Clear your mind, lift your spirits, or spark socialization with these can't-miss colors.
houston dining room with wicker chairs and peach walls

Choosing the right paint color can encourage focus in your workspace, stimulate conversation in your dining room, engender a peaceful bedroom, and create a cheerful living area. "Paint color surrounds you in a space, and it plays such a big role in the overall design and feeling of a room: everywhere you look in the room, you are interacting with the paint color," says Arianna Cesa, associate manager of color marketing and development at Benjamin Moore. "That interaction is what can affect your mood."

Basic color theory associates warm and cool colors with general moods, says Cesa. Warmer red, orange, and yellow shades are "comforting, optimistic, energetic," while their cooler counterparts, like green, blue, and purple, "often exude tranquility, relaxation, and calmness." Still, the shade that makes you feel calm, inspired, happy, or focused isn't always the one some tone else would choose. "At the end of the day, it is subjective, and it is important to take into consideration how that particular color makes you feel," says Cesa. "Color is personal and people can respond to a certain shade differently." Ahead, how to boost your mood—whatever it is—via paint hues.

pink sitting room
Credit: Pieter Estersohn

Stay happy with yellows and pinks.

Nicole Gibbons of Clare Paint recommends "warm and vibrant" yellows and pinks to create a happy, uplifting feeling in your space, like the company's rich Golden Hour or peppy Rosé Season (which "feels like having a glass of rosé, dining al fresco, and just enjoying the moment," says Gibbons). At Benjamin Moore, Cesa says, "passionate reds, sunny yellows, and zesty oranges, like Caliente, Rosy Apple, Soleil, and Citrus Blossom, can bring bounds of energy and vigor."

fireplace surround with mantle pieces of various heights
Credit: Regan Wood

For extra focus, try neutral shades.

Limit distractions with neutral shades, recommends Cesa: "With their effortless versatility, white-and-gray paint colors bring balance to a color palette, and can do the same for a space." If you don't find the blank canvas of a white wall especially inspiring, then try a pale blue, which is "synonymous with tranquility and clear thoughts," says Cesa. Gibbons also turns to light blue for workspaces, especially the company's shade Headspace, which she chose for her own office. "It's very tranquil, relaxed, and serene. It lightens the mood and helps the energy to feel fresh and effervescent."

blue painted walls living room with fire place
Credit: Getty/ Klaus Vedfelt

Peaceful and calm spaces call for blues and greens.

Light blues and greens are traditional choices for peaceful spaces, since they bring the powerful tranquility of the great outdoors into your room. "Anything reminiscent of the sea or sky—those things can be incredibly calming," says Gibbons. "Think about a hike—you're surrounded by the blue sky above and greenery all around you." Her favorites: fresh Nairobi Blue, sage Money Moves, and breezy Summer Friday. Cesa suggests shades with a soothing undertone, too: "Colors like Thornton Sage, Blue Heather, and Porcelain have a soft wink of gray to them, bringing down the saturation, and bringing in the easygoing qualities of neutrals and grays," she says.

olive sprig paint by ppg
Credit: Courtesy of PPG

Red, pink, and green create cheerful, energetic rooms.

Boost the energy of your socializing space with reds, pinks, and more saturated greens. "Warmer colors like reds are known to create energy in a space," says Cesa. "If you are looking for a lively color to spark excitement and conversation, look at dynamic hues like Poppy and Claret Rose." Gibbons looks to deep greens, like Avocado Toast or Matcha Latte, to provide a vibrant, relaxed atmosphere for spaces that host cocktail parties, leisurely dinners, and game nights.


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