Warm Versus Cool Paint Hues 

February 10, 2023

Color is one of the most important design components for any room. The color that is used on the floors, walls, ceiling, and furnishings can set a mood for any space. Before starting any design, many experts will work with clients to determine if they would like a warm color palette for their home or a cool one. 

While the choices for these color schemes can be endless, let’s take a moment to explore the fundamental differences in warm versus cool paint hues. This may help make your color choices easier when determining the personality, mood, and vibe of each room in your home. 

warm vs cool colors

What Are Warm Colors? 

According to Art In Context online, “We can trace the meanings of warm and cool colors all the way back from the Renaissance and the Middle Ages to Classical Antiquity. At first, all colors – including black and white – were linked to the four elements of earth, water, fire, and air. But it was Sir Isaac Newton who, in 1704, discovered the color wheel and laid out the colors on the light spectrum – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet – in a circle.” 

Warm colors are described as the colors orange, red, yellow, and combinations of these and similar colors. More often than not, warm colors make one think about warm things such as flames from a crackling fire or sunlight warmth on our faces. 

How Can Warm Colors Set a Mood? 

Warm colors can make a large room feel more intimate and have a sense of welcoming and inviting. It is for this reason that color experts at Apartment Therapy believe that ​​warm colors are best utilized in social rooms of a house, such as the living room, dining room, or kitchen. They will stimulate and encourage warm, social behavior.

What Are Cool Colors? 

On the other side of the color wheel are the colors that are considered “cool.” The Cool colors are typically considered to be blue, green, and light purple, although the colors that are adjacent to each other such as red and purple and yellow and green can become hybrids of warm and cool depending upon the shade chosen. 

Where Are Cool Colors Best Used? 

Cool colors evoke feelings of soothing and calm and are therefore great for bedrooms where busy working adults looking to relax and escape the stressors of the day. Bathrooms are also a great space to use cool tones as they can be an oasis to luxuriate in the bath or shower. 

Cool colors are great for spaces that you would like to visually enlarge. The cool colors tend to recede while warm colors jump out at a viewer. It is for this reason that many homeowners refreshing small rooms tend to use cooler tones. 

What side of the color wheel are you most attracted to for your lifestyle and personality? Check out all the great colors our clients have used in our portfolio section on our website


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