Will dark paint make my room look smaller?

Sorry guy I was so busy on Friday and over the weekend that I’m little bit behind on blog’s schedule. Last week I got asked this question: “If if paint my room in dark colour will it make it smaller?” And the answer is NO. Which to some of you might be surprising. And here is why.

It’s not the colour that makes your room smaller it’s the overall design and imbalance. If you stick to these top tips you can paint your walls dark with confidence and still your room wouldn’t look smaller.

1. Balance dark with light

When you work with dark colours you have to balance them out with light colours. White tones are one of the best options. Try to balance the similar amount of dark areas with light areas like on this image below. The dark wall is balanced with crisp white bedding and the armchair in the corner.


Same thing here…


2. Use reflective surfaces

Mirrors, high gloss furniture, polished floors, glass tops basically anything which will help to bounce the light around the space will be very useful. On this image below the tall mirrors and polished plaster ceiling are doing exactly that.


3. Lighting

One of the most important design elements that will make or break your dark room work. Dark rooms need good lighting. Full stop. Use crystal chandeliers, spotlights, ceramic table lamps, stainless steel contemporary floor lamps, reading lamps, anything which will help your room to be lifted from the darkness.

Have you got dark paint on your walls? How did you decorate your room around it? Let me know. Let’s share so others can learn too.

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Don’t miss this chance because I’m running it only once and will not run anything like this for a long time!!!

Karolina Barnes


Photo credits: all image via Houzz


Comments 2

  1. laura.noir4@gmail.com'

    I painted my dining room a dark blue because I live in a terrace and the second room doesn’t receive much light. It feels a lot less drab and much more cosy than before when it was painted cream (it just looked so dull). But I think you’re 100% right that you must balance it with light contrasting details. The white chimney breast and wood work do this, but as you say the furniture must be as well. it looked too moody and dark when our shelves and crezenda were wooden, now white it just looks so smart. Also, having light floor is pretty essential to stop the room becoming too masculine.

    1. Post

      Hi Laura, I agree with you on the flooring and I’m pleased that your dining room looks better than in cream. I also think that cream can be quite boring and actually preventing the space from reaching its full potential. I think it’s great that you had the confidence to went for it. So many people are afraid to use bold or dark colours which is a shame!x

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