Use Color Like the Pros, Part II: Creating Calm with Color

Use Color Like the Pros, Part II: Creating Calm with Color

This week we’re talking about to create a sense of calm with color.

We have more great tips from Fawn Chang, Director, Color Certification, PP&G, who brought the program to Exciting Windows. (If you missed Part I, go check it out first!)

There are several ways to create calm settings using these color tips. One easy way is by using a monochromatic color scheme.

Pick one color, and then use variations of it.

Living Room with Monochromatic Gray Window Treatments

How To Choose The Perfect Grey Paint Color by Claire Brody Designs

How To Choose The Perfect Grey Paint Color by Claire Brody Designs

This room uses Greyish-Beige (sometimes called “Greige”) for the walls, cellular blinds, artwork and rug. As you can see in the color samples on the right, there is a large variation of tints and shades even within one color. This room follows the Golden Rule mentioned in our last blog: 60:30:10. The light grey is 60, the darker grey is 30, and the very very dark grey and black make up the last 10. The red accent colors are added for interest and pops of color without overriding the calm, neutral feeling this room creates.


Read Neutral Design Doesn’t Have to be Boring to see some of our favorite monochromatic color designs.


One thing to keep in mind, the color you choose may impact the level of calm. For example, a monochromatic room of red will be less calm than in more peaceful colors. Red tends to create action and excitement, whereas blue is a color pretty well-known for being calm and relaxing.

Four partial sheer roller shades half way open and the city skylight is in view through the windows.

This room is beautiful and modern, but not particularly designed for rest and relaxation.

Blue is one of the best-known options for relaxing rooms and it’s pretty clear why.


That’s not to say red is never peaceful and blue is always calm. A terracotta red can be peaceful while a bright blue can be shocking. The variation of colors does make a big difference in the energy they bring. A bright yellow would be similar to red in its energy, while a pale yellow could be gentle and pleasant.


Using the Color Wheel for Calming Combos

Another method for creating calm is to us an analogous color scheme, or colors that are next to each other on the color wheel. You can use 2, 3 or 4 colors for your analogous color scheme, as long as they are next to each other.

For example: using violet-blue, blue, blue-green, and green would be an analogous color scheme.

When choosing your color pallet, keep in mind that creating a feeling of relaxation and calm with color is easiest with cool shades. This is restful to both mind and body. Examples are blues and greens like the sky and ocean. To create a more restful, nourishing and intimate space, rich, warm beige and tans work well. These are great for a bedroom, family or kitchen – rooms where relationships and our bodies are nourished.

Ready to learn how to create excitement in a room with color?



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