Do Dark Colored Walls Make a Room Feel Smaller?

As an estimator for ALLBRiGHT 1-800-PAINTING Painting, I get asked all the time, “Does painting the walls in a room in a dark color make if feel smaller?” Well, the answer is, “It depends, each person sees and feels things differently.” How people see and feel things is entirely subjective. There is no wrong answer, but I would guess that if you were to poll a lot of individuals, most of them would say yes, it would make the room feel smaller.

At ALLBRiGHT 1-800-PAINTING Painting, we are certainly big fans of using color to achieve the desired results of the homeowners or creating a unique color palette in a home. We are known for our own custom boutique line of colors and for our custom color consulting services. We are not afraid to go with dark colors in any room. Having said that, since most people would say a dark color on the walls will make a room feel smaller, we would suggest that if you are going to paint the walls in a dark color, then try to paint the ceiling in the same dark color or half the strength of the wall color. This will visually provide “lift” in the room and will keep the ceiling from feeling lower, which could make the room feel smaller.

Here’s how it works. If you paint the walls in a dark color and leave the ceiling in a light color, like the off white that most homes have, then you have a very clear contrast line at the ceiling and your eye tends to travel up the wall and then stop at that line and it can make you feel like you have a low ceiling. For some people, this can create a “closed in” feeling, making the room feel smaller to them. If you paint the ceiling the same color as the walls or even half the strength of the walls, then the contrast line is nonexistent or at least not as noticeable. Your eye will travel up the wall and continue onto the ceiling without hitting an obvious stopping point. This should create the visual lift and have the effect of making the room feel taller and not so closed in. So we say, “go ahead, pick a dark color if you want to!” Just remember to paint the ceiling in the same color if you are worried about making the room feel smaller. If you need help with color selection, please feel free to give us a call at 1-800-PAINTING and we would be happy to help you. We service all of greater Los Angeles from Santa Clarita Valley, Pasadena, Thousand Oaks, San Fernando Valley, Beverly Hills, Hancock Park, Brentwood, Pacific Palisades, and many more areas.