In partnership withBehr

Bright, Natural Color Makes This 600-Square-Foot Apartment Feel Like a Breath of Fresh Air

published Apr 20, 2020
Behr Light Drizzle N480-1
Credit: Rikki Snyder

How can you add color while keeping an airy, open feeling in a small space? Look to nature. Erin’s apartment in Sunnyside, Queens, had good bones and cozy, comfortable furniture, but the walls were a drab renter’s white. Her style is rooted in earthy textures, with light woods and plenty of plants. So, naturally, she painted her living room walls in Light Drizzle by Behr® Paint — a sky-blue backdrop that’s a breath of fresh air. Plus, it helps pull off some clever color tricks.

Credit: Rikki Snyder

Erin’s furniture is mostly neutral with a hint of blue in the distressed rug and upholstered armchair. The Light Drizzle walls turn up the blue, making the furnishings appear more vibrant. It also fits right in with a palette of neutrals, grays and greens, bringing out the beauty of Erin’s plants.

Credit: Rikki Synder

Find Inspiration in Nature

For a foolproof source of color inspiration, just look outside. Stone grays, cloud whites, sky blues and leafy greens are nature’s paintbox, so why not try them in the great indoors? You can also use elemental design to choose textures — from fine-grained woods to mossy velvets to snowy sherpa pillows.

Credit: Rikki Snyder

Like many small spaces, Erin’s apartment is designed around an open plan. An eat-in counter partially divides her kitchen and living area, so her color choices need to feel cohesive across rooms. Painting the walls of the seating area helps to separate it from the eating area, while also making the white kitchen feel crisper and cleaner — like clouds against a clear blue sky. ColorSmart by Behr® is a great tool for finding the perfect complementary colors; Polar Bear by Behr Paint, for example, is exactly the right white for Light Drizzle.

Credit: Rikki Snyder

It’s amazing what a little color can do to freshen up a space. White walls are great, but they’re not your only option in a small space. Look to the sky for pale blues, grays, and pinks — they can trick your eye into making walls appear to open up.