Common sense would suggest that the best color to paint a room with little natural light would be white. After all, what makes a room look brighter and lighter more than stark white walls? Contrary to popular belief, the best paint color for low-light rooms is not actually white. An all white room can only contribute to making it feel bland and uninspiring, rather than giving it the bright and airy feel we all crave and love.
"When choosing a paint color for your home, it's important to take into consideration the architecture, the purpose, the shape, the direction of a room, and the light, as they will contribute to the changing appearance of colors," explains Charlie Cosby, head of creative at Farrow & Ball.
Start by testing colors at home to see how the color choices respond to the changing light in a space and how well they work with a room's features.
In north-facing rooms particularly, which are notoriously low in natural light, the paint expert advises staying away from white: "North-facing rooms can be difficult to decorate, as they are naturally darker. In these spaces, we would advise you to use strong color and embrace what nature has given. Dark colors can all be used to create drama and intimacy." Ready to see your dark room in a whole new light? These are the best paint colors for low-light rooms.
Black Beauty by Benjamin Moore
If you're going to go dark in a room, why not go all the way and opt for an all-black look? This color would look great on built-in bookcases or even painted on all walls and the ceiling for a cozy, dramatic look.
In the Moment by Behr
This gray-green hue complements nature beautifully and would look fantastic in a Scandinavian-style living room filled with neutral accents.
Wheat Penny by Sherwin-Williams
Camel tones can be intimidating, but this deep warm hue is the perfect backdrop for a cozy breakfast nook or lounge area. Just pair it with other rich neutral tones for an elegant effect.
Prince by Clare
If you're feeling adventurous, try a deep plum like this Prince color from paint startup Clare. This moody hue pairs well with warm neutrals to create a cozy vibe that's perfect for a lounge or TV room.
Excalibur Gray by Benjamin Moore
While this color is on the lighter side, its grayed-out lilac hue is perfect to create an almost-neutral moody feel. We can picture this color in a relaxing tone-on-tone bedroom.
Brinjal by Farrow & Ball
Due to its high level of pigments, Farrow & Ball is the go-to paint brand for deep hues. This plum tone would look fantastic in a small moody space like a kids' bedroom or a dark hallway.
Charcoal Blue by Sherwin-Williams
This almost-black blue hue is perfect for creating a dark and dramatic flair in a living or dining room. Try pairing it with cool light blue and gray tones.
Equilibrium by Behr
Not afraid of color? Try this deep forest green hue in a dark room like an office with built-in bookcases, or a kitchen with low natural light.
Misty by Sherwin-Williams
A lighter option than most other dark paint colors, this misty hue will give a small space a cozy feel. Use it in a bedroom and pair it with tone-on-tone gray hues with touches of black.
Big Apple by Clare
Not afraid of color? This bold red is fierce and would look great in a powder room or dining space to create the perfect lively mood for entertaining.
Incense Stick by Benjamin Moore
We think this dark, grayed-out brown would create a quaint, cozy vibe in a library or TV room.