Pocket-Sized Powerhouses: Color Lessons From Fearless Small Spaces

For most small spaces, the color of choice is white. White is bright, it’s safe, it makes small rooms seem larger. But that doesn’t mean that color doesn’t have a place in petite spaces. Here are five apartments that buck the trend, and prove that sometimes, a little bit (or a lot) of color in a small space can be just right.

One way to add color to a small space is with a single big color statement. In Emily’s 600-square-foot Houston home, a pane of brilliant blue wraps one side of the living room. The rest of the colors in the room are fairly muted, so the space feels cheerful and dynamic, but not overwhelming.

In the living room of Kate’s 500-square-foot West Village apartment, there are a few bright spots against a background of white. A consistent color scheme (red and blue) keeps the feeling of the room cohesive.

Marcus, who lives in this 270-square-foot apartment spotted on AD Russia, has also opted for brightly colored accents in a white room. The different elements don’t really “match,” but there’s enough negative space between the pieces for the effect to be cheerful and not chaotic.

In this stylish New York studio apartment from Afternoon With, Patrick shows how you can use color as a neutral. The space’s walls and ceiling are painted in a soothing light blue, which serves as a backdrop for the natural tones of the furniture, and little accents in other colors, particularly green.

Pati, who lives in this 840-square-foot UK apartment spotted on Desire to Inspire, has chosen to go for broke with black. This is essentially the same strategy as in Kate’s space, but instead of placing colorful elements against a white backdrop, here the background is black. Brightly colored elements (like the candlesticks, the painting, and even the plant) shine against the dark field. It’s an unusual choice for a small space—but also a very striking one.

What do you think? What colorful, bold tricks have you tried in your own home that work?

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