Sunday, July 2, 2017

How to Decorate a Small Space Using Color

Funk by Color - Check Out These Colorful Decorating Accessories and Ideas
When we look at a small space, we tend to think 'how will I get everything into it'.

If you've ever watched the TV show 'Tiny Homes', you've seen how small spaces can be maximized, and that yes, it's totally possible to successfully and practically decorate a little room.

But What About Color in a Small Space?

Yes, you don't have to settle for bland colors just because the room is small. You can make it funky and bright without shrinking it's overall feel.

As the above room shows, despite the restricted space, color as well as plenty of storage and functional areas have been creatively combined.

There are key reasons why the color in this room work. Let's discuss several points:

The Walls & Ceiling:

The darker shade of wall color is only on two walls, and most importantly, the small window wall is selected as one of them.

That's a good choice, as a white trimmed window gives the decorator the ability to soften the darker wall. Also, having a window on that darker background lets you introduce a pop of color using draperies. So even though the wall is dark, you're able to soften it with the window itself.

The ceiling and the wall to the left are lighter shades. Yes, you can paint a ceiling a dark color and make it work, however in the case of this space, it wasn't wise. Primarily because the room is small, and you're already putting darker colors on two walls.

In this case, it's best to leave the ceiling white or a very soft light grey along with the opposing wall.  However, you can choose a white ceiling and still go with a light grey for that opposing wall.

The Wall Unit, Bed and Desk:

Notice the sides and interior of the wall unit are white ... that's smart. If the interior of the wall unit had dark shelves and dark background the room would feel and look more closed in. 

By putting color only on the front of the cabinet, and leaving the rest white, you get storage and color without over-powering the space.

Note that the wall unit almost reaches the ceiling, yet it still works in this space. The primary reason for this is the depth of it combined with the simple design. It's sleek, stream-lined appearance allows you to draw your eye upwards giving the illusion that the ceiling is high.

The desk and bed furniture are white. Another wise choice. Although there's no bedding featured in the space, it's best to keep the bedding very light or white. That way, the bright colors along with the dark walls are softened with larger sections of white including the white shelves and desk.

The Room's Accessories:

Other than the bedding, choose color. Although the area rug is wonderfully loud with it's artwork and color, the room needs it.

With solid colored walls, floors, and bedding, the rug is a perfect place to feature funkiness. In fact, if you're able to find the rug first, you can draw colors from the rug itself to determine the overall palette of the room.

Use color in the lights, pillows,  drapes, bean bag chairs, photo frames, or a shelf or two as featured in the photo.

Texture - that's right, there's texture in this space: The pillows, the rugs, the green chair cover and the drapes provide texture. Without it, the room would feel stark. So go ahead and choose a bright textured rug - you could even choose a thicker shag rug.

Lastly, Your Color Palete:

That's easier than you think. If you're pulling colors from a rug, stay in the family of colors featured in that rug.

Another way to choose color is to select two colors as was done above (which happen to be in the rug) - blue and green - then allow the walls and floor to act as the neutral base, and always always add a third and/or forth color in the rest of the accessories. That helps to soften the feeling of the room. When you only select two primary colors, a space can feel more monochromatic and cold.

The above room is small and colorful but feels warm and inviting - that's because of the bright complimentary colors chosen for the accessories.

Don't let small spaces hold you back - let your funky side out.

Happy Decorating!

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


  1. I've been in two homes with long and narrow bedrooms like this one, Barbara, and see from your example and descriptions here just how color could have changed each of them. Thanks, as always, for your decorating ideas.

  2. Thank you Barbara for this most useful home decor and painting tutorial. I will send this along to some friends who are in need of some decor help. Small spaces are really difficult and you have made it easy. The room looks fantastic.

  3. I wish I could plan it out a little more thoughtfully... sometimes I end up with poor color choices. But when it has turned out right, it's great. I like using color in small spaces - I just fumble around with it. This is a great article with great suggestions on how to think about it.

  4. I've never been good with putting colors together, so this is a very helpful article. Love this room!

  5. Really great suggestions! I loved the idea of using the rug as the source of the overall room color scheme. That is a really cute room in the photo. I never would have thought to use the grey on the walls.


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