Perfect Paint Colors for Small Spaces

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Small spaces don’t have to feel cramped. If you’re working in a room with tight square footage, make the most of what you’ve got by harnessing some basic color psychology to increase the size of the space- all without a renovation!

Choose a Light Color

Light colors make walls seem to recede away from you, and darker colors make them seem to advance. So we love dark colors for larger rooms that need more of a sense of intimacy, like master bedrooms and living rooms, and we love light colors for small rooms that need some opening up.

Though the conventional wisdom is to always choose a light colored tone for small spaces, this isn’t always the case. Consider the light color rule a good place to start when you’re choosing your palette.

Here are some light paint colors from PPG-Pittsburgh Paints.

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Match The Trim and The Wall

Though trim is commonly painted a different color from the walls to make the detailing stand out, painting your trim and walls the same color adds an illusion of height that may be worth losing the visual interest of the trim. Contrasting colored trim shortens the wall height by a few inches, but matching the colors adds it back. Plus, matching trim is a modern and fresh look that’s a fun take on the traditional trim.

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Paint The Ceiling

Though a fun accent color on the ceiling is a trend we love, we usually suggest painting your ceilings a flat white to add maximum height to small rooms. White is unobtrusive, will match any paint color you choose going forward, and you’ll only have to paint it one time.

That said, if you have a recessed ceiling a darker color on the vertical sections can draw attention to the room’s increased ceiling height, adding to the sense of height.

Sometimes, Dark Colors Work Too!

Speaking of accenting with darker colors, don’t think small rooms have to be a light hue. If your room has architectural details or an interesting shape, darker colors can bring contrast and drama to the space that actually increases the feeling of height. By drawing the eye toward areas of interest, your eye can actually be tricked into feeling like a space is larger than it is. Try highlighting a wall with an interesting architectural feature with a darker color.

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Use an Accent Wall

Though light colors recede and dark colors advance, there’s no reason you have to choose an extreme color palette to take advantage of these basic principles. If you know the dominant color scheme you want to use, you can work in shades of the same color family to create an optical illusion. Placing a darker wall closer to you and a lighter wall further away generates a feeling of dimension that adds height and length to a room. Your accent wall can be just a shade or two darker than your main color, so don’t be scared!

Find out more about painting an accent wall here.

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The Color Monarch tool can help you identify shades in your color family that will take advantage of these small-space color principles and give you a room that works well with your belongings. A small space doesn’t have to feel cramped!

Try out some paint colors on your walls, virtually.