Per­fect pal­ettes for pe­tite places

Our favourite colour com­bos to suit ev­ery small space.

Style at Home Big Style for small spaces - - Contents -

Our six favourite colour com­bos to suit ev­ery com­pact room


The faded blues of the rug and steel blue of the sofa come alive with lus­cious hits of orange (rang­ing from coral to cit­rusy tan­ger­ine). Modern boho-in­spired prints give the room a global feel.

why it works

Blue and orange are com­ple­men­tary on the colour wheel, so any combo will be dy­namic. The trick is to choose one as the pri­mary ac­cent and add its com­ple­men­tary as a sec­ondary ac­cent; oth­er­wise they’ll com­pete and the room will feel chaotic. Use white as a back­drop for this en­er­giz­ing pal­ette to keep the colours from over­whelm­ing.


Light grey is gor­geous paired with white and the palest lime. Seek in­spi­ra­tion from how Scan­di­na­vian pal­ettes based on grey and white can ex­pand a room, then add your favourite ac­cent in a cool tone to main­tain a quiet mood.

why it works

Cool-toned neu­trals in light shades are a nat­u­ral choice in small quar­ters. Whites and light greys re­cede, vis­ually ex­pand­ing walls. Make sure to layer dif­fer­ent tones for in­ter­est and add a wash of ac­cent colour to lift the space from safe to spec­tac­u­lar.


Rose and laven­der are na­ture’s way of say­ing “breathe deeply and re­lax.” This mas­ter bed­room fea­tures an ar­ray of pieces in re­lated colours (the dusty pink head­board, pale laven­der wall­pa­per and a rug of many pinks and mauves) that work to­gether like a happy mar­riage.

why it works

A combo of hues that are be­side each other on the colour wheel (anal­o­gous) is a good choice for a rest­ful bed­room. Such pal­ettes let you in­dulge your love of colour but keep the ef­fect serene and calm.


White and blue is a clas­sic colour combo, but hits of yel­low (seen here in the toss cush­ion, gold mir­ror and mus­tard-coloured crock­ery) en­liven the re­li­able pair, mak­ing this liv­ing room a dis­play of artis­tic con­fi­dence.

why it works

Crisp white plus royal blue equals a sure win­ner. The white walls seem to ex­pand the square footage, while the blue chairs ground the room. Stop there and the combo could get bor­ing, but skill­fully add in an un­ex­pected third colour like yel­low and you in­stantly lift the scheme.


The se­cret is out: Dark is de­li­cious in a small space. There’s no rea­son to forgo drama – black walls en­velop this din­ing room, cre­at­ing a sexy sense of in­ti­macy.

why it works

Some­times small and cozy is ex­actly what you want to em­pha­size in a space that ben­e­fits from a mag­i­cal at­mos­phere and feel­ing of close­ness among guests, such as a din­ing room. Here, dark char­coal walls make it seem like a spot­light shines on the set­tee, with its stun­ning aubergine and mus­tard print.


In this con­fi­dently dec­o­rated liv­ing room, beige and greige play Switzer­land, the neu­tral third party that keeps bold blue and red pat­terns in check. Nar­row con­fines can’t con­found mas­ter­ful dec­o­rat­ing. Here, they let the blue and red prints de­liver a one-two punch of style.

why it works

The room’s slim di­men­sions can han­dle bold pat­terns in red and blue thanks to the calm­ing in­flu­ence of light neu­tral tones seen on the walls and sofa. The re­sult is ex­cit­ing, con­fi­dent and eclec­tic – per­fect for a fresh and lively liv­ing room.

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