When it comes to choosing a paint color for a small room, there are no concrete rules. And you probably have even more options than you might realize. It’s a popular design tip to use light colors to make a space appear larger. But that doesn’t mean you have to settle for a boring white. You actually can inject a fair amount of color into a small room, as long as you have the right lighting. While light colors are best for rooms that are fairly shadowy to prevent them from seeming cave-like, vibrant and rich colors can work in spaces that get lots of natural light. Plus, if a bold color is too overwhelming for the entire space, there's always the option of using it on an accent wall or on accent furniture to add the right amount of energy and visual interest to the room.
- Color Family: Various
- Complementary Colors: Various
- Pairs Well With: Light neutrals, white
- Mood: Bright, inviting, airy, interesting, energetic
- Where to Use: Small spaces, accent walls, accent furniture
Here are some of the top paint colors for small spaces from Dee Schlotter of PPG and Misty Yeomans of Glidden.
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PPG's Tabasco would make a fabulous accent wall in an otherwise small and simple space. It's perfect to add some bold color to a kitchen that has otherwise light and neutral countertops and cabinets. For a vivid and warm color like Tabasco, keep all of your other colors cool and crisp to give the room balance.
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PPG's Bellflower is Dee Schlotter's go-to color for a small room and is excellent for adding dimension to a kitchen. The ceiling of this cheerful kitchen is PPG's Delicate White. "The accents of blue excite the space, while the white on the ceiling keep it open and airy," Schlotter said.
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In small bathrooms and powder rooms, you can take some color risks. You generally only spend a short amount of time in the space, so a vibrant or deep color shouldn't start to feel overwhelming or gloomy. PPG's Cerise is perfect for a small bathroom to give it a bold dose of color and style. It also can be a beautiful accent wall in other small spaces.
When going from light walls to a deep, rich color, a tinted primer is recommended first. That way, you won’t need to use as much paint to achieve a uniform color.
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PPG's Willow Herb is a fresh green that is just right for an accent wall, as well as for a peek of bright color behind cabinets or shelving. It also can be a bold powder room wall color choice. Plus, fuchsias and reds can be stunning complementary colors to Willow Herb. Just use them as very minor accents in a small room.Continue to 5 of 11 below.
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PPG's Winter's Breath is a soft and soothing color just right for small (and large) bedrooms. Pair this ethereal color with medium blue or gray for a casual and inviting color scheme. This bright color is perfect for rooms that lack ample natural light, as it will reflect the limited light as much as possible. And its cool undertones will help to keep a sleep space feeling fresh and comfortable, especially in the warmer months.
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Glidden's Miami Grass can be the ideal paint color for a minimalist decorating style in small spaces. When you keep your furniture and accessories simple, your wall color can provide all the drama. A complex green like Miami Grass pairs well with a neutral white and pale wood tones.
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Glidden's Caribbean Sea is a beautiful blue with a hint of green. The stunning color can be the centerpiece of a beach-inspired color scheme in your home. Just keep your accent colors neutral to balance this dynamic hue. Pairing Caribbean Sea with whites and tans will highlight its natural beauty.
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Glidden's Pineapple Sorbet can be a great choice if you love the garden-inspired color schemes of the 1970s. This soft yellow is versatile and can work with most decorating styles and in most rooms. Pair it with soft greens and blues to cool down the color's warmth, especially in rooms that get strong sunlight.Continue to 9 of 11 below.
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PPG's Forsythia Blossom is a cheerful color for a small dining space or breakfast nook. Pair this sunny color with simple white furnishings to prevent the space from feeling overwhelming. Likewise, keep your decor and accessories uncluttered. If Forsythia Blossom is too much for all the walls, consider it as an accent wall.
Don’t hesitate to get a little creative when painting an accent wall. Consider stripes or stenciling with an accent paint color, especially if the room doesn’t already have an interesting architectural element. You can even paint your ceiling in an accent color.
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PPG's Dragonfly is a crisp and lush blue paint color that pops against white trim and cabinetry. A small space can handle a strong blue like this with lots of white to balance it and reflect light. Fresh green accents, such as houseplants, are a great addition to this color palette.
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PPG's Geyser is a soft green paint color that works beautifully for a small bathroom or laundry room. This color is muted and natural, and it pairs nicely with cream or off-white trim. Accessorize with natural fabrics and surfaces for an organic style, or add pops of blue and aqua for a spa retreat vibe.