Go Big in Small Spaces: Why Dark and Bold is a Good Choice for a Tiny Bathroom

Dark, dramatic bathroom makeover using Sherwin-Williams Naval paint
Sponsored by Sherwin-Williams

We're back to share the tiny makeover we did in the tiny bathroom at the 2017 Curbly House. But the scope and the room are the only small things about the project – because we used a bold color that made a big difference. Read on to see our new, blue 'loo. 

 

For the last year or so, I've had a growing crush on dark powder rooms. Maybe it's because they're always small, so a dark dramatic color feels like a surprise. Or maybe it's because it's a very intentional design choice (nobody accidentally paints a bathroom dark blue), and so it feels special.

No matter the case, small, dark, dramatic rooms (bathrooms, specifically) make me feel like I'm in a 1920s Gatsby-era environment and that makes me feel fancy (even if I'm in the bathroom). Dark bathrooms are the caterpillar's kimono, and I love them. Have a look!

A collection of dark bathrooms.
Clockwise: Emily de Stefano, DecorPad, Most Lovely ThingsDesire to Inspire

In the case of the Curbly House, this is the only room in the house with a bold color. Everything else is painted Sherwin-Williams Simple White SW 7021 (which is my favorite white). This one was easy to overlook because the room's purpose is mostly functional (hello, first floor bathroom!), not aesthetic.

I began my quest for the perfect deep, rich navy blue by perusing the Sherwin-Williams website. I was immediately drawn to their  Pottery Barn palette because it's so classic and rich. I love the neutrals in this line, and I love the way the darker colors complement them.

Sherwin-Williams Pottery Barn Palette
Sherwin-Williams' Pottery Barn Palette

From the beginning, Naval SW 6244 stood out. It's a rich, deep, stunning shade blue. Here are a couple of inspiration photos of this color in action:

Sherwin-Williams Naval Walls
Photo: Earnest Home Co.

 

Sherwin-Williams Naval Wall Color
Photo: Design Sponge

 

And, here's a look at our own journey with Sherwin Williams Naval:

In fairness to the bathroom, this is a tragically pathetic 'before' shot. Bruno didn't even bother to remove the plastic bag and window cleaner before snapping the photo.
Editor's note (Bruno): in fairness to me, I had a bunch of much better 'before shot' on a hard drive that crashed and burned last week, so this pathetic phone snap is all I had left!

 

Half bath makeover in a dark color - Sherwin Wiliams Naval 6244

round wood mirror and white trim  Gold vanity light - three lights

Using a dark color in a small space

Gold vanity light with dark blue walls Small bathroom sink with round mirror

 

Tips on painting with a dark color in small rooms:

1. Dark colors recede. Contrary to what you may think, painting a room with a dark color will actually make it appear larger, not smaller. 

2. Use two coats to make sure you achieve full coverage. Dark paint is slightly less forgiving than its lighter-toned friends. You will need a minimum of two coats to ensure proper, complete coverage. Be sure to paint with plenty of light (natural or artificial – you'll want to be able to see what you're doing).

3. When using dark colors on a small space with low ceilings, paint the ceiling the same color as the walls. We didn't have to do this, but if your ceiling are on the low end, keeping the whole room cohesive will actually help make it look larger.

4. And lastly, painting in a small room like this is tricky, because you don't have much room to do the work. To give himself more room, Bruno removed the door from its hinges so that he wasn't having to work around it.

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What do you think about using a bold, dark color in a small space? Let us know what you think in the comments!

 

This post is sponsored by Sherwin-Williams, but all opinions are mine alone. Brand partnerships keep Curbly running and pay for all the free content we create on the site. Thanks for supporting the brands that support Curbly.