The Best Paint Colors for Your Home Office
Never underestimate the impact the right wall paint can have in a home office. Not only is it an easy way to refresh an outdated space, but the right paint hue could help increase productivity—after all, some paint colors are believed to have positive psychological effects. Studies even suggest that certain shades help stimulate your brain, while other hues are said to have calming effects that can lower stress levels. "A workspace is all about productivity, so you want to choose paint colors that will keep your energy focused and also have a calming effect," says Nicole Gibbons, interior designer and founder of Clare. "Even a controlled pop of color in a floral arrangement can spark creativity."
For this reason, it's important to select a paint color for your home office that actually inspires you. "A home office is likely to be a place you spend a lot of your day in, so it's important to consider colors that you are happy to be around for long periods of time," says Patrick O'Donnell, brand ambassador at Farrow & Ball. "Soothing, earthy colors like greens and blues evoke a feeling of calm if you are looking to reduce stress. While light colors, such as warm whites, are great if you want to create a room free of distraction."
Not sure what shade to paint your own home office? We reached out to a few of our favorite color experts for advice. From calming browns to stimulating yellows and beyond, these are the hues that will help create your idea work environment.
Green can be calming and it can also be energizing—something you need when deadlines approach. "A bright, jazzy green, like Alexandrite SW 0060, brings a touch of playfulness to a home office," says Sue Wadden, director of color marketing at Sherwin-Williams. "Keep accents neutral, such as gold and silver, or white décor so the room stays uncluttered."
Peachy Pinks and Corals
Believe it or not, our experts say some shades of pink are more than just pretty to look at. "Warmer hues such as peach and soft corals are known to help improve focus and boost concentration and creativity, which is perfect for a home office area," Gibbons says. "A soft pink like Wing It or even a punchier hue like Pop can provide an inspiring atmosphere for a home office setting."
If you thought brown walls were boring, then it's time to think again. According to our experts, a warm brown-painted office can help you stay calm and focused while you work. "Mid-brown tones, like Broccoli Brown, are calming," O'Donnell explains, "and can focus the mind on the important tasks at hand."
Dry Erase Paint
Ask any designer and they'll say the same: Navy is a neo-neutral that's every bit as versatile as it is refreshing. "A warm navy, like our 2020 Color of the Year, Naval, is rooted in nature and creates a meditative atmosphere for maximum productiveness," Wadden says.
A little warm white paint goes a long in helping you stay focused in your home office. "If you want limited visual distraction and a 'clean' space, try a warm white such as Orange Coloured White," O'Donnell says. "This will bring just a hint of warmth to a room, and works especially well if your home office is north facing.
If you're looking for an eye-catching wall color that will also help you stay cool and calm throughout the day, look no further than a fresh shade of blue. "If your job requires long stretches of focused time, choose a clean, fresh blue hue, like Nairobi Blue," Gibbons says. "Blue is universally known as a productive color that can help you stay calm, thus helping you to remain focused on the task at hand."
Dreaming of a cool-toned home office but can't decide between a calming blue palette or an invigorating shade of green? "A coastal blue-green, such as Dragonfly, creates a soothing sanctuary for productivity and mindfulness," Woelfel says. "If you aren't ready to use this color on the walls, consider painting a bookshelf instead."
When all else fails, you can always count on a coat of off-white paint to score a clean (and distraction-free) home office palette. "Warm off-whites, such as Dove Wing OC-18, are soft and easy on the eyes," says Yeo. "They also make a great backdrop color to decorate with to spark creativity."