9 Calming Colors for a Serene Home

With life more hectic than ever, we are all eager to fashion our homes as restful, relaxing sanctuaries. For a haven away from the cares of the world, include such essentials as comfortable furnishings and objects with sentimental value. Thoughtful color selection is another effective way to achieve serenity. Soothing shades range from snowy white to soft blue, foggy gray to pale peach. All radiate a sense of calm, helping you regroup, recharge, and face each day with renewed energy.

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  1. Light Gray


    Want to re-create the almost palpable relaxing mood found here? Begin by painting the walls in a "barely there" shade of gray. Next, layer in slightly darker colors along with a few fun but understated patterns. Finish off the inviting, uncluttered look with white-painted trim and sheer window treatments.

    Related: 21 Expert Picks for Fail-Safe Colors


  2. Pale Blue


    Pale blue brightens up even a sunny dining room like this one, where white-painted furniture delivers a dose of freshness, even as the pale yellow ceiling offers a nice surprise.

    Related: Look! 11 Painted Ceilings That Wow


  3. Off-White


    Off-white looks especially lovely when paired with warm wood tones. Here, the sliding glass door allows the not-too-white white to reflect the sun's ray throughout the day, an effect that brightens the space even more—without overwhelming.


  4. Lavender


    Few guests would expect a lavender foyer, but what nicer way is there to greet family and friends? Offering a pleasing counterpoint are the gray accents in the carpeting and furniture. All together, the feeling is one of mellow cheer.


  5. White


    Designed for dreaming, this seaside bedroom sends a clear message to fans of all-white interiors: Commit to your passion 100 percent! 


  6. Sage Green


    A luxurious bathroom can be a wonderful place to unwind, and with walls painted a soft sage green, the relaxation factor increases tenfold. No matter the context—be it a bathroom or another space—cream accents always pair well with sage green. 


  7. Putty


    In this welcoming kitchen, the walls are painted Urban Putty (available from Sherwin-Williams), while the eating alcove features a slightly darker shade. That choice cozies up the banquette, making it a calm retreat and the perfect place to begin or end a long day.


  8. Peach


    Peach is not a color one often sees in home design, but perhaps we should consider it more often. In this gracious living room, peach pairs with white and soft green, resulting in a pleasingly tropical feel that lifts the spirits of all who enter.


  9. Pale Yellow


    If you like the look of soothing yellow, consider a soft shade of straw, faded ocher, or lemon-mousse (pictured here). Filled with a medley of neutral furniture—and a few pops of purple for fun—this living room sets a serene scene.

    Related: What's the Best Color for Living Rooms?


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