7 Depressing Paint Colors That Will Ruin Your Mood, According to Design Experts

Want some fresh perspective? Repaint your room (avoiding these colors).

If you've ever felt like the color of a room was souring your mood, you might be on to something. Although people often choose paint colors based on personal preference or to coordinate with other pieces in the room, it's also important to consider how colors influence our emotions.

"Some colors, like a muddy gray, can bring your mood down after a long or stressful day, and play up emotions like exhaustion, depression, or a lost sense of direction," explains Jenni Gamble of San Francisco-based design firm Gamble + Design. Keep reading for more mood-ruining paint colors to avoid, according to the pros.

01 of 07

Bright Yellow

Benjamin Moore Yellow Raincoat Natura paint
Grant Cornett

Bright yellow can make some people feel anxious. "While yellow definitely has some great qualities, if it's a bright tone...it can feel too aggressive and overwhelming in a room," says Shea McGee of Studio McGee.

02 of 07

Burnt Umber

Paint Pigments -- Burnt Sienna PBr7
Image: ©2007 Marion Boddy-Evans. Licensed to About.com, Inc

"Do not mistake this color for burgundy or maroon, because that is giving it too much credit," says Gamble. Although brown is typically thought of as a soothing color, when it contains this much red, it may raise your level of anxiety or anger. Plus, because this is a warm hue with a hint of black, it can make your space feel smaller.

03 of 07

Sunshine Yellow

A clean paint roller resting next to a can of yellow paint.
Getty Images

Resist the urge to follow seasonal trends, such as a shockingly bright golden hue in the summer. "Too much visual intensity can overstimulate our minds and send us in a headache-y direction," says Sarah Barnard of Sarah Barnard Design.

04 of 07

Dark Brown

Valspar Brazilian Brown paint swatch for a beautiful dark brown

The Spruce

If you're considering painting a room brown, the difference between a soothing effect and a depressing one is all in the shade. "Darker shades can yield a cave-like effect in a room that can feel dreary and decrease energy levels," warns Katie Hodges of Katie Hodges Design. Save dark brown hues for accent colors, and swipe a lighter option on the walls.

05 of 07

Pastel Pink (If It's Not Done Right)

Light pink beige paint color
Benjamin Moore

Finding a soft pink can be challenging, because some shades lean more toward Pepto-Bismol than a sophisticated pastel pink. "A pastel done wrong can dampen a space and create a heavy oversaturated look," says Melanie Burstin of Homepolish.

06 of 07

Gray in the Kitchen or Dining Room

Designer Favorite Coastal Paint Colors 2019 Edgecomb Gray
Courtesy of manufacturer

While light gray can look zen in a bathroom and calming in a bedroom, the designers behind West Hollywood-based design firm Studio Lifestyle warn against using it in every room. "Gray should be avoided in the dining area and kitchen—unless you want to dampen your appetite," they explain.

07 of 07

Bright Red

Benjamin Moore Ravishing Red paint
Grant Cornett

You don't want to paint an entire room bright red. "It can make people feel angry or stressed," says Claire Staszak from Centered by Design. If you love the color, consider using it for an accent wall. "In small doses, it can work," she adds.

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