8 Paint Colors That Always Work for a Small Bedroom, According to Designers

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: Melanie Rieders)

Your bedroom is where you go to unwind and sleep, so it’s important that it doesn’t feel like the walls are caving in around you. Which can be a little tricky if you happen to have a small apartment with a teeny-tiny bedroom. While we can’t help you increase your square footage, the good news is we can help you fake a larger visible area through the magic of paint. We asked designers to share what their favorite colors and tricks are to make a small space feel more open.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Olga Ratajski, Chicago Designer

For smaller bedrooms, designer Olga Ratajski likes to play with creams and blues. First up on her recommendation list is Lime White by Benjamin Moore, which is a beautiful cream color with a hint of green in it. “It is light, but would still provide a warmth and coziness to a small bedroom space without feeling dark or drab,” she shares.

Her second pick is Cabbage White by Farrow & Ball, which is a white with the slight bit of blue. “The light and airy-ness helps keep the room feel large and open,” she explains. Ratajski also likes Borrowed Light by Farrow & Ball, explaining that she prefers to keep bedrooms light and soothing. “For a small bedroom space filled with large furniture items like beds and dressers, I like to layer everything in various light and airy tones of color. This helps keep the room feeling large and open. Borrowed Light by Farrow & Ball is a beautiful pale blue with just enough color for a small space.”

(Image credit: Chloe Berk)

Michael Abrams, Chicago Designer

Blues are Michael Abram’s favorite colors for bedrooms, large or small. “They are calming and peaceful which is the most important thing in a bedroom,” he shares. He loves using Benjamin Moore’s Serenata, which is a watery mid-tone; Woodlawn Blue, and Blue Haze, a subtle, muted shade.

Jennifer Jones, Niche Interiors

Jennifer Jones, the Principal Designer of San Francisco-based Niche Interiors, loves to veer toward light blue-grays and silvers for smaller bedrooms since cooler tones tend to be more calming. Specifically, she suggests trying out Benjamin Moore’s Ice Fog for a restful, relaxing space.

(Image credit: Diana Liang)

Anne Viggiano, Seattle Designer

Anne Viggiano, a Seattle designer, suggests some painting tips to make a small space feel a little bit bigger. First, she advises painting the ceilings and walls the same color, and having a low contrast between the trim and the walls. “You will lessen the visual clutter and the edges will disappear, making the room feel expansive,” she explains.

She also notes that painting the ceiling in a pale pink color helps to reduce the appearance of a gray ceiling. “Typical white flat painted ceilings appear gray when cast in shadows, as ceilings often are. This can add to a small space feeling darker,” she shares. “If you are deliberate about your ceilings, and use a pale pink like Benjamin Moore Soft Shell, you will get a warm, reflected light onto your skin and then you have your ceiling working for you! It’s an often ignored, but hugely important surface.”

One last tip from Anne has to do with the windows. “If you have a large window wall in your small space, or a sliding door system, paint that wall and the window trim in a darker tone to frame the outdoor view and bring your eye out to the light,” she shares. Then paint the remaining walls in a warm white. She promises this won’t make the room itself feel darker since the window walls are usually in shadow anyway, but will add drama to the room if you want to add a little more character to the space.

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