Which Paint Colors Make Small Rooms Look Bigger?

In Apartment Living, Decor by Adam's Crossing Apartments

Small spaces are challenging to live in – by the time you’ve created enough storage room (and squeezed in your furniture), the visual appearance of your rental has likely fallen off your priority list entirely. Thankfully, making your one or two bedroom apartment look like a bigger living area is much easier than you’d expect. With a little creativity and a few strategic color schemes, you can make your apartment look (and feel) bigger than it did when you moved in.

Before Picking a Paint Color…

Most apartment complexes don’t mind if you paint your home as long as the walls are returned to their original color before moving out. Even though the majority of apartment communities don’t mind you changing the wall color, we recommend always checking with your property manager before starting any projects.

Which Paint Colors Will Make your Rooms Look Bigger?

You should always personalize your living space, even if you’re renting! Not only does a unique living area make a rental feel more like home, interior design has actually been proven to help improve moods.


Although white seems like a “fresh” color, it’s a tone that can make spaces seem much more compact. But if white walls are something you adore, try using a slightly off-white paint color instead of a “snow white” alternative.

Dark (and dull) Tones

Dark and dull colors (like black, dark brown, and deep red) can make it feel like the walls in your apartment are closing in on you, not to mention absorb any natural or artificial light in your room. Keep your living space open and bright by avoiding dark, drab tones.

Some colors that will make your room look bigger include:

Neutral Beige:

Love colors that are easy to mix and match? Beige is a neutral tone that mixes well with (almost) the entire rainbow. Add more character to this otherwise bland color by hanging plenty of artwork and décor to your living area.

Banana Yellow:

Yellow is bright and exciting, making it a perfect color to use in small spaces. “Banana” yellow isn’t overpoweringly vivid, allowing it to match with neutral toned décor or furniture. If banana yellow is still too bright for your taste, consider using a softer shade of yellow instead.

Rusted Orange:

Rusted orange is a shade somewhere between bright orange and deep red, and is perfect for renters who want to compliment light-toned décor or dark flooring. Because this shade is so striking, we recommend pairing it with white or beige furniture if possible.


For a more peaceful atmosphere, use a (light) greyish-blue paint. Known for their calming properties, grey and blue (respectively) make spaces seem more relaxing and well-lit.

Light, Smokey Grey:

Choosing an ultra-light grey (that is almost off-white) is a great way to make your rooms appear slightly bigger than they really are. Because light grey matches with everything from bold red to chocolate brown, it’s an excellent option for renters who have unique furniture and décor.

Always ask your apartment manager for permission to undertake a painting project before picking up a paintbrush. When choosing your paint color, remember: you’ll need to repaint your walls to the original color before moving out. Renters who choose a dark color for their wall (such as the rusted orange tone recommended above) should, be prepared to use a significant amount of paint to return the walls to their original color.
If you have any questions about painting your apartment or would like to schedule a meeting to see one of our units, contact our team today at 240-585-7100.