Guide to Warm vs. Cool Paint Colors

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Are you trying to pick out paint colors for your home? The first question to ask is what mood you want for the room. Paint color doesn’t just impact your home décor; it influences how you and your guests feel in a room. A warm, energetic color in your office can help you feel inspired and productive. In contrast, using a cool, soothing color to paint your bedroom walls can help you relax and fall asleep. The mood you want for the room will impact whether you choose a cool or warm color.

What are cool and warm colors?

All of the rainbow colors, and every shade in between, fall into one of two categories: cool or warm. Interior designers often talk about these categories because whether a color is cool or warm has the most significant impact on the mood it sets. What type you choose can even impact the temperature of a room!

cool interior paint colors, glastonbury ctCool Colors

Blue, green, and purple are cool colors. Any color with blue, green, or purple undertones is also considered cool. Cool colors evoke nature’s beauty: lush plant life, crystalline water, and clear skies. These colors have a calming effect and make small rooms feel more open.

Cool neutrals, like paper white and slate grey, make a room feel sleek and fresh. If you live in a hot place, choosing cool colors can even reduce your room temperature. The best rooms to paint in cool colors are the bathrooms and bedrooms.

Warm Colors

Red, orange, and yellow are the three primary warm colors. Any color with red, orange, or yellow undertones is also considered warm. Warm colors evoke the look and feel of heat and sunshine and tend to make you feel energized and happy.

If you want to heat your home, choose warm colors! Neutrals with a warm undertone, like cream or caramel brown, make large rooms feel cozy. Warm colors make large spaces seem more intimate. These colors are ideal for home offices, kitchens, and living rooms.

warm paint colors, west hartford ctCan you mix cool and warm colors?

Mixing warm and cool colors is a great idea! Most interior designs recommend adding accents that contrast with the primary wall color. If your bedroom is painted a cool color, bringing in linens and art in warm colors. Add accent pillows and décor in cool colors if your living walls are warm colors. Bringing in design elements that contrast with the wall color will create balance and make your décor pop.

Should I choose warm or cool colors to brighten a room?

You may be surprised at how bright or dark a room feels, which isn’t determined by whether the wall color is cool or warm. Both cool and warm paints can reflect light or dominate a space. What impacts the lighting in a room is how dark or light the color is. If you want to brighten a dark room, choose a light shade. If you want to tone down a room with lots of natural light, choose a dark shade.

Narrowing down paint choices can be tough! Deciding what mood you want to set is a great place to start. Finding the best color for a room is much easier once you know if you want a cool or warm color. If you need extra help, work with our experts at Franklin Painting! We include a free 90-minute paint color consultation before the project starts to ensure you find the perfect color for your home.

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