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This Is the Simplest (And Cheapest) Way to Open up a Small Space

bright paint colors for small spaces

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 you. 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.

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Farrow & Ball Oval Room Blue

Farrow & Ball - Oval Room Blue

 Courtesy of Farrow & Ball

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 and Ball Oval Room Blue $110.00
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Farrow & Ball Pink Ground

Farrow & Ball - Pink Ground

 Courtesy of Farrow & Ball

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 paired with richer and deeper colors for a more striking look, or with grays, whites, and naturals for a neutral look," said Roth.

Farrow & Ball Pink Ground $110.00
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Benjamin Moore Beau Green

Benjamin Moore - Beau Green

 Courtesy of Benjamin Moore

If you want to bring the drama, look no further than this shade by Benjamin Moore. "A rich blue-green looks amazing with woods and brass and mustard tones. It looks super dramatic in small spaces—very luxe," Roth said.

Benjamin Moore Beau Green $47.00
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Farrow & Ball Rectory Red

Farrow & Ball - Rectory Red

Courtesy of Farrow & Ball

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."

Farrow & Ball Rectory Red $110.00
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Sherwin-Williams Goldfinch Yellow

paint ideas

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."

Sherwin Williams Goldfinch Yellow $45.00
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Dunn Edwards Exuberant Orange

Dunn Edwards - Exuberant Orange

 @dazeyden /

"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 bestseller, 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 Exuberant Orange $47.00
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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 Golf Course $47.00
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Dunn Edwards Summer Sun

dunn edwards - summer sun

 Pipa Art & Home Decor

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!"

Dunn Edwards Summer Sun $47.00
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Benjamin Moore Seaweed

benjamin moore - seaweed

Courtesy of Benjamin Moore 

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.

Benjamin Moore Seaweed $47.00
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Sherwin-Williams Framboise

Sherwin-Williams Framboise

 Courtesy of Sherwin Williams 

Fiery magenta is a really fun color for small spaces; it adds a visual element of richness and fun. Bonus: This color is meant to induce positive energy, harmony, and emotional balance.

Sherwin-Williams Framboise $45.00
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Farrow & Ball Vardo

Farrow & Ball - Vardo

Fiona Duke Interiors  

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 Vardo $110.00
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Farrow & Ball Nancy's Blushes

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 Nancy's Blushes $110.00
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Farrow & Ball Studio Green

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 Studio Green $110.00
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Farrow & Ball Radicchio

Farrow & Ball Raddichio

 Courtesy of Farrow & Ball

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."

Farrow & Ball Radicchio $110.00
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Farrow & Ball Stiffkey Blue

Farrow & Ball - Stiffkey Blue

 Courtesy of Farrow & Ball

"This bold blue hue creates an automatic depth of color that will leave any room feeling comfortable, soothing, and larger than expected," Cosby said. It looks great paired with with Farrow & Ball’s All-White trimmings.

Farrow & Ball Stiffkey Blue $110.00
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Benjamin Moore Super White

Benjamin Moore - Super White

Emily Henderson 

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." 

Benjamin Moore Super White $47.00
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Glidden Barely Blush

Barely Blush by Glidden

 Home Depot

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.

Barely Blush by Glidden
Glidden Barely Blush $15.00
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Farrow & Ball Teresa's Green

Farrow & Ball Teresa's Green

Photo: Mike Kelly; Design: Emily Henderson

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."

Farrow & Ball Teresa's Green $110.00