The Only Colors You Should Use in a Small Space

If you've got a small room that feels cramped and tiny, you may have tried opening up the space with a coat of white paint. Perhaps one of the most common pieces of design advice, white paint can indeed make a small room feel airier. That's not your only choice, though. There are several colors, including dark, bright, and bold ones, that can work in small spaces. Click through our favorites before you head to the paint store.

By Jennifer Noonan | Updated Jun 09, 2016 05:23 PM

Mellow Taupe

Taupe Home Office

Low ceilings in small spaces can leave a room feeling stuffy. Open up the space by painting the walls and ceiling in the soothing tone of taupe. The dimensions of the room will melt away, making it feel bigger and warmer, too.

Related:  11 Lessons to Learn from AirBnB's Tiniest Homes

Zillow Digs home in San Francisco, CA

Cheerful Yellow

Yellow Kitchen

Instantly inject cheer into a small and poorly lit space by painting it a lively yellow. An excellent color choice for half bathrooms and tiny galley kitchens, it will quickly wake you up and help you start the day on the sunny side.

Related:  10 Classic Ways to Brighten a Dark Room

Deep Blue

Blue Bedroom

Play up the coziness of a small room by enveloping the walls in a dark blue hue. In a study or bedroom it will create a cocoon-like peacefulness that invites introspection. If the thought of four dark walls leaves you feeling claustrophobic, consider a navy blue accent wall in an otherwise neutral room.

Related:  11 Reasons We Love Blue Bedrooms

Zillow Digs home in Fort Thomas, KY

Crisp Green

Green Bedroom

Crisp and cool green paint turns a small room into a peaceful sanctuary. Ideal for a bedroom, it will provide both a clean, bright design, while establishing a soothing environment.

Related:  10 Small Bedrooms with Huge Amounts of Style

Designed by Mandeville Caynon Designs; photographed by Nat Rea

Dazzling Orange

Orange Bedroom

It may seem counterintuitive to choose a big and bold color for a small room, but it can work. Painting a small space a saturated orange will draw the focus away from the furniture, knickknacks, and appliances in the room, bringing your eye up the walls and making the space feel bigger.

Related:  The Best Paint Colors for Low Light Rooms

Zillow Digs home in Portland, OR

Neutral Gray

Gray Dining Room

Neutral colors in medium tones give a space substance and style without overwhelming a small room. Paint the walls of a small living room or dining room a warm gray and immediately elevate your decor.

Related:  Set the Tone—8 Colors for an Inviting Dining Room

Zillow Digs home in Bonita Springs, FL

Almost White

White Bedroom

Nearly white paint comes in a range of shade from eggshell to ivory to beige—and there's a reason a fresh coat of any of these colors is a popular choice for small spaces. It reflects light and lifts the eye away from clutter, creating a calming retreat.

Related:  7 Things You Need to Know Before Painting Your Walls White

designed by Sarah Phipps Design; photographed by Joseph Eastburn

Don't Miss!


Believe it or not, even with the vast number of paint color options available, a select handful of hues surpass all the others in popularity. We spoke with industry experts to uncover their best sellers. Click to view now!