can still sprinkle little pops of those colors around the room. The most versatile and calming shade of green is sage green, which is muted for a soft effect, and is still a favorite for creating a calm atmosphere in many homes. Sage green is a common option when purchasing upholstered furniture because it's the most neutral shade of green, and it's ideal for a relaxing home.

Beige

beige living room

Beige, like most neutral colors, is an easy choice for calming any space. The lack of saturation or vibrance makes beige an effortless backdrop for your home decor. There are many shades that might be considered beige, including taupe, khaki, and tan. The many types of beige colors provide almost unlimited options to find the perfect one for your space. To know why beige works so well as a calming neutral, it will take a quick peek into color theory: beige, and similar warm neutrals, are created by adding white to brown to lighten it up. Brown is created by combining the three primary colors: blue, yellow, and red. When the primary colors are combined, their energy is visually canceled out, creating a relaxing color that is restful and soothing.

Gray

soft gray bedroom

Gray can be a calming influence in home decor because of its versatility as a neutral color. The undertones of gray can be cool or warm, allowing you to mix it with colors already in your home. Cool gray is a popular alternative to white, but it can sometimes feel too cold and not as relaxing as a warmed-up shade. The warmest shades of gray are often called greige, which has become one of the most popular neutral colors for home decor. Even in its darkest shades, greige can be the right alternative if you're not finding the perfect beige for your relaxing color palette.

Greige

greige bedroom

The wildly popular greige is a sophisticated variation of beige or gray. The addition of gray to beige creates a more nuanced color that fits easily into a warm or cool color palette. Greige is a gorgeous backdrop as a painted wall or upholstered furniture, as part of a soothing color palette of greens and blues. Greige is a timeless neutral that fits effortlessly into most decorating styles.

White

white living room

White has seen a resurgence in popularity lately, though it has never lost its appeal as a calming color. Mix pure white with off-white in a color palette for a relaxing and sophisticated style. White's appeal as a relaxing color comes from its simplicity. The popular modern farmhouse style with its white walls with black accents creates an easy-going look that can calm the busiest home. Cream, alabaster, and other warm shades of white can be more calming than pure white. In north-facing rooms or rooms that do not get a lot of light, adding warmth to white keeps the space from appearing too gray. The warmth of these soft white colors enhances the calming effect of white.

Lavender

lavender chaise lounge

Shades of lavender offer the calm and cooling benefits of blue, but with more complexity. Lavender is a light shade of purple, but the complexity comes from its red undertone. Lavender is a stylish alternative to pale blue. The slight warmth of lavender gives it a soothing and calming presence in bedrooms and bathrooms. Periwinkle, a close cousin of lavender, is a slightly more energetic light purple. Blue is the dominant undertone for periwinkle, giving it a more vibrant appearance, yet it's still a calming color.

Blush

blush living room

What makes a color relaxing isn't always about the color itself, but the mood it inspires. The beauty of blush inspires feelings of calmness through its association with happy times and romantic memories. Nestled between coral and pink, the warmth of blush is softened just enough to give a soothing glow to bedrooms and bathrooms. Pale blush walls can illuminate a dark living room, transforming it into a comforting and warm space.

Tips for Using Relaxing Colors

Once you know which colors may be perfect for creating a relaxing retreat style, you'll need some tips for using them successfully in your home. Using even one or two of these tips can totally change your space from chaotic to calm.

  • Calming colors are an excellent choice for walls because they won't overwhelm your room, and they set the tone for the entire room.
  • Painted accent walls will always be in style, because they can easily soften the look of a too-busy room with a soothing brush of color.
  • You don't have to paint your walls to get the retreat vibe you're craving - your bedding and bath textiles can add calming texture and color.
  • To make the most of relaxing home decor in the living room, add sumptuous throws and pillows to give your sofa a comfortable makeover.
  • Floor coverings are an excellent option for not only adding relaxing color, but softening the sound and hard surfaces in your rooms.
  • Area rugs in calming colors and patterns can be a quick and easy makeover to make your home more relaxing.

The Most Important Step in Choosing Calming Colors

The last step in choosing the most relaxing colors for your home is the simplest--use the colors you love. Blue is a popular color and also considered the most calming, but if you don't like blue, it won't be relaxing at all. Most colors can appear serene as a muted or lightened shade, so don't be afraid to consider that option before giving up on your favorites.

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What Are the Most Calming Colors to Use in Home Decor?