Chill Out with a Cool Color Palette

Bedroom with tall blue velvet headboard and woven blue blanket over white sheets

Now that winter is upon us, it’s most appropriate to introduce the cool colors and their calming effects.

Opposite the warm colors on the color wheel, you’ll find the cool color palette of blues, greens, and violets. Also called receding colors, they make surfaces appear to move away from the eye.  They give the impression of spaciousness so use them in a small room to make it seem larger. Cool colors are great for private rooms like a home office, powder room, or bedroom.

Blue, a clear favorite among men, signifies honesty, loyalty, pride, and calmness. The universal color of the sky and ocean, blue’s restorative powers lower your blood pressure and relax the nervous system. A flexible color, it can be used in almost any room.

Classic blue combinations include white and blue; red, white, and blue; and yellow, white, and blue. Due to the popularity of blue (its Americans’ favorite color!), many consider it a neutral these days.  Think of your favorite pair of blue denim jeans that you can wear with any color shirt or shoes.

We associate the color green with Mother Nature, evoking feelings of freshness, rejuvenation, and tranquility. Like blue, green exhibits healing abilities and helps us feel balanced. Lighter greens are soothing and relaxing while darker shades are sophisticated.  For a classic feel, try the earthy colors of forest green, moss, or olive. If you are drawn to a high energy green like lime-yellow, tone it down with a neutral.

Like its blue neighbor, green is a “new neutral.” Admire a bouquet of mixed flowers and the green stems and leaves that play well with an orange tiger lily, yellow daffodil, or purple iris – really, any flower blossom of any color. So go ahead and pair any green color with almost any other color in your home décor.

Cool purples, those closer to the blue family than red, are also restful as well as delicate and romantic.  Violet and lavender colors which enhance our brain power and creativity are therefore well suited for a homework zone, women’s office, or craft room. Combine purples with metallics like silver and bronze for a touch of glamour.

So I invite you to settle into your favorite easy chair with a cozy afghan and chill out with a cool color palette. You will find it most relaxing.

Barbara Graceffa owns and operates Secretary of the Interior in Quincy, MA offering creative solutions at reasonable rates.

Learn more about her decorating, downsizing, decluttering and home décor sewing services, decorating workshops, and quilt programs and shows at, and enjoy her art quilts on Instagram @secretaryinteriordecorating.

You can reach her at 617.921.6033.

By Barbara Graceffa

Barbara Graceffa, CEO of Secretary of the Interior, serves decorating clients; assists with professional organizing, home staging and moving assistance; teaches on these subjects; and delivers quilt lectures and trunk shows.

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: