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Pros and Cons of Painting Rooms with Dark and Light Colors

Choosing a theme for the painting of a room is never an easy job, especially when there is a large array of colors to choose from. A simple shift from a darker color to a lighter or neutral color can completely change how a room looks and feels! Choosing a color that looks great on a color chip very rarely looks good when it is applied to an entire room or living space. Careful thought and planning is required when choosing colors, the most important decision being whether to select dark colors for a room or light colors. A few basic rules for when to choose dark or light colors as well as potential consequences of each choice are listed below as a guideline when painting your home.       

Dark Colors

Dark colors can range from grays to deep, navy blues and even black. The first thing to consider when choosing to paint a room in a dark color is if the entire room will be dark. What color is the furniture? What color is the flooring? If your answer is that everything in the room is dark, then choosing a dark color might not be the best option. However, grays are more forgiving in this department and will pair nicely with dark flooring and belongings. Grays also allow for lighter colors to be nearby without clashing since they are dark without being too bold.

One downside to painting a room in dark colors is that it can make a room look much smaller than it really is. Choosing lighter colors for the accents in a small room painted in dark colors can alleviate the small feeling and make the room look very sharp and modern. For example, a forest green room can have white trim and bright cabinets without the room feeling tiny. Homeowners should also be aware that dark colors can cause a room that receives a great deal of sunlight throughout the day to become hot during the warmer months. Some people enjoy the added heat, but many people would prefer that their home stays cool when they are living in a warm climate.

Dark colors are much easier to keep looking fresh over time. For example, a home that has children or dogs would benefit in a huge way since handprints or dog messes will not show up on darker colors as obviously as they would with whites or pale yellows. A darker color is much less likely to show a stain after cleaning than lighter colors, which means that future repainting can be kept to a minimum.

Light Colors

Light colors are always a very safe choice when painting a room. They tend to be non-offensive to a large number of people and very rarely clash with existing furniture. However, choosing only light colors such as beiges and whites can quickly make a home feel drab and uninspired. As a worst-case scenario, light colors can make a room feel almost sterile and cold. It is important to balance light colors with pops of color or lively furniture.  

Light colors are an excellent choice when furniture or cabinet colors are not chosen yet, but proceeding with a paint job right away is necessary. They allow for more freedom when choosing pieces regarding colors and styles. This feature makes light colors a great choice for new homeowners or for homes that are to be sold in the near future since the potential buyers can picture the home in their own colors more easily. Darker colors may put off potential buyers since the style will look more specific to the previous owners than to the style of a buyer.

Choosing a more neutral color can make a small room feel quite large since the edges of walls and divider walls will be less noticeable to the eye. Rooms with awkward layouts will certainly look more comfortable and spacious should a lighter color be chosen. However, painting an entire home in neutral colors can make the design feel repetitive because changes in color will be much less noticeable. For example, transitioning from a white kitchen to a pale-yellow hallway could go completely unnoticed at first glance.  

Deciding on room colors is never easy, but starting with neutral colors can help a homeowner get a feel for the home before committing to anything too drastic. It is also easier to paint over a light color than a dark one, so choosing light colors first can make future changes much simpler. Dark colors tend to add a fair bit of style, so the length of time that a homeowner intends to keep the home is important for this decision. Regardless of color choice, rooms look best when they are painted by a professional in colors that are complimentary to one another.

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