Warm color schemes are a great way to give your interiors a sense of comfort and coziness. This system can be created by combinations across the color spectrum. From dark and moody combinations that give your room a warm feel, to pops of bright color, there are several ways to get creative with your color choices and some of the great combinations out there.
“A warm color scheme evokes prosperity in a space. It can open up a room while also creating depth,” explains Tiffany Hoyle of interior design studio, Night Palm. “People usually feel emotionally drawn to a warmer color palette because it provides a sense of calm while primary colors tend to dissonance”.
What’s more, warmth is a scheme that can work in many spaces. “I usually find clients who like to use a warmer color palette in their bedrooms to create a sense of comfort and intimacy,” Tiffany says.
Using warm colors is a great way to create foundational moments throughout the home. I tend to use brighter colors through art or objects. However you want to inject a little warmth into your home, here are our favorite furniture ideas, wallpaper, and paint colors to make your home a relaxing haven.
How to create warm color schemes
If you are looking for a comfortable and warm home, regardless of texture, color is the way to achieve it. “Color is incredibly emotive and we have deep-rooted associations with certain colors and shades of color,” says Joe Littlefair, director and co-founder of luxury interior design studio Goddard Littlefair.
“Layers on top of these are a delight when you see the color and pattern blended in such a skillful way that your heart sings a little bit.”
It’s experiencing something refreshing, a little different or unexpected that gives us all a mental boost. Think of your room as a canvas with focus areas and dark areas and ask yourself what you want to highlight and what you want to bring back into shadow. Here’s how to use color to create warmth.
1. Go monochromatic with brown
For a warm ’70s look, layer brown in a monochromatic color scheme. This example is by celebrity designer, Tiffany Howell, of the Los Angeles design studio, Night Palm (Opens in a new tab), who transformed Mara Brooke Akil’s office space into a chic and classic ’70s oasis inspired by Phyllis Hyman’s love ballad. The space is decorated in a mix of vintage and contemporary pieces, and every aspect of the room and piece of furniture is solid colors that match the bold brown and white scheme.
“I’ve seen such an inspiring Mara throughout this project,” Tiffany says. It was my primary design inspiration and delved into a sensory study of the things that moved it. I wanted to create a space that showcased her love of fun and ’80s nostalgia, but also reflected her poise as an elegant and classic woman. The Entire Office is a ’70s Phyllis Hyman love song.
I wanted to create a space that feels like a beautiful home and a safe haven to boost creativity. To soften the industrial interior, she filled the space with vintage and contemporary pieces in hues of ivory, camel, rose, and cognac punctuated by unexpected moments of burnt orange and chocolate brown. The result is a welcoming atmosphere with warm tones and textures like velvet and worn leather.
2. Yellow scalar and neutral
This colorful and eclectic French villa was designed by interior designer Laura Gonzalez (Opens in a new tab)Filled with charm, character and warmth. In this particular room, yellow and neutrals create a cheerful palette that welcomes the French sunlight pouring in through the windows.
The warmth of the colors is reflected in the fabrics used in the chairs, as well as the rug under the foot and the patterned wall. The comfort of the room is further amplified by the fireplace – it is a space for well-being and relaxation.
3. Dark green and chocolate brown
A great place to bring a little warmth into your color scheme is your bedroom ideas, where a dark and moody interior can feel like a warm hug while you drift off to sleep. This was a project for the London home of a Chinese calligrapher. Designers goal Holloway Lee (Opens in a new tab), to bring traditional Chinese design principles into the Edwardian space. The colors used are deep green and brown, with gold accents to add a touch of sophistication and elevate the palette.
We chose handcrafted Chinoiserie wallpaper by De Gournay for the master bedroom and paired it with a rosewood four-poster bed covered in dark green and gold.
“The result of these colors created an almost royal feeling of serene luxury, while adhering to the Yuan Yi principles of the sleeping area being compact, private and subdued.”
5. Red and yellow
For a more fiery scheme that adds real heat to your room, don’t be afraid to go for a red and yellow combo. Here, living room wall art is used as inspiration for the rest of the room and the room is tied together with pillows that mimic artwork.
“This was the home of a North Carolina State University chancellor, so it’s a residence for someone who enjoys being entertained a lot and is a leader in the community,” explains Jodi Beckett of Design Lines Signature. (Opens in a new tab).
Because of the purpose of the room, it was important to make the space feel warm and welcoming. Oversized artwork in rich, saturated shades of orange and red instantly brightens up the room and sets the pop of color on the sofa tie beautifully to create a welcoming atmosphere, she says.
5. Brown and white
Bring out the deep chocolate nature of brown by contrasting it with stark white as seen in this project in St. Tropez, by Parisian designer Stephanie Cotas (Opens in a new tab). White provides a great backdrop to also emphasize the textures and fabrics used in the earthy-toned living room, as well as interesting color accents.
“Earth tones are becoming more popular with more subtle and less bright color combinations,” she says. I think complementing soft nude tones with heavier hues, like turquoise, can create a more striking effect against these natural hues. Adding pops of color to the interior creates an element of surprise but also provides a warm and unique setting.
For most of my interior design projects, I tend to favor warm and neutral color palettes, combined with a combination of luxurious fabrics and textures to create a calm, sophisticated and cheerful vibe while providing a base on which artwork and design pieces can stand out against.”
6. Light pink and black
This is Kelly Wearstler’s geometry (Opens in a new tab) The scheme consists of a combination of shades of pink painted on the walls and a contrasting black, with the bold even color used for trim along the floor.
The final effect is a warm, dramatic and inviting dining room space, perfect for entertaining.
7. Dark green and orange
The designers at White Arrow (Opens in a new tab) They created a cozy feel in the cozy living room of a New York townhouse using jewel tones. Orange was chosen as an effective contrast color to go with the green in this emerald shade. The color scheme reflects the space, which is a movie room.
We’ve amplified the comfort of the room, camouflaging a fairly large screen TV, with a rich color palette. The more traditional atmosphere is equally created with a mix of antiques, contemporary pieces, and multi-layered floral motifs in block-print pillows and an antique Chinese Art Deco rug, explains Keren Richter.
We love the deep emerald green when paired with jewel tones and classic neutrals. Camel or marigold, wine, plum, and navy all work well with the color. The deep green works particularly well with brass fixtures and faucets and feels historic, classic and timeless.
‘Contrast between dark colors and lighter accents creates warmth and when paired with layered lighting or warmer hues, it helps the room glow. Like a large plant or flower bouquet at home, green brings life and easily connects with nature and reminds you of the outdoors.’
8. Purple and yellow
For a cheerful color scheme that works like a bright sunbeam, this colorful living room idea is outfitted with an elevator with accents of yellow throughout the room, in the form of drapes, wall-mounted light fixtures, and a good setting. A book on the purple couch.
This use of color is what makes the interior warm and inviting. This design is the penthouse of my friend Jamie Clayton. She’s a colorful person and isn’t afraid to use colour . explains designer David Casaroli (Opens in a new tab).
My idea was to use color, as a rule, to balance colors, to unite the painting in an ongoing dialogue. Beige, orange, mustard, and pink represent shades of this space, and on the other hand, gray and blue represent balance.
What rooms in the house have a warm color scheme
When thinking about how to paint your home in warm colors, consider the purpose of each room in the house.
“We strive to create a sanctuary space in the bedroom, in a quiet, warm and welcoming setting yet clear and uncluttered, away from the hustle and bustle of the public areas,” says Jo Littlefair of Goddard Littlefair. (Opens in a new tab). The key to this is the color, material and shape of all the elements in the room. Much of the choice of colors is subjective, so really wonder how you will respond emotionally to a selection of colors before finally moving on to a final palette. We tend to shy away from strong, strong colors with contrasting accents, yet we have used colors in bedrooms to great effects, and the right choice of darker tone can sometimes work brilliantly in producing a nocturnal cocoon.
For the bathroom, steer clear of using a very stark scheme in white. Using two shades of color on the walls together adds softness and layering.
Keeping the ceiling and the majority of the walls off-white helps maintain that sense of space while dropping some textured elements in the color helping for a layer of warmth and interest. Also add softness and color to your bathroom with houseplants placed on an antique side table or a bathroom pull-out stool.