Colours to Avoid in Dark Rooms

When deciding on the colour scheme of a dark, dimly lit or windowless room, it’s best to start by eliminating the colours which don’t work.

By using our guide, you’ll be able to plan a colour scheme that will make even the most unpromising room a harmonious, cosy space.

Use red with caution

Red is a wonderful colour choice, but not in a dark room, where it can contribute to a sense of claustrophobia.

If, however, you are passionate about red, consider using softer hues such as earthy pink or rhubarb. These bring year-round warmth to a room, and pair well with complementary colours such as blues and greens.

Be careful with orange

Orange, which works so beautifully in a well-lit space, has the opposite effect in a small room, taking on an unattractive muddy and dirty tone.

The best way to use orange in a dim space is as an accent, paired in small doses with yellows and teal. Make sure to also use a vibrant orange in this instance.

Yellow isn’t mellow

Yellow is an emotional choice, literally. It has been shown to have an impact on one’s nervous system and can lead to feelings of anxiety and heightened emotions. So, unless yellow brings you particular joy, it’s best to avoid using it in a dark space.

There are, of course, ways around the issue, with deep golden colours creating a sense of warmth and sophistication, especially when paired with antique furnishings.

White may not be right

It may seem counterintuitive, but pure white won’t open up the space in a small, dark room. On the contrary, it can highlight shadows and create an uncomfortable contrast.

The good news is that there are many shades of white which can work beautifully, such as warmer, honey-hued tones. It’s always a good idea to pick a few shades, paint them onto large pieces of paper and place them on the wall to observe how they look at various times of the day.

Shades of grey

Grey is a wonderfully versatile colour, but it’s crucial to choose the correct shade.

In design circles, the current trend is to lean into the darkness and use warm-toned greys, contrasting them nicely with off-white panelling and other elements which use warm reds, terracotta and burnt orange.

In terms of the perception of space in a room, the general rule of thumb is that pale greys will make the room look larger, while deep charcoals will close it in.

Call Pelham Painters

Knowing which paints to avoid is the first step to creating beauty in a small room. For more advice on what colours will work best, give us a call.