What is the happiest color for a small bedroom? Here's what experts recommend for a dopamine boost

Paint pros from Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams shell out their picks and style advice

two colorful bedrooms on a peach gradient
(Image credit: @sundayharris + @theintrovertedition)

Food for thought: what is the happiest color for a small bedroom? Can we add a little serotonin to our sleep quarters with just a few brush strokes? 

According to paint experts from Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams, there are ways to channel a feel-good vibe through paint, but you have to be strategic. When space is scarce, it's important to plan out where to place those splashes of bright, rich hues.

Fortunately, if you're on the hunt for small bedroom ideas, these pros will guide you toward a euphoric shade that's right for you — and they'll explain how to style it properly. If you don't have paint rollers at the ready, consider this your cue. 

What is the happiest color for a small bedroom? Color experts weigh in

We're looking forward to new small space color trends in 2024, but not all of the styles lend themselves toward the cheerier colors of ROY G BIV. But go with your gut — if there's a playful shade that's calling your name, give it a try.

The happiest color for a small bedroom

pink bedroom with pink and purple checkerboard headboard design and kitschy trnkets

(Image credit: @theintrovertedition)

"From optimistic yellows to feel-good pinks to vibrant violets, small bedrooms are a perfect place to be personal and experimental," says Benjamin Moore's color marketing and development manager, Hannah Yeo. "A punch of color can do wonders in a room."

But not all colorful small bedroom ideas have to go to the quintessential smiley-face yellow. In fact, if you ask Sue Wadden, Sherwin-Williams' director of color marketing, there are tones that evoke the same positive energy as yellow that we might not even be taking into consideration. 

"While [yellow] is a very obvious choice, most nature-inspired hues give us the same feeling," she says.

If you're planning on going the "happy" route when styling a small bedroom, Yeo and Wadden suggest the following shades: 

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 is Sherwin-Williams' director of color marketing, where she's responsible for conception and execution of effective marketing materials, development of color systems, consumer and professional education tools, research of color and industry trends, media relations, and public speaking engagements.

How to style the colors

a calm boho nightstand next to a bed with white and yellow sheets

(Image credit: @sundayharris)

So, Raspberry Blush won you over. Perhaps Upward, Sherwin-Williams' color of the year, stole your heart. Now what? One of the biggest small bedroom design mistakes is thinking that the paint must go on all four walls. 

"Be selective on the areas you want to pop," Yeo recommends. "For instance, a painted headboard, gallery wall, and ceiling are great ways to bring focus with color. For bold wall color choices, keep the furnishings neutral to bring balance and cohesion."

Likewise, Wadden is in favor of the less-is-more approach in a small area. 

"In order to make sure a color doesn’t overpower a room homeowners, can use them as accent colors — on trims, on a single accent wall, or cabinets," she says. "This is a great way to incorporate some color into a room without painting all four walls."

Also consider particular themes when choosing a color. The periwinkle Windmill Wings provides a great summer vibe and pairs nicely with a clean white. The dreamy Stardew pairs well with natural themes: think woven baskets, linens, and a bedside plant.

What you'll need

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Curious what other colors are taking over? 2024 is going to be a beaut, that's for sure. 


What are the worst colors for a small bedroom?

The worst paint colors for a small space, according to interior designers, is anything dark, as it has the capability of making the room look smaller than it is. "Muddier" colors, shades with an unclear undertone, might make things look messy. Bright, neon shades can overpower a space. We'll admit that anything can work in a small space, provided there's a thought process behind it: perhaps you're using a dark color for one statement wall or bringing about neon accents to accentuate white walls. It's just a matter of being thoughtful. 

How do you brighten a small bedroom?

In order to brighten a small bedroom, make sure you're not relying on one overhead light source; multiple are needed to create the ambiance you're looking for. Add mirrors and when hanging curtains, make sure to hang the curtain rod a generous space above the window itself to give the illusion of more space. 

Working with a rental? You'll have to proceed carefully and abide by the rules in your lease. Sure, things can get tricky when the space is not your own, so we went on the hunt for expert-backed essential painting tips all renters need to know that will make your space look great *and* keep your landlord pleased.

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.