Design

Help! Which Bedroom Paint Color Would You Choose?

Joanna Goddard's master bedroom

What paint colors do you like for bedrooms? Right now, our master bedroom is white, but since it’s on the lower garden level of our building, it can feel a little dreary when it’s not super sunny outside. I was thinking a different hue might cheer things up. Since I’m the worst at choosing paint colors — they’re so hard to envision! — I’d love your advice. Here are the four options…

Boy's bedroom with Symphony Blue paint

Boy's bedroom with Symphony Blue paint

We painted Toby’s old bedroom a medium blue — Benjamin Moore Symphony Blue, to be exact. I loved the way it brought the room together and felt super cozy. The only catch: Do you think our bedroom would feel like a cave since it doesn’t get tons of light?

Master bedroom with pink paint

This pink paint is so pretty! Random bonus: My stylist friend Kate says people always look gorgeous in blush rooms because it reflects on your skin. Potential con: Too pink for Alex? (This one is Benjamin Moore “Yours Truly.”)

Bedroom with sage green paint

Bedroom with sage green paint

Sage green might be really lovely and calming. Plus, it feels different.

Audrey Gelman bedroom with Too Much Stuff wallpaper

Rebecca Atwood wallpaper in marble ocean

Calico Aurora wallpaper in a Brooklyn house tour

Lastly, what about wallpaper? We could always do one wall and leave the others white. From top to bottom, these are Too Much Stuff, Marble and Aurora.

What do you think? What color is your bedroom? I would be so grateful for any advice! xoxo

P.S. A high-rise apartment that feels like a cabin, and a family home with lots of wallpaper.

(White and blue bedroom photos by Alpha Smoot for Cup of Jo. Pink bedroom photo by Zeke Ruelas, via Design*Sponge. Sage green bedroom photos by Stephanie Duval. Too Much Stuff wallpaper photo by Mark Lund. Second wallpaper photo from Rebecca Atwood. Aurora wallpaper by Nicole Franzen, featured in this house tour.)

  1. Caitlin says...

    Hi Jo – I don’t know if I’m making this up but I remember you mentioning a pink color that was called something like “kind of grey”… does that ring a bell?

    Thank you!

  2. Tim says...

    Check out “Sea Haze,” by Benjamin Moore. Their “Regal” brand of paint is great!

  3. emmanuella says...

    I recommend not only pink but a pink that leans warmer than cooler, meaning pick a pink that has more yellow than blue in it. This serves two functions: it gets away from that little girl pink that somehow is ubiquitously used for any item relating to “little girl” and it pops more in the shadows. I painted my parents downstairs bathroom a light peach coral pink and it is so soothing and beautiful in low, indirect daylight AND in incandescent lighting.

  4. Annabelle says...

    My partner and I painted our bedroom navy blue – darker than Toby’s and will not go back to lighter colors; the rest of the house is white. The blue makes the room a cozy sanctuary. It’s a place that different than the rest of the house. It feels private and intimate in that way. The blue is my vote hands down.

  5. I painted mine a very similar pink. When I was choosing between the final three, I painted huge sample squares on the wall and took a selfie in front of each one to see which one I would look best in naked. Just one way to make a decision ;-)

  6. Katerina says...

    I would go for the blue one.. I painted the wall above our bed in black recently and although it seems like a bold color to choose for a bedroom, it’s actually really calming and gives a classy and masculine vibe to the room

  7. Ariel says...

    A little late to the party, but I’m obsessed with Farrow & Ball’s color palette and painted my bedroom Hague Blue. It’s beautiful how it changes in the light from a deep sea blue to a steely blue to a blue-green. It also looks great if you want to accent with white, pink, gray or navy. Not to mention art really pops.

  8. shade says...

    I think the aurora wallpaper would love absolutely beautiful in your bedroom with the decor you have going on.

  9. Erica Lee says...

    I was thinking a blushy pink before I even saw the options! I think it will be more subtle and lovely.

  10. Krystal says...

    The sage is so soft and serene….just the way a bedroom should feel. It’s still a cozy colour unlike the blue which would feel too dark. When going dark you need to have great natural light.

  11. Sage 100% :)

  12. Mae says...

    I vote the navy blue! My bedroom is “Hague blue”, and it is amazing. We did white trim/ceiling and have white bedding and curtains but not a ton of sunlight. So the white accents really brighten it up. I absolutely love it. It feels rich and cozy and clean all at the same time! As someone who is typically drawn to very feminine decor, I really love how the dark navy feels, and it is truly beautiful. It is also gorgeous with our wooden pieces of furniture in the room. With the bright whites and rich browns, the blue is unexpected yet perfect.

  13. Kelly says...

    I love the blue…or maybe just a slightly lighter shade of it??? And just food for thought…a Canadian magazine now uses principal bedroom rather than master due to the negative background of that word. Simple but smart change in my opinion.

  14. Noah Verduzco says...

    I think you should do the blue because it pretty and I goes good with light and dark rooms

  15. Lisa C says...

    I would say go with a lovely wallpaper! It’s come along way and there are so many lovely textures and patterns. The blue is too dark, the pink is too “pink” and the green always reminds me of a hospital no matter how lovely the room.

    Can’t wait to see the makeover!
    Cheers, Lisa

  16. Sage green!
    I would think the dark blue would make a dreary room even dreary-er.

  17. Michaela says...

    If you’re interested in a less “pink” pink, Sunset Snow (Pratt and Lambert) is the most beautiful pale pale pink that looks nearly white, but adds a little life to the space! Our bedroom is painted Sunset Snow and when the sunrise/sunset light comes through the windows, it looks like an actual sunset on the wall-pinks, oranges, reds, and all. Otherwise, I like the pink you have, and the Aurora wallpaper!

  18. Liz says...

    The pink!
    Yours truly, Liz

  19. Catarina R says...

    I love the dark blue! And I think it would suit both you and Alex.

  20. Cindy says...

    I really love the blush! I think the blue/ green may darken the room but that’s just me.

  21. Kathleen says...

    We recently chose a sage green for our master bedroom and I love it! The pink is gorgeous but I would probably also worry it was too pink for my husband…

  22. kate says...

    we just painted our bedroom Licorice Green (Dulux Paints) and Lip Gloss Half on Ceiling and into the open plan bathroom. If i had a 4 wall room i would do the ceiling the same colour as wall! go for it

  23. Sarah Jane says...

    The blush looks so light and lovely for a garden-level space. I bet it’d be good at amplifying whatever natural light you get, while also being cozy by lamplight. (We can’t paint our apartment walls without risking the wrath of our landlords, so I’m jealous that you can choose!)
    As for the masculine/ feminine balance, you have wood elements and dark blue in there (or at least do in the picture I’m looking at!). If you paint it blush, I’d consider moving the floral art above the bed and replace it with something else for balance’s sake.
    All the best in making your space into what you want it to be.

  24. christine dietz says...

    blush is a lovely option for the bedroom you have described.

    who makes the sage green in the picture?

  25. Jenna says...

    For a man-friendly blush try Doeskin by Sherwin Williams. :)

  26. Jeanette Nilsson says...

    Hi! I love wallpaper. I’m from Sweden and we have so many good designers 😉. Blue in the bedroom is great I think. Check out Emma von Brömsen wallpaper with blue birds! Love your blog👍🏻. / Jeanette p.s: check out my instagram ” hausundgarten ”

  27. Shannon says...

    Marble! That one is really beautiful. I also really like the sage green, but I think you should experiment with different hues and shades. Seems like you’re really close to the perfect shade.

  28. Cassandra says...

    Aurora is my fav.

  29. Nora says...

    Our Master is Pantone Illusion Blue. it’s absolutely perfect.

  30. Angela says...

    On one hand, sage is calming; on the other, it can be dull. Our bedroom is sage, and i don’t recall the exact color, but it is on the full side and we have great light in our room.

    My vote would be for the blue, I think. That shade seems nicely bright but not overwhelmingly so.

  31. Pink! We have a pink living room – we were aiming for the kind of pink inside a seashell (used Benjamin Moore’s Gentle Blush). It’s subtle, but very warming and cozy.
    I blogged it here:
    http://thriftathome.blogspot.com/2013/02/we-have-achieved-pink-living-room.html

    We have a fairly shaded house in the city, so I was very careful with the wall colors. I used lots of gold/mustard and cream and then the pink living room.

    I’d be worried that blue or green colors in a garden room would be too chilly and dark. I’d go with warm colors, but gentle because it’s a bedroom.

  32. Ann says...

    I was somehow able to convince my husband to paint our bedroom Queen Anne’s pink by Benjamin Moore and 10 years later we still LOVE it. It makes our room a comforting, cozy oasis. It’s a soft bright and is light without being too bright or harsh. It always makes me happy! Highly recommend!!!

  33. Sage green is a favourite for me I think. Deep blues are really trendy at the moment, but they look better in a living room or hallway to create a cosy atmosphere. Also, as you say, in the rooms where walls are a dark colour, it’s important to compensate with a lot of natural light. If your bedroom isn’t too bright in the first place, it’s going to feel very small with dark walls. The pink colour is really nice too, and a wallpaper can add a nice touch on one wall, but I think ultimately that soft green really got my heart….

  34. Katie says...

    Aurora all the way! It’d be like waking with a beautiful sunrise to look at each morning. I don’t think you could ever have enough of that beauty. :)

  35. Kristen says...

    Go with the pink! My husband’s room growing up (no joke) was a very pale salmon color and he reports that the light coming in at different parts of the day through his one window would make the room seem to glow. He loved how warm & inviting it was.

  36. Amanda says...

    I live in a fairly small house (~1000 sq ft) and I painted the living room, dining room, kitchen, and main hallway (basically one big room) blush pink and I’ve gotta tell you – I LOVE IT. We chose Behr “Island Hopping.” We have big windows but not super-direct light, and the walls reflect the light so beautifully and it really opens up the space. During the day it looks almost white, and the color is slightly more intense at night. It gives a nod to the clean, all-white look but makes the room much softer and warmer. My husband was skeptical at first, but I think we’ve balanced it well with lots of wood and copper elements, a dark emerald couch and counter tops, and so many plants my neighbor has affectionately nick-named me “The Botanist”…. I wouldn’t call it a masculine room by any stretch, but it definitely doesn’t feel girly, either. Sorry for the long comment but I’m very passionate on this subject :)

  37. The sage is my favorite. We painted our bedroom sage in the very first house we bought. It was so lovely. It was calming, while also feeling interesting. In our last house we had a family room painted sage. Thinking about those rooms now makes me want to have a room in our mostly-white house painted sage, even if just for nostalgia!

  38. Rachel says...

    I painted my bedroom sage green when I was in 5th grade (1996). I had a rose floral bedspread. Rose colored accessories. It was SO 90s and I loved it. A few commenters are saying sage green is modern. I can’t help but transport back to my parents house when I think of sage green!

  39. Michi says...

    You might want to check out Donald Kaufman Color (www.donaldkaufmancolor.com) DKC 63 (soft green hue) and Color of the Month, St Valentines Pink is beautiful.

  40. I just painted two of the bedrooms in my house. I sampled sage but couldn’t make it work. well have a street facing ground level master bedroom so we often keep the shades drawn and so we also needed something. we settled with Benjamin Moore Healing Aloe and it is bright, subtle, clean, and cozy.

  41. Sherwin Williams Sea Salt is a slightly less committed version of the sage color and it’s loved ALWAYS. It sort of looks like a different color from every single angle and in different kinds of light. It’s so cool and serene in a dark room, and super light and whimsical in bright spaces. I love all of your ideas!! (PS I’ve wanted to do pink forever but it might make divorce be on the table if I ever went through with it :)

    Here’s a photo of our living room in the Sea Salt: http://www.thepastiche.com/blog/new-house-updates-living-room-currently

  42. Sarah says...

    BM Beach Glass (a grey/green) it’s soothing and very saturated.. a balance between masculine and feminine. If you want neutral BM Pale Oak is timeless.

  43. Stephanie says...

    Sage! I just painted our bathroom sage green and it’s so peaceful and calming. I kinda wish we had painted another room as well.

  44. Kat says...

    I love the sage green – feels brightening but calming!

  45. Lane says...

    I vote for sage green.
    I love a blush room (I just bought my own house and live alone, so I can have the pinkest damn house ever) but I can see where it might not be Alex’s fave…
    Sage seems so lovely and calming, while not being a boring neutral netural tone. :)

  46. Twyla says...

    A friend of mine has a north-facing living room that is painted grey. You’d think it’s super dreary and drab but her secret is yellow curtains. The light hits them and (although they’re not sheer) filters through them somewhat and totally warms up the room. It’s cozy and beautiful.

    Just a thought – why not ask Jenny Komenda?

  47. Jessica says...

    We have a dark, navy blue room (darker than Toby’s) and I love it. It feels cozy and a hideaway from the rest of the house. It’s intentionally dark so on dreary days it doesn’t feel any different. You just have to have lovely lamps…but you already do!