We all intuitively understand the power of colors to affect mood. That’s why we use words like “soothing” and “calm” to describe soft purples and cool blues and words like “hot” and “energetic” to describe bright yellows and vibrant reds.

The colors you choose for the walls in each room of your home will, in a large way, influence the mood of the room and guide the rest of the design. Wall color is a big decision to make, so let’s review the different affects certain colors convey:

Red

Red is a very bold and powerful color. It is aggressive, stimulating, and even a little erotic depending on the shade. There is a reason that red is used in stop signs and stop lights. It is highly visible and naturally draws the eye. Due to its strength and intensity, red is best used as an accent color. You might consider placing one piece of red furniture in the room to make a statement or painting an accent wall red if you want a bold and energetic mood in that space.

White

White is the color of purity. White walls can feel either calming or blank depending on what else is in the room. Sometimes, white walls look unfinished, like a blank canvas waiting for some colors. They may also be difficult to maintain if you have small children or pets in the house. However, white walls may be a good choice is you want to focus attention on other areas of the room. If you hang expressive artwork or fill the room with beautiful furniture, white walls won’t compete for attention and will naturally guide eyes to the more colorful pieces.

Many homeowners choose shades of white to add just a touch of color to their walls, such as eggshell, seashell, lace, ivory, cream, and more.

Beige/Brown

Brown is a warm and earthy color. It can give a room an added richness and help create a soothing mood if used well. Too much brown – especially in darker shades – will make a room look small, dark, and even a little sinister. Lighter shades of brown, such as beige, are a better idea as a base wall color. Beiges offer warm neutrality without the blank, unfinished feel of a pure white. I like beiges for almost any room in the home, including the living room, a home office, a library, and a bathroom.

Blue

A pale shade of blue is a soothing and cool color. It promotes calmness and symbolizes wisdom and truth. It is a great choice for any room where you want to relax. I like pale blues for bedrooms and upstairs hallways. Darker shades of blue are also great accent choices in larger rooms or for a young boy’s bedroom. Take care not to use too dark a blue, or the room could seem small and cold.

Purple

The color of royalty usually doesn’t work as a base wall color (unless for a young girl’s bedroom), but it can be a unique and refreshing accent color. Purple combines the calm of blue with the energy of red. It symbolizes power and nobility. Purple accents can help raise the energy level of a kitchen, a guest bath, or even a home office or a crafts room. As with red, too much purple might make a room feel tense, so use with care!

This article only touches on a few of the more popular colors homeowners choose to add to their walls. A professional interior designer can sit down with you to determine what mood you want to set for your home and for each individual room. This information will help the designer develop color recommendations that are as unique as your personality!