What's the best color to paint a small, dark room?

Small rooms with no natural light are a challenge for interior designers, but this TikTok user has a surprising solution.

  (photo credit: INGIMAGE)
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)

Small rooms with bad lighting are the most difficult to design. Some people choose to add big mirrors or curtains reaching the floor in order to give the impression of a big space - some also paint the walls all in white.

@charminglifebyjess White is out colour is in @Lick #LickHome #LickTok #yellow01 #blue08 #Ad #Gifted #paintingstairs #paintingbeforeafter #interiorsbeforeandafter #interiortiktok ♬ She Share Story (for Vlog) - 山口夕依

In spite of this, a TikTok-famous interior designer named Jess claims that painting a small and badly lit room white is a mistake - and that the right color here is actually a bright yellow. Just wait until you see the results.

So yes, next time you paint the hallway or the small room in your house, you might want to consider passing on the white in favor of the less popular bright yellow. According to Jess, the color will upgrade the room and give it some light.

White creates shadows

In a TikTok video that received over 3 million views, she claims that white actually does the opposite, highlighting dark corners and creating shadows instead of lighting up the room. In the video, she also showed proof that the yellow color does work.

In the clip, Jess chose the controversial color - canary yellow - and explained: "Did you know it's a popular misconception to color small and darkly lit spaces white? White actually emphasizes dark corners and creates shadows, which makes the space appear darker."

 Yellow paint. (credit: Wikimedia Commons) Yellow paint. (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

She then showed a hallway painted white, looking completely dark. She added, "See what I mean?"

According to Jess, yellow is a color that will project some light into your small space. "Instead of [white], go for a vibrant shade that will bounce artificial light around the room," she begged. Jess painted the hallway bright yellow and the doors a light blue.

She showed the results and it really looks like the previously drab space became more lit up.

Many commenters were impressed by the results. "When I saw yellow, I said 'no way', but I'm convinced now," one wrote, while another added: "Wow, it makes the space look so inviting!" A third commenter wrote: "Life is short. Why would I want to live in a space with white walls?"

"Wow, it makes the space look so inviting!"

Comment on TikTok

Of course, there were some who didn't love the idea. "I definitely agree with the concept but that particular yellow shade reminds me of my primary school," one commenter wrote. Another commented: "It looks like the hallway of a clinic built in the 70's." Another one added: "This looks like an episode from 'Bananas in Pajamas'."

Jess took the criticism but answered those who claimed that she took the pictures at different times of the day and that this is the reason for the different lighting. "The pictures were taken at the same time. The difference comes from the color."

Others noted that Jess changed the flooring and that they really made the difference. "I agree that the flooring makes a big difference, that is why we brought it back, but the goal of the clip was to emphasize the difference in lighting. The space would have stayed drab and grey if painted white." Do you agree?