Picking up a paintbrush to slather the walls in a new hue is daring enough on its own, let alone dipping it in a tub of vivid color. Of course, when you have a large room, the idea of creating an accent wall isn't so daunting since there's so much space for it to breathe, but it's an entirely different story when you're approaching bright paint colors for a studio. But don't let the fear stop. Bright paint colors can completely transform a small space, and designers agree.
If going vivid with color frightens you a little, set those worries aside. We asked top designers to share their favorite bright paint colors to get you started. Here are their favorite picks.
Farrow & Ball Oval Room Blue
While Tali Roth, interior designer for Homepolish, generally prefers more tonal or muted tones, if she were to opt for a bright one, she'd choose vivid all the way. "I love vivid color in small spaces," she tells MyDomaine. "I think it gives small spaces so much life and personality, but it also plays on the size, making it feel more significant in impact even if it is small."
Try pairing this hue with tans, pinks, navy, and yellows.
Farrow & Ball Pink Ground
Of course, when we asked Roth to choose her favorite brights, they had a softer filter. "[This is] another amazing color that acts neutral enough and can be pared with richer and deeper colors for a more striking look, or with grays, whites, and naturals for a neutral look," said Roth.
Farrow & Ball Rectory Red
You might have shied away from red in the past, but let us convince you to take the risk. "Theatrical and at the very same time warm and relaxing, this beautiful hue looks perfect in any room, especially bedrooms and living rooms," said Abigail Ahern. "I would go all out and paint every wall in it."
Sherwin-Williams Goldfinch Yellow
Whether you want to paint a whole wall with it, or keep it for trim, this yellow hue can create magic. "This golden hue is super soft, and although many people are scared of using it, I am a little obsessed," Ahern said. "When it's paired with chocolate, magic happens as you get that contrast thing going on with inky and warmth."
Valspa Raspberry Wine
Here's your grown-up alternative to pink. "Raspberry pink is bright but deeply saturated, lending it a sophisticated air," Ahern explained. "And the reason I love it so much is it looks gorgeous paired with so many colors across the spectrum, from grays, to reds, to greens."
Bright colors distract the eye, so you won't focus on how small the space is, but rather, how cool the space is.
Dunn Edwards Exuberant Orange
"Orange is a result of yellow's calming effects on red's aggression and will revitalize your space with a warm, refreshing energy," said interior designer and author of The New York Times and L.A. Times best seller, Change Your Home, Change Your Life With Color, Moll Anderson. "In fact, in ancient Chinese religion, orange was the color of transformation due to its interaction of red with yellow." If you're nervous (and color-averse), start small, with trim, cupboards, or an accent wall.
Dunn Edwards Golf Course
Green, which often channels nature, can bring balance to a room. "Located in the center of the color spectrum, green is the color of balance, combining the cool tones of blue with the warm tones of yellow," Anderson said. She also recommends choosing a non-matte finish for accent walls.
"I suggest that readers lacquer their accent walls so that the colors are more than just paint—the intensity and vibrancy are amplified to create a more emotional visceral response," Anderson said.
Dunn Edwards Summer Sun
If you want the vibe of your space to fill you with energy everyday, go with yellow. "Uplifting, refreshing, and rejuvenating, yellow is a happy color strongly associated with the sun," Anderson advised. "The highly reflective color will help to open up small spaces and bring light in!"
Benjamin Moore Seaweed
When it comes to bright, jewel tones can not only liven up a small space, but open it up, too." This color brings the outdoors in, subconsciously making you feel as though you are outside, which in turn will make your small space feel bigger," says Katherine Carter of Katherine Carter Design.
Farrow & Ball Vardo
If feeling calm in your space is important to you, choose a more tranquil shade, like this one from Farrow & Ball. "I would suggest using this color in a small home office," said Carter. "If you keep the molding and trim white, it will trick the eye into seeing distance between the bright blue, ultimately giving an illusion of more space."
Farrow & Ball Nancy's Blushes
If you want to go bold, this is a great choice, especially for a powder room. "Unexpected and vibrant, the color can create a stunning effect that is upbeat and brave without becoming tiresome," said Farrow & Ball's head of creative, Charlie Cosby. "Pair it with darker hues for an updated, modern effect that feels both calming and playful at the same time
Farrow & Ball Studio Green
A strong, dark color works well in a sitting room. "This will draw your attention to the furnishings and bring the space together, creating a stylized and inviting feel that highlights the design elements of the room, which will make its size essentially unnoticeable," Cosby said.
Farrow & Ball Radicchio
Need to liven up your dressing area? This is the ideal shade. "It is warm and inviting, while also evoking a sense of opulence," Cosby said. "The color will allow the dressing area to feel glamorous, with the classic red hue creating a timeless look."
Benjamin Moore Super White
When in doubt, you can always fall back on a classic white. "My old house was painted this color from floor to ceiling and it brought so much light to even the smallest of spaces," said interior designer Emily Henderson. "It’s so simple, clean, serene, and bright, and it basically has no tone to it, so it works for any space."
Devine Color by Valspar Paint Pirouette
Want to instantly bring fun to your space? Go pink. "If you are dying for some color in your small space, then rather than go too bright or electric in tone, keep it light and bright with this pretty pink tone," Henderson said.
Farrow & Ball Teresa's Green
If you really are afraid of using electric hues, then add a splash of color via an accent wall or small panel instead. "For a bright minty green that's really easy on the eyes, I love Teresa's Green," Henderson said. "I've done many aquas and some of them I’ve liked, and some of them I’ve wished they were more muted. But this green is super soft, and yet not sage-y at all. It would be beautiful in a small space with natural light."