These Colors Make Any Small Room Feel Instantly Bigger

These easy changes can make any room feel more spacious in a snap.

The right paint can make or break any room—and that's especially true when you're working in a small space. A color that's too bright can easily overwhelm the space, while one that's too muted or has the wrong undertones can make your petite interiors appear cramped and drab.

And with so many options available, finding the right hue for you is no easy feat. That's why we've teamed up with design experts to bring you the colors that will make any room feel bigger in no time. And if you want to avoid making your home seem smaller, ditch these 23 Terrible Home Design Mistakes That Shrink Your Space.


green room with gray couch and large windows
Shutterstock/united photo studio

Want to make a room look larger without making it a sea of white? Try incorporating some pastels instead.

Pastels, including light yellows, baby pinks and blues, and light pistachio tones, "allow you fill the room with some nice color while also capitalizing upon the light-reflecting
benefits of lighter tones," says interior designer Megan Thompson, founder of Denver-based Spark Interiors.

So, how can you use these colors for maximum benefit? "You can make your room feel even larger by contrasting the pastel with a white trim and lighter colored flooring," Thompson suggests.

Warm Blues

warm blue living room

For those truly trying to make a statement in their home, a warmer blue tone can simultaneously make the room appear larger and give your home the bold pop of color that you desire, says Shawn Breyer, owner of Atlanta House Buyers.

"Blues, like turquoise, are relaxing, similar to deep ocean blues with hints of green," he says. "When you have sufficient natural light flowing into the room, the warmer blues will reflect that light. The vibrancy from these reflections makes your rooms appear larger." If you're looking to add a contrast wall, Breyer suggests pairing those warm blues with oranges, reds, and browns. And for more great information delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Cool Colors with a Glossy Finish

room with light blue walls colors that make small rooms feel bigger

You can maximize the reflecting efficacy of light cool colors, like pale frosty blue or light lavender, by picking them up in a glossy sheen, says Cristina Miguelez, a remodeling specialist with home remodeling website "You want your surfaces to reflect light. This will make the room seem larger as well. So opt for a slightly glossier finish than you would ordinarily," she says. Howver, there is a limit: "Don't go full glossy, as this will seem odd, but a light sheen can work wonders."

If you have a small room that lacks a healthy source of natural light, Miguelez suggests going for a lighter cool color with a slightly glossy finish to help create light and texture in the space.

Light Neutrals

Neutral Interior Design Palette colors that make small rooms feel bigger

To make a small space feel physically bigger, use light neutral colors, like alabaster and gray with taupe undertones, suggests Cate Griffing, co-owner of Wow1day Painting in Bergen County, New Jersey.

"Using very light colors is a sure way to make a space feel and appear bigger. The lighter the color, the more light-reflective it will be, which, of course, is what makes a room feel bigger," Griffing says. "Another way to make a room feel bigger is with the paint finish. Using an eggshell or a satin finish will also help reflect light."

Dark Neutrals

room with dark navy walls colors that make small rooms feel bigger

While you may think that dark colors would shrink your space, experts say the opposite is often true. According to Lanna Ali-Hassan, co-owner of Beyond the Box Interiors, a full-service interior design firm located in Washington, D.C., darker paint colors can actually create an optical illusion, tricking the eye into believing that the edges of the room are nonexistent, thus making the room appear bigger.

"There are some darker tones that can make a room feel grand, such as Kendall Charcoal or Hale Navy, both of which are from Benjamin Moore," she says. "They actually make all of the edges of a room disappear, making the space appear larger." And if you want to make any area of your home feel more spacious, discover these 30 Home Design Tricks That Will Make Any Room Look So Much Bigger.

Ashley Moor
Ashley hails from Dayton, Ohio, and has more than six years of experience in print and digital media. Read more
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