Masterful Colors for Masterful Suites

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If your master bedroom is less than a perfect retreat, it may be time for a color makeover.

By Tammy Adamson-McMullen

If there’s any place in your home where you should feel comfortable, it’s your master suite. It is, after all, the place where you rest, unwind and rejuvenate at the end of the day.

If your master suite is less than a perfect retreat, it may be time for a new color scheme—one that promotes a feeling of calm and relaxation. Here are a few ideas based on trending colors.

Greens and Browns

Two of the most soothing colors, green and brown, come from Mother Nature and thus appeal to our natural instincts. In the green family, trending colors range from kelly to sage to blue-greens; in the brown family, from tan to caramel to coffee. To create the ultimate retreat, choose two colors—one from each family—and use them for the walls and linens. Offset these colors with white trim and accents. Select color combinations according to the effect you want to achieve: Darker greens and browns look woodsy; lighter hues are spa-like.

Blues and Browns (and Grays)

For a slightly different take on the above scheme, substitute blue for green. Blue is another calming color and likewise derives from nature. One way to use this scheme is to paint accent walls in a light to mid-tone color, such as slate blue, and all of the other walls in a light brown, like stone. Accent walls could include the wall behind the bed and the space above the vanity. Instead of paint, you might consider using a blue-and-brown wallcovering pattern on accent walls and a coordinating paint color on the remaining walls, or vice versa.

For an entirely different look, substitute gray for brown. Blue and gray schemes are abundant in home décor, from fresh looks that incorporate clear blues and light grays to moodier effects that pair complex blues and charcoal.

Purple and Yellow

You can set all kinds of moods with purple and yellow, depending on the hues you select. If you use a light purple like lavender and a soft yellow like butter, for example, your master suite will feel sunny and happy. If you choose a deeper purple like eggplant and a more complex yellow like ochre (a dense, earthy yellow), your suite will feel rich and sumptuous. Either way, purple and yellow combinations are calming. Accent lighter schemes with clean white and darker schemes with shimmery silver.

Pumpkin and Spice

Deep pumpkin is a delicious color in a master suite. The best way to use this trending color is with abandon! Try painting your entire master bedroom in pumpkin, along with one or two walls in the bathroom. To brighten the scheme, paint the remaining walls in vanilla; to deepen it, paint them in nutmeg. To add opulence, incorporate gold accents and/or choose wallcovering or linen patterns that have gold striations. You might also add a decorative glaze to the ceiling in these colors. If pumpkin isn’t to your liking, replace it with another spice tone, like deep mustard, which is also trending.

Red and Light Aqua

You may not think that red and aqua could produce a peaceful retreat, but when selected in just the right hues, they look so refreshing! Use aqua as the main paint color, applying it to the walls in both the bedroom and bath and possibly on the ceilings, and red as the accent color. Carry out the colors in fabrics on the bed and at the window and sprinkle in a healthy dose of white. Tip: White-painted wicker furniture looks fantastic in this scheme and creates a cozy cottage vibe. To make sure you pair the perfect colors in this scheme, seek advice from your local paint and decorating store.

Yellow and Gray

The popularity of yellow and gray is a fairly new phenomenon but a lovely one! One of the more popular combinations includes a light, cheery yellow and a light to mid-tone gray. Create this scheme with yellow-painted walls and gray bedding, or vice versa. Gray-toned woods, currently popular, look stunning with yellow-painted walls and yellow-and-gray patterned linens.

Yellow and gray is a popular combination in wallpaper, too. You’ll find many contemporary abstract patterns and florals in these colors to make your master suite feel fresh and on-trend. Take the look to the next level with grays that are slightly tinged—maybe with a touch of blue or green—and accents of silver or gold.

Monochromatic Schemes

Monochromatic color schemes are ideal for master suites when the color is a neutral, pastel or mid-tone. Monochromatic schemes work by using different values of a single color, creating a color flow that’s soothing to the eye.

Examples of monochromatic schemes include white on ivory, light gray on charcoal, beige on brown, light pink on rose, and sky blue on navy—all perfect for master suites. In master baths, monochromatic schemes allow more luxurious finishes and fixtures to shine. If the scheme looks static, try adding houseplants or place a colorful throw on the bed. There’s no hard-and-fast rule to this, other than making sure your master suite is perfect for you!

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