Colour theory in the home: 7 shades to create bedroom bliss

By MiNDFOOD Promotion

Colour theory in the home: 7 shades to create bedroom bliss
Did you know that the colours you’re surrounded by are having an effect on your brain? Bright hues tend to stimulate and energise us, while softer ones work to calm and reassure, making them ideal for sleep spaces. 

With all that life throws at us, everyone could do with dialling up the serenity and down the drama in their bedroom, and paint is a way to easily and affordably create the relaxing room of your dreams. Carefully chosen for soothing spaces, these shades will help you rest, recharge and reduce stress.  

Blue hues for cool tranquility

Many of us seek out blue when we’re strung out, via time spent gazing at the sky and sea, say, or in the cool tranquillity of a pool. In bedrooms that get lots of natural light and sun, cool, soft grey-blues, such as Resene Dusted Blue, Resene Casper and Resene Longitude, are a sophisticated option. Deeper grey-blues like Resene San Juan and Resene Cello have a cocooning effect, which can help you drift off to sleep more easily. 

If you’re using blues on your walls, interior designer Annick Larkin recommends opting for off-whites like Resene Rice Cake or Resene Half Spanish White for your ceiling and trims – they’ll create a softer ambience than sharp, crisp whites.

Coastal blues and greys are a natural match for creating a restful and relaxing space, such as in a bedroom or living room. Wall in Resene Grey Seal with painted swirls in Resene Mystery and Resene Remember Me, floor in Resene Quarter Surrender, bench in Resene Bewitched, chest of drawers in Resene Remember Me, slim vase in Resene Slipstream, jug in Resene Grey Area and gridded vase in Resene Unwind. Project by Gem Adams, image by Wendy Fenwick.

Purple for balance

Pale lilac lavender and violet typically have a blue base, so it makes sense that these colours also have a restful effect. “Using a lilac tone on your walls, such as Resene I Do or Resene Alluring, will evoke feelings of balance and inner peace, while creating a look that’s refined, elegant and romantic,” says Larkin. Deeper, duskier Resene Gun Powder and Resene Chapta And Verse will have a similar blanketing effect to the dark blues mentioned above, helping you feel safe and secure. 

Using lilac as an accent colour, such as in this stout vase in Resene Mamba, is a clever way to benefit from its the calming properties without overwhelming the room. In this room, it’s beautiful against the wall in Resene Gunsmoke and floor in Resene Avalanche, with other purple highlights including the dresser in Resene Chapta And Verse, the small wall-hung platter and small vase in Resene Couture, and the large platter in Resene Sumptuous. Floral cushion from Contempa, bedlinen from Indie Home Collective, lamp from Freedom. Project by Claudia Kozub, image by Melanie Jenkins.

Green for natural calm

Kiwis love to be inspired by nature. Green is typically associated with the great outdoors and a fixture of many places we frequent when we want to decompress – parks, gardens, the bush. “Pretty much any shade of green will leave you feeling calm,” says Larkin, who believes muddier Resene greens like complex blue-grey-green Resene Harp and Nordic blue-green Resene Juniper will leave you feeling more chilled out than their cleaner, brighter counterparts. For a more opulent luxury-escape effect, try old college green Resene Palm Green or deep green Resene Midnight Moss on the walls, teamed with tonal, textured fabrics such as velvet.

Up the luxe with rich greens teamed with tactile materials. This wall painted in Resene Stone Age and ledge in Resene Wilderness combine with the floor in Resene Green White and side tables in Resene Alabaster given a marble treatment with Resene FX Paint Effects medium coloured with Resene Rolling Stone. Other colours in this palette feature in the vase in Resene Toffee, lidded dish in Resene Hampton, small plant pot in Resene Teak and large plant pot in Resene Celeste. Bedding and cushions from Città. Project by Laura Lynn Johnston, image by Wendy Fenwick.

Grey for softness

Far from being all stormy skies and moody moods, the right shade of grey on your walls can be the best thing for a bedroom. “Soft, barely-there greys like Resene Black White and Resene Wan White from the Karen Walker Paints collection feel clean and are perfect neutrals that go with just about every other colour,” says Larkin. Mid-tone greys with red undertones, such as Resene Pale Slate, will add visual warmth to cool rooms, while blue-toned greys such as Resene Neutral Bay and Resene Freestyling can have the opposite effect. For an insulating appeal, go dark with charcoal Resene Shark.  

Double down on moody grey by brushing Resene Quarter Bokara Grey onto the walls and Resene Eighth Bokara Grey onto the floor, then filling the space with a tonal rug, bed linen and cushions. The ladder and pendant light are in Resene Ethereal, the bedside table and headboard are in Resene Virtuoso and the slender vase is in Resene Dreamtime. Robe from EziBuy, wrapping paper framed as art from Father Rabbit, duvet cover set and small plum cushions from H&M Home, euro cushion, throw and textured cushion from Allium Interiors, rug from Kmart. Project by Vanessa Nouwens, image by Melanie Jenkins.

Yellow for joy optimism

Bright yellows are probably more suited to making a statement than sending you to sleep, yet in paler form, they’re just as inviting and inspire the same optimism. Buttery yellows such as Resene Buttermilk are warming, while muddier Resene Golden Sand, creamy ochre Resene Manuka Honey and desert ochre Resene Apache are on-trend routes to feeling like you’re swathed in sunshine – and it doesn’t get much more relaxing than that.

Channel golden sunsets and the warm sand of the beach with soulful neutrals and warming apricots that leave us feeling good. Wall in Resene Eighth Canterbury Clay. Flooring in Resene Eighth Joss, large pot in Resene Quarter Bison Hide, bedhead in Resene Eighth Joss, window trim in Resene Quarter Villa White and tall vase in Resene Beethoven. Project by Melle Van Sambeek, image by Bryce Carleton.

Beige for homely ambience

Rarely as boring as its reputation suggests, beige is a fantastic neutral that works well on its own or as a base for highlighting other colours. “Black and beige is just as classic as black and white, but a bit more homely and welcoming,” says Larkin. Stony grey-brown Resene Westar and tranquil beige Resene Serene have a certain warmth to them that’s reminiscent of the romantic ambience created by candlelight.

This gorgeous beige room has a feminine vibe, but it could easily be given a more masculine spin with some easy switch-outs, while keeping the main wall, floor and headboard colour the same. Rather than Resene Half Gin Fizz, the accent wall on the right could be painted in a brandy ochre like Resene Stinger. The main wall is in Resene Eighth Stonehenge; the shelf and skirting board are in Resene Ebony Clay; the pendant light, mirror and tote bag are in Resene Corvette; the headboard is in Resene Double Stonehenge; and the floor is in Resene Colorwood Mid Greywash. Ink Moon artwork by George Sand Studio is from Endemic World, mirror (painted), duvet cover, pillowcases, quilted bedspread, rug and tote bag (painted) from H&M, cushions, throw and slippers from Collect Living. Project by Kate Alexander, image by Bryce Carleton.

White for purity

White brings with it connotations of purity and cleanliness, however if you go too white, it can leave a room feeling clinical and cold. For bedrooms, Larkin suggests choosing creamier versions such as sweet and gentle Resene Half Bianca and aged linen Resene Half Albescent White. Paint your ceiling, skirting boards, window frames and door the same colour to swaddle the room and ensure you really unwind.  

The right white for your serene bedroom might be a white-based wallpaper, such as this sweet, woodsy Resene Wallpaper Collection EAR102. Team with warm trims and window shutters in Resene Half Spanish White to also set a restful tone. Other warm whites to try include Resene Half Biscotti, Resene Quarter Pearl Lusta and Resene Orchid White.

For more ideas for your bedroom, see the collection of decorated bedrooms online at and visit your local Resene ColorShop for all the expert advice and products you need.



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