15 Calming Paint Colors Designers Love for Every Room of the House

Encourage relaxation with these paint color recommendations ranging from subtle neutrals to blue-green hues.

Soft blues, grays, and whites aren't just calming colors for bedrooms—they're also suitable for kitchens, laundry rooms, and even large living areas. We have inspiring new shades and classic color recommendations from interior designers and paint pros. Read on for relaxing color palettes that will make every room in your home feel like a blissful escape.

blue green master bedroom with rug dark wood accents and white bed sheets
Designer Cecily Mendell's bedroom painted with Caspian from Portola Paints. Erin Kunkel

Tips for Choosing Soothing Paint Colors

Selecting a calming paint color can be a daunting task with so many options. Sue Wadden, director of color marketing at Sherwin-Williams, suggests looking inward before making a color choice. "Color can help shape our day-to-day environments and impact our mood," she says. "So when selecting colors, people should think about how they want the space to make them feel and let their emotions guide their decisions.

Wadden suggests veering towards calming blues and greens, which she describes as "soothing and grounding colors that encourage well-being." Soft neutrals can also encourage relaxation, and Wadden says whites, creams, beiges, and lighter gray are soothing backdrops.

The founder of Clare Paint, Nicole Gibbons, also turns to blues and neutrals to create a relaxing atmosphere. "I love using serene, understated blue and neutral shades to create a sense of instant calm in a space," she says. "Blue-greens and soft grays can feel especially tranquil and instantly put you at ease."

Favorite Blue-Green Paint Colors

Blends of blue and green draw on nature's relaxing properties. Gibbons has two go-to shades she recommends for relaxing spaces, and they're both hazy and ethereal.

headspace painted wall with wooden dresser and flowers
Headspace wall color by Clare Paint. Courtesy of Clare Paint

Chill and Headspace by Clare Paint

The first is Chill by Clare Paint and it's sure to help you mellow out. It's a "soft, cool, barely-there gray with a slightly green undertone," says Gibbons. "It's light, airy, and calming: an excellent antidote to a long day." Gibbons also loves Headspace by Clare Paint, which she says is a universal favorite. She describes it as a "soft and airy blue-green hue" that creates a serene atmosphere in any room.

sea salt color walls bathroom white tub
Primary bathroom featuring Sea Salt by Sherwin-Williams. Courtesy of Molly Culver Photography

Sea Salt by Sherwin-Williams

Sherwin Williams's popular color, Sea Salt, is another reliable blue-green favorite. Houston-based interior designer Jennifer Barron says it's the ideal bathroom color. "The soft green undertone creates an ethereal feeling that is perfect for soaking in a bath and relaxing," she adds.

Peaceful Neutral Paint Colors

If you're looking for a neutral wall color that mixes well with serene blue and green decor, try these complementary shades of cream, white, and beige.

feather down kitchen with round dining table
Kitchen walls painted with Feather Down by Benjamin Moore. Courtesy of Mary Craven Photography

Feather Down OC-6 by Benjamin Moore

Nashville interior designer Katie Gibson loves Benjamin Moore's Feather Down OC-6. "It is a perfect neutral, not too dark but not stark white," she says. It's a relaxing choice for large, open-concept living spaces with a central dining room and kitchen.

drop cloth kitchen with tall cabinets
Kitchen cabinets painted with Drop Cloth by Farrow & Ball. Courtesy of Sarah Shields Photography

Drop Cloth by Farrow & Ball

If you love a warm, natural aesthetic, try using an earthy taupe on kitchen cabinetry, and you'll feel at ease in the busiest room in the house. Indianapolis-based interior designer Whittney Parkinson featured Farrow & Ball's Drop Cloth in a space that lacked ample natural light. She wanted to create a warm environment without using bright whites, and taupe did the trick. "Drop Cloth has this perfect balance of warm and cool," she says, explaining that it looks different depending on the time of day. "The intent was for this kitchen to feel natural and calming, with a nod to its European roots."

cloud white living room with wooden accents
Living room shiplap wall featuring Cloud White by Benjamin Moore. Courtesy of Julie Soefer

Cloud White by Benjamin Moore

Interior designer Marie Flanigan recommends Benjamin Moore's Cloud White if you prefer a more modern, transitional aesthetic. "It is one of my most consistently used paint colors, and it never disappoints," she says. "It may be a white paint, but I find it brings warmth and depth to any room." This guest house project was designed to bring tranquility to visitors the moment they step through the door.

Barely There Blue Paint Colors

When it comes to light blues, the shade you fall in love with on the paint chip isn't always what you end up seeing on the wall. But, with expert advice and suggestions, you can find calming colors for bedrooms, kitchens, and living areas in the perfect blue for your decor.

gray owl master bathroom patterned chair
Bathroom walls painted with Gray Owl by Benjamin Moore. Courtesy of Angie Seckinger

Gray Owl by Benjamin Moore

Here's one color you can always count on. While Benjamin Moore's Gray Owl looks gray on a small sample, it reads barely blue on walls, making it a pretty choice for spaces with both gray and blue in their color schemes. Interior designer Marika Meyer often recommends the shade to clients. "This particular paint color is perfect for those looking for a calming color to pair with marble, as it is a gray paint with blue undertones," she says

iceberg bedroom view through doorway of chair and bed
Primary bedroom featuring Iceberg by Benjamin Moore. Courtesy of Angie Seckinger

Iceberg by Benjamin Moore

Benjamin Moore's Iceberg is another favorite of Meyer's for calming colors for bedrooms. "It's my number one choice when people tell me they are looking for a calm and soothing shade of blue," she says. "It's both serene and crisp at the same time."

oyster shell bedroom with pink peonies in vase
Primary bedroom walls painted with Oyster Shell by Benjamin Moore. Courtesy of Konxy Knox

Oyster Shell by Benjamin Moore

If you're looking for a peaceful, barely-there blue that almost disappears on the wall, turn to Benjamin Moore's Oyster Shell. It's a favorite of designer Shannon Crain of Houston, TX, who says it "feels like a cloud" and has an instant soothing effect. "I love to use it in primary bedrooms, so it feels like a retreat for my clients," she says.

lookout point and white paint colored sitting room
Sitting room ceiling featuring Lookout Point by Benjamin Moore. Courtesy of Anna Routh Barzin

Lookout Point by Benjamin Moore

Classic white walls can be a relaxing choice on their own, but Washington, D.C.-based designer Anna Matthews took things a step further by adding Benjamin Moore's Lookout Point to the ceiling of this peaceful living room. "Painting a soft blue on the ceiling of this sitting room brings such warmth," she says. "It created a sense of coziness and allowed the gilded chandelier to really pop." The color balances fresh shades of green on the furnishings and ties in with the drapery pattern to bring the room together.

Restful Gray Paint Colors

Don't forget about gray! It might seem gloomy, but shades of gray, especially those with warm undertones, can ground a room. Gibbons suggests using it on cabinetry coupled with crisp, white walls—it also fits well in kitchens, laundry rooms, and living areas.

gray wall and door
Walls painted with Seize the Gray by Clare Paint. Courtesy of Clare Paint

Seize the Gray by Clare Paint

Gibbons suggests Clare Paint's Seize the Gray, one of the company's most popular colors, for a soothing shade of gray. "In the spirit of feeling clean and fresh, it's our most neutral light gray with no undertones," she says.

pavillion gray loft bedroom with black accents
Neutral bedroom walls painted with Pavilion Gray by Farrow & Ball. Courtesy of Julia Robbs

Pavilion Gray by Farrow & Ball

New York interior designer Shelly Lynch-Sparks of Hyphen & Co. prefers gray when a calming color for bedroom walls is needed. Her go-to choice: Farrow & Ball's Pavilion Gray. She describes this color as warm and sophisticated and says it makes her feel "completely serene."

london fog modern dining room with black accents
Dining room walls painted with London Fog by Benjamin Moore. Courtesy of Sean Litchfield

London Fog 1541 by Benjamin Moore

Designer Becky Shea recommends Benjamin Moore's London Fog 1541 for open, modern living spaces. Shea says this reliable color has become her go-to recommendation for clients, particularly for living rooms and dining rooms.

"It has a soft, tonal sheen that is simultaneously warm and inviting; it's the perfect layer to bring a neutral palette together," she says. "This color makes you feel calm, refreshed, comfortable, and laid back when you're in the room. I'm sure it's a combination of all the elements living in harmony, but the paint color seems to always draw people's eye!"

Vibrant Blue Paint Colors

While it might seem counterintuitive, bolder paint color options can also be restful when used universally.

oval blue room master bath sinks
Bathroom cabinets painted Oval Room Blue by Farrow & Ball. Courtesy of Alise O'Brien

Oval Room Blue by Farrow & Ball

Take Farrow & Ball's Oval Room Blue, which two designers recommended independently. Designer Amy Studebaker of St. Louis, MO, used it in a client's primary bathroom as a trim and custom cabinetry color. Pair dark trim with light wall color for a pleasing contrast. "The undertone of this particular blue is very rich and practically begs you to come in and relax," she says. Interior designer Jennifer Barron suggests the shade as a calming color for bedrooms that envelops guests and creates a relaxing atmosphere.

naval SW and white bedroom with modern painting
Bedroom featuring Naval by Sherwin-Williams. Courtesy of Sherwin Williams

Naval SW 6244 by Sherwin-Williams

If you're looking for an unexpected color choice, Wadden says committing to a bold color like an ink-well navy can foster relaxation. "Our 2020 color of the year, Naval SW 6244, is a deep navy hue that is surprisingly both bold and soothing," she says. "Naval is tied to the seas and the skies, making it an incredibly grounding color. Whether it's on one wall, all four, or the ceiling, too, it creates a fully enveloping effect."

Must-Know Tips Before You Start Painting

Once you've gathered your top three choices, test paint colors in person. While nearly all colors look beautiful on paint chips or online, undertones and color complexities can dramatically change when the paint is on the wall. This shift will happen depending on the amount of natural light available, the direction of the room, and even the time of day.

The best way to test paint colors is to sample them on multiple walls of the same room. This method helps you decide if you like the shade in shadows, full sun, and in the room's niches and corners. Also, does the color stay the same against the existing trim color? These are all important concepts to think through before buying cans and rollers.

If you're still not sold on a single shade, start eliminating options by rolling samples on poster board pieces (rather than the wall) and moving them around the room throughout the day. To make the process even easier, consider ordering large, stick-on sample squares that can be peeled off afterward.

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