Designers Reveal Their Go-To Paint Colors for Small Rooms

These hues might surprise you.

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Photo: Virginia Macdonald; Design: Anne Hepfer

Along with settling on the right furniture and layout for a small interior, believe it or not, paint choices can have a major impact as well. Certain paint colors have a way of making a space feel more expansive than it is, and others are ideal for playing up a room's cozy vibe.

We checked in with some of our favorite design professionals to find out their go-to paint colors for small rooms, regardless of the look you're after. Read on for their top picks, including shades from Benjamin Moore and Farrow & Ball.

Benjamin Moore

Blueberry

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Benjamin Moore


"It sounds counterintuitive, but if you paint a room dark and then put light furniture in it, it tricks your eye into thinking the room is not only bigger but has more natural light." —

Polo Blue

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Benjamin Moore

"I love this color in small rooms that have minimal light. Darker hues blur the lines of corners. I love using dark paint colors paired with dark window drapery for a layered, monochromatic vibe. It layers a room without creating any clutter." —

Onyx

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Benjamin Moore


"Often in a small room, we use a saturated, deep paint hue on the walls. A velvety, almost black paint color blurs corners and lines and creates an envelope of consistency. This tricks the eye into thinking the room is bigger. Try painting the woodwork and walls Benjamin Moore Onyx. When the woodwork in a small room is painted the same color as the walls, the ceiling seems higher because there are less horizontal lines cutting through." —

Phoenix Sand

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Benjamin Moore


"Phoenix Sand has a wonderfully enveloping feeling used in a small space, creating a rich and warm glow that makes everyone look absolutely beautiful. Light bounces off this color wonderfully. It makes a room feel larger, rather than smaller, because it creates such an intensely flattering unifying background color so that furniture and art work are complemented." —

Calm

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Benjamin Moore


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This color is great for a small space that has lots of natural light. Its warm undertone pairs beautifully with neutral, layered textiles. I tend to gravitate towards lighter tones like this one for light-filled rooms. It adds depth with a subtle starkness to it." —

Chantilly Lace

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Benjamin Moore


"Chantilly Lace by Benjamin Moore is one of my favorite shades of white for a small room, because it is just white enough without being too stark. It is crisp, yet soft, with warm tones that will make your space look light and large." —

Farrow & Ball

Calamine

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Farrow & Ball

"Calamine is a great shade to use in a small space, particularly when used in an ultra-high-gloss on walls, because it created a jewelry box like effect and feels like the inside of a seashell!" —

Rectory Red

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Farrow & Ball

"For me, in a small space, it’s go bold or go home. I recently used this rich, comforting red in a cozy home office. Paired with Les Indiennes curtains in a cornflower blue, a modern lacquered desk, and an antique fateuil chair I reupholstered with an Etro paisley velvet, the room radiated energy and chic. I don't believe this would have been achieved with a lighter, neutral color. I prefer lighter washes of color in fuller, open spaces and save the drama for smaller spaces." —

Cornforth White

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Farrow & Ball

"An understated gray like Farrow & Ball's 'Cornforth White' is chic and modern, yet still welcoming. It's a sophisticated and subtle choice that will create an elegant mood in your small space." —

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