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Bedrooms: Choosing the Right Color

Serene, romantic, or vibrant—pick a bedroom color that's dreamy to you

Written by Sally Finder Weepie


Photo: Gordon Beall / Design: Chris Drake and Lee Bierly

Creamy white is a classic when it comes to bedroom color. It's a go-to choice if you're looking for a tranquil mood, as in this 19th-century Boston townhouse bedroom. Simple white bed curtains drape from brass, accentuating the bed’s golden glow to give the room polish. Gold is repeated on the picture frames to unify the design, but with great subtlety. A touch of pattern comes from a floral silk taffeta on the bench and a throw pillow. 


Photo: Emily Jenkins Followill / Design: Melanie Turner

Gray has become today's favorite neutral, and is being seen more and more often in the bedroom. A flexible hue, it works equally well for a space with a clean-lined, contemporary vibe or a traditional space. It can veer masculine or, teamed with white and a hint of blush pink, quite feminine. Here, curves on the svelte iron canopy bed and sumptuous fur on the bench play up the sexy vibe. 


Photo: Gordon Beall / Design: Kelley Proxmire

Evoking the clear summer sky and calm waters, the color blue is a perennial favorite, especially in bedrooms, where it creates the feel of a true sanctuary. The custom blue wall finish in this sophisticated waterfront bedroom nods to sea and sky but also embraces the comfortable feel of chambray, proving that elegance and ease do mix. Traditional damask and check prints bring traditional beauty, but they're used in moderation with plenty of solids—in both blue and white—to keep a calm, contemporary mood. Brass accents are the perfect complement to the blue palette. 


Photo: Gordon Beall / Design: Dee Elms and Andrew Terrat

You might think pink is only for little girls' rooms, but this soft shade can wrap an adult sanctuary in sweet serenity. Pink on the ceiling and in fabrics are tempered by plenty of white and splashes of vibrant yellow. The iron canopy bed adds a metal edge while its curves play to the room's feminine air.


Photo: Werner Straube / Deisgn: Jan Showers

Peach might not be the first color that comes to mind for a bedroom, but like pink, it can set a soft, restful tone. In this guest bedroom, peachy-coral hues mesh perfectly with feminine touches like a tufted bench, romantic bed drapery, and silk window treatments. Lucite bench legs lend a contemporary element.


Photo: Virginia MacDonald / Design: Colette van den Thillart

Another romantic, glamorous color choice is lavender. The lilac-and-white master suite in designer Colette van den Thillart's Toronto home was inspired by Canada’s northern light. Mixing two different patterns gives the space sophistication, as does an infusion of white and wood tones. Both pretty and utilitarian, the complementary lilac-and-white draperies are backed with blackout lining to guarantee restful nights.


Photo: Werner Straube / Deisgn: Tom Stringer

For a fresh twist on traditional—one that's truly eye candy—consider chocolate for the bedroom. Chicago-based interior designer Tom Stringer used warm chocolate walls and graphic patterned carpet to set a dramatic backdrop in his renovated 1906 townhouse. A palette of beiges and chocolate browns works well with both antiques and modern furniture for a refined look.