Interior Design

Bobby Berk reveals the best color scheme for a small room – and tricks to make it look bigger

The Queer Eye designer has the solution to modest-sized interiors – this is how to enhance your space the expert way

Bobby Berk in front of black and white cabinet
(Image credit: Courtesy of Bobby Berk for A.R.T. Furniture)

The question of which color scheme is best in a small space is a favorite amongst designers, but none more so than with Bobby Berk. The Emmy-nominated expert has shaped his career around muted color schemes, mastering the art of small spaces, and drench every square inch with easy-to-live-with style. However, you don't need a tiny home to embrace Bobby's interior design tips

From the heights of New York to a modest room in a country home, his secret for small space color schemes remains the same. Here, Bobby shares everything we need to know before picking up our paintbrush. 

The colors to use in a small space – according to Bobby Berk's

monochrome living room with white sideboard and artwork display

(Image credit: Future / Michael Sinclair / Claudia Bryant)

The primary thing to remember when designing a small room is to ensure all tones stick to the same color palette – thus creating flow throughout the room. Despite his adoration for color, Bobby's living room paint ideas are based around monochromatic and tonal hues that will accentuate the scheme further. 

'That doesn't mean that it can't be colorful, but that does mean sticking to a tonal palette, whether that be cool tones like blues and greens or warmer tones like terracotta, beige, and rusts,' Bobby explains. 

'By keeping things within the same palette, the space will feel larger and more cohesive, which will allow it to feel less disjointed. In a smaller space, we usually like to use a matte finish to help hide imperfections in the wall, which will make the dark color feel more expansive visually,' he adds. 

Grey living room with large lamps and round rug

(Image credit: Future / Lisa Cohen)

Bobby emphasizes the importance of creating a cohesive space on his blog, where he expands on his small living room ideas and ensures we will curate the perfect scheme for our home. When choosing our palette, Bobby reminds us to think of the space as 'one cohesive space' instead of using different colors and patterns that will divide the room and make it feel smaller.  

'With studios especially, the instinct is often to cut the main room into separate sections to create the illusion of a larger room – but what you're actually doing is cluttering up the space and making it appear much smaller,' he warns. 

living room with open courtyard in corner

(Image credit: Future / Paul Raeside)

Bobby continues: 'Instead of dividing the room up, think of it as one cohesive space and incorporate complementary colors, textures, and patterns throughout to create a sense of harmony,' he adds. So, we should ensure any colors appear cohesively throughout the room in a way that makes the area feel stylish, sophisticated – and above all – spacious. 

We're big fans of decorating with black and white and are ready to invest in a monochromatic palette that will set the tone in our small rooms for a long time into the future. Whichever of these hues you choose, you can rest assured that you have Bobby Berk's (and H&G's) seal of approval. 

Megan Slack
Megan Slack

Megan is a News Writer across Future Plc's Homes titles. She has a background in national newspapers in the UK and has experience in fashion and travel journalism, which she previously practised whilst living in Paris and New York City. Her adoration for these fashion capitals means she particularly enjoys writing about upcoming styles and trends for Homes & Gardens. Megan also loves discovering vintage pieces in her spare time, meaning her decor is largely influenced by the beauty of the jazz age.