Colors That Make Rooms Bigger & Brighter


Decorating a small room that lacks natural light can be a challenge. The color palette that you choose has a major impact on how large a space feels, and opting for a dark, rich shade may make the walls feel as if they are closing in so the room appears smaller than it actually is. Fortunately, there are several colors that can actually have an enlarging effect on the space and brighten it at the same. Starting with shades that reflect the light will put you on the right path.


  • White is often a go-to color for brightening a room and making it feel larger. However, a bright white shade can sometimes be too stark if you use it for all four walls. An effective trick for using white to give the illusion of a larger room is to cover the ceiling with it. It helps make the ceiling appear taller so the room takes on a more spacious feel. However, if a stark white is too bright when paired with a darker wall color, try mixing in a bit of the second shade to the white paint to tint it slightly so the room has a more balanced look that makes it feel larger and brighter.


  • Cream is an ideal alternative to white for your walls because it has a yellow undertone that gives it a warmer feel. However, the color is still pale enough to reflect the light and give the illusion that the room is larger than it actually is. Using such a light shade also helps the walls recede a bit so the room has a more open, spacious feel.

Ice Blue

  • If you prefer a cooler color, an ice blue wall shade is an effective option for brightening your room and making it feel larger. The cool tones in the blue reflect the light to help open up the space, but also have a soothing quality that can give the room a peaceful feel. As a result, an ice blue color is ideal for a small bedroom where you want a larger, more open feel.

Mint Green

  • Similar to ice blue, mint green is a cool toned, light color that can reflect light in a smaller room to give the illusion of a larger space. Because it is a softer shade, it also works well for a bedroom. To help the space feel even more spacious, consider using a slightly lighter shade of green for the trim and molding. The lighter shade of mint green makes these border elements recede so the room does not feel closed in and the space feels wider than it actually is.

Pale Yellow

  • If you like the idea of color on your walls but prefer warmer tones, try a pale yellow to create a space with bright, airy feeling. While yellow adds a pop of color to the space, it can also serve as a neutral shade of sorts because you can pair it with so many other colors. It is an ideal option for a small kitchen, living room or dining room, but can be used in any room of the house for a warm, brightening effect in a cramped space.

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