Knowing how to utilize cool tones is an excellent way to make a room feel airy, light, and calm. Cool tones are the colors you often find in nature, and they tend to be what grounds a space and brings a sense of peace and calm. It’s important to know how to balance tones in a room though, as too many cool tones can lead it to feel cold or unwelcoming. Similarly, too many warm tones in a room can make it feel chaotic and claustrophobic. Knowing how to balance cool and warm tones is the number one way to pull off a primarily cool-toned room. Many experts recommend the 80/20 Rule. The 80/20 Rule suggests that if you are trying for a cool tones room, 80 percent of the room should be cool tones and 20 percent should be warm tones, and vice versa if you are going for a primarily warm-toned room. Before moving forward with how to create a beautiful and peaceful cool space, it is important to go back to the basics and review what cool and warm tones are.

If you remember nothing else about defining cool and warm tones, the easiest thing to hold on to is the concept that cool tones are based on water and warm tones are based on fire. Cool colors tend to be blue, gray, green, and purple. Because blue is the only primary color on this list, any color that has a blue undertone is therefore considered a cool color. In another light, warm colors are considered to be reds, browns, oranges, and yellows. Whites depending on the undertone can be both cool or warm. Whites with gray undertones are cool, while whites with beige undertones are warm.

Knowing how to identify the undertones in a color is crucial to understanding how to put colors together, and creating the perfect cool-toned room. Look for colors that have a gray, blue, or green cast to them. Don’t be afraid to ask the store associate about the undertones of each color. It’s always a good idea to grab samples, and sample the color in a place with good lighting, or during a time of day when the sun is fully streaming in. The thing about cool colors is that sometimes the true tone can be misinterpreted in the wrong lighting, so it’s important to look at the color in different settings and times of the day.

It’s an excellent idea to incorporate cool tones into the room you spend the most time in. Whether it’s a home office, bedroom, or living room, incorporating cool colors is an essential way to make the space grounding and peaceful. Many people enjoy warm tones because they can feel cozy, but choosing to make your primary living space on the cooler side of things will allow it to feel organized and spacious, rather than suffocating and small. Adding a few pops of warmth here and there can still give it that cozy, homey feel.

So how do you pull off the perfect cool-toned room? Find your base color. This can be achieved by picking the perfect cool paint color, whether it’s a sage green, a light coastal blue, a dusty lavender, or a gray with a blue/green undertone. The possibilities are endless! Another fantastic way to create a centralizing base color is through your decorative pieces. Your room may be a bright white, but choosing cool-tone pieces such as blue curtains would be an incredible way to make your decorative choices take on a cooler direction. If you’ve already chosen a cool-toned paint color for the walls, decorative pieces such as throw pillows, curtains, table cloths, and towels can still be highly effective additional cool accent colors to add to an overall scheme.

Another tip is to add dimension by incorporating a few contrasting pieces throughout the room. If your room is on the cooler side, one idea would be to add some warmer toned pops in by incorporating wood tones, leather, and gold or brass accents to create the perfect subtle balancing effect in your cool-toned oasis.

Finally, know the best cool-toned color combinations. Know which colors work together, and which do not! A sage green and light gray or a coastal blue and bright white are a great place to start. Don’t be afraid to find a cohesive cool and warm-toned pairing as well like cognac blue and brown leather or lavender and a more yellow-based green. Just as long as you remember the 80/20 rule, you should be set for success. Whatever you choose, your cool-toned room is sure to be refreshing, relaxing, and rejuvenating to step into.