3 Tips for Adding Color to Any Room

Michelle Sullivan

Unlike major design overhauls-retiling floors, installing new cabinets-a little paint goes a long way toward revamping a space. So go on-add color. But before you embark on your next hue-infusing painting project, mind these tips from local designers.

Sunlight matters

If the room in question sees indirect sunlight, designer Kate Wannemacher advises avoiding cool color palettes. "Even if you do a blue, choose a blue with more gray or yellow in it. That would make it warmer," she says. If you're painting a room you'll use mostly in the evening after sunset, choose a paint color that will glow in indoor lighting. "Rich, darker colors are good," says the owner of Wannemacher Interiors. "Think dark gray, cinnamon or fleshy pink."

Make a statement and go bold

Bold colors work well in small bathrooms or hallways, as paint in small spaces carries most of the heavy design lifting. "You're making a big impact fast," Wannemacher says. Designer Pam Yost, owner of Grand Design Group, agrees. "You're not changing the size [of the room], so you might as well make some kind of statement," she says. "Dark colors in small spaces can be really dramatic." She adds, though, lighter colors tend to expand small spaces, so those are your best bet in rooms that feel cramped.

Don't forget the ceiling (or windows)

"Ceilings are getting a lot more attention," Yost says. "It's not just 'ceiling white' anymore." Instead, try a lighter shade of the wall color or a faux finish for some texture. To add drama to walls with windows, Yost suggests painting the trim around the windows a light color while staining wood between window panes a dark shade.