Decor Dispute: Should You Paint A Small Room A Dark Color?

By: Faith-towers Apr 24, 2014

Can you paint a small room a dark color?

It's a widely known design "rule" that painting a room a light color makes it feel larger. So, therefore, painting a small room a dark color will make it feel even smaller. But others feel that dark walls recede visually into the background making a space feel larger. And some people don't care about the rules to begin with.    

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Small rooms with dark colored paint on the walls.

1. Image number one above shows an example of a small bathroom with no natural light painted in a dark eggplant purple. Are the white accents enough to offset the dark walls? [Photo: Apartment Therapy]

2. This living room is primarily dark navy, giving it a bit of a masculine feel. [Photo: House Beautiful]

3. Here, gold and cream touches give the dark space a sense of lightness. It feels just a tad over-crowded in my opinion though. Your thoughts? [Photo: Patrick Cline]

Dark rooms, small spaces.

4. I adore this library space with its painted trim and built-ins. [Photo: Via Decor Pad]

5. Here we have the addition of lots of mirrors... maybe in an attempt to counteract the darkness of the walls. Did it work? [Photo: Domaine]

Yay or nay? Small spaces painted with dark colors...

6. This makeover was shown on Curbly a few days ago... and I think it's a great example of dark walls working well in a tiny space. [Photo: The Vault Files]

7. This bedroom feels small, but in a cozy sort of way. [Photo: Apartment Therapy]

Personally, I love the small, dark look (yet I still haven't had the guts to actually do it in my own home). So what do you think, are rules made to be broken? Or are these design principles around for a reason? Sound off in the comments section below... I'd love to hear other people's opinions! 

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Comments

That's a really great point about the bathroom Stephanie - amount of time spent in the room is a good thing to consider. I've been thinking of painting my closet a dark color....

I generally prefer brights and airy for living spaces, but I like dramatic colours for bathrooms because you aren't in there too long, so it doesn't overwhelm your mood.  (My bathroom is currently a dark grey-purple.)  My bedroom used to be a medium-dark rosy brown and it made me feel like I was in a cave.  (My husband loved it though.)

I have seen bright and dark colours done beautifully, but I don't think I could take it myself.

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