The colour ideas you should be using in small bedrooms, according to interior design experts

Fancy a new colour scheme but no idea what? Our small bedroom colour ideas will give your all the inspiration you need

small bedroom colour ideas, navy loft bedroom with blue walls and ceiling, small vintage side table, floor lamp, chair, pale blue bedding, patterned cushions, vase with poppies
(Image credit: Dulux)

Finding the right small bedroom colour ideas can be somewhat of a challenge, as these more petite spaces can require more planning than expected.

Depending on the size and the natural light available within the existing bedroom ideas, colours can make the space look larger or smaller, airier or more cosy. So making the right choice can make all the difference in the final feeling of the room.

'Although pale colours will help to make small rooms look larger, dark colours in small bedrooms can look stunning and create an atmosphere that’s perfect for enhancing intimacy, feeling cosy and restful sleep,' advises Marianne Shillingford, creative director, Dulux. 'Decide how you want to feel in your bedroom and work from there.'

There are two options, if you want a loftier feel then pick shades that help to create the illusion of space, or you might be hankering after a cosier space that feels cocooning, in which case grounding richer shades will do the trick. 

Marianne Shillingford Creative Director
Marianne Shillingford

Marianne's core objective in her role is to help people to be more confident about using colour in their projects. That  involves everything from working on new colour ranges and tools to delivering practical training in the Dulux Academy and seminars at trade events.

Small bedroom colour ideas

'To make a small bedroom look and feel bigger, opt for light and airy colours that create an illusion of space,' suggests Shelley Cochrane, accessories buyer, Furniture Village.

'Work with a base of off-whites, soft pastels or earthy neutrals to open up the room and to ensure light is reflected throughout. Incorporate textures such as jute rugs and chunky knitted throws to add interest to look.'

We asked colour experts for their favourite small bedroom colour ideas and how to make them work whatever sized space you have. 

1. Coral

small bedroom colour ideas, coral bedroom with velvet claret bed and matching curtains, black pendant lights, red and pink accessories, artwork, black side tables, rug, armchair

(Image credit:

Coral has been a popular colour this last few years and it's easy to see why – a step up from pink but not as harsh as orange, it sits perfectly between the two. It's warming and feminine and looks great with rich shades like claret.

'Your bed is the centrepiece of your sleeping space, and a wonderful place to introduce a pop of colour into your room,' says Patricia Gibbons, part of the design team at 'Creating a harmonious space is the ultimate goal in the bedroom – don’t be afraid to embrace colour. In smaller spaces you need to be a bit more considerate with your desired bedroom colour schemes, but that doesn't mean you should shy away from bolder hues.'

'If you’ve selected a darker headboard, and jewel tones are particularly popular at the moment, use a paler shade on the wall. Lighter tones help the natural light reflect more, as well as add an airy and open atmosphere, giving the perception of a larger room.'

2. Sage green

small bedroom colour ideas, green bedroom with green panelled walls, leather bed with monochromatic bedding, pouffe and rug. wooden side table and coffee table, saffron throw and cushion, wooden floors

(Image credit: Industville)

Gentle and nurturing, green bedroom ideas are a good option for smaller spaces. Tonally, sage sits in the middle of the green spectrum making it easy on the eye. This also means it goes well with other colours, consider saffron and blush, but also black and white. 

Keeping the walls in a soft shade will ensure the space won't feel closed in, instead, more of an all encompassing feel that's earthy. Choose wood furniture that's mid-toned to maintain a visual balance across the space. 

3. Plaster

small bedroom colour ideas, plaster coloured walls in bedroom with wooden bed, stool with vase of dried eucalyptus, brightly patterned throw and cushions, artwork, original floorboards

(Image credit: Prestigious Textiles)

There's something very soothing about the colour of freshly plastered walls. It's nurturing with an earthy appeal and it's a colour to definitely consider, the bonus is that it's pale enough to lighten up a small bedroom whilst still adding a warming touch.

'For small bedrooms, we are seeing a continued trend for warm earthy tones, along with creams and off whites, which is ideal for small spaces as it keeps them feeling bright, open and spacious,' says Marie Goodwin, head designer, Prestigious Textiles.

4. Navy

small bedroom colour ideas, navy loft bedroom with blue walls and ceiling, small vintage side table, floor lamp, chair, pale blue bedding, patterned cushions, vase with poppies

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

Navy is a classic shade that's popular in kitchens but one that's not seen as much in other rooms, though it has its uses. If you're after a cosier feel then opt for darker shades. Choose a blue that's not too cold visually, and team it with paler blue accessories for balance. Checking whether your bedroom is south or north facing will help to decide which shades work best. 

'For a south or west facing space, choose a warm white or warm neutral. White Tie or Setting Plaster will respond beautifully here,' advises Patrick O'Donnell, brand ambassador at Farrow & Ball

'For blue bedroom ideas in an east facing room, consider a gentle aqua such as Pale Powder which will play to the natural lighting conditions. For north facing, err towards darker colours – by playing with the limitations here rather than fighting them the room will respond accordingly – even dare to go as dark as a deep blue or forest green such as Wine Dark or Beverly, both colours will create a space that is deeply cosy and cocooning.'

Headshot of Patrick O'Donnell wearing a blue shirt
Patrick O'Donnell

Patrick O’Donnell has been bringing his impeccable eye for colour to Farrow & Ball since 2012. Over that time, he has been a showroom manager, global colour consultancy manager and now brand ambassador. However, he is best known as the much-loved face of Farrow & Ball on social media 

5. Pastels

small bedroom colour ideas, bedroom with off white and pale blush walls, bed with saffron pillows, pale pink bedding, white painted floor, desk for working, artwork, lime velvet desk chair, desk lamp, books

(Image credit: Dulux)

Ice cream shades or pastel shades like barely there pink and creamy tones will offer a light and airy feel to your small bedroom colour ideas. A fabulous interior design trick is to paint the floorboards white, this will help to reflect the light up too. 

Keep your accessories light but use accents to add interest, golden hues like turmeric work well with pinks and taupes. Keep furniture light too, choose sleek designs with narrow legs instead of chunkier designs. 

6. Chocolate

small bedroom colour ideas, small bedroom with chocolate and white walls, wooden bed, stripe bedding red throw, cushions, artwork, rattan footstool, wood floor

(Image credit: Benjamin Moore)

Rich and velvety, you can't beat a deep rich shade like chocolate. It may not be an obvious choice, but it's a winner if you want to turn your bedroom into a cosy and inviting haven. 

'If you have a smaller bedroom, why not embrace it and play to its strengths,' suggests Helen Shaw, director marketing at Benjamin Moore. 'Incorporating a rich, bold paint colour is the perfect way to create instant character, taking a small space from drab to chic.'

'This is ideal for a bedroom where you want to unwind at the end of the day as it enhances the cosy space. For the ultimate luxe feel, ensure the room is ambiently lit with candles and dim lights, finished with rich coloured fabrics.'

7. Grey

small bedroom colour ideas, grey upholstered bed with yellow throw, wooden stool at end, grey stripe carpet, charcoal black wall, white shutters, pops of pink pillows, wood side table, vases

(Image credit: Kersaint Cobb)

Grey is a perennial favourite and it's certainly not going away any time soon. Versatile and stylish, a charcoal shade on one wall will focus the eye away from the size of your bedroom. In terms of flooring in grey bedroom ideas, consider stripes in a paler shade of grey to add balance and contrast. 

‘Stripes are key trend in interiors with many working with a variety of materials to create inviting room schemes,' says Jon Flannigan, product manager, Kersaint Cobb. 'Light colours and stripes are particularly effective in bedrooms. Soft, pale coloured flooring brightens up a small area, creating the illusion of space and gives a light, airy look.'

'Stripes add visual interest to the floor and for those tight on space, it is worth remembering that linear stripes can help to enlarge the appearance of a room, as the stripe draws the eye along the design and thus appears to elongate the area.'

8. Reds

small bedroom colour ideas, red bedroom colour scheme with dark red velvet bed, coral bedding, herringbone floor, black side table, modern lamp, vases, red and blue cushions

(Image credit: Furniture Village)

Punchy and vibrant, red is definitely a colour to consider in a small bedroom. It might sound mad, but it can be incredibly successful if applied with thought.

'A palette of reds may sound bold, but through some carefully considered design choices, red in its many iterations can work well to create a calming and inviting atmosphere,' says Shelley from Furniture Village. 

'For large surface areas such as walls and bed linens, opt for softer shades that won’t dominate the space, such as damask rose and terracotta. Layer in cushions and bed throws in sumptuous fabrics and deep burgundy tones to balance the look.'

9. Whites and off-whites

small bedroom colour ideas, very pale grey bedroom with white floorboards, white vintage side table, artwork, green painted four poster bed, vintage rug

(Image credit: Annie Sloan)

White and very pale neutrals are always an option for a small bedroom. There's no doubt that these shades will lighten and brighten, but they need to be handled with care so you don't create yourself a sterile space instead of one that's inviting. 

'From painted walls to painted floorboards, a neutral bedroom scheme will give your room the illusion of being bigger and brighter, while creating a soothing space for sweet dreams and lazy Sunday mornings,' says Annie Sloan, paint and colour expert. 

'To avoid a clinical look, introduce a disrupter colour on a focal piece such as a bedframe. A burst of your favourite statement shade will add personality and really pop against the clean gallery-style backdrop.' 

10. Gold

small bedroom colour ideas, gold bedroom with metallic gold bedroom and four poster bed, vintage wardrobe, gold cushions, artwork, oatmeal drapes and bedding, pendant light

(Image credit: Mylands/FTT-001™/@sella.concept)

Something new to consider that's not simply a pale or deep shade, is gold. Paint company Mylands have seen a fast rise in popularity for its gold paints in the last year, and it's a trend they feel is set to continue this year and beyond. So why use it in a small bedroom?

'A warm and radiant metallic shade like FTT-001™ is great for adding brightness and warmth to a smaller space, and can be used on the walls and ceiling to envelop the bedroom with a refreshing atmosphere and comforting glow,' says Dominic Myland, CEO of Mylands.

It really is a paint colour to consider, it can be applied directly on to the wall and the result will be a luminous gold finish, with the bonus of being uplifting and inviting too. Team it with neutrals like oatmeal and dark wood like mahogany. 


What colour paint is best for a small bedroom?

'Embrace the snug feel of a smaller bedroom by opting for rich, warming tones that evoke the comforting feeling of being cocooned,' says Shelley from Furniture Village. 

'One way to achieve this is by selecting a monochromatic colour scheme that creates subtle moments of depth without overwhelming the space.'

What colour makes a small bedroom look bigger?

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

Blue, green and violet are the shortest wavelength colours and pale versions of these colours; which coincidentally remind us of biggest elements of the great outdoors like the sea, fields and sky are perfect for small bedrooms.'   

Sophie Warren-Smith

Sophie has been an interior stylist and journalist for over 22 years and has worked for many of the main interior magazines during that time, both in-house and as a freelancer. On the side, as well as being the News Editor for indie magazine, 91, she trained to be a florist in 2019 and launched The Prettiest Posy where she curates beautiful flowers for modern weddings and events.