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How to Paint Rooms Like a Pro: 10 Do’s and Don’ts From Modsy’s Expert Designers

Painting your walls can be pretty intimidating. It’s not a home update that’s permanent—but the time and financial investment definitely raise the stakes. So, choosing a paint color is not something many people take lightly!

And beyond paint color, there’s a whole slew of other decisions to make and tasks to tackle. What sheen do you choose? Should you paint your ceiling and trim as well? Can you skip the primer? It’s overwhelming, to say the least.

However, as experts in interior design, we’re well-acquainted with the process of picking paint colors and putting in the work to paint a room. With this experience (and the many mistakes we’ve made along the way) we’ve come up with a comprehensive list of do’s and don’ts to help you out when choosing a paint color and painting your walls. Read on for our tips for painting a room and some guidelines to help you choose the right paint color for your space.

blue wall mcm living room with fireplace

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Paint Color: Symphony Blue, Benjamin Moore

How Do You Choose A Paint Color?

Whether you’re painting an accent wall, choosing a trim color, or painting an entire room, the basic principles for choosing a paint color remain. Start by narrowing down your color options. Once you land on a high-level color, hone in on the shade and undertone you prefer.

But how do you choose the right color and shade?? Maybe you know you want to go with white paint on your walls. Well, do you want a bright white or something softer? Something with blue undertones or yellow? You quickly realize that white is not one color but one hundred. And, frankly, the same goes with most other colors as well!

 

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If you’re wondering how to even begin choosing a color palette and narrowing down what colors to consider out of the thousands of paint colors on the market, our Modsy designers can help. When you start a design project, you not only get your room designed in life-like 3D, but you also get to try on paint colors so you can see how the color will look with your furniture and decor!

And if you’re looking for some specific color tips, check out our posts on the best Benjamin Moore paint colors, the best bedroom paint colors, and the 2021 colors of the year from Pantone, Sherwin-Williams, and Benjamin Moore.

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Paint Color: Cheating Heart, Benjamin Moore

Painting a Room: The Do’s & Don’ts

However, there are also some high-level do’s and don’ts that can help you narrow in on the right shade for your space. These tips will help you as you narrow down your color options.

Do: Paint a Swatch and See How it Looks

One of our favorite designer hacks to hone in on the right wall color is to get a sample can of paint and paint a 3×3-foot swatch on your wall of the color you’re considering, and observe it for a week. (Ideally somewhere obvious, like behind your sofa or above your bed, so it’s front and center throughout the day.)

See how the color feels in the space throughout the day. How does it look in morning light versus afternoon? What does it look like after the sun is set and your room is only lit by lamps? And how does the color interact with your furniture, decor, and finishings? The tones of a wall color will shift throughout the day, depending on the lighting and the surrounding environment—so it’s important to make sure you like your wall color at all times of the day.

And if you have colored decor in the room you’re going to paint—whether it’s bold throw pillows, bedding, or a rug—make sure to hold those items up to the painted patch to see how the colors interact.

Don’t: Ignore the View Outside Your Window

Did you know that the colors occurring outside of your home—your neighbor’s house, the building across the street, a wooded backyard—will impact how a color looks in your space? If your neighbor has a yellow house, your wall color will reflect more yellow tones back at you. That beautiful wooded backyard? You’ll likely get some green tones in your space. All the more reason to test out some color swatches before you commit!

Do: Consider the Colors and Tones of Your Flooring and Furniture

It’s not just the colors outside of your home that will impact how paint will look in your space. You’ll also want to consider the hues of your furniture and decor, as well as the colors and tones in your flooring. The color of your floor will reflect and cast hues on your walls in the same way that your neighbor’s house will. (So, that blue carpet or those red terracotta tiles will visually impact how a paint color looks in your room!)

And, in terms of furniture, you’ll want to make sure wood tones and upholstery colors interact well with the paint color you choose. You aren’t dealing with color reflection with these pieces as much—but you want to create a bit of contrast. So, if you have a light grey sofa, you probably don’t want to choose a light grey paint color. Maybe go for something a bit more bold on the walls? And if you have large pieces of wood furniture, or even wood flooring, consider offsetting the wood’s tone with the color you choose—aka use a cooler tone on your walls to offset warm wood tones in your floorboards or furniture, and vice versa. Have more than one wood tone to contend with? Check out our guide to mixing wood tones.

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Paint Colors: Illuminating, Pantone

Kendall Charcoal, Benjamin Moore

Don’t: Be Afraid of Bolder Colors

Bold-colored rooms are fun and can add a vibrant touch to your space. But a bold wall color can feel intimidating, especially if you currently have neutral walls! Just take time to find the bold hue that suits your space, design style, and decor! One of our favorite ways to bring a bold wall color to life? The Jewel Box room—one of our 2021 trend predictions! Don’t want your whole room to be full of bold colors? Dip your toe in by just painting an inlet (pictured above) or try an accent wall of a bold color, with a neutral tone on the other walls!

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Paint Color: In The Pink, Sherwin-Williams

Don’t: Pick a Trendy Color if You Don’t Love It

However, even if everyone else is painting their walls a certain color, that doesn’t mean it’s right for you (remember the Millennial Pink craze of the late 2010’s?)! While you don’t have to stick with a paint color forever, you do want to make sure the color you choose is one that makes sense for your style and your home. So, don’t choose a color just because it’s trendy!

Do: Pick the Right Sheen for Your Space

Interior paint comes in several different sheens. There’s glossy, semi-gloss, satin, eggshell, and flat, to name a few. So, how do you know which sheen to choose? Well, the sheen you choose actually does matter, since different sheens are good for different looks and purposes.

An eggshell is the most popular sheen for interior walls. However, flat paint is matte and creates a more modern vibe, while semi-gloss and satin are great for walls and trim. Just consider this when choosing the right sheen for your space: the lower the sheen, the harder it is to clean. This is an especially important consideration in homes with kids and pets, where you’ll likely need to wipe down the walls more often! But it’s also a good consideration in kitchens, where splashes and spills happen when cooking, and wiping down the walls is required.

White walls contemporary room

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Paint Color: Alabaster, Sherwin-Williams

Tips for Painting a Room

Ok, so you’ve landed on a paint color. That’s great! With the thousands of paint colors out there, that’s no small feat. But now you actually need to do the work and put paint to walls. And that can be quite the daunting task! Here are some of our designers’ top tips for painting a room to help you get the best possible outcome!

Do: Paint in the Warmer Months

Spring and summer are good times of year to paint a room, since you can open windows for ventilation and get a breeze going. (You don’t want to fumigate yourself just to paint a wall!) Just make sure it’s not a super humid day, as paint won’t fully cure in hot and humid weather. And avoid rainy days too. Paining a room might seem like the perfect rainy summer day activity, but open windows, rain, and fresh paint don’t mix! Plus, with extra moisture in the air, like on a humid day, your paint will take longer to cure.

Don’t: Skip the Prep Work

Prep work makes all the difference when painting a room. It’s the difference between a sloppy or professional end result. Take the time to cover or move any furniture in the room you’re painting, tape your edges, and don’t forget to prime your walls. Priming is especially important when going from a darker to lighter paint color—but even if you’re sticking with neutral paint colors but opting for a different hue, priming will guarantee you get the exact color outcome you want rather than having weird undertones.

green ceiling and wainscoting with wallpaper grand millennial

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Paint Color: Lounge Green, Sherwin-Williams

Don’t: Ignore the Ceiling

The ceiling is part of the room too—so don’t forget to freshen it up alongside your painted walls! A fresh coat of white paint can make your new wall color pop. But you could also go bold and try the trend of painting your walls a more neutral color and going bold on your ceiling color!

Do: Freshen Up the Trim

A fresh coat of paint on your walls can truly transform a room. But don’t neglect the trim around your doors and windows! If your wall is fresh and nice but your trim is scuffed and dirty, your room simply won’t look as nice or finished.

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Trying on the 13 Most Popular Benjamin Moore Paint Colors in 3D

Looking to paint a room in your house? With thousands of wall colors out there, picking out a paint color and choosing a color palette can be pretty overwhelming—whether you’re looking to paint an entire wall or just an accent wall or trim. So, we find that it always helps to have some help narrowing in on color options

We’ve been fans of Benjamin Moore paint colors for a long time, so we decided to round up the 13 most popular paint colors by Benjamin Moore. And, we’re not just showing you paint swatches here—we’ll also show you what these best-selling paint colors look like in different rooms so you can see how the hues interact with different furniture and decor.

Did you know? With our 3D design technology, you can try on any paint color in your room. All you have to do is start a design project and our designer will guide you through the color-selection process. (Plus, they’ll help you with layout, furniture selection, and more!)

Read on for our top picks of Benjamin Moore popular colors—and get ready for some major color inspiration.

modern living room gray orange color scheme

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1. Edgecomb Gray

Edgecomb Gray is one of our go-to shades of gray. A timeless color with a modern edge, this earthy, organic neutral is visually soft and has a stylish bent. The timeless nature of Edgecomb Gray means it works well in any room—but we especially love it in entryways and hallways if you’re looking for a versatile neutral color.

This hue works well with other warm colors and materials, like leather and warm wood tones. Edgecomb Gray looks best when used as a full room color—and it’s neutral enough that it can be used even in very large spaces.

blue comfy modern living room

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gray paint

2. Hale Navy

This is one classy shade of blue. Hale Navy is a deeply saturated shade of navy blue that gives off some major nautical vibes. It’s a timeless classic if ever there was one. But depending on what it’s paired with, it can actually take on a pretty trendy vibe since it’s such a bold color. But since this is such a bold color, it’s best to keep other colors in the space more neutral and opt for a simple color palette so nothing else in the room is majorly competing with the wall color.

It’s a great color for almost anywhere in your home that you want a soothing but bold pop of color—but we especially love to see it in living rooms and blue bedroom designs. It’s also a great color for molding or an accent wall vs an entire room! Hale Navy works particularly well in transitional, modern rustic, and traditional spaces.

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3. Hawthorne Yellow

Looking for a cheery yellow? Hawthorne Yellow is just the thing. This soft and bright shade of yellow is like a perpetual ray of sunshine in your home. With a slight gray undertone, it’s a universally appealing shade of soft yellow which we especially love to see in nurseries, bathrooms, and kitchens.

Hawthorne Yellow is soft enough to be used in a whole room if you use yellow sparingly elsewhere in the space. But it’s also a fun, poppy color for an accent wall if you’re going for a colorful, eclectic space. This color goes really well with transitional, eclectic, and coastal design styles.
bright minimalist bedroom gray white

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being paint

4. Revere Pewter

Revere Pewter is a light gray with warm undertones. This classic shade offers a restorative sense of calm to any room. (In fact, we named this color the best cozy neutral in our Benjamin Moore neutral paint colors round-up!) We love this color in open floor plans, where it can span from one space to the next. This versatile color looks good in almost any space.

Because of its calm and serene essence, Revere Pewter looks especially great in homes with rustic and transitional styles—but it can truly work with almost all design styles. It looks great with crisper white trim and can jive with all hardware finishes, from brass and bronze to silver and pewter!

Want a slightly lighter shade? Pale Oak is super similar to Revere Pewter, but just a touch lighter.green wall mid century modern dining room

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eclectic rustic bedroom green wall wood accents

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green walls purple couch green rug

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green paint

5. Hunter Green

Hunter Green is having a major moment in the trend spotlight. Currently considered a “new neutral,” this shade of green can enliven almost any style or space. This color pairs beautifully with wood tones in traditional and modern rustic spaces—but it’s just at home in a glam space, paired with jewel tones and metallic finishes. It layers well with other colors for an eclectic vibe, but when paired with neutrals, Hunter Green becomes the star of the show.

A bold color, it can be used more sparingly as an accent color—either as a painted accent wall or to highlight architectural elements like a fireplace. But if you want a really bold-colored room, go all out and paint all four walls in this striking and decadent shade of green.

cherry blossom artwork pastel natural textures

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white paint

6. Swiss Coffee

Swiss Coffee is part of Benjamin Moore’s Off-White Color Collection—a collection of sophisticated and versatile shades of white that create tranquil and serene environments. A universally appealing shade of warm off-white, this is one of our favorite colors that goes well with almost any space. Swiss Coffee is a soothing and warm color, so it’s especially great for a bedroom, nursery, or home office.

This color goes well with other warm tones—like brass and gold accents, and other colors like peach and sandy brown. The versatile nature of Swiss Coffee means it doesn’t have to only be relegated to walls, but it can also be used on trim and ceilings. This is a great color for almost any style, but it works especially well in boho, eclectic, and contemporary spaces.

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dark gray paint

7. Wrought Iron

Wrought Iron is part of Benjamin Moore’s Color Preview, a color collection of bold, saturated colors that help enliven your space. And this color does just that. A beautiful charcoal gray, Wrought Iron is a bold color that is perfect for creating cozy and modern spaces—like a living room where you watch TV or even as an accent wall for a trendy nursery color scheme!

We like pairing this neutral color with other neutrals—bright whites look amazing with Wrought Iron, and black brings out the depth of this color. Pairing it with black and white is a fun way to create a gray room color scheme. But we also love layering it with natural woven textures and brighter colors, which pop against this color. Whether you’re using this in a whole room or just as an accent wall, we love the look of a bookcase or shelves layered in front of this wall color.wooden dining room beige

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beige paint

8. Manchester Tan

If khaki pants were a paint color, it would be Manchester Tan. This color was derived from the sandstone facade and sculptural details of the historic Manchester Town Hall in England. A classic and elegant shade, it’s a true tan that’s great for any space. But it works especially well in a room where you want to add visual warmth—like a bedroom, dining room, or family room.

Manchester Tan really pops against white and warm wood tones—whether those are in furniture or finishes. It’s a perfect color for transitional, rustic, and minimalist spaces.mint wall blue nursery three frames

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bright rustic eclectic dining room

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mint wall home office

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light blue paint

9. Palladian Blue

Palladian Blue almost rides the line between blue and green. This soft, airy hue evokes the feeling of where the sky meets the sea, with a tint that Benjamin Moore says is a touch of mother of pearl. If you’re into pastel colors, this is definitely a color worth trying on.

This color is soft and doesn’t overwhelm a space, so it looks beautiful all over, popped against crisp white trim. Since it’s such a light shade of blue, it can be paired with dark blue accents for contrast. Palladian Blue is perfect for nurseries and sunrooms, or any space in your home that is bright and cheery. It suits many design styles, including coastal, eclectic, and even traditional.

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white paint

10. White Dove

White Dove is a classic white and a fan favorite of many Instagram influencers and bloggers. This classic, softly shaded white is light and luminous. While white walls are particularly popular in modern and minimalist homes, this soft shade of white goes well with any style. We especially love White Dove as a calming shade for bedrooms and nurseries.

Many people love this shade for ceilings, moldings, trim, and doors—but it also looks beautiful on walls and can be used as a lovely neutral backdrop.

Looking for a shade of white that’s just a little cooler? Check out Chantilly Lace.

Read Next: How to Decorate a White Room

blue batton and board gray bedframe yellow pillow

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11. Van Deusen Blue

Van Deusen Blue is part of Benjamin Moore’s Historic Color Collection—a collection of 191 time-honored hues comprising their most popular palette, inspired by America’s historic landmarks. This is a refined and elegant shade of blue that definitely leans traditional. It looks great when used as the main wall color in a space—especially if the room has molding or classical architectural details.

But it’s not just for the traditional and classical spaces; Van Deusen Blue can also come to life in contemporary spaces and modern rustic style. We love this color in bedrooms, as it’s a muted but punchy color that has a very soothing vibe.

khaki walls natural texture bedframe

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12. Saybrook Sage

Saybrook Sage is also part of the Historic Color Collection. This soothing, elegant shade of green works well in bright spaces, like an open living room, a sunroom, or a nursery. (Though it also made our list of best Benjamin Moore bedroom paint colors.) Natural materials and wood tones complement soothing earth tones like this.

We love using this color as an accent for a cool, fresh space, or painting an entire room this color to give the whole space a serene vibe. Saybrook Sage works well in transitional, minimal, and coastal spaces because of the bright, fresh nature of this color.red walls beige dining room set

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red paint

13. Caliente

Ready to up the ante? Caliente is a vibrant and charismatic shade of red that brings some serious energy to your space. A very bold hue, red room color schemes can feel difficult to pull off, but this color looks great in kitchens and dining rooms. But if you feel so inclined to use it in your bedroom, stick to an accent wall—otherwise such a bold red will overwhelm your space.

Caliente goes well with modern styles, but it can also hang with traditional design elements. We recommend balancing this spicy color with neutrals, like black and white, and metallic touches, like brass or silver.

Want to explore even more Benjamin Moore colors? Check out the Benjamin Moore 2021 Color of the Year. Or start a Modsy project and try on any of these popular paint colors in a 3D model of your exact room! You’ll work one-on-one with an interior designer who can help you pick the perfect paint color for your space.

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12 Fool-Proof Color Schemes for Blue Rooms

Finding the right color palette when designing a room can be quite a challenge. Whether you’re designing a room around a favorite piece of furniture, a dreamy wall color, or starting completely from scratch, you want to make sure the colors you choose complement your space and style. Of course, sometimes you know you want to decorate a room with a certain color, but you aren’t sure what other colors to use in the space to support the look you want. Well, we’re here to help.

Today, we’re sharing their favorite color combinations involving blue. It’s one of our most-requested color palettes, and we want to guide you to the right colors to combine with it in your space. So, whether you’re brainstorming blue living room designs or blue bedroom designs, we can help guide you to some foolproof ways to incorporate blue into a bold and adventurous color palette, or for a perfectly classic look.

We’ve rounded up 12 blue color scheme design ideas to inspire your blue room design!

grey upholstered bed with blue accent pillows

The Color Scheme: Blue and White

Number one on our blue room color schemes? A blue and white color palette. It’s one of the most classic color combinations out there. It can work in any space, and you can really use any shade of blue with white.

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How to Get the Look

In a blue and white room, use white as your base color, opting for white upholstery in your main furniture pieces, like a sofa or bed and duvet cover. Then, add blue in accents throughout the room, and even in smaller pieces of furniture. To create color balance, go for 25/75 with blue and white, or even 50/50. Have some items in your space that are both blue and white—like the accent rug in this blue bedroom. For added depth, incorporate various complementary shades of blue—but keep your white shade the same for consistency.

Why We Love It

This is a classic, timeless color scheme that will always be in style. And it’s so versatile, working with so many different styles and spaces.
blue room color schemes

The Color Scheme: Navy and Pink

Pink and blue (in this case, navy specifically) is a beautiful and bold color combination. It’s great for both bedrooms and living rooms, and suits modern and transitional styles.

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How to Get the Look

Begin with navy, adding it as a large wash of color in your space—like a navy sofa or blue paint on the walls. Then, add pink as an accent color throughout the space. Balance pink and blue with other neutrals, like white, black, metallics, or wood tones for a more natural look.

Why We Love It

This color combo is punchy and bold, but the use of navy (versus other shades of blue) keeps it looking sophisticated. We love that it balances dark and light and feels refined even though it’s a fun, playful combo. Check out this post for more pink bedroom inspiration!

monochromatic blue living room with velvet seating

The Color Scheme: Monochromatic Blue

For a bold look, go for blue on blue on blue. With a monochromatic blue look, you can layer pieces that all utilize the same shade of blue, or use various shades of blue for a look with more depth. A monochromatic look works well in any space, but it can feel dark—so it’s best to try this look in a space with a lot of natural light.

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How to Get the Look

Blue walls are a great place to start with this look. But really, add blue everywhere—through furniture, on your rugs, and in your artwork and accessories. Add in complementary colors in subtle ways, but don’t make them the main focus. Here, we used pops of green to add a bit more depth to the space. Incorporating metallics in your furniture will add some light to the space.

Why We Love It

A monochromatic blue room is a bold statement. It creates a luxurious-feeling space that’s full of boldness and sophistication.

blue room color schemes

The Color Scheme: Blue, Black, and Natural Materials

Blue, black, and natural materials is another foolproof color combination to use in a blue room. With this trio, we like gravitating toward a more muted blue, like the blue walls pictured above, which pairs beautifully with any wood finish, from light to dark. (Though, when pairing it with black, we prefer a lighter wood finish.)

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How to Get the Look

Balance shades of blue that compliment each other with natural materials, such as jute, wood, rattan, or clay. Then, add accents of black for a bold and edgy touch. Just make sure there are enough natural materials in the space so that it feels like the tones of the materials are a contributing factor in the color scheme and not merely accessories.

Why We Love It

Natural materials really pop against this shade of blue. It’s a great way to incorporate a beautiful color scheme with natural materials throughout.

blue and mustard yellow traditional style living room

The Color Scheme: Blue and Citrine

Citrine, a shade of golden yellow, pairs beautifully with blue—especially a tone of blue that is a little moodier, deeper, and darker. We love this combination in a classic bedroom or living room, as pictured above.

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How to Get the Look

Incorporate large washes of both blue and citrine for a bold look. (Like we did here with the blue wall and citrine sofa.) But trickle these colors into some of the accents throughout the space as well. To balance out the boldness of this color combination, layer in some neutrals, like creams, whites, and black, in the accessories and rugs. For depth and variety, add pops of bright white and brass or gold metallics.

Why We Love It

It’s a classic but bold look. It can feel very sophisticated and regal, but it can also lean Mid-Century Modern depending on the style of the pieces within your space.

blue room color schemes

The Color Scheme: Blue, White, and Red

Red, white, and blue is an endlessly classic color combination. It pairs perfectly with Americana-inspired rooms, as well as with traditional and coastal styles.

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How to Get the Look

Use white as your base color, for the walls and large furniture, like a sofa or bed linens. Then, add blue into rugs, accessories, and even accent furniture like a chair. Incorporate pops of red in decor, wall art, and upholstery throughout the space. Make sure there’s a good balance of all the colors, even with one being the primary focus.

Why We Love It

This is a classic color combo that’s hard to mess up. It has that classic Americana vibe, with a 90s nostalgia mixed in, which we can’t get enough of.

blue room color schemes

The Color Scheme: Navy, Black, and White

The combination of navy, black, and white pair naturally together, with the black giving a modern edge to a nautical or coastal space.

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How to Get the Look

A crisp white wall is the perfect backdrop to this color palette. Besides that, make blue the prominent color in the space, incorporating it in rugs, pillows, art, and accent furniture. Focus on navy, but feel free to layer in different shades of blue, like sky blue, for lightness and contrast. Use black and white as supporting colors in your furniture and decor. Add in other textures like metals, woods, woven textures to drive home the nautical or coastal vibe.

Why We Love It

This is a classic look with a modern edge. It’s great for beach and lake houses.

coastal living room with anchored themed pillows on white sofa

The Color Scheme: Light Blue and Off-White

Light blue mixed with off-white and sandy browns is a great color combination for coastal and rustic style spaces. It’s perfect for living rooms, like the one pictured above, but it’s also a great color scheme for dining rooms and bedrooms.

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How to Get the Look

Layer in various but complementary blue hues with off-white, sand, and natural tones—either in textiles, or natural materials or elements like a wood table. Add plenty of natural and neutral colors to balance out the shades of blue.

Why We Love It

This color combination is both warm and bright—making for an inviting space. Plus, it’s exactly the color scheme you think of when you think of coastal space!
traditional living room with blue sofas facing each other in front of fireplace

The Color Scheme: Navy and Gold

The combination of navy and gold tones gives off a regal and formal vibe—but with a slight edge of glam. It’s a perfect color scheme for traditional or classic spaces with a slightly modern flair.

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How to Get the Look

Start with a saturated blue tone, like navy and even a charcoal blue, then accent it with taupe to help ground the space. Incorporate gold in accent furniture and artwork. Adding in interesting textures and shapes will add a modern or glam edge to this more classically inspired color palette.

Why We Love It

This saturated palette is high-impact but easy to pull off, creating a classic but bold look.
bright blue fireplace wall with modern furniture and orange accents

The Color Scheme: Dark Blue and Orange

Blue and orange is a fun and modern color palette that’s great for more casual spaces. And, since blue and orange are complementary colors, it’s easy to get this one right.

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How to Get the Look

This is a bold color combo, so the key is not to overwhelm the space with color. Rather, start with a neutral base in your space (like bright whites and light grays), then accent it with blue and orange. We love it in pops in wall art, pillows, and throws. For something more bold, add the dark blue into an accent wall or try blue or orange in an accent chair. For a more sophisticated look, have the orange lean a bit rusty or even brick red.

Why We Love It

It’s fresh and bold, but the colors are opposite on the color wheel so they really complement each other.

blue room color schemes

The Color Scheme: Blue and Green

Blue and green is a fresh and springy color scheme that adds brightness to any space. And it’s pretty flexible, as you can combine almost any shade of blue and green!

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How to Get the Look

To keep the space stylish and bright, keep the room grounded in a base of neutrals. We particularly like a bright white with this color combo. Then, incorporate sage or springy greens and deep blues in accents throughout the space. (In rugs, curtains, accent furnitures, pillows, and throws.) Add them in solids and patterns for added visual interest.

Why We Love It

Shades of blues and greens—especially when paired with crisp neutrals—create a fresh, preppy vibe. It’s a lively and classic color combination.
blue room color schemes

The Color Scheme: Blue and Purple

The combination of bright blues and purples plays with warm and cool colors, making a fun and youthful palette. It’s perfect for a kid or teen room.

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How to Get the Look

With this color scheme, you can use any shade of blue and purple. Just keep it bright and fun! Add in whites and light grays to help ground the look, and then add in splashes of pink to pull the whole palette together.

Why We Love It

The combination of various shades of blues and purples brightens up any room, giving it a youthful glow.

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Designing With Neutral Paint Colors

A lot of people want to paint their home in neutral colors. And understandably so—neutral paint colors give you a blank canvas, a backdrop against which you can decorate the rest of your home with color!

Decorating with neutral colors—especially when it comes to paint color—is a popular interior design idea, because a neutral color palette goes with everything. Neutral paint colors provide an easy base to any room, allowing you to truly personalize your space. They’re chameleon colors that take on the tones and personality of the rest of your space.

But deciding what neutral to go with is where many people get stuck. In fact, it can be downright overwhelming! How do you know which shade of neutral is right for your space? Do you go for more of a beige, white, or gray paint? Or something more bold?? Blue or yellow undertones? Warm or cool shades? What will the color look like in the morning light versus the afternoon?

When it comes to paint colors, there are hundreds of shades of neutrals to choose from. And when looking at paint swatches, you may find your eyes start to cross as you try to notice the subtle, nuanced difference between each shade of white paint. Don’t be intimidated. We’re here to help.

What Are Neutral Paint Colors?

A lot of people assume “neutral” means white or beige. But neutral paint colors are actually much more diverse! They can also include grays, blues, greens, browns, and even some very light pinks. Essentially, a neutral is any color that doesn’t add its own personality to the space. It’s a color that doesn’t command the space but supports it, creating a good backdrop.

Neutral paint colorsHow Do You Decorate With Neutral Colors?

When it comes to decorating with neutral colors, you can go a couple different directions. You can go for an all-neutral color palette, where not only your walls are painted a neutral tone, but your furniture and decor are also shades of neutral. The key to this approach is to vary the shades of neutrals (but in complementary tones) so that you have a dynamic space that doesn’t look flat.

You can also do neutrals with added contrast. Think: a black and white color palette. Or even a neutral in a deep, saturated tone like a navy or charcoal gray. These are still neutrals, since they go with just about anything and create a good backdrop—but their saturated tones create a more dramatic, high-contrast look.

A third, and popular, approach to decorating with neutrals is to use neutral paint colors as a backdrop, then add pops of color in the furniture and decor. This is a great approach to design, as it allows you to pick bold furniture colors or switch out colors and decor seasonally to give your space new life, without having to re-paint your space. It’s also a way to have a timeless look while still adding moments of color and personality.

Neutral paint colorsWarm Neutrals Vs. Cool Neutrals

Here’s something you may not have realized: all colors, including neutrals, have a cool or warm tint to them. And neutral colors are no different—they all have warm or cool undertones.

Curious about the difference between warm and cool tones and how to spot it? Neutrals with cool undertones skew more blue or green (this includes most grays). Meanwhile, warm neutrals have more red or yellow undertones (which includes tans and browns). Warm colors have a stimulating effect, whereas cool colors tend to have more calming and relaxing vibes.

With that in mind, it’s also important to consider the other colors in your space—from your furniture to your rug, art, and decor. This can help you determine if you want to go for a neutral with a warm or cool undertone. You should also consider your light sources—both natural and artificial. And remember, lighting changes throughout the day. So, you may even want to test a few swatches and see the subtle ways that they change throughout the day as the light shifts.

But, overall, if you want a cozier feel to your space, go for a neutral with warm undertones. And if you want to give your space a more open, airy vibe, go for a neutral with cool undertones.

Neutral paint colorsChoosing Your Neutral

Instead of testing a million different shades of neutrals in your space, we’re going to do some of the leg work for you. We’ve rounded up six of the best neutral paint colors and what styles and types of spaces they’re best for. You’ll be able to see each paint color in the same space so you can see the subtle difference between each shade.

Neutral paint colorsBest Cozy Neutral: Revere Pewter, Benjamin Moore

This light gray paint color has warm undertones and has very calming, cozy vibes. It’s the kind of neutral paint color that you’d want for the walls of a cottage—making it great for rustic spaces. And, with its warm gray undertones, it’s more forgiving of scuffs and smudges.

In the room above, you’ll notice that the paint color complements the neutral furniture and the warmth of the wood tones. It would also look great with saturated earth tones. It’s a good neutral paint color for balancing out darker wood—but it’s not an ideal shade for spaces with lighter woods. We also wouldn’t recommend this shade for spaces with colorful furniture; the undertones of this wall color work better with other neutrals.

Neutral paint colorsBest All-Around Neutral: Agreeable Gray, Sherwin-Williams

Agreeable Gray is on the cooler end of the color spectrum, with slight green undertones. Since it’s a cool neutral, it can be a good backdrop for warmer neutrals—and you’ll notice that it goes really well with the furniture in this space. We think that this paint color, of all the ones featured in this post, works best for this specific room.

Our designers feel this is the all-around best neutral paint color of the bunch. It doesn’t assert itself too much, but it holds up against neutrals and pops of color alike—making it versatile and a perfect backdrop for any interior design style.

Neutral paint colors

Best Bright White: Pure White, Sherwin-Williams

This is definitely the starkest neutral of the bunch—but in a good way. It’s a shade that has become famous from its use by bloggers across the internet, heralded as one of the best neutral paint colors if you’re looking for a bright, pure white. It’s a great choice if you like color, as it makes colors of all kinds pop. In fact, you almost need pops of color or contrast with this shade of white paint. While it goes well with neutrals, it falls flat without pops of color. In the room above, putting a plant in the corner would add some of that needed color contrast, making the space feel less sterile and really come alive!

It has slightly warm undertones and works well with all types of wood tones. However, it’s better in areas with less movement near the walls—like a living room or dining room—as it’s not as forgiving of smudges and scuffs.

Neutral paint colorsBest Versatile White: Decorator’s White, Benjamin Moore

This shade of white paint, while similar to the one above, goes in a cooler direction. With that, it has more of a formal vibe, creating a serene and tranquil space. It goes with neutrals and pops of color, alike, making it a very versatile shade of white.

Unlike Pure White, Decorator’s White is more forgiving, as it has more gradation when you look at it from far away. This makes it a better choice for high-traffic areas like entryways.

Best For Colorful Spaces: Slipper Satin, Farrow & Ball

Slipper Satin is a creamier version of Decorator’s White. It has pink undertones and asserts itself in the room more than other neutral paint colors, which reflects on the other neutrals in the room. Because of that, this shade is best for when you don’t have a lot of neutrals in the room, as you don’t want them taking on a pink tone. So, choose this shade in a room with colorful furniture and a colorful rug.

This is also a good shade for a gender-neutral nursery. It’s not grey, which is a typical shade for a gender-neutral nursery, but it’s still soft and cozy. With it’s pink undertones, it would also be a nice compliment to pink furniture or bedding, but it’s so subtle that you wouldn’t have to re-do it when your kid grows out of their pink phase!

Neutral paint colorsBest For Homes With Kids: Amazing Gray, Sherwin-Williams

If you want a “greige” (aka a gray-ish beige) this is the color for you. Even though it has slightly green undertones, it has a feeling of warmth. It’s definitely the most gray of the bunch, and it complements neutrals and cool colors well. A blue sofa would look great against this wall color!

This is a great choice if you want neutral walls but in a more forgiving shade. (Parents know what we’re talking about!) It has a layered look, with more depth, which helps camouflage smudges that inevitably end up on the walls when you have kids.

Need help finding the right neutral paint colors for your space?

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Hot Days, Cool Rooms – 5 Rooms that do Blue Walls Right

cool roomsSummer is here and it is HOT (at least in some places)! And, depending on where you live, this might be the time of year when you’re looking to escape the sweltering heat and find ways to cool down. If pulling the shades and blasting the cold air aren’t quite doing it for you, we’ve got you covered with some designs that feel like A/C in visual form. So instead of melting from the heat, chill out and take some design inspiration from these 5 oh-so-cool rooms.

cool roomsOrganically Chill Living

This room is the essence of simplicity, yet abounds in high style. The greenish hue of the walls (Benjamin Moore’s Bath Salts) is bright, crisp, and soothing to the senses. Not to mention the beautiful soft pink sofa – does it remind anyone else of a swimming pool? – where we could spend all day relaxing! This space is a perfect visual palette cleanser that will help you chill out and keep the heat at bay.

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blue roomsZen Entryway Escape

If you prefer a darker, more cave-like interior to seal out the heat, shades of blue are a wonderful solution. This combo of Charcoal Blue walls by Sherwin Williams and a mix of vibrant blue and white patterns creates an ultra-zen balance. The plush textures and natural elements are just the right blend of hard and soft materials when you need a laid-back place to cool off.

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cool roomsSerene Coastal Retreat

Soothing Origami White walls by Sherwin Williams are the centerpiece of this classic coastal look. The natural texture of the rug, coffee table, and armchair reflect the outdoor landscape while the blue-and-white decor keeps the vibe crisp and whimsical. A blue room design like this evokes all the beauty of being on the waterfront, without the stress of slathering on sunblock!

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cool roomsClear, Cool, Console

This classic, chic entryway is about as serene as it gets. The beachfront hues of the Palladian Blue walls by Benjamin Moore and the warm wood floors are lightened even further with stylish, functional decor. And the clear, acrylic console adds to the watery vibes, and is also a great hack for small spaces – it doesn’t add visual weight and it feels like it’s floating in the room (swimming pool not required).

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cool roomsCrisp Bedroom Breeze

This clean, contemporary bedroom look is centered around the serene Dustblu walls by Sherwin Williams. The crisp, cool whites and blues make this room feel just like an island breeze. Incorporating natural textures with a tactile quality, like the bed frame, nightstand, and accents, helps create a serene, spa-like bedroom escape. And the soft blue rug is truly the next best thing to diving into a cool body of water!

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Whether you’re giving your home a summer update or are completely starting from scratch, we can help make your design project easy, fun, and (almost) as relaxing as these rooms! Shop the look of these designs below or head to Modsy to start your project.

Love the look of these cool rooms with blue walls?

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