Best colors for kids room

The Best Room Colors For Kids, Based on Science

The Best Room Colors For Kids, According to Color Psychology

17 August 2020 • Words by Lauren Breedlove 4 mins

4 mins

17 August 2020 • Words by Lauren Breedlove 4 mins

The environment we live in impacts our mood, outlook, behavior, and even our wellbeing. Lighting, color, and decoration all play a part. This certainly rings true for the colors in our kids’ rooms. According to a study done by the University of California, children are extra sensitive and impressionable about their surroundings. Their findings suggest that younger kids respond positively to lighter colors while dark shades tend to have a more negative association. Knowing this, it’s important to consider the effect that colors have on their environment for sleep and relaxation purposes. 

Color psychologists recommend painting your child’s room with a calming palette to help prevent overstimulation and anxiety and assist in promoting calmness, relaxation, and learning. So, while fun, vibrant colors might come to mind when decorating your little one’s room, it’s important to remember that sleep is the main function of their bedroom. Bright colors are best left for the playroom. Yellow, for instance, is a cute, upbeat color, but the lively daytime effect it gives off might disrupt sleep patterns for your kids. Instead, you could consider a pale, yellow accent color to create a bright, airy effect.


When choosing a paint color, psychology suggests that you want to strike a balance between dark and light shades. Darker tones can hinder mindfulness, affecting sleep quality and patterns. The goal is to create a comfortable space that feels safe and serene for your child to promote a positive frame of mind. This can be accomplished with pale or muted color schemes, as well as neutrals and earth tones vs bold and overly-vibrant shades.

Instead of stark white, off-whites like cream, eggshell or ivory, will add some warmth in addition to opening up the room, space-wise. Adding accents of a very pale pink or green creates a calming combination while adding a bit of depth to the decor. 

Soft Blues

A study conducted by the Journal of Applied Psychology concluded that lighter blues can have a positive emotional effect on children. Make sure to avoid darker hues and opt for soft, warm colors to set a more tranquil ambiance. For example, a sky or pale blue. Lighter-toned blues are actually said to slow heart rates and reduce blood pressure, as well as create a meditative effect.

Light Greens

Besides being a great gender-neutral color option, subtle greens like sage, moss or a faded mint shade can also be very soothing. Light greens have been known to promote health as well as concentration for learning; proof that getting a healthy dose of greens is always a good idea.

Faded Lavenders

A twist on the classic pale pink, softer purples like lavender, lilac, violet and periwinkle promote relaxation. This is exactly what you’re going for when choosing a color for your child’s room. These powdery tones can create a more serene environment compared to a darker, more intense purple.

Warm Beiges and Grays

Neutral, earthy tones with warm properties will also add feelings of calm and contentment to your child’s room. The uniformity of beige, tan and soft grays promotes peacefulness and rest. In addition, these colors can be a great choice for siblings of different genders that share a bedroom.

To combine more than one color, you can use layers or accents with some of the pastel and subtle shades. The important thing is to avoid creating an atmosphere that clashes or appears too busy as it may result in overstimulation before bedtime. 

For the color impaired, this is a handy tool for choosing complementary paint colors from the color wheel.

Shy away from intense or bold colors like bright reds and deep purples. Opting for muted tones can have a positive impact on your child’s mood and promote sleep and relaxation. When picking out a color, go one or two shades lighter. It’s a safer bet as it almost always appears darker once applied to the wall

Lauren Breedlove

21 Best Kids Room Paint Colors

Selecting a paint color for your bedroom walls is an activity that anyone can get excited about—whether you're a kid begging for bright aqua paint or an adult looking to promote relaxation with a soothing, pale green. If your current paint necessities are kid-centric, it might take a little more thought and collaboration to nail down the right color for your kid. You'll want to make sure it's something they like that fits their personality but also a color they can grow into that's stylish. Ahead, we've laid out a few designer-approved ideas—from a light, energizing yellow to a sea blue. Whether you go through these with your kid or are in the process of designing a nursery for a new family member on the way, there's sure to be at least one color that'll help bring your kid's bedroom to life.

And if you feel as though you could benefit from a few more tips on how to design a room your kids will actually love, we have you covered with useful tips and tricks by age group.


Soft Pink

arent & pyke

For this bedroom, Arent & Pyke opted for modern, sculptural pieces that strike a careful balance between playful and grown-up. The soft pink walls contrast nicely with the upholstered headboard by Kelly Wearstler.

BUY NOW Try Backdrop Rose Quartz, $45



stacey van berkel

Soft purple walls with mint green trim give this room by MA Allen Interiors a magical aura. It was designed to empower the client's two-year-old granddaughter so that she could "grow and pursue anything under the sun," says the North Carolina-based designer.

BUY NOW Try Benjamin Moore Lavender Ice, $49


Vivid Green


"Less conventional than your typical navy, this striking green plays well with blue, red, gray, black, and even wood tones, making it the perfect accent color for a bedroom that can easily grow with its inhabitant," says designer Emily C. Butler of this room she dreamt up for her client's son in their New York City apartment.

BUY NOW Try Farrow & Ball Verdigris Green, $46



Jorge Gera

Gray may not seem like a very fun color to use in a kid's room, but a shade with blue undertones—like in this room by designer Tom Stringer—can make it more enticing. Not to mention, the shade is the perfect backdrop for bright furniture and accessories.

BUY NOW Farrow & Ball Parma Gray, $46



Arent & Pyke

If you like the idea of a neutral gray, consider giving it a bit more interest by adding a textural element, like shiplap, to one or more of the walls. Add playful accents as Arent & Pyke did in this room.

BUY NOW Try Backdrop Italian Plaster, $45


Deep Teal

jessica antola

A fresh coat of deep turquoise livens up this kids' room designed by Starrett Hoyt Ringbom. Stacked antique trunks become extra surface and storage space, and a large wall map gives the room more character.

BUY NOW Try Benjamin Moore Dark Teal, $49


Bright Pink

luke white

This little girl's room by designer Barry Dixon is full of fun treasures, but the bright pink wall really makes it an exciting space to spend time in.

BUY NOW Try Backdrop Shy Boys, $45




While this girl's room by designer Caitlin Wilson features grasscloth on the walls, it's the perfect inspiration for a paint choice. A peach paint will easily offer a lively feel without being too overwhelming.

BUY NOW Try Benjamin Moore Orange Creamsicle, $49




An off-white with a bit of gray, like the shade in this bedroom designed by Emily Henderson, can be all you need to let your kid's room transform as they grow. The universal backdrop will look good no matter how their style changes over the years.

BUY NOW Try Backdrop Moonstone, $45




For a small kid's room, designer Kelly Finley of Joy Street Design incorporated a custom bed with built-in storage. It boasts a bright orange interior, which was inspired by the color palette of a pillow that the child liked.

BUY NOW Try Benjamin Moore Carrot Stick, $49


Blue and Yellow Stripes


There's no rule you can't use more than one color! “We wanted the children’s bedroom to be whimsical but sophisticated enough for them to grow into,” explains designer Garrow Kedigian. “We painted blue and yellow lines vertically in wide stripes on the walls in the flavor of a circus tent theme.”

Use the exact colors to get the same look in your kids' room below.

BUY NOW Benjamin Moore Alfresco, $49

BUY NOW Benjamin Moore Hawthrone Yellow, $49



john merkl

Take note of the vibrant red-meets-pink color on the walls in this room by Studio Heimat. With walls drenched in this color, you can fill your kid's room with more neutral furnishings that last for years to come.

BUY NOW Try Benjamin Moore Berry Wine, $49


Cerulean Blue

Courtesy of David Tsay for Emily Henderson Designs

Go with a dark, rich shade of blue—as seen here in this bedroom bt designer Emily Henderson—that'll make your kid love the room even when they hit the stage where you're not allowed inside of it.

BUY NOW Try Behr Cerulean, $44


Light Yellow

Simon Upton

If their room is bright and cheerful, they'll be more energized to get their homework done. A light yellow can easily help achieve this atmosphere.

BUY NOW Try Backdrop Disco Nap, $45



Courtesy of Bethany Nauert for Emily Henderson Designs

They're going to be drawing all over the walls anyway, so you might as well embrace it by covering a wall will chalkboard paint. Take inspo from this room by Emily Henderson, which features a chalkboard wall with framed art displayed toward the top.

BUY NOW Try Rust-Oleum Specialty Black Chalkboard Paint, $13



Victoria Pearson

This shade of blue may be the most versatile color ever, because it works with almost anything from coral, to pink, to green, to yellow.

BUY NOW Try Glidden Essentials Echo Lake Aqua Flat, $16



Courtesy of Philip Gorrivan

A classic sand color is neutral enough to work over several years and can act as a foundation, so the details can change as the child starts exploring their own personal style.

BUY NOW Try Clare Like Buttah, $64


Sea Blue

Alec Hemer

No underwater-themed bedroom is complete without walls that are reminiscent of the sea. Naturally, a sea blue makes an excellent candidate.

BUY NOW Try Behr Sea of Tranquility, $41


Pale Green

Courtesy of Fiona Newell Weeks

The brightness of this color makes the room feel bigger than it really is and abundant in natural light, even though the window is relatively small.

BUY NOW Try Benjamin Moore Chic Lime, $49



Courtesy of Young House Love

Pure white can feel a little stark, so warm up the space with an eggshell shade. That way, you're still in the neutral family, and you can add contrast with decor and accent pieces.

See more at Young House Love.

BUY NOW Try Glidden Essentials Antique White Eggshell, $80


Sky Blue

Courtesy of Krista Nye Schwartz

This more toned-down blue gives the room a relaxing vibe (so hopefully they'll actually fall asleep by their bedtime).

BUY NOW Try Benjamin Moore Clear Skies, $49

Sienna Livermore Senior Editor Sienna is a senior editor at Hearst.

Kelly Allen Associate Editor Kelly Allen is the current Associate Editor at House Beautiful, where she covers design, pop culture, and travel for digital and the print magazine.

Psychologists' advice on decorating the interior of a children's room and choosing colors for a nursery, photo

Consider in this article psychologists' advice on choosing colors for decorating a children's room. What colors do you prefer?

As you know, human thinking is directly related to visual perception.

Psychologists advise to surround a child of the first two years of life with soft, calm and desaturated colors. When he grows up, the children's room, on the contrary, becomes the brightest, most cheerful and colorful room in the house.
The baby's room should be soft and cozy, in restrained colors. It can be a combination of warm shades of blue or blue in combination with pastel yellow, light beige colors. These colors create a sense of security and comfort.

Children's furniture painted in bright, contrasting color combinations can make a room cheerful and bright, while the walls, floor and ceiling can be calm, light shades.

In such an environment, the child will be able to fully play, study and relax.

According to psychologists, starting from the fourth year of life, a child begins to prefer contrasting, bright and joyful colors: yellow, blue, orange, red, bright pink. During this period, it is important to use bright colors in the interior design of the children's room, as such colors create a sunny and mobile atmosphere in the children's bedroom and playroom.

Too dark shades of colors are not desirable for decorating a child's room, because the closer to black a shade of any color is, the more depressing effect it has on the psyche and perception of a person.

Light and bright shades, on the contrary, evoke positive emotions. Scientists have found that a good, high spirits can also be created using the color of ivory - light with a golden hue, light beige, and the pale blue color of the walls normalizes blood pressure and improves the general condition.

Two-tone walls are an interesting solution. For example, combinations of light yellow and light blue colors, but not monophonic, but with small patches of a different shade of the same color: this dilutes the monotony of color, gives the room a picturesque look that is pleasing to the eye. The room will not turn out boring in this version.

It is important to choose the right shade of color. Usually, for a girl's room, parents choose colors in pinkish tones, for a boy's room - colder color combinations, shades of blue and blue. However, psychologists and interior decorators do not consider the data, the most common color combinations, to be a mandatory rule. There are many other shades that can be used when decorating a boy's and girl's room. One has only to show imagination and experiment. The main thing is that the colors match each other, then the children's room will turn out to be stylish, beautiful, comfortable and your child will like it.

Psychologists recommend solving the interior of a child's room in pure, delicate colors: pink, greenish-yellow, light blue, light green, light lilac. Pastel, light colors in the nursery will create harmony, help make a dark room more fun and comfortable, if there is not enough sunlight in the room, they will create a lively, cheerful atmosphere in it. You can make the nursery interesting and beautiful using a small number of colors, for example, in beige and light lilac or light blue, light green tones with the addition of brown shades.

Experts say that a light shade of purple is well suited for a schoolchild's room, as this color gives a positive creative impulse and stimulates mental activity.

Pastel colors are preferred for newborns and toddlers. Delicate shades of pink and light blue reduce excitement, soothe and lull. Perhaps that is why these colors are so popular.

The walls of a child's room for a baby can be decorated with colorful bright details: flowers, butterflies, animals that develop the child's imagination, imagination and curiosity. You can hang light, bright, contrasting decorative elements and toys that attract the attention of the child from the ceiling. Focusing on them, the child calms down and is distracted.

Psychologists and designers do not recommend using many bright colors at the same time so that the room does not become clumsy and colorful. You should be especially careful with the use of intense red and orange shades, since their abundance can irritate the child, the child can quickly get tired of a large number of too bright colors.

The child's temperament and character are of great importance when choosing the main color for a child's room.

For example, in the design of a room for a small phlegmatic or melancholic person, you can use separate, small bright red objects that stand out with colored spots, or paste over the walls with soft pink or blue wallpaper. Such a background and bright red spots will moderately stimulate the activity of the child and increase his immunity.

Delicate shades of blue-blue background will be appropriate in the room of a restless child - choleric or easily excitable, impulsive sanguine with an explosive temperament. It is also believed that all shades of blue have the ability to strengthen the child's body and stimulate its development.

But in a children's room with orange walls, curtains and a lot of colorful toys, it will be difficult for an active child to become quiet and obedient, finish the game on time and go to bed, because the abundance of bright orange and red tones has an exciting effect on the psyche.

Psychologists advise parents who choose the color scheme for the room of their beloved baby, be sure to find out his opinion: ask what color he likes himself, because color preferences reflect the emotional needs of a person. By listening to the opinion of your child, you will make his room such that not only you, but also its little owner will like it.

Children's color selection: detailed guide



1 star2 stars3 stars4 stars5 stars

We analyze the psychological aspect, the appropriateness of different colors in the children's room and give useful tips on choosing a shade.


Making out the interior of the nursery, you need to take into account various aspects. What color in the nursery can affect the development of the baby and the formation of his character? How to help a child deal with difficulties or, conversely, distract from negative situations by choosing the right shade? Experiment with the design, not forgetting that the child's worldview may not coincide with yours. Keep track of his mood and condition and act on this basis.

Choosing a color for a nursery

Psychological factor

Analysis of different colors

Selection Tips

Myth: Colors affect everyone the same

Books and modern textbooks on psychological influence, even a book on feng shui, give the same principles of how colors affect a person.

How really?

Each color has its own meaning only within a certain culture. For example, for a European, white symbolizes purity and innocence, and for a resident of China, it symbolizes death. In the Chinese tradition, the color of knowledge is blue, and in the European tradition it is yellow, it is he who activates the activity of the brain. Colors do not act objectively, immediately on the subconscious and physiology, but subjectively, through the cultural environment. And it is unlikely that in practice a mixture of information obtained from European psychological literature and the postulates of the Feng Shui teaching will have a special effect.

Myth: Color can make a child learn

For example, a child does not study well and does not want to play sports. Wanting to help him, you change the color scheme of the interior to red, stimulating activity. And you are waiting for the result.

How really?

It is better to refuse such approach. Each person has a special temperament, temperament, and individually reacts to events and influences. If a child is closed and inclined to soar in the clouds, red wallpaper and furniture will not make him an excellent student and the soul of the company. Yes, they will stimulate activity, but it will most likely remain internal. Moreover, the child is more likely to suppress it in order to maintain his calmness. Such internal conflict can even lead to neurosis.

Children's room in white flowers

In many nations, white is a symbol of good luck, kindness, life. White brings hope, energy and the power of transformation. It effectively tones up, and also has a beneficial effect on closed and constrained children, their self-esteem increases. However, the dominant white can cause a feeling of impregnability and superiority over others, as well as the impression of excessive sterility of the room. It is best used in combination with other colors. White is perfect for Scandinavian-style nurseries.

Instagram @vladlen_gontar

Instagram @olga_kurbakovskih


People who prefer gray do not believe that emotions can change anything, they do not believe in the sincerity of experiences; believe that feelings should be shown only in certain circumstances (but not now). Hence their constant stiffness, restraint and, consequently, emotional exhaustion. Gray color stabilizes the environment, but it is dual. On the one hand, it has a negative meaning: a person in a gray room feels isolated, separated from others. On the other hand, in its positive meaning, gray corresponds to stability and confidence that the best is yet to come. This duality is associated with the peculiarities of the impact on a person of various shades.

Designers R. Masiokienė, V. Kalinauskienė Photo by V. Nefedov

Instagram @kovriki_parklon

Light gray calms. Moreover, it causes a slight feeling of peace, freedom, determines a good psychoenergetic state. And dark gray, on the contrary, reflects unreasonable anxiety, is devoid of internal energy, it crushes. Any shade of gray does not encourage action. A dark gray room is not suitable for healthy children, as it is the color of illness, passivity, boredom.


Yellow represents the mind - it is believed that it affects the intellectual development, stimulates the expansion of cognitive interests. It helps to overcome difficulties, promotes concentration. Under the influence of yellow, a person makes decisions quickly.

Yellow stimulates the development of intuition and intelligence. Its presence in the nursery has a positive effect on absolutely all aspects of a child's life: it activates the activity of the brain, improves mood, increases the speed of perception, visual acuity. Yellow is contraindicated only in cases where the child is too excitable.




Green room - room for relaxation. It promotes introspection, stimulates the desire of a person to understand himself, does not require anything and does not call anywhere. A person under the influence of green becomes more attentive - that is why in the past desks were covered with green cloth, and table lamps had green shades. In addition, the dominance of the green scale contributes to a good mood, helps to fight insomnia. Drawings, toys and book bindings, green children's furniture - what a child needs.

Instagram @vika_kydryashka

Instagram @babyroom_love


Red is a source of energy, it represents power, breakthrough, will to win. Red and burgundy colors have an exciting effect on the nervous system, increase blood pressure. Hypotension and apathetic, inactive children will feel better in an interior with bright red accents. The red color of the walls in the nursery is definitely superfluous, it is better to add it accentuated. With prolonged exposure, this color negatively affects the children's psyche, so an interior with a predominance of red can cause headaches and nightmares. Children living in such a room are more likely to quarrel.


Archimede Tre


Warm, joyful and energetic color has all the advantages of red, but does not carry aggression, acts rather softly. He constantly keeps in good shape, is associated with self-affirmation, the desire to achieve the goal. Almost always, it has a beneficial effect, as it improves mood, evoking thoughts about the positive aspects of life (unlike blue). Orange helps a person feel more relaxed and free, tunes in to optimism and openness in communication. According to researchers in the child's psyche, all kids love orange. It promotes digestion, increases appetite, but busting with this color in the interior can cause overwork in a child, and sometimes even dizziness. Therefore, it is best if only a few details are orange in the nursery. Orange has an activating effect on closed children, helps to get rid of fears. It stimulates the development of creative abilities.

Instagram @_textile_design_

Instagram @baumeister.vlz

Children's pink

The warmth of this color dissolves negativity. The prevailing pink indicates a person's need for protection, his detachment from real life, his departure into the world of dreams, fairy tales and lofty thoughts. Excessive passion for pink suggests that the teenager considers himself too thin, emotional, aristocratic in nature, which is difficult to fit into the surrounding rough world. If you want to raise your child to be a leader, domineering and tough, this color is not suitable for his room.

Instagram @irinaraykher

Instagram @ddstudio.zt

Winfried Heinze/


Blue depresses the nervous system, causes a weakening of the pulse, relieves muscle tension and dulls pain. Sometimes under its influence fatigue and depression occur. In a nursery, blue can be present only to a very limited extent: for example, pajamas, a child's dressing gown, a border on a blanket.

Instagram @design_studio_olga_sharlay

Instagram @odindomaa

1. It is better to choose a light color scheme

Avoid dark spectral transitions in the design of a nursery, because colors that smoothly turn into black have a depressing and aggressive effect on the child's psyche. Light colors, on the contrary, are more likely to fill the room with a cheerful atmosphere, very useful for the development of the child. A great solution is to use shades of ivory with golden splashes and blue, like the sky, tones for the walls.

Instagram @detskaja_tvoey_mechty

Instagram @archi_pro_interior

Pastel range is ideal for a nursery. It refreshes the room, creates a good mood. You can paint all the walls in different colors. So, a bluish or greenish wall, on which the sun's rays fall, reduces the brightness of the color and causes a feeling of coolness. A wall in the shade is best done in peach or cream. And to stimulate the creative activity of the child, Japanese designers recommend hanging children's drawings on the walls. This will give the room a personal touch.

2. Find the right combinations

A harmonious two-tone finish in a child's room can also be a good decorating idea. The combination of sand and light green dilutes the monotony and gives the interior a kind of originality and picturesqueness. Gray pastel with orange elements or in contrast with delicate lilac will look no less elegant. And the traditional combination of soft green and pink, like a second wind, enlivens the interior, filling it with vitality, energy and purity. Look for combinations!

3. Don't make the room too bright

The word "nursery" applies to completely different rooms: for playing, for studying, for sleeping. Perhaps, not every person can allocate several rooms to a child - as a rule, children both sleep and play in the same room. You should not choose too bright colors for the nursery and fill it with a lot of colorful toys, likening children's games in entertainment centers. At home, such a design will lead to the fact that the child will be constantly excited, will become capricious, demanding new entertainment from tired mom and dad, he will hardly be able to put him to bed. Do not forget that the nursery is primarily a bedroom. Bright toys that can be taken out of boxes and then put away are turned into a play area.

Instagram @comfort_v_dome


4. Consider the child's age

When designing a nursery, the child's age must be taken into account. When he is less than 2 years old, the main role is played by the tastes of his mother, through whom the child perceives the world. If you decorate the room in such a way that the mother begins to feel discomfort (even if it is a soothing blue or a yellow that stimulates development), then the son or daughter will feel uncomfortable. For general development in the nursery, it is useful to have toys in all primary colors so that the baby can learn their names.

A child aged 3-7 forms his or her idea of ​​the world through play. Therefore, the room must be designed so that it can turn into a play space. When the baby wants to sleep, toys should be put away in drawers, cabinets. In a preschooler's room, it is better to use several shades: this helps to master color standards and contributes to the emergence of various emotional states. A place for self-expression is also required - a corner for drawing on the wall or for designing.

At the age of 7-12 years, the leading activity is cognitive. The study room should not be covered with wallpaper with a bright detailed pattern, as they are distracting and interfere with concentration.

Was the article interesting?

Share link

By clicking on the "Subscribe" button,
you consent to the processing of personal data


Apartment with panoramic windows: arrange furniture and stylishly decorate the opening (60 photos)

6 tricks that will make the kitchen visually more expensive

Nothing superfluous: a modern apartment of 68 sq.

Learn more