small room decor

Best tips on using dark colours in small spaces

Conventional wisdom has it that small spaces need to be decorated in light pastels – or even the age-old favourites, beige or white. But aren’t you tired of staring at pastel shades all the time?

IKEA experts say that it is indeed time for a change because the latest décor insights say that dark colours are the way to go, in small spaces.

However, there are certain small tips and tricks you keep in mind because using dark colours requires some thought behind it. We have collated the best advice for you to improve the small spaces in your home using dark colours.

Which wall?

When it comes to walls, dark colours on the longer walls can make space seem bigger. Conversely, a dark, short wall compresses space.

So, pick the longest wall and paint it a dark colour. Contrast with a lighter shade for the window wall or a shorter wall. This helps in visually maximising the space.

Which shades work best?

Don’t just pick a colour you like from a catalogue. It may not work well in your space.

If possible, pick a hidden or covered portion of the wall you intend to paint, and dab a few shades that you favour. Watch how the light and shade play on each colour, and then make your final choice.

Ceilings and trims

Never paint your ceiling a dark colour: it will immediately make any room look cramped.

Similarly, if you have a low ceiling, do not use a different colour to contrast the trim. This just makes the whole room look smaller.

Another piece of advice from IKEA is not to accentuate shelves or niches. Rather, make sure that the edges blend in naturally.

Using contrasts well

Remember: dark colours must be used sparingly, not across everything. That’s why contrast is crucial.

For this, use furniture and fabrics to mute the dark walls. If you want to add more colour here, use light shades for cushions, rugs or carpets.

Just make sure everything matches an overall colour palette, or you’ll end up creating a jarring effect.

Top tip: Floral or geometric patterns that pick up the wall colours can bring everything together.

Strategic touches

As always, mirrors, metallic fixtures or art pieces can add a dramatic touch.

Experiment by shifting these pieces around to see how best they catch the light and open up your space.

Now, your small spaces will stand out thanks to the judicious use of a few dark colours!

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