10 small bedroom paint ideas to add colour and style to your scheme

Make the most of a bijou bedroom with some clever paint ideas and space-busting tips to make the most of your room

Red and brown painted bedroom
(Image credit: Future PLC / Dominic Blackmore)

A compact space doesn’t have to fall short in the style stakes and luckily there are lots of great small bedroom paint ideas to update your small bedroom ideas. Paint is a great quick fix and there are so many amazing colours to choose from, you're bound to find something you like.

‘If your small bedroom is blessed with lots of natural light, especially a south-facing room, then play to these advantages and consider flattering, gentle tones that calm and relax,’ says Patrick O’Donnell, international brand ambassador for Farrow & Ball. ‘Anything in the pastel family (but nothing too sharp or sugary), like earthy pinks such as Templeton Pink to the soothing pale green of Eddy, or even a gentle off-white such as Stirabout will all resonate a treat with good light. 

'If, on the other hand, light is limited or minimal, such as potentially perplexing north-facing rooms, go darker than you would naturally dare,' Patrick continues. 'It can work really well, especially saturated in one colour such as the deep blue of Wine Dark or the more nature-inspired tones of one of our favourite archive shades, Olive!’

Small bedroom paint ideas

Wondering where to begin when it comes to painting your bedroom? Well, it's not only the walls you need to consider. The biggest piece of furniture in the room is the bed, which is also usually the focal point, so make that the starting point in your decorating scheme. A colourful, painted bed frame is wonderful and can be a real style statement. 

Then, of course, there's your furniture – from painted wardrobes and chest of drawers to bedside tables and consoles, you can add in colour to either blend in with your walls or create a contrast against them. 

Ready to take a look at some different paint ideas? 

1. Use all-over colour for a cohesive look

Blue bedroom with yellow bedspread

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Tall ceilings are a dream in a small bedroom as they give the illusion of space, so if you're lucky enough to have a room with height, use paint to draw focus to this feature. Sticking to one colour, not just on the walls, but for the doors and architrave too, will ensure the spotlight will be on those tall ceilings. Don’t be afraid to go dark either, as it will give an intimate, cocooning feel and is a wonderful bedroom paint idea no matter the size of your room. 

In this beautiful blue-drenched room, even the flooring is in the same tone. Pale bedding adds lightness, while pops of colour come courtesy of throws and cushions.

2. Add panelling for interest in a small space

Pink bedroom with panelling

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Bedroom wall panelling is an easy win in a small bedroom, as it adds instant style to a flat wall, so you don’t need a lot else. You may be lucky enough to have inherited it, but if not, it’s easy to achieve if you are a competent DIY-er. 

When it comes to painting the wall, a pale blush tone makes this bedroom feel calm and peaceful – a lovely small bedroom paint idea. The upholstered bed adds extra colour and takes centre stage in an elegant peppermint green with a statement, Art Deco-style headboard.

3. Consider a paint effect for an individual look

Pink ombre bedroom

(Image credit: Future PLC)

There are lots of brilliant paint effects that can be achieved in a small bedroom to add interest to a compact space, and they don’t have to be overpowering. Using shades of the same colour is one way – with different tones of the same colour on each wall. Alternatively, pick out architectural details in a different shade or paint an ombre design to create an aged effect, as shown here. 

4. Think about which way the room is facing

Green bedroom with double bed and bedside table

(Image credit: Crown Paint)

Green is a colour taken from nature and a popular choice for a small bedroom. There are so many different shades so choose from for green bedroom ideas, from dark forest greens, to pale leaf tones, so choose one that suits the aspect of the room. If it’s north-facing, choose a green with some warmth to it to counteract the blue light. If the room is south-facing, then you could choose a green with more blue in it, which will take the heat out of the colour. 

In a room with an interesting shape, like this one, use the colour to accentuate the angles and keep the other walls white. Shown here is Botany Bay by Crown.

5. Choose complementary colours for graduated stripes

Striped small bedroom with Dulux paint

(Image credit: Dulux)

A lovely way to stamp your own style on a small bedroom is to create stripes of different sizes. Choose co-ordinating colours such as this muted spicy palette from Dulux, with the first colour reaching dado height, a co-ordinating colour used above and finally a different colour on the ceiling. To add another element, a broad stripe has been added just below the ceiling. 

It’s easy to do with masking or frog tape to get a clean line, it just takes a bit more time. Buy tester pots to try out the scheme first to see if you are happy with it before taking the plunge.

6. Zone the space with colour

Pink bedroom with green bed

(Image credit: Yes Colours)

In a room with two doors, the only place to put the bed is between them, to zone the space, but that's not what makes this bedroom so striking. The hot pink paint colour from Yes Colours on the wall contrasts with the deep green bed, and the door architraves have been picked out in a complementary tone. Opting for matching bedside tables and colourful wall lights adds symmetry.

7. Create a feature wall using paint

Mint geometric bedroom wall

(Image credit: Crown Paint)

A clever small bedroom paint idea is to create a bedroom feature wall so it’s the first thing you see as you walk in. Geometrics are a timeless trend, so perhaps use simple lines as a theme. 

Firstly, paint the wall in a colour of your choice – sage green is a good base – then add the wow factor with gold lines in a grid design. Again, you just need to be a dab-hand with masking tape. 

A gold-coloured headboard complements the coloured lines, then bring in other complementary shades with bedding and throws. Hanging lights on either side of the bed is a great space-saving idea and means you don’t need bedside tables if it’s a small space.

8. Have fun with a trompe l'oeil effect

Striped red and white ceiling and white painted headboard

(Image credit: Farrow and Ball)

A mix of trompe l'oeil completely transforms the look of this room. The red and white striped ceiling that bleed down into the wall play with the height of the room and has a circus feel about it. 

If you look closely, you'll see the headboards are actually painted onto the wall. This little trick is a good idea for a small bedroom, where every inch counts, as there's no headboard to take up space. You could always use a stencil if you aren’t sure of your abilities. 

A small table between the beds is sufficient, rather than two bedside tables on either side, and it's been painted in red to pick out the colour of the ceiling and bed throws.

9. Paint a deep border as a design feature

Blue and white bedroom in farrow and ball paint

(Image credit: Farrow and Ball)

Another great paint idea for a small bedroom is to paint the walls in two halves. Use a darker colour at the bottom of the wall, as it’s more likely to get scuffed and dark colours show marks less, with a lighter colour above. Take the darker paint around the room, even painting any cupboards or doors. It’s a really easy design trick, but looks fabulous.

10. Accentuate the shape of an awkward room

Blue kids attic room with bed

(Image credit: Dulux)

Rather than trying to disguise the shape of a less-than-perfect compact bedroom, make a feature out of it by painting the facing wall in a different colour to the others. Pale blue is a good choice for a bedroom, as it's relaxing and calming. 

In this children's bedroom idea, the alcove space has been made into a bed platform with storage beneath. A great idea and the perfect solution to an awkward small area. It could be used as a bedroom or a play area for children.

What colour paint is best for a small bedroom?

‘Don’t shy away from pink, it can make the smallest of rooms feel bigger when used across the whole space,’ says Emma Bestley, co-founder of Yes Colours. 

‘Pink is often used as a neutral, and is a perfect choice for a tender, soft setting to relax and sleep. It’s a nurturing shade depending on the saturation of the colour – a bright bubblegum pink may be too intense, but a muted, paler version of pink will create a serene atmosphere ideal for relaxation. Don’t forget the fifth wall: the ceiling. Painting the whole room in a soft pink can have a positive impact on the body and mind.’

What colour makes a small bedroom look bigger?

‘All small spaces benefit from colours that recede,’ says Marianne Shillingford, creative director of Dulux. ‘This means that the walls they are painted on look further away from us. It’s all to do with visual wavelengths – the shorter the wavelength a colour has, the further away it looks. 

'Blue, green and violet are the shortest wavelength colours, especially pale versions of these colours; which coincidentally remind us of the biggest elements of the great outdoors like the sea, sky and fields and are perfect for small bedrooms. Try Dulux's Nordic Spa, Atmosphere and Cotton Breeze.’

Should you paint small bedrooms light or dark?

‘To make a bedroom more versatile, a neutral colour palette is a good choice,’ says Justyna Korczynska, senior designer at Crown. ‘It doesn't mean we need to limit ourselves only to creams and beiges. You can choose colours from different colour families, but it's best to keep to softer and muted shades rather than strong saturated colours that can overpower the room and make it feel smaller. 

'A muted and gentle colour palette is easy on the eye and can create a relaxing and cosy space,' she continues. 'Lighter colours will make a room feel more open while darker muted shades are good for creating a cosy and cocooning space. While softer shades can be used all over the room, the bright colours are best used in moderation and used as an accent in smaller spaces.'

Laurie Davidson

Laurie Davidson is a professional stylist, writer and content creator, who lives and breathes interiors. Having worked for some of the UK’s leading interior magazines, styled homes up and down the country and produced sets for TV shows, adverts and top brands, it’s safe to say Laurie has had a pretty exciting career. Find her on Instagram at @lifeofaninteriorstylist or over at lauriedavidson.co.uk