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Dreaming in Color: Bedroom Color Ideas

Color makes a statement. Whether it's a personality choice or a hue chosen to evoke a feeling, color is probably the one design selection that has the greatest impact on the aesthetics of any room we design. Taking a step back and thinking about the emotions you want your bedroom to impart will allow you to see the main design goals you have for your bedroom and choose colors to fit that style.

Color Me Colorless

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People often assume using neutral colors mean a boring design, but mixing different neutral tones, particularly those infused with interesting textures, can create a lot of depth and visual impact. Warm woods with rich grains, luxurious grays with rough weaves and neutral beiges with rustic surfaces all mix together in harmony, but also create a lot of interest.

Full Spectrum

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A little color can go a long way in a small bedroom space, but don't be afraid to choose bold hues. You don't have to match the colors, but do select complementary bright jewel tones, either opposite on the color wheel or as neighbors, so they don't become too contrasting. Played against neutral walls, floors or ceiling, the bright tints impart a cheerful and playful vibe.

Soothing for Snoozing

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For a cheery yet soothing bedroom, consider choosing primarily soft neutrals, like creams, ivories, light gray and light blue, and juxtapose them with a bright, yet organic color of a specific plant, like purple of lavender, the green of ferns or yellow of a sunflower. Use the vivid color as an accent or highlight, set against the soft neutral background, for a cozy, calming retreat.

Big, Brash Brightness

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Add visual emphasis in an ultramodern space with a bright accent color as a contrast in a monochromatic room. With a bright color set against a white background, the rich contrast gives a big impact without adding clutter or taking away from the streamlined design.

Bold & Fearless

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Patterns add personality, but often people are worried they'll clash and ruin the design. But conflicting patterns can make for a fun, eclectic mix. The trick is to choose one primary color for the room, such as a charcoal gray, and then filter it throughout all the different elements. Polka dots, plaid, paisley or stripes will all feel harmonious with a consistent through-line of color.

Get Passionate

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While blue and green shades are generally calming, and reds tones can be aggressive, burnt oranges and rusty reds can be warming and comforting as bold accent colors. Warm accents like wall art balanced against crisp neutrals envelop the room in welcoming color.

Jungle Flavor

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It can be a jungle, finding your design style, but if an actual tropical design appeals to you, you don't have to only use greens and browns! A natural palette of any color, even one primarily of pinks and light pastels, can be a great backdrop and contrast for a plant-filled, jungle-feeling design. Want more a more tropical feel? Just add more plants!

Just Paint One

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Statement walls are an affordable way to add visual impact to any sized room; just pick a contrasting color to the rest of the room. Whether it's a black wall in a primarily white room, a blue paisley wallpaper in a room featuring yellow or anywhere in between, statement walls make the room seem striking and original.

Touch It Up

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In a monochromatic or neutral bedroom, add depth to the design with a diverse selection of textures. Whether it's brushed concrete, grainy natural wood, plush carpet, shaggy throws, matte metalwork or shiny mirrors, using the same color palette with varied textures gives a depth to the room that color alone can't attain.

Monochrome Matters

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When you're looking at your bedroom color design, a single color family can still have visual impact by varying the patterns within that palette. Plaids, rugs, wood grains, tufted headboards and other patterned accessories will feel cohesive together when utilizing the same color scheme, but the varying patterns give the room depth and visual interest.

Balance Hard and Soft

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Soften masculine colors and tailored formality with playful statement pendants and a tufted headboard. The unusual shapes of the lamps, particularly doubled with a softly patterned bed, give both personality and softness to a modern room with hard edges.

Show Restraint

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In a small, contemporary bedroom, keeping colors light and airy makes the room feel open and inviting. Focus on neutrals for a flexible accessory palette, then add a soft accent wall in a light color and contrasting accents in rich colors, like a dark mossy green.

Geometric Mix

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The classic stark contrast of a black and white design is brought into even more dramatic focus by alternating patterns in prints and fixtures. Bold black graphic curtains play off the clean lines of window sheers, where a geometric print juxtaposes nicely with a structural light fixture. Play with the contrasts of color, textures and interesting artwork to add depth and focus.

Tone on Tone

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For a soft, feminine room (that's totally devoid of pink), consider a tone-on-tone design in one particular neutral shade. Choose a single tone, like ivory, and work within that color family. Layering different textures and additional shades within that family, such as cream, white, light beige, mother-of-pearl and even brushed chrome, give depth to the room and visual interest, while still feeling understated and inviting.

Look Up

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A key feature of mid-century modern design is simple wooden furniture slung low to the ground. The low profile grounds the room, but can make also it feel bottom heavy. To create balance, look for light wall colors to draw the eye up, use extra long curtains in a similar tone to the wall or use that reflect light upwards.

Work Your Art

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If you have a particular piece of statement artwork you want to include in your bedroom, look to that piece for inspiration for your color palette. No matter how disparate the hues are, because they all exist together in that artwork they all feel intentional and connected when put together in the same room.

Bright as the Morning

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When we think about bedroom colors, we often think about what tones will soothe us to sleep. But what about those of us that need help waking up? Bright tones like cheery yellows, combined with light-toned woods or white laminate, create a bright, airy space that will fill you with energy to start your day.

Passion for Purple

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Purple, long ago considered the color of royalty, takes on a mysterious, fresh feeling when paired with a neutral backdrop and bedroom pendant lights. The bold pops of color stand out in stark contrast to whites and tans, while the whimsical lighting fixture softens a neutral, stark design style.

Pull From Patterns

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Beautiful, complex patterns can make for a stand-out design when applied to a statement furniture piece. Whether a dresser, bed, soft furnishings or other decor, the complexity of the pattern does best when surrounded by components in the room that incorporate colors from the pattern, supporting it rather than conflicting with it.

Chasing Paper

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One of wallpaper's greatest assets is its ability to add color and pattern to any room, automatically defining its design style. But selecting the right wallpaper can be tricky. For a statement wall, bold, colorful patterns can be a hit. But for an entire room, consider designs that are easy on the eyes and lighter in color, so the room doesn't feel too jarring or overwhelming.

Contrast and Compare

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A large master bedroom in a traditional home doesn't have to be finished with classic styling. Whether a fireplace, molding or any other fixtures, look for traditional elements to give a contemporary rejuvenation. A classic blue and white rug becomes modern with a larger geometric pattern. Mid-century modern nightstands contrast with white wainscoting. Look for traditional elements to juxtapose with modern patterns or styling.

Whether it's covering the walls, part of the bedroom furniture or in your choices of accessories, color is a defining aspect of any bedroom design. Loud and brash or muted and soothing, the hue and tone of the shades you choose are integral to the overall impression your room makes the moment anyone walks in. As our bedrooms are a place we spend a good majority of our time, it's key to make sure that whatever colors you choose help create a space that reflects your personality and design aesthetics.