Going Bold in Small Spaces

While conventional wisdom says that small rooms will look even tinier if painted with strong colors or patterns, I've got 10 spaces that should make you think otherwise.

Small spaces such as bathrooms or hallways — or even small kitchens and offices — can be a great place to experiment. I recently made over my very tiny bathroom (Before & After to come!), and the best part was the transition from pale purplish-gray paint to a strong blueish green. The bolder color makes me happier, and, because it highlights the tall-ish ceiling, it actually makes the room look bigger.

The key to making the look work is knowing your limits. You'll want adequate light; natural is ideal, of course, but not necessary. As in Images 1, 7 and 10, it's important to balance out color and pattern with neutral white or cream. You can also break up a strong color with pattern or artwork (Image 8).

1. Flickr user Ninaribena1 licensed via Creative Commons 2. Design*Sponge 3. Heather's Coral Kitchen 4. Elle Decor 5. Living Etc. 6. via Absolutely Beautiful Things 7. House Beautiful via Aesthetic Oiseau 8. Lindsay & Jeremy's Mindfully Merged Space 9. Design Crisis 10. Ferm Wallpaper Gives Home Office Depth