Decorating small rooms can be a challenge. It’s not just about finding the right furniture size and layout, but also about selecting the right paint colour. The colour you choose can significantly impact how spacious or cramped your room feels, and this decision goes beyond simple colour preferences. Opting for a darker shade might make a naturally well-lit room feel smaller while using stark white in a north-facing space could result in the dreaded “white box syndrome” – a lacklustre, personality-deficient room.

Various factors influence the colour choice for your small room, such as the direction of its windows. Dark shades work best in north-facing rooms, while light hues are ideal for sunlit south-facing spaces. Sunset-inspired tones can work wonders in west-facing rooms, especially during dusk.

Here are the top 6 paint colours that can instantly create an illusion of spaciousness in any room, regardless of size:

1. Stark White

stark white

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White is an obvious choice to make a room feel larger, especially when abundant natural light is present. Eggshell or satin finishes reflect light, enhancing the sense of space. This versatile colour suits various aesthetics, from modern kitchens to cosy bedrooms.

Best for: South-facing rooms


2. Soft Black

For rooms with limited natural light, white might not be the best option. Embrace the absence of light with a dark hue like charcoal or black. Painting the ceiling and trim in the same shade can create an intimate yet grand atmosphere.

Best for: North-facing rooms


3. Light Taupe

A light taupe or greige offers a neutral yet warm alternative to pure white. It maintains brightness while adding a touch of sophistication that bright white lacks. This colour can elevate a room’s elegance, especially if architectural details are minimal.

Best for: Rooms lacking architectural details

Light Taupe (1)

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Read more: Colour Guide: A fresh coat of paint can totally transform your home

4. Blush Pink

Soft blush pink adds cheerfulness to small rooms, particularly when illuminated by natural light. Complemented by warm neutrals, this hue creates an inviting ambience. For a cosy enveloping effect, extend the colour to the ceiling.

Best for: West-facing rooms


5. Cool Grey

A light cool grey offers a fresh, bright feel without the starkness of pure white. Cool tones create a sense of space and freshness. This colour choice works well in moderately lit rooms, adding both cosiness and expansiveness.

Best for: East or west-facing rooms

Cool grey painted room (1)

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Choosing the right paint colour can make a remarkable difference in how your small room appears. Consider these options based on your room’s lighting and direction to create the illusion of spaciousness and style.


6. Dark Navy

In rooms with limited light, deep navy provides depth and drama. It’s an excellent compromise between the cosy feel of a black room and the desire for colour. Coordinating large furniture with the walls blurs boundaries, making the room appear larger.

Best for: Kitchens and libraries with little natural light



All you need is a little space – here’s how to create the illusion

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