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

Update: Here’s our newly painted bedroom!

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. Maura says...

    I had a deep blue room (Ben Moore, Gentleman’s Gray) in my last home and LOVED it—it has really warm undertones, so it didn’t feel like a cave at all. Just very cozy and moody (actually, in my mind it feels really British, so maybe perfect for you?). At night it felt very dark, deep, and moody, but it’s such a complex color that when light hits it it really wakes up and has a vivid, warm blue quality (think navy blue). I’ve also had a sage-y room (I believe Ben Moore’s Wedgewood Gray or very, very similar) and absolutely loved that. In low light it feels more gray, which can be nice, in warm light it goes very green, and in cool light it goes very blue—I personally love how much it changes. Ultimately, I think what you pick comes down to the furniture you already have (the darker color will contrast nicely with a variety of colors, while a lighter may want to be near more neutrals), what direction your window faces, and whether you want your room to feel expansive (go for a lighter color) or cozy (dark color). Gentleman’s Gray works especially well with north & west-facing warm light, while Wedgewood Gray works better with east & south-facing cool light. I can’t wait to see what you pick—from the looks of the comments section you’ve got a lot of great advice!

  2. Michelle says...

    Our bedroom is also quite dark and was originally painted white (blah). I tried a sage green, but without a lot of natural light to bounce off of it, it also looked depressing, only this time with an institutional twist. I think warm is the way to go in any sort of basement situation, regardless of exposure.

    We ended up painting it cream (similar to Benjamin Moore Indian White or Sherwin Williams White Hyacinth). I am totally not a cream lover, but it works in this room and just reads as a warm white. During the rare moments we get direct sunlight, it looks more like a very soft yellow.

  3. Danielle says...

    I don’t think the pink would be too feminine given the rest of the decor. But I love the wallpaper most! All those posted are amazing selectsion

  4. Amber Olney says...

    Our bedroom is gray with white trim, and it is nice – but in our new home our bedroom will be white, since scientifically I guess that’s been proven the most “sleepful.” Ha!

    Out of your options, I love the sage or the one-wall-with-wallpaper idea. Beautiful!

  5. Candice says...

    Go for a warm shade of whatever color you like. In our last house we painted our bedroom an Italian yellow, and while it certainly would not be most people’s choice (definitely looked tacky at first glance) it worked beautifully with our wood furniture, it felt sunny during the day even though it was the last room to get sunshine, and at night it was charming and cozy. I liked someone’s suggestion of painting or wallpaper-ing your ceiling as well.

    Good questions to ask yourself: how will your color/wallpaper feel during each season? What will it feel like if it’s a long winter of cold and cloudy skies? What works with your furniture?

  6. Zoe says...

    I say, ask Jenny Komenda. She always knows what to do. :-)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      good call, zoe!!!

  7. Wendy Leonardo says...

    I generally use this rule of thumb: if the room has a southern or western exposure, use a cool color, if it’s northern or eastern, use a warm color. That said I love the idea of the Aurora wallpaper on the wall behind the headboard and the white on the other walls.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      ooh i’ve never heard that! thank you!

    • Zoe says...

      Julia Marcum of Chris Loves Julia did a whole podcast about this and color theory in general. Fascinating!!!

  8. Catherine says...

    A very dark/almost black charcoal grey! It’s perfect in already dark rooms, and will feel cozy and moody and wonderful. Especially with your light bedding. I love it already!

    • Maria says...

      Agreed! I adore a dark, dark bedroom. It feels cozy and moody, never dreary. Also so beautiful to sleep in. It looks amazing with the contrast of white trim.
      While the sage green is a beautiful color, if the room feels dreary with white, greys or dusty tones will also feel dreary. I say, go dark. ;)
      Our bedroom is Black Swan by sherwin Williams and it is by far my favorite bedroom color we’ve had. (I’ve repainted many, many times – paint is so cheap and easy!)

  9. Sarah says...

    Sage green! Cozy and calm.

  10. The green is my favorite! But I agree the pink is also nice.

  11. S says...

    Blush-but maybe a lighter tone. Just enough color to add interest!

  12. Amanda says...

    Love the last wallpaper but would put it with the pinkish color at the top of the walls sort of like a lightening sky as you go upward. The dark blue and even the sage could give you too much of the cave/underground feeling.

  13. Carolyn says...

    Wallpaper! Maybe do a chair rail and paper just the tops, as an alternative to one feature wall? I love the wallpapers you chose, particularly the confetti and the sunrise. Also, I’m kinda obsessed with wallpaper that looks like a water color wash:

    https://anewall.com/products/watercolor-mural

    I just wish installing wallpaper was on par with painting, money wise and skill wise. (Sigh!) And call Jenny K! She always knows what to do, right?!! And let us know what she says. Haha.

  14. Laura says...

    Definitely sage! It looks so grown-up and soothing. I’d never leave my bedroom if it looked like that… In fact, I might just go ahead and paint my room that color

  15. Annie Green says...

    What about a soft yellow? Lovely with good lighting in the evening and imagine it on a bright morning.

  16. Kim says...

    Our master also lacks natural light. The previous owners used Benjamin Moore Violet Purl with Decorator White on the ceiling. We love it and are in no hurry to change ( 7 years and counting). It’s soft without being to pastel-ly and is suprisingly neutral. It’s also not overly feminine. My husband would have nixed the idea of the color based on the name alone had we been the ones choosing the color. But when the time comes I am going to explore a dark shade for at least one wall. Watch out Farrow and Ball !

  17. Aya says...

    Blush! I think the pale pink will be warm and cozy, flattering for your skin and perhaps is even a little sexy? Plus, I think the decor of your bedroom isn’t girly, so the color wouldn’t take the room over the top. I just dyed our curtains a bright pink-y red and it makes the room cheery and the light warm.

  18. Karen says...

    I say either do pink or one wall or the ceiling wall papered. I have a friend who painted her walls pink many years ago and it was the most gorgeous bedroom … so welcoming and calming! Of course, I could never get my husband to agree.

  19. Kelley says...

    You have admired so many beautiful wallpapers over the lifetime of this blog, Joanna—it’s time to bite the bullet and go for it! ;) xx

  20. I say embrace the cave! Save the wide-awake pinks and wallpapers for rooms where you want to feel energized and busy and choose the navy for your bedroom so that it feels like a cozy, dark cave. It’s actually very sensible to have a bedroom that gets little light; bedrooms are for sleeping in!

  21. I would use wallpaper to brighten the space. The blue and sage green feel like they’ll make things darker. I love the pink, but I would find it to be too much pink if it’s on every wall. I’m suggesting a different wallpaper than the ones listed. I love Kate Golding’s whimsical prints. I’d suggest her Grasses Dusk Wallpaper on one wall; I think the gold tones would help reflect light throughout the room on overcast days. See the print here http://www.kategolding.ca/

  22. Lori says...

    I vote blue… but darker than Toby’s room… like a dark inky blue/black like Benjamin Moore’s After Midnight!

  23. DIANA says...

    I have sage walls in my apt and I love them. The color is very soothing, however it really forces you to commit to a color palette (as with any non-neutral). I’m also very into the light pink as a warmer color option. ASK ALEX! I’m curious what he thinks about the pink.

  24. SR says...

    I’m for the wallpaper. It’s what will transform the room the most and make it the least “cell like”. If you are set on paint the pink could be lovely. The dark blue will make it suuuuper dark and even more dreary I’d think…

  25. Choosing paint colors is one of my talents! I would lean towards the blush (but I’m a single lady so don’t have the same anti-pink concerns!). Another off the wall suggestion would be a deep emerald or rich teal. Could be a little cave-like, but also cozy?

  26. Lisa says...

    My bedroom is currently a light grey, which is lovely and soothing but – our room has high ceilings and big windows, so gets lots of light.
    Previous bedroom colours I’ve LOVED are a pistachio green, and yellow.
    I would actually suggest yellow – I had it in bedrooms in Scotland (so permanently cloudy and gloomy), and it was just so cheery. It’s not a colour I would have chosen myself, but I was always happy in my yellow bedrooms

  27. Miruska says...

    I have just painted my bedroom, which also gets very little light, with Pink Ground by Farrow & Ball (similar to the second picture but can look less pink and more beige in certain light so maybe easier for Alex to take). It’s amazing. Goes well with white and gray, and has made my room appear so much bigger. But I would like wallpaper as well or dark blue.

  28. Rachel says...

    The sage green is beautiful! Our bedroom is a duck egg colour and I love it, greens and blues are so calming.

  29. Evie says...

    What about a more orangey pink? Could make the room feel even sunnier because it’d be a warmer shade? Seems like there’s lots of rocking wallpapers these days too! Could be fun!

  30. Amber says...

    We just painted our (also sometimes dark/dreary) bedroom ‘bridal pink’ by BM and it’s really soft and lovely. With a hunter green tufted/upholstered headboard, linen bedding, a souk rug and masculine wood furniture, it feels well balanced. And my husband doesn’t seen to mind :)

  31. Laura C. says...

    Go with pink Jo!

  32. Emily says...

    I’d go for a warm muted gray, like Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist, Collingwood, or Abalone! It will feel neutral and understated but still bring warmth :) undertones are so important to paint colors! My walls are white but a very warm white that looks more yellow in the light on a cold day.

  33. Go with pink! I think it’ll feel so warm, and soft! Plus it’s always a cheery color. Sage is a really hard color to do, because depending on the light coming into your home it could appear warmer or cooler than you intended. I’m assuming because your room is currently white and feels dreary, then a sage will also feel that way. It’s likely because you’re getting blue light, rather than warm light in that spot. This can be because of what sunlight is reflecting off of, or whatever. BUT if you do go with sage, make sure you paint a spot and leave it for a few days, noting the changes in color during a whole day and at night. You might find that a warm sage looks perfect during most of the day!

    • I painted my bedroom what was a soft mint, and because of the light we got, it always looked baby blue – which I absolutely hated. Within two months I had it repainted!

  34. Taylor says...

    Love the sage green! We have Winter Wood by Sherwin Williams in our house. It’s a lighter sage color, but changes throughout the day.

  35. Lana says...

    Sage green!!! We are picking out paints, too, and it’s so daunting. One shade in the wrong direction and things could get really ugly! The woman who we bought our house from painted walls in eggplant and hot pink but then, as if that wasn’t bold enough, had glitter mixed into the paint!! Then she carpeted rooms two bedrooms and the entire basement in black. Any advice on how to make a black carpeted basement look attractive?!

  36. Sam says...

    That aurora wall paper is to die for. Love!

  37. Julia says...

    Joanna – the trick if you want to go with pink – go to the tinted whites section of the paint deck. I surprised everyone when I said I wanted to paint my daughter’s room pink (it will look like pepto-bismol! – my mother), because I’m so not a pink person. Maybe it was the hormones, but I insisted and did a ton of research – a designer said to pick a tinted white to avoid getting sick of it. It is just the perfect blush shade and looks amazing in every light. I think it is Behr’s Soothing Pink or My Sweetheart in satin finish. Love Cup of Jo – good luck!

  38. Stacey says...

    The sage green will not be a friend to your skin tones. Check out Maria Killiam, ask her to do a guest post for you. She is the queen of color!

  39. Phoebe says...

    I highly recommend Benjamin Moore Wedgewood Gray! It has a similarly calming vibe as a sage green shade. My favorite part of this color is that it shifts a little bit depending on the light – from grey to green to blue. I love it! It was my bedroom color for many years.

  40. Kate says...

    Pink! I just painted a tiny guest room this shade and worried initially it would be too girly (I’m a single woman in her mid-thirties and was terrified it would scream “THIS WILL BE THE BABY’S ROOM”), but it’s just warm and lovely. I used more masculine furniture and colors otherwise (olive and navy) and it’s a great balance.

    • DIANA says...

      Fellow single gal looking to paint her apartment pink without completely repelling masculine energy from my life. Sigh

    • Katie says...

      HA! Your comment cracked me up Kate!

    • Rachel says...

      I just painted my bedroom a pale pinky/peach. BEST DECISION EVER! I have white crown molding and tall white baseboards. The rest of my apartment is white and the pink makes my bedroom feel so cozy. Also, when my sister first saw it she exclaimed, “this looks so french!” So yah, never changing it. :)

  41. Calliope says...

    My bedroom doesn’t get a lot of light, too, but that’s how I prefer it. So I decided to paint the room really dark, because I like cave-like, and I am still not bored with it. BM Kendall Charcoal.
    Although if I repainted now I’d go with a more interesting moody deep blue like BM Philipsburg Blue. So versatile as it goes with literally eveything: wood, gold, white, wicker, any color really.
    So I say to stay away from too clean colors like your blue as they are more maintenance decoration wise. Have fun either way! It’s only paint, if you don’t like it you can repaint!

  42. CS says...

    Nope re sage green. It will be very dreary and grey. Pink is pretty and elegant too.
    Personally I would embrace the cave and go dark and cosy. Paint out the mouldings in the same dark color.

  43. Ceridwen says...

    Love the safe green and wallpaper!

  44. Daniela says...

    Sage green!!!!

  45. Emily says...

    go pink! men can handle pink. plus if you have some masculine furniture/accessories, it’s tones down the girliness and creates balance. Think the wallpaper is too busy for a bedroom, when you want to be calming down . The blue is lovely, and I had a dark grey bedroom that was very nestlike, but it had skylights, so was bright in the day…might be too gloomy in a sub-garden level? Lots of pretty options!

  46. Stacy says...

    Sage green or blush — for sure!

  47. Megan says...

    The two bedrooms in my house are painted a really dark indigo and I LOVE it. Neither get a ton of sunlight but both have bright white trim and they do not feel cave like – they feel cozy and pretty.

  48. Lily says...

    I vote pink! Sage might feel depressing inthe winter and dark blue will be too dark IMHO. Alex can be convinced!

  49. Barbara says...

    Love the sage green.

    Just a note about the blue, though. We painted our bedroom a dark gray (it doesn’t get much light either) and I’ll never switch from a dark color again. We have light gray and white accents throughout, and it seems cozy and warm every time I walk in.

  50. I have a blue-green bedroom and it looks amazing with white trim around the windows and lots of plants with white or light colored vases. It’s the contrast you want. Even in a dark room, it would look beautiful. There’s something about the green in a plant that looks even more beautiful against blue.
    If you’re afraid of the blue, go with a wallpaper. The choices you gave are all gorgeous!
    Anything is better than white.
    Good luck!

  51. eliza says...

    Sage green! My college apartment was ancient and had the woooorst lighting but it was painted sage green and somehow always seemed cozy and calming. People commented on how nice it was all the time!

  52. Julie Brown says...

    LOVE LOVE LOVE THE PINK!!!!!

  53. Shira says...

    I love the blue, but I think it might feel too dark in a garden level bedroom, especially in the winter! So my vote is for the sage green. It looks beautiful and calming.

  54. Cooper says...

    Oooh, I love the pink! I once painted my basement bedroom a pale blue, and I really wished I’d gone just a bit darker than my first impulse – a pale shade felt really washed out. My bedding is lavender (which is not at all my favorite color but it was a gift) and both my husband and I love how warm and calming it feels in a bedroom, and what a good base it provides for other accents. I think the pink will feel similar!

  55. Monica says...

    We just repainted our bedroom and the mood is so different! We don’t get the best light and we had a blue/green color which just bummed me out. We repainted it a light peachy color and it makes me so happy! I wanted to go pink as well but my husband compromised with peach :)

  56. Lauren says...

    We just bought our first house and because of the layout, we needed to do 90% of the house the same color. The one we landed on was a very light blueish greenish gray called Oystershell by Benjamin Moore. It’s so good. And the slight contrast with the white trim is super crisp, but also works well for all the rooms. The only room in our house that isn’t this color is our daughters shared bedroom which is a super pale by by BEHR called Stolen Kiss which we also LOVE. Take a look at either of those, we looked for a while and have been pleased with both after living with them the last couple of months. Good luck!

  57. we just painted one wall of our bedroom dark blue and left the other walls white, which feels crisp, clean and modern. I feel you! Choosing paint colors is daunting!!

  58. Dawn says...

    The sage green looks elegant and very calming, but I’d consider how the natural lighting will alter the color. When I’m unsure of what color to paint a room, I add swatches of different paint colors on different walls to see how the colors translate with morning, midday and afternoon light, etc. and how the colors make me feel. Our family painted an inner bathroom (no windows) a medium blue and it surprisingly added so much warmth and personality! A darker color is sometimes just the ‘oomph’ a room needs. :)

    • Dawn says...

      Also, just a thought- maybe compromise and just paint one wall an accent color to change up your bedroom?

    • Britta Katt says...

      Agree with this! I wanted a sage blue-green accent wall in our living room, so I went to a Benjamin Moore store, got 1 million different sage samples :), and taped them all over and looked at them throughout the day. I LOVE our new wall. The one we picked looks more blue in the morning with natural light, and at night when the standing lamps are turned on, it’s more seafoam green. I love that it gives the room even more versatility!

  59. Courtney says...

    I struggle with wallpaper because I feel like I get very sick of the patterns and colors quickly and it doesn’t seem calming-just busy. We left the walls in our bedroom dove grey except one wall which we painted navy (I believe Sherwin Williams Naval). I love it and it’s so cozy.

  60. Catie says...

    I love the sage green! Do you happen to know who makes the paint color or the name of it?

    Thank you!

  61. Shannon says...

    We have a very pale blush pink in our bedroom – it’s such a faint hue that it doesn’t feel too feminine. Everyday I wake up it always feels just a bit rosy. We’ve also made sure to use some navy accents to make sure to balance it out. I highly recommend it :)

    • Wendela says...

      This is exactly what I was going to say—pale pink can feel just like a rosy glow (it can almost read as white paint that glows rather than as pink), especially in low light. I think a pale pink or peach would be perfect. And I also agree with adding some navy accents to the room to balance it out. And: always paint a swatch first to test how it will actually look on your walls before doing the whole room! So much depends on the light and paint chips are not a reliable way to know what the finished room will look like!

  62. Pink! I just painted my bedroom Proposal by Benjamin Moore, and my husband loves it. It is a little more neutral than the pink you showed in the photos, but it is so warm and looks that way in any light.

  63. LC says...

    Rebecca Atwood Wallpaper for the win! Even one wall of that would jazz things up. I have been dying to use that ever since I saw Emily Henderson upholster a bed with it.

  64. I painted our bedroom black. Because the bathroom door, closet door and all the trim is white, it feels very cozy and high contrast. It doesn’t get a lot of natural light but because we’re in there at night, it’s perfect (and sexy!)

  65. Carrie says...

    Don’t do the sage green! It will only further emphasize the dreariness!! Maybe moss green instead, but the sage is too subdued. I think the pink is absolutely beautiful, and oddly, also has a timeless quality as well. I could picture that being on the walls somewhere in Buckingham Palace. Have you showed it to Alex? I wonder what he’ll say.

    Apartment Therapy has lots of good ideas. Recently I saw this tour I just loved, you might enjoy some of his color choices.

    http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/house-tour-a-first-time-home-buyers-colorful-reno-250900#cid-2731589

  66. Love the pink! You could always go a little more nude if it’s too pink for Alex.

  67. I LOVE the sage green! My whole (tiny) apartment is painted a “universal grey” which is a hybrid of beige and grey. It allows both warm and cool accents to be used and is relaxing and a lovely neutral. Maybe consider a dove-like grey?

  68. Lucy says...

    I love the deep blue color! It’s calm, yet vibrant and inviting

  69. Lorraine says...

    I would do a bright wallpaper on the same wall as your headboard. That way it’s bright when you walk in but not too busy when you wake up. I got a great tropical wallpaper for my living room, inspired by all your wallpaper posts!

  70. Lindsay says...

    The sage green makes me think of a doctor’s office so ?? …. I’ve always loved Benjamin Moore revere pewter as well as camouflage. Two lovely neutrals that change as the day goes on.

  71. Swordspoint says...

    Our master bedroom is sort of a sage-green-grey (BM’s Horizon Grey) and I love how calm it feels, but it might not work in your space if you’re looking for it to feel warmer. My kids’ room is painted in a very very pale peach (I think it was BM AF-40 lychee?) that reads as a pale yellow at night and pale pink during the day –it makes me so happy.

  72. Amanda says...

    I am no expert on this, but my bedroom is painted a medium blue similar to the first option. It doesn’t get a lot of light and it does feel like a cave. I’m really looking forward to re-doing the room and painting it a lighter color. This could be because I am in general moving away from dark rooms and walls and want my whole house to be lighter/brighter. But, my bedroom particularly depresses me.

  73. Angela Robertson says...

    I’m a personal fan of the Sage Green. But I need to ask a selfish question – tell me more about the eucalyptus in your room! I’ve never really owned any house plants so I’m trying to figure out what works to purify the air and make the house smell fresh. Could you do a post about house plants?

    • Carrie says...

      Just buy a bouquet of eucalyptus from your local grocery store. I keep mine in a vase with some water and let it dry out. The bunch looks beautiful long after it’s dried out and has died!

    • Katie says...

      I, too, would be so interested in a post about house plants.

      I have two toddlers and a dog so I’ve always been sort of scared so bring in a plant that could be toxic when ingested….and also intimidated because I always seem to kill plants. But I love the way they can transform an indoor space!

  74. Jen says...

    I love the white walls and am having all of mine in my new house painted as you speak- I brighten them up with tapestry and art on the walls – it gives me the freedom to put any art work I enjoy up. may be worth trying if you’re feeling really undecided on the wall color for now :)

  75. Morgan says...

    Pink. I’m happy to see your nod to that sunset wallpaper vestibule – I’m moving this weekend and I dream about this wallpaper. Maybe in my new foyer…

    • Morgan says...

      Do you know which of the Aurora papers is this sunset?

  76. Also large swatch the bejeezus out of the room, you won’t know until you see the paint in the light throughout the day.

  77. You may not be looking for this kind of feedback, but I’d worry with blue that you’d look back in two years and feel, oh gosh that was so 2017 and we never want to think about that year again;). I love the idea of dark, but I’d go for wallpaper or a lavender gray kind of color. I love the pink, but, again, 2017:(.

  78. Maria says...

    I can’t recommend Benjamin Moore Exhale enough. I bought it without seeing in real life, and truth be told, more because of the name (so relaxing haha) than the Pinterest pictures. It is indeed very relaxing . It’s more of a warm blue, if that’s possible. I’ve painted the wall behind my bed and a wall in my zen room, leaving the other walls in both rooms white: it creates sort of a window effect, which is really nice on not so bright days (especially in winter). All I can say is that this was the first winter in my entire adult life in which I didn’t get SAD. But if you’re dead set on one of the above, I’d go with Sage green. I like the pink idea but I think by next spring you will be so over it – and so will the rest of the world ;P

    Whichever one you choose though, go with the BM Natura option. We were on cheap and got regular paint for our not-very-well-ventilated hallway and sometimes we can still smell it (a year later…). In the bedroom we went with Natura and got to sleep there the next day – just enough time for the paint to dry, really!

  79. Sarah D. says...

    Sage green looks so cozy. Even that wood hand in the photo is saying, “me, me, pick me.”!

  80. That sage green is gorgeous! Do you know the specific paint color? My last apartment had a similar color and it felt so soft and warm and bright at the same time. Had such a calming effect.

    I’m also obsessed with BM’s Elephant Gray. Just painted my kitchen and looooove it.

  81. Victoria says...

    The advice I was given was to go for something with a red undertone if you have a cool light. We have a ground floor northeast facing bedroom that gets an indirect shadowy sort of light at various points in the day. I couldn’t find a colour that worked – we tried painting it yellow but when the light wasn’t on it the colour turned a bit sulky. I had tried a million tester pots and was driving myself mad… Then, just as I was heading to the paint shop, a friend happened to drop by like some sort of paint-choosing fairy, and suggested a warm slightly pinky grey (farrow and ball Dovetail). She said that when the sun wasn’t on it, the shadows would look part of the colour. It worked! It’s very restful and characterful without being at all gloomy, and looks lovely with blue, pink and red accents… and the grey stops it being too girly for my husband… Have fun choosing!

    • Audrey says...

      Agree fully. The sage green may look cement-y in poor light and shadows could make it feel cold. For the same reason as the above commenter we picked BM Portland Gray for our master bedroom. It is a gray with lavender undertones – not too feminine for husband, but warm and comforting in either low light or good lighting.

  82. Kim says...

    I vote Aurora!

  83. Megan says...

    I think a dark color could be great, if you want it to feel like a cozy retreat.

  84. Kate says...

    Did you ever find that giant box remote?
    I think they are all lovely but I would go for the sage

    • Taylor says...

      That was my question too! Has the mystery been solved?

  85. clem says...

    the sage one is gorgeous!

  86. Cindy D. says...

    Hands down, pink! I’m not even a pink person, I never wear it. Don’t even care for pink nail polish but the pink room looks bright and cheery. Def not the sage green. It looks dull and drab. The blue is really nice but might be too much for your room or feel really dark if it’s not getting enough light.

    • Carrie says...

      Agreed, just look at the difference in the moods between the sage green and pink room. Pink all the way! It’s so much more uplifting, yet still relaxing.

    • Faith says...

      I second this! I never wear pink, but the pink bedroom walls look fantastic in the picture you shared. The sage green, on the other hand, feels drab.

  87. KK says...

    Am I the only reader who has never heard of Farrow and Ball? Noted: the cool paint to buy.

  88. Beautiful photos – love the colors. I have navy AND gray in our bedroom. It’s fairly small and dark, so I didn’t want to do the whole thing in navy. I’ve used BM Polo Blue on one wall, and BM Gray Owl on the other 3. Just did it this summer, and love it! Picking paint colors is so hard!

  89. Jen says...

    First choice: sage green
    Second: pink

    Good luck!

  90. Alex says...

    Oh gosh that pink is fab. I always find greens and blues make me more depressed in poorly lit rooms but maybe that’s just me. I painted our whole house BM pale oak because I love the subtle grey with pink undertones.

  91. My girlfriend painted her bedroom sage green It is calm and beautiful.
    I think the wallpaper is too busy for a bedroom

  92. Lynnette A says...

    Sage green, for sure. it’s alarmingly refreshing as a wall color, but also calming.

  93. You could always just paint the ceiling a pale pink or apricot or yellow to get that great glow when light bounces off of it, without painting the whole room!

  94. VP says...

    The sage green feels very relaxing and calming which is what I think is perfect for a bedroom!

  95. Pink! You’re surrounded by boys, you deserve a touch of pink to soften and level the playing field <3

  96. Elizabeth says...

    I have a very pale pink room and I’ve found that in cooler light it l just looks like a room with white walls might look in the afternoon sun! I’d highly recommend it.

  97. Julie says...

    We have a pale pink room (very similar to the picture) and I love it! My husband has never had a problem with it (side note: one of my constant battles as a mother of two boys is “pink is for girls.” It’s a COLOR for heaven’s sake!!! Does that mean only girls can eat strawberries? Or watermelon? Or pink ice cream? Ugh.)

  98. Nancy says...

    My master bedroom is a dark blue and I love it. It feels very warm even though the room has super high ceilings and lots of windows. So, my vote…..blue.

  99. Angel says...

    Both our master north facing bedroom and my daughter’s south facing bedroom are yellow. Yellow can be warm or cool as well. Her color scheme is yellow and pale blue and the master’s is yellow and deep raspberry. I also like yellow with gray toile.

  100. Mischu says...

    We initially considered sage as well….BUT when we tested it (during the rainy season) it made our room look dreary and cold. We ended up using Folkstone from SW. It’s a warm brownish grey. I love how crisp white linens stand out. The other plus is we can easily switch up accent pillows or throws to match the season because the neutral colors go with everything.

    • Faith says...

      I Googled the Folkstone color and it looks fabulous! I might have to pin your idea for later. :)

  101. Erin says...

    I think sage might end up looking gloomy if your room doesn’t get a lot of light. Same with any dark color. That can be cozy at bedtime, but not so nice during the day.

    I have a color similar to Yours Truly (but a little warmer/peachier) in my north-facing bathroom and it brightens it up so much! It always looks sunny in there. My advice is to have that color lightened up a shade, as it’ll probably look darker on your walls than it does in that room. If you want it to be less girly, pick a similar shade with a touch of apricot or peach. Even though I was worried that the color would look too girly, my hubby ended up loving it and several of his male friends really like it, too.

    Because it was paired with white and gray carrara marble tile, it ended up looking very sophisticated. There are a lot of colors that pair well with that shade (I think of it like a neutral). Sarah Sherman Samuel has a lot of great examples on her blog of similar pink colors paired with sophisticated accent colors.

  102. Our room is painted sage green with white, chocolate brown, and natural (linen) as accent colors. It is a very peaceful space and earthy. We also live in the city and our room’s windows face onto an alley, so we get almost no direct sun. I recommend this color, it recedes a bit, so it is not the focal point, you can have some fun with art, wood furniture and prints. I can hardly believe we have had this color for almost 8 years. I have changed the furnishing and linens many times.

  103. Definitely the sage! That’s what came to mind before I even scrolled down and saw the options. IMO a dark color or wallpaper would be too cave-like in a low-lit room and I agree pink is a little too frilly. Even though I hate to say that; I did paint my home office blush and love it! Fun fact — pink was a popular wall color for rooms where aristocratic people entertained in olden times for the same reason you referenced; it cast a flattering tone on sallow faces that made everyone look healthier – esp in the glow of candlelight!

  104. kim says...

    I LOVE the sage green. Still bright, but some interest.

  105. Laura Hite says...

    Pink all the way! We had a pale pink bedroom in our dreary Chicago apartment and it worked wonders. In some lights it hardly registered as pink at all – it was just warm and glowy. Men look good in pink – I say go for it!

  106. Talia says...

    Most certainly sage!

  107. Hanna says...

    Sage green! So calm and soothing – perfect for a bedroom.

  108. Emily says...

    We have Comfort Gray by Sherwin Williams in our master and it is such a pretty, relaxing blue color. I loveeee it. Definitely check it out.

  109. Melanie says...

    Pink…hands down!

  110. Kaitlin says...

    If you want pink — which is a great colour for catching the light, adding colour to the room, and your friend is right about skin tone, I would suggest something a bit cooler, like Benjamin Moore’s Pleasant Pink (2094-60). The pink you’ve shown is closer to a coral. But I honestly can’t see a pink with the furniture you have in there currently.

    The second green that you show is a very cool, blue-grey-green. It’s lovely, but still a bit dark and drab. I’d suggest either Moonshine (2140-60) or Silver Marlin (2139-50), both Benjamin Moore colours, but more likely to catch the light than event the lighter sage green you provided. In fact, Moonshine would go beautifully with the pieces you have, like the desk.

    In each case, I’d also suggest going with a semi-gloss rather than a matte finish, which will subtly pick up what light you are getting into the room and is easily washable.

    Most paint stores will sell you a sample can for $2-3. If you do decide to test (which I recommend for indecisive folks), leave it up for a few days so that you can see it in different lights. You may also want to try a swatch on separate walls as well, as light hits those spots differently.

    OMG, this is the longest comment that I’ve ever left and now I feel like such a paint nerd…this is what happens when you marry a painting contractor. (For the record, it’s also like having a cobbler for a father: Our apartment is sorely in need of painting itself.)

    • Katie says...

      Kaitlin, you sound like such a pro!! :)

  111. Cindy says...

    Of the choices you listed, I definitely like the pink.

    Other options: we have been really happy with Sea Salt. It changes with the light and is just a very soothing color with muted undertones. It looks way too light on the paint chip but is a great color on walls. Recommend!

  112. Danielle Paleafico says...

    The sage is so beautiful and unique! That has my vote :)

  113. Robin says...

    I had a blush-pink bedroom in two homes. In one, it was a light-filled second floor apartment. The pink was sooo good. I loved it. In my current home, the bedroom doesn’t get as much natural light. We had it painted the SAME COLOR as our former apartment bedroom and I hated it. I found it to be the opposite of cheerful. Now the room is painted a warm grayish greenish color and I love it. It is cozy and feels warmer to me.

  114. Robin says...

    Sage green 4ever! The first place I lived as a grad student where I could paint I painted my room sage green, and adored it. I’ve used it again in other rooms, and would do it again if I could.

  115. Tristen says...

    Our bedroom is a similar shade of sage green and I love it. It feels somehow calming yet inspiring. We didn’t plan it that way– that room used to be my office and I was too lazy to paint when the baby came– but now I can’t imagine a bedroom in any other color!

  116. Hannah says...

    I love the pale pink! I think it’s so pretty and sophisticated, and looking at pink makes me happy.

  117. Alex says...

    I also have a garden level/parlor level duplex, although our common areas are on the garden level. After much deliberation we decided to paint the downstairs in Farrow and Ball All White and we’ve been pretty happy with the decision. We’re warmed up the white with art, accessories and books and we updated the lighting on the garden level which helped enormously. I think if you’re going to do white in a lower-light area you need to go with the purest white and make sure that your lighting is good. I also like the idea of a wallpapered accent wall in a light or neutral colorway. In the master of our old home we had an accent wall with this wallpaper (http://www.trestintas.com/en/product/mil-caras) in black and white. It was graphic and fun and worked in an otherwise white and minimal room.

    I’m planning to wallpaper our family room/den on the garden level which is currently painted in All White and am trying to figure out the best colorway for this oddly shaped, lower light room. I think the Rebecca Atwood wallpapers. Farrow and Ball also has some nice papers but they may be a little heavy .

    • Kaitlin says...

      F&B is such an expensive paint and it does not go on smoothly at all! If you love the colours, you can always get Benjamin Moore or Sherwin Williams to do a match, for much less.

  118. Angela says...

    Pink, the gradient wallpaper, or sage. I think the dark blue would be too dark. My office is light pink and I looooove it!

  119. Elisabeth says...

    110% Restoration Hardware Silver Sage. It warms in the light, cools in the dark, and is so soothing and elegant. I’ve had it in my bedroom for years and have never tired of it!!!

  120. 100% the Sage Green!

  121. allison says...

    i think the sage is lovely!

  122. I like the light pink or wallpaper. I actually ended up painting my room light pink with one contrasting wall of navy after being inspired by your old Greenwich apartment. Turned out beautifully.

  123. Cynthia says...

    I would go with the sage green or the blush pink. I’m not a fan of wallpaper. I’ve removed double layers of the old-fashioned paper type, and even our ceilings were wallpapered!

  124. Caitlin says...

    I love the pink – it would definitely make things feel more cozy and is pale enough to not be too feminine! But I’m also a huge fan of wallpaper. Sweet Pea Wall Design on Etsy has beautiful prints that are basically huge stickers that won’t ruin your wall (and are easy to peel off and replace if you change your mind!). I bought their Banana Leaf design for our powder room and I LOVE it – but their Dalmatian is super cute too:
    https://www.etsy.com/shop/SweetPeaWallDesign

    Good luck!!

    • Oh my gosh, these are amazing!!! Thank you for sharing these Caitlin!

    • omg I just fell into a deep hole browsing these! Thanks for the tip!

  125. Jennifer says...

    So this is totally not on trend, and I know it’s not one of the options you’ve described above, but we have a bedroom with north-facing windows, and we live in a forest of trees, so your situation feels very related to ours. We ended up choosing a rich plum color. Most importantly, it was a warm hue, which keeps the room from feeling chilly and sad in the winter months (I’ve got a medium-blue kid’s room, and it’s always kind of sad in there, though he likes it). Plum is cozy and doesn’t feel like a cave. It’s also like pink, in that it casts a warm glow on your skin, but it isn’t pink, which neither my husband or I like.
    We tried sage green in some of the living areas of our house but ended up switching it out for a parchment cream color. The sage always looked dingy, and just didn’t do it for us. Just my two cents. I’m sure whatever you choose will be lovely.

    • Christina says...

      That sounds beautiful, Jennifer! Do you have instagram photos you can link to? Can you share the name of the paint you used?

    • Erin says...

      Would you share the plum color? I’m intrigued :)

    • Jennifer says...

      Erin, the color was either Plum Dandy or Grape Harvest by Sherwin Williams. It’s muted and looks great with gray or chocolate brown. Our furniture is cherry. I may never change it.

  126. Margaret says...

    We just re-did our basement guest room (one window, not much light) from BM’s Revere Pewter (which I love, but which can look drab and washed out in low light) to an accent wall of BM’s Hudson Bay with three surrounding walls in BM’s China White. Looks amazing – bright, warm and sophisticated at the same time. I was reluctant to go dark blue in a dark room but paired with the warm white it totally works. I want to do the same thing in our master!

  127. Katie says...

    Our past two master bedrooms have been painted the same color – Silver Creek by Dunn Edwards. It is a silvery, sage-y green (even though the swatch may look straight up gray). It’s a great neutral and reminds me of nature – ocean-y fog, pale succulents, and sea glass.

  128. C says...

    It’s not for everyone, but sometimes emphasizing the cave-likeness of a room by painting the walls a dark (but glamorous) colour, and using white accents works! We have a room painted in F&B “black blue” contrasted with lots of white and a little brass. Also, with a darker paint, a finish with a bit of sheen reflects the light and doesn’t make it feel so drab.

    • Abesha1 says...

      I second this idea. Dark grey, deep dark blue, whatever color works with your bedding and furniture, etc.

  129. Sophie says...

    I love the blue and sage green colors, but think they might be too cold for a low-light situation. What about a pale, soft peach? It’s a compromise from pink and will make the room so much warmer.

  130. Becca Lynn says...

    ooh the sage!

  131. june2 says...

    Gotta say, I love any version of an ombre wall. It adds so much interest while somehow being soothing.

  132. Caroline says...

    Joanna—

    Yes, I hear you! My last Brooklyn bedroom was pretty dark, and I knew white would feel depressing, especially in winter. My mom is an interior decorator and had encouraged us to use white, but she is used to bright, open spaces year-round in TX. Anyway, we went with a gorgeous blue-green from Donald Kaufman (he’s a real color master)—DKC 19. We lived with it for 9 years (until we just moved), and adored it. It was rich and cozy. People always complimented that color, and i think it made a room w/o any inherent beauty (nice moldings, big windows, or good light) seem lovely. Good luck!

  133. Rachael says...

    If you’re trying to brighten the room, go with pink, peach or yellow. I think the navy and the green will look super murky and cave like without much natural light. But my entire house is painted ultra pure white (white without a tinge of any other color). We have tons of windows, though.

  134. Morgan says...

    If I could paint my (rental) bedroom, I’d definitely go for the pink! So beautiful and fresh and romantic. My second choice would be a deep navy blue (a bit darker than the one you suggest), or wallpaper on all four walls.

  135. Linda says...

    Depends what you’re aiming for. We used a sage green in the bedrooms of our old condo, and even though I loved it as a color in general (and one of few colors that my husband and I both liked), I was a disappointed in it as a room color. It didn’t seem as cheery as I expected. So if you’re specifically trying to brighten the room, go with something warm. (Our living room was yellow. Now THAT was cheery and bright.)

    And if you go with Navy, keep the ceiling white! We had painted a small, windowless bathroom Navy. I was too lazy to tape and repaint the white ceiling, so the whole bathroom was Navy and super dark, even hard to see in the shower. Lesson learned!

    • Linda says...

      Also, in our current home, we kept the previous owner’s color scheme in most of the rooms. These are colors I would have never, ever picked on my own (various shades of taupe), but they look great in our home’s lighting. The house looks modern and grown up. Go chat with an expert!

  136. Sue Choi says...

    Sage or pink! Blue would be too dark.

  137. I painted our low light room a sage green thinking it would be wonderful and couldn’t stand it. I changed it to a soft grey and it’s so much nicer. For me, I think the key is to not have the paint stand out too much, but, to each their own. I love the pink, it’s so pretty & subtle.

  138. Imho green isn´t a good idea in dark rooms – it just doesn´t look good and people in it don´t either. Generally the recommendation for darker rooms are mid-tones like a medium gray, but I have painted a darkish North-facing room Down Pipe by Farrow & Ball (which is a dark grey/blue) and I absolutely love it. Not cave-like but very cozy!
    http://takingnotes.squarespace.com/home/2016/6/10/going-dark-in-the-library.html

    • Bvv says...

      if thats your home, that is gorgeous! Downpipe is such a magnificent color. I strongly agree on F&B Downpipe

    • Yes it´s my home – thank you! Down Pipe is the best :)

  139. becky says...

    Sage green

  140. gfy says...

    Ok I have to take this challenge! I used to do color consults for people in just this situation! If that top photo is your bedroom, I would go with a pale robin’s egg blue in an all over stencil pattern over the white on two main walls, leaving the other two solid blue with white trim. Existing white would just peek through, lightening up the density of a solid color block.

    Decide between a more formal, defined pattern or an abstract direction, like turn that framed artwork into an entire accent wall. An entire wall painted like this is stylishly bold yet still relaxing because it is soft, diffused shapes. Have the painter overflow some of the lighter shapes into the walls next to it to soften the edges. Here’s a great example:
    https://www.spoonflower.com/fabric/6056095-watercolor-blue-white-clouds-by-khaus

    Also consider an accent wall that you can see from bed. People always choose to put it behind the bed where you never get to enjoy it. I recommend almost any other wall. A whitewashed wood plank wall, or a favorite poem or page of prose in white script over a solid color (are those dated? Still love it though). A text wall might appeal to Alex’s journalist nature, even if you do go with pink, lol.

    Apologies for my virgo nature but here are a few reference points (not affiliated with eskayel, just love them : )
    http://eskayel.com/product/laurel-forest-dove-2/
    http://eskayel.com/product/akkadian-perigean/
    https://www.etsy.com/listing/195581537/raoul-textiles-light-blue-coverlet-linen?show_sold_out_detail=1
    Lead photo only:
    https://cococozy.com/11-bold-wallpaper-looks/
    https://www.fschumacher.com/item/5003363
    If you go pink:
    http://eskayel.com/product/madagascar-rose/

    • Sasha says...

      I love the robins egg note idea so much!

  141. Emily says...

    Sage green with pink accents!

  142. Sara says...

    Pink! The majority of your stuff is pretty masculine, so I think it’ll be fine. I think the dark blue would be to cave-y and the green will get boring. It’s just not interesting enough for you guys. And no on those wallpapers, they ruin the chill vibe. I think you could do the pink with one wall in wallpaper… but not those. ;)

  143. Ellie says...

    I’m surprised, but the pink is actually my first choice – if Alex will go for it. So cheery!

  144. Kayla says...

    I love love love the marble wallpaper!

  145. Pink painted rooms, especially in light hues, are super flattering. If you wake up in a pink room and looked in the mirror every morning you’d definitely say, “Hello gorgeous!” Reason enough to go pink.

  146. Emily says...

    Sage green!

    • Christine Hart says...

      Exactly!!

  147. Courtney Norton says...

    Pink! We painted our guest bedroom farrow & ball’s calamine and my husband loves it. The color looks super sophisticated with accents of charcoal and navy. The color looks so beautiful even without a ton of natural light. If you go with sage go darker – a light color will look washed out.

  148. Meredith says...

    Have you thought about painting / papering your ceiling? From your tour pics it looks like the room has a fair bit of colour/texture happening. I would consider leaving the walls chantilly lace, updating your trim with chantilly lace in semi gloss and using the pale pink or a paper on the ceiling (assuming you have crown moulding to delineate). Good luck!