6 Mood-Boosting Paint Colors That Will Make Your Home A Happier Place

Color experts weigh in.

When it comes to decorating a house, color is so much more than a matter of taste. In fact, plenty of scientific evidence suggests that use of color can have a major impact on a person's mood. It can create the narrative for the environment of a room. “After spending more time in our homes in the last few years, it has become increasingly important for our interiors to feel like sanctuaries. Homeowners are now seeking designs that recreate familiar comforts with healing and haptic materials, mood-boosting colors, and earth textures,” says Sherwin-Williams Director of Color Marketing Sue Wadden.

Farrow and Ball Green Smoke Paint Color in Living Room
Jeff Hurr Photography

From calming blues and earthy greens to warm reds and soothing yellows, these paint colors are more than meets the eye. “Choosing color is [about] more than aesthetics. It has the power to affect and impact our happiness, raise our spirits, and add a greater sense of well-being," says C2 Paint Color and Design Specialist Philippa Radon.

Not all shades of one color invite the same feelings. "While subjective in terms of tone, warmer hues of oranges, reds, yellows and pinks are proven mood-boosters that can stimulate your psyche to respond in an uplifting way. Not only do they add an actual brightening feeling, but colors that promote moods also connect and prompt our memory, stimulate appetite, increase energy levels, and improve our overall health and mindset,” says Radon.

Here, we've rounded up six mood-boosting paint colors that experts recommend for bringing comfort or energy to a room.

Wood Paneled Study Painted Green
David Tsay; Styling: Page Mullins

Nature-Inspired Greens

Green represents growth and life. Shades of this color are refreshing and stimulating, reminding us of the outdoors. These hues work best in spaces that lend themselves to quiet and extended concentration, like a bedroom, office, or library (like the one above, which is painted in Farrow & Ball's Card Room Green, No. 79). “Woodland-inspired hues are the perfect way to feel balanced and one with nature,” says Wadden. Try a shade like Sherwin-WIlliams Contented (SW 6191), a subtle green that is ideal for soothing tension in any space, or Benjamin Moore’s Soft Fern (2144-40).

Soft Coastal Color Kitchen
Brie Williams; Styling: Page Mullins

Cheerful Yellows

“When homeowners think of mood-boosting colors, our mind goes directly to bright colors such as yellow, and while it is a very obvious choice, most nature-inspired hues give us the same feeling,” says Wadden. Shades of yellow are known to promote imagination, happiness, and optimism like Farrow & Ball's Churlish Green, No. 251 in the kitchen above. “Many people use yellow to create a warm, friendly, positive feeling in the kitchen, the heart of the home,” adds Radon. It’s especially good to use in rooms that don’t naturally get a lot of light.

For the best mood-boosting environment, Wadden suggests balancing the brighter color with more subdued neutrals. Consider adding a pop of yellow with Sherwin-Williams Friendly Yellow (SW 6680). “It’s a light and welcoming color, perfect for a bedroom where you want to be happy but calm,” says Wadden. For a more radiant yellow, try C2 Paint’s Shine C2-623 or score a more traditional, golden hue with Palomino C2-575.

Kentucky Farmhouse Living Room
Photo: Jonny Valiant; Styling: Gena Sigala

Glorious Pinks

Warm and vibrant pinks bring a happy, uplifting feel to any space. They are hopeful and empowering even in their most delicate shade, like C2 Paint’s gentle Pillow Talk C2-514. Warmer pinks are said to increase energy and motivation, while pastels (like Foxglove C2-512, a sorbet shade that leans towards a rosy peach) bring a relaxing feel to a space. Even faint hues, like Sherwin-Williams Pinkish (SW 7112) or Farrow & Ball's Setting Plaster (No. 231) (shown above), are a great way to bring a bit more depth to a room in lieu of white walls. “The foundational warm group of colors expands to glorious pinks, sky blues, and heathery lilacs that bring a sense of cheerful optimism and joy into the home. Adding softness to these colors can provide a positive, more calming energy,” says Radon.

Allison Allen Blue Study/Living Room
Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Elly Poston Cooper

Feel Good Blues

Overall, blue is a soothing color, reminiscent of the sea or sky, which can make one feel secure. Psychologically, blue is associated with tranquility and contentment, but its variety of shades bring different feelings to the table. Soft, subtle blues provide a calmness, allowing one to feel centered and content, while cooler blues evoke feelings of quiet and solitude—making that entire end of the spectrum a good choice for bedrooms. Deep, vibrant blues, on the other hand, feel energetic, a mix of playfulness and sophistication—as seen in this sitting room painted Farrow & Ball's Hague Blue, No. 30. Heathery lilacs and powerful violet shades like C2 Paint’s Portuguese Dawn C2-780 and Bella Donna C2-782 fall into this same lively category.

2018 Idea House in Austin, Texas Guest Bedroom
Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

Warm Reds

Red is a powerful color and one you might not think to use in your home, but in earth-toned shades, the subtle pop of color takes on a different feel like the walls of this bedroom painted in Sherwin-Williams Cavern Clay (SW 7701). “Our 2023 Color of the Year, Redend Point (SW 9081) is inspired by the feeling of exploration and comfort that people now want to feel in their homes. The warm, baked earth shades of this hue offer an inviting and homey feel with a sense of security and stability that can make us feel in a space full of serenity,” says Wadden. To jazz up a space (like a powder room) with high energy, opt for a sassier, more modern red like C2 Paint’s Red Stiletto C2-522.

Alabama Cabin Laundry Room Painted Orange
Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Kiera Coffee

Zingy Oranges

Orange may not be top of my mind for your home's paint overhaul, but this citrus color is one of the most social and energy-inducing colors. “Oranges and reds are known stimulants often seen in restaurants because they increase appetite and encourage engagement,” explains Radon. While it might not be the first choice for quieter spaces, this personality-filled color that encourages positive connection and sparks excitement can improve moods in shared spaces such as a family room or kitchen. Try a subtle shade like Benjamin Moore’s Seville Oranges (131) or a more energetic orange like C2 Paint’s Brouhaha C2-585 or Sherwin-Williams Fame Orange (SW 6346), as seen in this laundry room.

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