A new coat of paint can instantly transform a room, taking it from drab to fresh in a matter of hours. More than that, the right color can affect your mood—and the room’s overall vibe—in positive ways.
Curious about which paint colors suit different rooms best, we reached out to a few interior designers for the scoop. Whether you’re toying with the idea of a makeover or you’ve already got your paint roller in hand, take your cue from their advice.
From your living room to bedroom to office space, scroll on to learn the best paint colors for each room in your house.
The Best Paint Colors for Each Room in Your House
The Best Paint Color for Your Living Room: Understated Gray
“While I love clean white spaces, I’ve recently been layering a bit of pigment into family and living rooms, using the same color on both walls and trim,” says Kelli Suozzo, interior designer and founder of Bowerbird. “An understated gray or gray-based white are two of my favorite shades for this type of application.”
In color psychology, gray represents balance and suits almost every mood, making it the perfect shade for gathering areas. “Gray is also a subtle color that envelops the room and helps to liven the space while also grounding other elements in your design,” Suozzo adds. She explains that these shades are neutral enough to really allow you to do what you want with the room, be it light and airy or more dramatic with darker accents via furniture and art.
- Ammonite by Farrow & Ball
- Strong White by Farrow & Ball
- Rust-Oleum Home Smokey White Eggshell
- Summer Gray by Valspar
The Best Paint Colors for Your Master Bedroom: Creamy Beige or Muted Blue
“The primary focus of the master bedroom should be serenity,” advises Carole Malloy, co-founder of Josephine Design House. She suggests painting the walls in your bedroom a creamy beige or muted teal shade. “The creamy beige feels like having a blanket wrapped around your room while blue is a calming color that can help you feel relaxed and centered.”
Another cool idea: “We like to paint the walls a creamy white and do either a neutral beige ceiling or a ceiling of teal to jazz up the space,” Malloy says. The unexpected touch adds a nice finish to the room and offers a “mid-century modern yet welcoming vibe,” she explains.
- Swiss Coffee by Benjamin Moore
- Tempe Star (a muted teal) by Sherwin Williams
- St. John Blue by Benjamin Moore
The Best Paint Color for Your Kitchen: Warm White
“I’m pretty much a purist when it comes to kitchens, typically opting for a clean backdrop that allows all other elements to shine,” says Suozzo. She suggests painting walls a classic Oxford white shade. “It’s crisp and bright and layers nicely with warm or cool palates, allowing great synergy between cabinetry, furniture, and art.”
Another benefit: Light colors bounce light and make a space feel larger, which is why white kitchens tend to appear more spacious. Suozzo adds that she likes to pair bright white with natural wood accents, like shelves or butcher block countertops, and/or earthy- or mushroom-toned cabinets.
The Best Paint Colors for a Kid’s Bedroom: Pastel Shades
“I feel that the primary focus of a child’s room should be to inspire their imagination and creativity,” says interior designer Eriette Lenas, founder of Erriette Lenas Design. “For a children’s bedroom, I would recommend colors that create a joyful environment, yet are still soothing and calming for rest time and sleep.” That’s where pastel colors come in; they are both lively and soft and have been shown to produce a more intellectual, emotionally-balanced environment.
Lenas also suggests using palettes that aren’t age-specific and have an element of sophistication, so that the children can grow with the paint color. Think creamy pinks as opposed to bubblegum pinks and soft yellow as opposed to sunny yellow. Or, you can also opt for a neutral color, like classic gray or creamy white, and then layer in more color and textures via an accent wall, textiles, furniture, and art, she says.
- Tissue Pink by Benjamin Moore
- Rock Harbor Violet by Benjamin Moore
- Ball Pigeon by Farrow & Ball
- Champagne Yellow by Amy Howard Home
The Best Paint Colors for Your Bathroom: Moody Colors
“I love designing powder rooms as they allow you to take more of a risk,” says Suozzo. “Using dark and moody colors in smaller spaces adds drama and creates a jewel box feeling.” Saturated paint colors, like deep green, dark bronze or rich jewel tones, add dimension and depth, drawing the eye to accents in the room.
Moody shades also layer well with different textures, making metal taps and light fixtures, wicker baskets, crisp white linens, or wallpapered accent walls really pop. In a recent bathroom Suozzo’s team designed, they used Farrow and Ball Studio Green in the main space and wallpapered the water closet in Abnormals Anonymous Mr. Blow Grasscloth for a surprise touch.
- Studio Green by Farrow & Ball
- Urban Bronze by Sherwin Williams
- Rock Store by Portola Paints
- Prince (purple) by Clare
The Best Paint Colors for Your Office: Neutral Tones
“When designing a home or corporate office, the primary goal should be focus and productivity,” says Eriette. “I generally prefer light neutral colors that promote a motivating and mellow atmosphere.” Not only are these hues easy on the eyes, but they are also good reflectors of the light, keeping the workspace bright, she adds.
If you wanted to go with a slightly broodier atmosphere, Malloy suggests opting for a rich navy like Hague Blue by Farrow & Ball or charcoal blue like Gentleman’s Gray by Benjamin Moore, since these colors are often associated with strength and confidence.