At Last! Help Picking the Perfect Paint Color for Your Walls

Picking the Perfect Paint Color for Any Room

Picking the perfect paint color for a room can be a task akin to naming a child. It can spark endless debates over the littlest details (ecru vs. egg shell) and make you wonder how the world outside will interpret your final decision (what does a cherry-red dining room really say about you?).

While it’s easier to change a paint color than a kid’s name if you ultimately don’t like it, it’s much easier if you get the hue right the first time around.

Thinking about changing the look of your room? Here is a little cheat sheet to help you pick the right color.

red family roomWarm colors: red, orange, yellow

  • Red: Red is a bold color that adds vibrancy to a room. Use it in places where you want to create a warm, social atmosphere, such as a large family room. The color red is also thought to stimulate appetites—a good choice for dining rooms and kitchens.
  • Orange: Orange tends to be a favorite accent color among designers, but in softer shades, it can be a cheery color for a bathroom. If you’re daring, orange would work in an entryway since it’s a welcoming color.
  • Yellow: The mood conveyed by yellow depends on the shade. Softer yellows can be sunny and cheery, ideal for a kitchen or sitting room that gets great light. Sharper yellows, however, can be agitating and irritating, and are best to avoid.


Cool colors: blue, green, violet

  • Blue: A universal favorite, blue provides a calming touch to any room, making it perfect for bedrooms. On the other hand, blue is an appetite suppressant, so avoid putting it in kitchens and dining rooms.
  • Green : Green evokes nature and is considered a calming, refreshing color. Dark greens give more of a masculine vibe and work well in libraries and dens with dark wood trim. Light greens work well in living rooms and bathrooms.
  • Violet: Rich purples are the color of royalty and can give a room a sense of luxury. Softer violets are more feminine and romantic, and are thought to boost creativity: perfect for a child’s bedroom or playroom.

Neutral colors: black, white, brown

  • Brown: Browns vary greatly depending on the shade. A rich, bold brown can convey a soothing, sophisticated feel. Tans are popular with people trying to sell their home—the neutral palette provides a freshness for potential buyers who want to put their own stamp on a home.
  • Black: Black is a better accent than wall color; it makes a room feel smaller and darker. However, black and white color patterns can work in some spaces such as a bathroom.
  • White: Boring ole white is sometimes the best option for a room. It reflects light well and can be a neutral backdrop if you want to be bold with your furniture, rugs and accessories.