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Dark Colors in Small Spaces

By Simone Design Blog @HomeSpire

Hello everyone,

Decorating small spaces is challenging, especially when choosing paint colors. Our tendency is to go with white paint, because it’s the traditional choice. If you want to think outside of the box and be more adventurous in your paint choice, go for a darker color. I know what you’re thinking: this would only make the room seem smaller. Not true. You can actually achieve a space that looks bigger!

Darker colors can make the room feel very cozy and intimate if you have the right choice of accessories and larger scale furniture. First use a rich dark color with a high sheen on the walls. Then use the same color with less sheen (like eggshell) on the trim and moldings.  This will make the wall recede, giving the illusion of a larger space. You can create different looks based upon the finish of the paint. For instance, a high gloss finish on the walls will give the room a more contemporary look while a matte finish there will look more old-world.

Just remember, small rooms and dark paint will only go together if the room gets good light. Pay attention to where you get your light source. If you have a room with only a few light fixtures and little natural light, then you do need to paint it a lighter color. Stay away from using a flat white paint because it will look cold. Your goal is to create a warm, inviting ambiance in a room with little light.

When using a dark color, you are creating an elegant blank canvass that will allow you to go as sparingly on the accessories as you wish. For an elegant look, pick colors like a chocolaty brown, blue, charcoal, or black. Colors like red or green will be confining and therefore make the room feel smaller, as your attention will be drawn more to the walls than the whole picture. If you’re not comfortable with painting the whole room in a dark color, try painting an accent wall. It will create an illusion of depth.

I like how this dining room in chocolate looks very warm, with the ceiling and trim painted in the same color. The color brown is used throughout this room in accessories which makes this room all the more cozy.

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Doesn’t this bedroom with its four poster bed just look elegant with the crisp white linens and bedside lamps?

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Here an accent wall painted in a lighter shade of brown, along with the white wall and yellow accessories, gives the room that depth illusion. Love the pop of color in this room and the matching headboard and curtains!

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Using shades of blue in a space instantly changes the atmosphere. It creates an immediate sense of luxury. Add more depth to the room by pairing it with other colors like black and white. It works well also with woods and mirrored surfaces.

I love absolutely everything about this room. It just says luxury!

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Blue is a wonderful color for boys. In this picture, the teddy bears on the wall and the concentric circular blue headboard make this little boy’s room is so cute!

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Here’s a charcoal kitchen/dining-room open-space area. Love the purple accents a nice pop of color!

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This charcoal dining room looks so bright and inviting with all that natural light coming in.

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This office is so bright! I would love to have mine look like this.

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Finally, black! This room is painted using a lacquered finish. It’s so rich and elegant with the black-and-white patterned chairs and the pendant chandelier.

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An all-black bathroom! Fabulous!

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A simple and very chic monochromatic bedroom with a black accent wall.

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These rooms are just beautifully decorated, and all that light makes it all the more inviting. They have so much depth because of this light. Yes, you can paint a small room in dark colors, as long as you have good lighting, be it natural or artificial.

Have a nice day,


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