Paint Colors Our Design Expert Says To Avoid Using In The Bedroom

"What is most important about designing your bedroom is that you want to create a mood in the space that you are happy to wake up to in the morning and [see] just before the lights go out at the end of the day. Choosing the right colors can make that happen for you," said international color consultant Amy Wax. House Digest recently spoke with Wax, who is also the creator of the Color911 app. The app is a way for amateur or professional decorators, designers, and artists to delve into inspiring color themes; some pre-made, and some waiting to be custom designed by the user. She is formerly president of the National Association of Color Consultants/North America and author of the best-selling books "Can't Fail Color Schemes" and "Can't Fail Color Schemes — Kitchens and Baths."

As her website states, "Color is the backbone of design." So when it comes to outfitting the main bedroom, owners' suite, or the guest room, Wax said, "I recommend avoiding bold or dramatic colors in the bedroom such as bright reds, yellows, lime greens, or bright purples. [In] a room where we strive to relax at the end of the day and wind down, the wall colors need to set the mood for the room. If you want the mood to be restful, then use colors that will create that mood for you. Choosing the right colors will make that happen."

Avoid those but use these

Why does she recommend avoiding certain colors? In her conversation with House Digest, Wax said, "I would avoid using dramatic colors because they can be distracting and powerful rather than comforting. Brighter neon colors can be agitating, and colors like a bold red can raise your blood pressure. Both of these color options would add stress to those in the space. That is not the feeling you want to have, especially in a room where you are looking to create an atmosphere that is soothing and supportive."

Moving on from what not to use, we asked Wax what bedroom colors she recommends. Obviously a fan of color herself, she recommends using the colors you love by using shades that are less intense. So if you're a big fan of purple, rather than an entire room of this high-energy color, try something less powerful like a dusty lilac or soft lavender. If green is your thing, rather than a forceful neon shade, try something lighter with a more soothing base like a sage green or green-gray, or maybe even a pistachio shade. Wax also recommends a light coral or salmon which she says works well with all sorts of grays as well as warm browns. Your bedroom can still be filled with color, just in more relaxing, calmer tones.

Discover your palette

Recently we talked about upcoming bedroom colors for 2024, as well as the best colors for a soothing vibe in the bedroom. Wax tells House Digest readers to carefully consider the goal for the space. Do you use your bedroom as a private retreat, or does it have a work area? Do you use the space as a mini-yoga studio or is it strictly for sleeping? If dark, dramatic rooms are your preference, she suggests using a vivid shade such as charcoal gray or a smooth navy blue as an anchor while pairing it with a restful neutral. For the bedroom, focus on colors that are both comforting and stress-reducing, and remember your colors can come from the wall, ceiling, and trim, as well as other large items in the room including the bedspread, pillows, wall art, and carpeting.

"I firmly believe most people can do a beautiful job designing their own space with the right kind of guidance," she said. "The Color911 app which I created offers color themes to choose from [and] find a theme that is soothing such as Sea Glass, Afternoon Nap, Underlying Beauty, Easy Going, Comfort Zone, Charm, Luminance, or Time to Relax. With each theme is a list of palettes showing how to use the colors from your theme. Color911 can be [a] guide to finding and decorating using the colors that honestly feel good."