When trying to make a small room feel larger, most reach for the white paint on the grounds it will make the space feel bigger, brighter, better. Unfortunately, the reality is that white isn’t always right. Sure, if you live in a loft drenched in light, an all-white room is gorgeous, but what if your home is a dingy basement flat? Or a studio with limited natural light? The result, in this instance, is often cold, uninspiring and very meh. Fortunately, there are loads of other options beyond ‘brilliant white.’ You could play it safe with some soft neutrals or, as the title suggests, you could turn to the dark side...
Dark = cosy
Image credit: Bertrand Fompeyrine found via Clever
This cool Parisian studio is a great example of embracing dark tones in the bedroom. In a small space with very little natural light, trying to ‘fake’ a bright and airy room wouldn’t work. By painting the walls and ceiling a dark grey, this tiny boudoir feels very cosy. The contrast of the lighter living space, glass doors and terrazzo floors make this bedroom look even more inviting.
Image credit via Apartment Therapy
A dark colour palette encompasses so much more than greys and blues. Melissa’s apartment featured in Apartment therapy’s ‘Small Cool’ competition back in 2015, but it still feels fresh compared to most minimalist, small bedrooms. The forest green walls and ceiling are less overbearing when paired with light bed linen, and the statement lighting and gallery wall give this bedroom depth.
A lesson in luxe
Image found via Abigail Ahern
This guest bedroom belonging to the owners of the uber-cool lighting company, Apparatus Studio, is a lesson in how to achieve luxe in a small space. The dark walls paired with gold accents and lots of layered textiles, make it a beautiful home from home for any guest. The light fitting in itself is enough to distract anyone from the pint-sized proportions of this room.
Image found via mydomaine.com, photo Claire Esparros for Homepolish
If the prospect of painting all the walls dark seems a bit overwhelming, you can add a hint of darkness with an accent wall. Dark colours read as receding, so an accent wall can visually enlarge a space (take that white). Keep the other walls light, and the whole area can feel brighter.
If you are going to take the plunge and banish those white walls bear the following in mind:
1. Choose light window treatments and bedding to balance out the dark. If you are worried that a dark colour palette will overwhelm the space, soften it all up with neutral bed linen and curtains to provide some contrast.
2. Reflect as much natural light as possible. Mirrors are the secret weapon in tiny spaces so make sure you put them to work in a dark bedroom. Placing a mirror opposite a window will help reflect the light available and add warmth to the room.
3. Finish is everything. The type of paint you use can have a big impact on the result. Typically paint with a matte finish blurs and disguises the edges of the walls, making a small room feel bigger.
You can find more inspiration for your dark bedroom here.