modern Dining room by LAVRADIO DESIGN

Delightfully Dark: Colour Rules For Small Spaces

Sarah Tolle – Homify Canada Sarah Tolle – Homify Canada
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There's more than one way to make small spaces livable and beautiful. Since these small spots rarely offer enough space for ideal furniture arrangements, you must resort to other stylistic devices, and one of these is colour. Adding light colours to small spaces will always serve to lighten them up and give them a sense of expansion, but adding darker, bolder colours is an adventurous way to bring energy and character to the room.

However, creating a dark-coloured space is a balancing act that can go wrong with the slightest misstep in any direction. homify has a few examples from designers who've done it right, adding bold colours to small spaces without cramping, darkening, or cluttering the space. Through these examples, you'll see that dark wall color alone is not sufficient for completing the interior of small rooms – it's all about how you balance the colour throughout the room, how your room's dialogue incorporates the colour in a unobtrusive, balanced way. 

With these tips, you might be inspired to reevaluate that white bathroom of yours, creating a bright bold space that's unafraid to show off a bit of colour!

1. Stop to Consider the Colour First

modern Dining room by LAVRADIO DESIGN
LAVRADIO DESIGN

Sala de jantar em Lisboa

LAVRADIO DESIGN

Before taking the paintbrush to the walls, stop to really consider the function and atmosphere of the room. While a small kitchen might look cheerful and energetic in a bold mustard yellow, it might look dampening in a deep, smokey purple (which is better left for a calmer space like a bedroom or a bathroom). Colour exercises a strong influence on emotions, and it's good to pay attention to the feeling that your certain colour will generate when placed in each specific room. This blue dining room, for example, features a deep, royal blue. This adds a calm, regal, and luxurious tone to the space that plays well with the richness of the wooden floor and spectacular hanging lamp.

In a kitchen, colours that stimulate the metabolism are best: yellows work well, and fresh mint or lime greens are also a good choice. 

Comfortable and welcoming, a living room benefits from jewel tones or darker hues of blue, green, and purple. Deep browns also work to create an earthy, grounded vibe – if this color incorporated into the interior design, the room is filled with sensual, earthy heat.

Bathrooms do well with fresh and energizing colours and exudes a sense of revitalization and cleanliness. Bright teals, fresh oranges, citrus colours, crisp black and whites, and other high-contrast combinations often work well for this rejuvenating room.

2. Add Similarly Coloured Decor

Before painting the whole wall, it's a good idea to clearly mark the wall surfaces with a dark color and then undertake the second step of finding the matching pieces to accompany and reflect that colour. In many cases, a dark colour placed in a compact room quickly overloads the space with a heavy tilt towards just one colour-drenched surface; finding furniture to bring this colour scheme into the room and create a sense of movement is key. 

Here, in order to create harmony and color balance, we recommend that you to look very closely when buying furniture. Bring a piece of paper or cardboard with the paint on it (not the paint strip from the store, as this can differ from your real shade due to the colour already present on your walls, as well as the amount of light the room enjoys). However, instead of looking for an exact match in your furniture, find furniture that completes your colour scheme in a more graduated way. Have a look at the way this living room brings the dark contrast wall into the sofa area with the inclusion of several stacking tables that draw the darker teal across the room, gradually becoming a mint green. In the background, a light blue couch reflects the exact tone of the teal wall in a slightly different shade.

By using this technique, you can turn an overwhelming dark colour into a conversational piece that speaks to all the corners of the room.

3. Install Interesting Art

A room designed with colors in dark tones is a good opportunity for art lovers who want to stage their collections in a tasteful and high-contrast artistic environment. Dark walls stand out a living room like this one,  becoming an ideal platform for paintings, photographs or illustrations – just look at how this dark backdrop makes these electric paintings pop. 

If you already have the art you'd like to emphasize in your living room (or dining room, bedroom, etc), here's a special tip: study the picture thoroughly and determine which color is most prevalent, and which colour is used to provide contrast for these highlights. This contrast take the lead role when it comes to picking out the paint colour. You can either choose exactly this dark color to emphasize the small room or darker shade from the same color range.

4. For Ceilings, Choose Suitable Colours

classic Living room by Ralph Justus Maus Architektur
Ralph Justus Maus Architektur

Wohnbereich mit Zugang zur nach Süden ausgerichteten Loggia mit Blick auf die Lister Dünen

Ralph Justus Maus Architektur

Painting the ceiling in the room with a deep, rich color is a rather unconventional step.  Practical advice will tell you to leave your ceilings be, displaying bright whites that lift your eyes and provide an illuminated and bright headspace. Therefore, painting a ceiling a dark colour should be done with caution, and it should include bright accents to lighten things up!

A medium blue pastel color like this example enriches the interior design because it brings natural flair to the room. A suitable colour for a ceiling, a blue shade calls to mind the open sky, and with white accents to represent white clouds, this deep-coloured design becomes calming and natural.

5. Say it With Curtains

With a paint pot and paintbrush, walls are fairly quick to decorated, but it can get even easier than that if you think outside the box. If you're looking to add dark colour to a small space, why not experiment with a non-permanent solution – curtains!

Curtains can be attached with little effort on windows and walls, and they still cover the walls in a similar (and sometimes, more visually interesting) manner. From the ceiling to the floor, these soft, flowing colors can decorate a living room or bedroom space in an especially appealing way due to their fluid and comforting fabric nature. In this example, patterned turquoise curtains appear to flow in the bright sunlight, waving like a watery surface. This takes this rich colour to the next level, adding the movement of water that the turquoise shade calls to mind!

This watery bedroom is perfect for a Pisces – if you're looking to create a bedroom that sings to your own zodiac sign, have a look at this horoscope themed ideabook that will act as your guide!

6. Consider the Space's Accessories

For interior design with dark shades, it becomes a game of contrasts. Therefore, along with dark colors, there must always be bright elements to bring balance to room. For example, parts of the walls and furniture might be characterized by a bright white or cream, as in this living room image. Here, a dark ceiling stripe gets a bright lift from the adjacent wallpapered wall, providing a breath of fresh air while still drawing the black theme through in its neat trio of shelves. 

Another easy way to bring light into a deeply coloured space is to add light fixtures. Against a dark background, interesting light fixtures have a special appeal, as the contrasting background makes them all the more relevant and important! 

With these tips and examples, you should be well on your way to bringing out the character of each of your small rooms – be unafraid to bring dark, rich colours to your small spaces, and you'll witness the transformation of your small rooms into personality-infused rooms filled with energy and bold contrasts. Working with a narrow space? Find more tips for making the most of it with this ideabook.

What do you think of these unique, colorful rooms? Share your thoughts below!
modern Houses by Casas inHAUS

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