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Creating Mood with Color and Paint

Calming to Neutral Colors

If you're searching for colors and paint that will promote a contemplative mood, consider the options below.

  • Blue - Blue is serene, calming and cool. When you use it exclusively in your d├ęcor, it can appear unfriendly, but when you have subtle blue shades on your walls and orange or yellow for a pop of color in textiles or wall art, the effect is welcoming but restful. Blue is also considered a good color for a study or den because its soothing effects may help you concentrate. If you're studying for that big exam, go blue.
  • Purple - Along with lavender, violet and other like shades, purple is an interesting cross between blue and red. Unfortunately, it can reflect the negative elements of both. The shade you choose is important. Because purple is dynamic and can be an aggressive design choice, stay with lighter shades and prefer bluer purples over those that tend toward the red end of the spectrum. A popular color for dreamy bedrooms, purple is an acquired taste and one that can easily come across as staged and artificial. If you're passionate about a purple bedroom, choose light lavender with purple and cream accent pieces. We love the look, but only in moderation.
  • Brown - A classic that's always a hit with men, brown is a bold color that almost never looks garish. Because it's a natural color in many woods and stones, brown is easy to work with, especially in rustic design. Since it's so prominent in nature, brown is also restful and contemplative. To create a wholesome but interesting look, use browns with plaids and checks. Oranges, yellows and blues are great accent colors to use with brown, too. In a den, family room or office, warm brown curtains or carpeting will help you get cozy and decompress from a busy day.