Colors you should never paint a small room

We are here to guide you in choosing the right color scheme for your small room.


Since centuries, dark, calm blues have been used in interior design. They blend well with many colors and produce a wide range of beautiful results. If you use dark blues in a small space, it could turn your room into a cramped cavern. This doesn't mean you should abandon this popular color scheme. Try decorating with the palest shades of blue.

Patrick O'Donnell is the international brand ambassador for Farrow & Ball and he agrees with Patrick O'Donnell that light blues are a great choice when designing a small space. Sky blue shades are a great way to add a touch of freshness and joy to any home. However, they should not appear too cold as natural light can have a major impact on the perception.

Sarah Davies-Bennion is a senior designer at Kate Guinness Design. She says that pairing a deep blue with neutrals will allow it to shine. Mixing too many colors together will create a cluttered look, similar to what would happen in a kid's paintbox.

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Gray is the most neutral color, and it instantly adds gravitas to any interior. However, it can also be one of the colors that divides people.

Karen Haller is a color psychology expert, teacher and best-selling writer of The Little Book of Color. Most people feel depressed and want to hide when they are surrounded by grey. This feeling is amplified when in a small space.

If you love gray there are shades that still look contemporary and fresh. We love a gray-green palette to create a calm feeling in a small space.

Richard Angel, CEO and co-founder of Angel O'Donnell, says that the mercurial nature of this fabric allows it to work with a wide range of colors. Here, we have paired it in a small bedroom with sapphire, putty, and rust velvet. It works equally well with off-whites and caramel tones. It's an extremely versatile base palette.

Paint a small space with a gray-green that is serene, elegant and calming.


Red color schemes can be overwhelming in small spaces. This deep red color is a reminder of danger, and it's known as the most stressful colour in history. It is a strong, aggressive and stimulating color, which is why warning signs and traffic lights use it. Red can cause physical reactions that are similar in nature to stress, including increased heart rate and heightened senses. It is therefore best avoided for small rooms.

Many designers and decorators suggest decorating with pink. Rosy tones are warm and inviting and make an excellent backdrop for accent colors.

Rosy tones are warm and inviting and make an excellent backdrop for accent colors. Pink is a great paint color for small spaces, as it does not distract or stimulate the mind.

Sarah Fortescue, designer, says that color can evoke different reactions from people. Pink warms my heart and cushions my body. I feel warmth and comfort. Pinks come in an infinite range of shades. However, they can be adapted to suit any space, regardless of its size, history, or function.

4. Replace white with a designer-approved beige

Pure white, despite being a popular color for new constructions, is not a colour you should use to paint a small space. This can make the room look dull, clinical, and boxy. It can also make shadows more noticeable and magnify any imperfections.

Interior designers are now focusing on neutrals such as taupe, sand, sandstone, beige and stone. The beige color scheme can make a room feel relaxed and light, elegantly sophisticated, timeless and refined.

Deborah Bass, Director of Base Interior, advocates decorating with neutrals. However, she warns that this is not an option to be taken lightly: "Using a neutral shade while avoiding a minimalist or stark atmosphere requires a delicate balance between the natural lighting, artificial light and other textures and shades used throughout." It is important to sample on-site, under different lighting conditions, including artificial light, and at various times of the day.


Bright colors such as orange, yellow, and red tend to distract from furniture and accessories, and can be alarming. Orange may evoke cheerfulness, optimism and energy in a child's bedroom, but in a smaller room this vibrant color can lead to mental fatigue.

Karen Haller, color psychologist, says that too much color in a small space or being surrounded by the wrong tones can be detrimental psychologically. It can be perceived as cheap, unrefined, childish and frivolous.

If you are a fan of color, go for it. Dark colors can work in small rooms, but they should not be too jarring.

James Thurstan explains that darker shades work well in smaller rooms. They create the illusion of depth, and give a cocoon feel to any room.

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