August 30


Designers caution against using certain colors in small dark rooms as they are known to make the space feel even smaller

5 colors you should never paint a small dark room – designers warn us to steer clear of these space-shrinking hues

When it comes to designing small dark rooms, choosing the right color scheme is crucial. The conditions and lighting in these spaces can often make them feel smaller and more confined. Designers warn that certain colors can have a negative impact on the look and feel of these rooms, shrinking the space even further. So, if you’re looking to make your small dark room feel brighter, more spacious, and visually appealing, it’s important to be mindful of the colors you choose.

One color that designers advise against using in small dark rooms is black. While black can create a sense of depth and drama in larger, well-lit interiors, it can have the opposite effect in smaller spaces with limited natural light. “Black tends to absorb light, making the room feel even smaller and darker,” says designer Justyna Georgie. Instead of black, opt for lighter tones or warmer neutrals to create a cozy and inviting feel.

Similarly, deep and dark shades of blue should be avoided in small dark rooms. While blues can be a favorite color for many, using them in smaller spaces might not always be the right choice. Darker blues can make a room feel more closed in and limited, especially if there’s not much natural light. Instead, consider using lighter shades of blue or even vibrant pops of color to bring life into the space.

Another color that designers suggest avoiding in small dark rooms is orange. While orange can be a vibrant and energizing color, it may not work well in spaces that lack natural light. “Orange tends to make a room look more aged and outdated,” says designer Justyna Georgie. If you’re looking to add warmth and vibrancy to your small dark room, consider using warmer shades of pink or red instead.

In addition to black, dark grays should also be used with caution in small dark rooms. While grays can be a versatile and timeless choice for many spaces, using dark grays in smaller rooms can make them feel even more confined. Opt for lighter shades of gray or even white to create a sense of airiness and brightness within the space.

In conclusion, when it comes to painting a small dark room, it’s important to choose colors that will visually expand the space and make it feel brighter. Avoid using colors like black, dark blues, orange, and dark grays, as they can have a space-shrinking effect. Instead, opt for lighter tones, warmer neutrals, and pops of color that will create a warm and inviting atmosphere within your small dark room.

Colors you should never paint a dark room

Colors you should never paint a dark room

When it comes to choosing paint colors for small, dark rooms, designers have some strict policies. Certain colors can have a negative impact on the space, making it feel even smaller and darker. Here are five colors that you should avoid painting a dark room:

  1. Blue: While blue is often associated with calmness and serenity, it can make a dark room feel even more closed-in. When used in a small and dark space, blue can lack depth and make the room appear smaller than it actually is.
  2. Dark Grays: While gray is a popular neutral color, using darker shades of gray in a small, dark room can create a cave-like effect. Instead of making the room cozy, a dark gray can make the space feel cramped and gloomy.
  3. Deep Reds: Deep reds, like burgundy or wine, can be too intense for a small, dark room. These shades absorb light rather than reflect it, making the space feel even smaller and limited. Instead, opt for lighter and warmer red tones if you want to incorporate this color.
  4. Orange: Although orange is a vibrant and energetic color, it can be overwhelming in a small, dark room. The intense and bold nature of orange can make the space feel cramped and chaotic. If you love orange, consider using it as an accent color instead of painting the entire room.
  5. Pinks: While light pinks can work well in small spaces, using darker shades of pink in a dark room can make the space feel heavy and closed-off. The darker pinks absorb light and can create a visually oppressive environment. Opt for lighter shades of pink or use it as an accent color throughout the room.

Designers always advise using brighter and lighter colors in small, dark spaces to create the illusion of a larger area. Whites, creams, and light pastels are ideal choices, as they reflect light and make the room feel more open. If you’re looking to experiment with bolder colors, try using them as accents rather than painting the entire room. By following these guidelines, you can transform your small, dark room into a brighter and more inviting space.

1 White

1 White

White is often regarded as a classic choice for small dark rooms, as it reflects light and can make the space feel brighter and larger. However, some designers caution against using white in these spaces for a few reasons.

Firstly, using pure white in a small dark room can create a stark and clinical look. Without any contrast or depth, the room might feel dull and lifeless. Instead, consider using off-white shades or whites with warmer undertones, like ivory or cream, to add some warmth and depth to the space.

Additionally, white can make a small dark room feel colder, especially if it lacks natural light. If you want to create a cozy and inviting atmosphere, using warmer colors like soft grays or muted blues might be a better choice.

Lastly, white can highlight any imperfections or limited design features in a small dark room. If the room has architectural flaws or lacks interesting textures, using white might draw attention to these weaknesses rather than enhancing the space.

Ultimately, the decision to use white in a small dark room depends on the specific conditions and desired atmosphere. As designer Georgie Edward-Smith advises, “White works well in small dark rooms when used as part of a larger color scheme. Pair it with deeper tones or vibrant colors to create contrast and bring depth to the space.”

Designers Justyna Kareta and Georgie Edward-Smith also stress the importance of considering your personal preferences and the intended use of the room. If you love the clean and bright look of white and the room will mainly serve as a work or storage space, then using white might be ideal. However, if you want a cozy and welcoming feel, other colors might be a better choice.

In conclusion, while white can visually expand smaller spaces and reflect light, it may not always be the best option for small dark rooms. Consider the specific conditions, desired atmosphere, and personal style when deciding on the color scheme for your small dark room.

2 Cool dark gray

2 Cool dark gray

When it comes to painting a small, dark room, many designers advise against using dark colors, as they can make the space feel even smaller and more cramped. However, not all dark colors have the same effect. Cool dark gray is one shade that can actually work well in smaller spaces.

Cool dark gray is a neutral color that adds depth and sophistication to a room without weighing it down. Unlike darker colors like black or navy blue, cool dark gray has a softer, more subdued tone that creates a cozy and inviting atmosphere. It can also make a room feel more spacious when used correctly.

“Cool dark gray works well in small rooms because it has a subtle coolness that visually recedes, making the walls appear to recede as well,” says designer Georgie. “It creates the illusion of depth, which can make a small room feel larger and more open.”

Justyna, another designer, agrees that cool dark gray can work wonders in small spaces. “Unlike warmer tones or vibrant colors, cool dark gray doesn’t draw attention to the limitations of the room,” she says. “It creates a soothing backdrop that allows other design elements to shine without overpowering the space.”

Using cool dark gray as a base color throughout the room can help create a cohesive and calming atmosphere. It pairs well with different colors and can be easily combined with lighter shades to add contrast and prevent the space from feeling too heavy.

Designer Edward suggests using cool dark gray as an accent color rather than painting the entire room. “Aged wood furniture works well with cool dark gray walls,” he says. “The combination of the dark gray and warm wood tones creates a sophisticated and timeless look.”

If you’re a fan of cool color schemes, cool dark gray might be the ideal choice for your small, dark room. Its versatility and ability to create depth without overwhelming the space make it a popular choice among designers. So, don’t be afraid to give it a try and see how it can transform your space.

3 Red

Red is a bold and vibrant color that can add energy and warmth to any space. However, designers caution against using red in small, dark rooms. Here are three reasons why:

  1. Red can make small rooms feel even smaller: Darker colors like red can visually shrink a space, making it feel cramped and confined. If you have a small room, it’s best to opt for lighter colors like white or pastels to create a more spacious and open feel.
  2. Red can overpower the room: Red is a strong color that can easily overpower a space if used in excess. Instead of using red as the main color, designers recommend using it as an accent color to create a focal point or add pops of color. For example, you can use red throw pillows or artwork to add a touch of vibrancy to a neutral room.
  3. Red can evoke strong emotions: Red is often associated with emotions like passion, energy, and excitement. While these can be positive feelings for some, they might not be ideal for every room. For example, using red in a bedroom might make it difficult to relax and unwind. Neutral tones like grays or softer hues of pink can create a more calming and soothing atmosphere.

So, if you’re considering using red in a small, dark room, it might be best to reconsider. Opt for lighter and more neutral colors instead to visually expand the space and create a cozy and inviting atmosphere.

4 Orange

4 Orange

Orange is a bold and energetic color that can bring warmth and vibrancy to a space. However, when it comes to small, dark rooms, designers recommend using orange with caution.

Instead of using bright and saturated shades of orange, like tangerine or neon orange, opt for softer and muted tones. Georgie Edward, an interior designer, says that using deep, aged orange tones can add depth and coziness to a small room.

Orange works well in spaces with limited natural light conditions because it has the ability to make a room feel brighter and more welcoming. Justyna Design, another designer, adds that warm colors like orange can create a visually larger space by tricking the eye.

However, if you’re not a fan of orange, designers suggest incorporating it in small doses. You can use orange as an accent color through accessories, such as throw pillows or artwork, or paint just one wall in an orange shade to add a pop of color without overwhelming the space.

When using orange in a small dark room, it’s important to balance it with other neutral colors. Pairing orange with white or light gray can help create a sense of balance and prevent the room from feeling too heavy or overpowered by the color.

In conclusion, while orange can add warmth and depth to a small dark room, it should be used sparingly and in muted tones. Incorporating it as an accent color or combining it with neutrals will help create a balanced and visually appealing space.

5 Yellow

5 Yellow

Yellow is a vibrant and energetic color that can bring warmth and positivity to any space. However, designers warn us to be cautious when using yellow in small, dark rooms. While yellow can be a beautiful and inviting color, it may not always be the best choice for smaller spaces. Here are five reasons why yellow might not be the ideal color for a small, dark room:

  1. Visually Shrinks the Space: Yellow is a bright and attention-grabbing color. In small rooms, using yellow can visually shrink the space and make it feel even smaller.
  2. Too Much Vibrancy: Yellow is a vibrant color that can be overwhelming when used in large quantities. In a small dark room, the intense brightness of yellow can be too much for the limited space, creating a visually chaotic and overwhelming environment.
  3. Lacks Depth: While yellow can bring warmth, it may lack the depth and richness that other colors can provide. In a small, dark room, using yellow may not give the desired effect of creating a cozy and intimate space.
  4. Conflicting with Other Colors: Yellow can be a challenging color to coordinate with other colors. In a small, dark room, it’s important to choose colors that work well together to create a harmonious and balanced color scheme. Yellow may clash with other colors, making the room look visually unappealing.
  5. Overpowering Effect: Using too much yellow in a small, dark room can have an overpowering effect on the overall design. Instead of making the room feel cozy and inviting, an excessive use of yellow can make the space look garish and overwhelming.

Designers like Georgie, Edward, and Justyna recommend using lighter, warmer shades of yellow or incorporating yellow accents instead of painting the entire room yellow. By adding pops of yellow through accessories or furniture, you can still achieve the desired warmth and vibrancy without compromising the visual space of the room. Neutral tones like whites, grays, and blacks can also be used alongside yellow to create a balanced and visually appealing color scheme.

In conclusion, while yellow can be a beautiful and lively color, it may not always be the best choice for small, dark rooms. It’s important to consider the size and lighting conditions of the room when selecting colors, and to use yellow in moderation to create a visually pleasing and balanced space.


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