bold color combinations for small spaces
Photo: Virgil Bastos/Time Inc. Digital Studio

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Choosing a color scheme for a small room is a perfect opportunity to be fearless. Unlike large rooms requiring an equally large investment—in terms of gallons of paint and the labor required to roll it on—your outlay for, say, an entry foyer or hall bath is minimal. So go ahead: Pick a color that you really like, and go for it.

Just step back and consider what feeling and effect you want to create. If your goal is to make the room appear larger, go with lighter shades. But if you want to accentuate its coziness, opt for rich, saturated hues. Then think about the room’s function. Sunny colors often work well in the breakfast nook where you enjoy your morning coffee, while calming shades in a bathroom can encourage you to de-stress in the tub after a demanding day.

But if even making those decisions is too much, simply pick one of these This Old House—approved color combinations. Thanks to some Photoshop wizardry, you’ll see how three small rooms get completely new looks using three different—and daring—paint schemes.
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