The best colors for a small bedroom — according to interior designers

Paint brushes at the ready — the best colors for a small bedroom will tie the space together and still feel like you

A neutral boho themed bedroom shot with white walls with natural elements like flowers and a wooden nightstand
(Image credit: Getty Images/Kseniya Ovchinnikova)

When choosing the best colors for a small bedroom, there are many factors to consider, including your personal preferences, the mood you're trying to project in the room, and trends you're interesting in following, to name a few.

If you don't already have a superstar shade in mind for your small bedroom, our paint professionals and interior designers have shared their medal-worthy hues, making color-selection for a small bedroom an absolute cinch.

Whether you're aiming for something playful and fun, a zen oasis of calm, or you're compelled to stick to neutral and less risky hues, our expert guide is perfect for figuring out the direction of your small bedroom ideas

What are the best colors for a small bedroom?

When styling a small bedroom, color ties everything together, but first think about the purpose your room will serve. Will it be a cozy, hygge retreat, or something out-of-the-ordinary and bristling with personality? 

"Hone in on an aesthetic direction that resonates with you," says Lindsay Viren, an IKEA US interior design leader. "Have a set color palette to build a story around. Most of all, your space should reflect who you are and what you love."

Our experts break down the best colors for a small bedroom into four categories.

Lindsay Viren
Lindsay Viren

Lindsay Viren is an IKEA US interior design leader. Her goal is to use her creative talent and project management experience to create compelling, inspirational, and functional spaces for clients.

1. Lighter shades for calm

A calm, light green boho bedroom, zooming in on the bed with green bedding and rattan headboard, a rectangular tall nightstand, and dried neutral flowers

(Image credit: Getty Images/Lilas Gh)

Light, natural shades such as sage green or light blue are some of the calmest colors for a small bedroom and do wonders for making the space feel more expansive.

"To make a small bedroom feel larger than it is, I recommend going with lighter shades, allowing homeowners to create a more spacious look that’s bright and airy," says Sue Wadden, the director of color marketing at Sherwin-Williams.

She's particularly fond of the brand's 2024 Color of the Year — Upward SW 6239 — a denim blue with soft, gray undertones that works well paired with white and natural linen hues for the perfect calming effect.

Benjamin Moore's color marketing and development manager, Hannah Yeo, favors something different for a restful environment. 

"Earthy hues also have a calming effect," she says. "Imagine yourself walking on the beach or curling up in a wood cabin. Tans and beiges create a cozy and inviting space while deep browns are enveloping, providing a sense of stability and security."

Hannah Yeo
Hannah Yeo

Hannah Yeo is the color marketing and development manager at Benjamin Moore. Her area of expertise is in color, design, and concept development. 

Sue Wadden
Sue Wadden

Sue Wadden is Sherwin-Williams' director of color marketing, responsible for developing color systems, consumer and professional education tools, as well as research of color and industry trends.

2. Feel-good playful colors

@homewithhelenandco green and pink floral bedroom with a plant hanging above

(Image credit: @homewithhelenandco)

"A punch of color can do wonders in a room," Hannah says. "Wake up to your favorite color in the morning and create a joyful space for yourself."

When picking the best colors for a small bedroom, try focusing on the feeling you're hoping to evoke whenever you look at those paint choices on the walls. Hannah says consider everything from "Optimistic yellows", to "feel-good pinks and vibrant violets". 

We're all for colorful small bedroom ideas to help bring back our sense of innate playfulness that can be so easy to lose in the hectic day-to-day of adulting.

3. Pastels for fun

Pink bedroom with pink and purple checkerboard headboard design and kitschy bright pink and green trinkets

(Image credit: @theintrovertedition)

These hues allow dwellers to have fun with bright colors in a small bedroom without going overwhelming the space with light-zapping, pigment-rich shades.

"Pastels not only sooth but also reflect light and give the illusion of a
bigger space," says Zev Freidus, interior specialist and the founder of ZFC Real Estate in Florida. "These colors work well for both renters and decorators on a budget as they can be easily found in affordable paints."

Zev Freidus
Zev Freidus

An interiors expert, investor, and realtor, Zev launched ZVF in Florida as a full service boutique residential and commercial brokerage, connecting clients with spaces that reflect their personalities.

4. Risk-free neutrals

minimalist bedroom with wooden nightstand, lamp, wood headboard and white comforter

(Image credit: Getty Images / Woko / 500px)

If you're not quite sold on a bright or pigmented color, neutrals are a great way to dip your toe in picking the best colors for a small bedroom. Neutrals never go out of style, blending softly and easily into the background, so consider a minimalist look and work out from there.

Choosing a quiet base color for your walls will also allow you to play with pops of color in other aspects of the room, such as your furniture and textile choices, helping build your confidence in using brighter colors. Plus, you'll be able to mix things up when need be without too much hassle.

"Embrace versatile neutrals like soft grays, muted beiges, and warm taupes as foundational hues," Elizabeth Grace, interior designer and founder of Dream Home Making, previously told Real Homes. "These provide a backdrop that amplifies the visual depth and luminosity of compact spaces."

If neutrals are what you're leaning towards, the Farrow & Ball Color of the Year and its complementary shades will do very nicely in your small place. Maximum sleek vibes, with minimal angst about committing to a bold shade.

Elizabeth Grace, interior designer headshot
Elizabeth Grace

Elizabeth Grace is an interior designer born and raised in Philadelphia. After receiving her degree in Interior design from the University of Notre Dame, she moved to New York to pursue her dream of becoming an interior designer. Her passion drives her to create a platform to share her experience and facilitate her audience.


What are the worst colors for a small bedroom?

Interior designers and paint experts agree dark paint colors will make a small room look cramped, so avoid deep reds, teals, plums, and other deep hues as they will not reflect light well. 

What are the small color trends of 2024?

Many of the latest color trends include a little bit of everything: pastels, minimalist neutrals, monochromatic hues, and more. The Pantone Color of the Year is Peach Fuzz, a "shade that resonates with compassion, offers a tactile embrace, and effortlessly bridges the youthful with the timeless."

When picking the best colors for a small bedroom, consider the vibe you want to project, how bold you'll dare to be with your shade and the feeling you want to enjoy whenever you enter your space.

Now your small bedroom color choices have been clarified, consider revamping your whole place with our experts' take on the best small space color trends to take hold in 2024. We have a feeling you're going to love these styles. 

Danielle Valente
Content Editor

Pleasure to meet you! I'm Danielle, a content editor at Real Homes who loves scoping out interior trends. I've specialized in lifestyle writing and editing for 10 years with a focus on events, food, and books, among other areas. When I'm not working, I'm usually cooking, reading, or searching for a new project for my apartment.

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