5 best colors to paint a small bedroom – and a few of them will surprise you, but experts agree

Paint has the power to transform if chosen correctly. Here's how to pick the perfect palette

best bedroom paint colors
(Image credit: Albion Nord / Lindye Galloway Studio + Shop/Chad Mellon / Mary Wadsworth)

Finding the right small bedroom color scheme has never been more important. Getting the color right in a small bedroom can be a tricky business. Even with all their experience, it can take time for professionals to make a decision. There is a lot to consider when it comes to finding the right bedroom color – the size and shape of the space, the available natural light, its direction, who it is for, etc. 

Here, experts give us the lowdown on the colors for small bedrooms, including advice on how to use them successfully within your home, as well as the colors you should never paint a small bedroom, too.

Small bedroom paint colors for 2023

To help guide you in the right color direction, avoid any outdated bedroom trends, and offer the very latest insight from the experts, we have curated a collection of the top color trends you need to know to make your bedroom look expensive, no matter how modest in size.

1. Turn your bedroom into a soft sanctuary with neutrals

Bedroom color ideas with muted color palette

(Image credit: Gunter & Co)

Decorate with neutrals, inspired by colors from the natural world, adds a gentle and soothing touch to small bedrooms that can be layered with textures and tones that ebb and flow with the seasons. 

This is a contemporary bedroom but the use of rich tones, shapes and details creates a connection with nature that makes it appear almost timeless. ‘For this Chelsea house project we worked to a selection of nature-inspired finishes with a strong preference for earthy terracotta and green and blue hues, which are offset against sleek black details,’ says Irene Gunter of design practice Gunter & Co. 

2. Go for a deep, dark green reminiscent of the forest

A green bedroom with upholstered headboard bed

(Image credit: Albion Nord)

Calming, creative and with strong links to nature, dramatic dark green is a versatile color that can work in many schemes. 

Dark green reassures us on a very primitive level. We know we can find food and water, which means green equals life. 'Using dark greens in our home, brings in these feelings of reassurance and rest,’ says Karen Haller, color and design psychology specialist and author of The Little Book of Color. However, surrounding ourselves with too much green or the wrong shade can lead to feelings of stagnation and lethargy, so you'd be wise to temper a green bedroom with warm, earthy tones to counteract this emotional response.

James Thurstan Waterworth, founder of Thurstan adores decorating with green in small rooms. 'We would usually lean towards quieter palette combinations, but darker shades can work really well within modest bedrooms. They create a perception of depth and lend a cozy, cocoon-like feel – welcome in every small bedroom. For the walls, we suggest a deep midnight blue or a petrol green, then lift this by layering careful accents of color, perhaps deep chocolate or a similar earth-toned hue – ochre, taupe, or a softer beige.’ 

3. Create a cocooning environment with midnight black

A black bedroom with wooden bed, white linen and a black and white striped rug

(Image credit: Jonathan Gooch)

Used in decorating for centuries, serene dark black is enduringly popular, harmonizing with many other hues for gloriously diverse results.

With inspiration from deep oceans to velvety night skies, black and navy blues are life-enhancing shades that have the power to enhance our feeling of well-being. With their wide appeal of serenity and calm, it is perhaps no surprise that dark bedroom colors continue to be one of the most popular choices for interior design. 

The depth of pigment of darker colors, such as black and charcoal, means that they offer an emotional content that can be as nurturing or soothing as any green, particularly when you decorate a room floor-to-ceiling in a dark, velvety palette. For some homeowners, the idea of dark colors might feel foreboding, especially in a small bedroom, but for others, it is the dark ‘night’ of a shade that offers serenity in a room scheme.

4. Replicate the feeling of being at one with nature with cool blue

Blue bedroom with padded headboard and fitted wardrobe painted blue

(Image credit: Mary Wadsworth)

If you crave a calming atmosphere in your small bedroom, blue – in all its variations – could be the solution. Conjuring endless skies and infinite seas, pale and mid-tone blues are the color of the moment. Embrace myriad shades to create uplifting and optimistic spaces that soothe the soul.

Here, Katie Lion, an interior designer with Kitesgrove, chose blues for this small but soothing space: ‘The inky teal is a beautiful color that instantly feels sophisticated and calming. We didn’t want it to take over the room, so we limited its use to the headboard, cushions and built-in cupboards, then used a paler blue for the walls and ceiling (Farrow & Ball’s Skylight), which helps the room feel light and balances the darker tones.’ 

5. Embody tranquillity with a serene off-white palette

white bedroom with oak wood nightstand, artwork, white desk lamp, textured stone blanket, white bedding, stripe cushion

(Image credit: Lindye Galloway Studio + Shop/Chad Mellon )

Pure and serene, white bedroom ideas are a fantastic option for smaller spaces. Decorating with white offers a blank canvas that illuminates dark spaces and can make even small rooms feel spacious, light and bright. 

If you do choose to paint your bedroom white, be sure to add plenty of texture. 'In a predominantly white home, texture is absolutely key, says Chrissie Rucker, founder, of The White Company. 'By using different weights and weaves of fabric, you can animate a small bedroom, adding warmth, depth and visual interest.'

To avoid a white bedroom feeling sterile, get tactile. ‘A good way to warm your whites is through textures,’ says interior designer Claudia Afshar. ‘Also, try choosing a high-pile rug, tailored bedding, or textured wallcovering to make your small white bedroom interesting.’ 


Which is the best paint color for a bedroom?

Choosing the best color for a bedroom is almost entirely down to personal taste. We say ‘almost’ because there are a few key factors you’ll need to take into consideration when choosing a bedroom color. 

If you tend to find it difficult to nod off, steer clear of brights and opt for soothing colors in more muted tones, such as blues and purples with a touch of grey in them, or even grey itself. Dark colors are also great for creating a cocooning space that looks great at night when cleverly lit with warm, glowing lamps. 

For those who don’t find sleeping to be too much of an issue, opt for something a little more invigorating. Bright shades are still a no-go, but consider warm earthy tones or red, orange and brown to create a scheme that will feel romantic in summer and cozy in the cooler months. An all-white scheme is soothing in its simplicity by night, but fresh and bright in the mornings. 

Jennifer Ebert
Deputy Editor (Digital)

Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space. Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.