Every day begins and ends in the bedroom, so it’s important to get the atmosphere right. Colour is a key tool to achieve this – do you crave a dark sanctuary to aid deep sleep, a light, fresh space to get ready for the day ahead or something in between? Before you pick up that paintbrush, check out the bedrooms below to see which colours appeal.
If you like the idea of creating a cocoon-like retreat in the bedroom, you could try a really dark shade, such as this inky grey. To stop the room veering into moody gothic territory, pretty natural linens in pale pinks and a coral stool provide the necessary contrast and ensure the overall effect is fresh and contemporary.
Think outside the walls
Don’t confine colour choice to the walls – shutters, wardrobes, skirting and trims can all be given the colour treatment instead. This way you can either keep the walls white, as seen here, or choose two complementary tones – one for the walls and one for the woodwork.
Go mid blue
When a bedroom has a good natural light source, a mid blue such as the one here looks calm and inviting. When trying out tester pots of any colour, remember to see how the light alters how the shade appears at different times of the day before making a final selection.
For a soft, fresh look, a gentle pale-green shade is a good option. With its echoes of the natural world, green is very soothing, while simple furniture and unfussy blinds at the window here help to keep the space simple and restful.
A classic shade of deep blue works particularly well in a traditional-style bedroom. If you are decorating a room with high ceilings, a band of white above the picture rail helps to break up the expanse of colour, while mustard yellow, used here on the bedding and lamps, is a good partner for rich blue walls.
Paint one wall
In a modern house that is not blessed with high ceilings or ornate windows, going for a deeper shade like this dark grey may seem a more risky option, but this ultra-simple bedroom shows how just painting one wall can still look very fresh. Choosing bedding that matches the wall shade and keeping all the other elements very pared-back creates a simple, contemporary look that perfectly suits the style of this house.
Pick out a feature
Many bedrooms have existing features that need to be worked around, such as the green-tiled fireplace here. The deep-green shade of the walls complements the tiles, while the dark grey colour on the skirting, door and the window frames echoes the surround of the fireplace. This is good example of how to work with what is already in a room, rather than trying to impose a totally different scheme onto a space where colour is already present.
Worried that pink might look a bit too sugary? There are lots of ways to tone it down. The black accents in this bedroom are sleek and contemporary – even the floral cushions are bold not blowsy – creating a space that nicely balances the prettiness of the pink wall with contrasting elements.
Throw in some stone
An off-white shade is a good choice in a small space. Less predictable than plain white, but not overwhelming either, stone, taupe and putty shades all add character and a hint of warmth. Introduce pattern using accessories and even lighting to add another layer of interest.
Make a bright start
Muted shades are all very well but if you want to feel revitalised every morning, what better shade than a zingy yellow to get you going? Patterned curtains and an ultra-chunky throw give a softer feel, while dark wooden furniture is given an instant lift by the cheery yellow walls.
Move to mauve
For a modern update on purple or brown, a mix of the two, such as this mauve-y shade can work well when teamed with utility-style accessories. An upholstered headboard in a pale fabric contrasts beautifully with the deeper wall colour behind. As seen here, this colour choice goes well with a beige carpet, so would be good in a new-build house or apartment that has already had carpet laid.