Abigail Ahern shares her secret for making a small space feel bigger using color

The maximalist expert shares the colors that make a room look bigger - they are not what you might expect

Abigail Ahern colors that will make a room look bigger, brown interiors in a dark bedroom
(Image credit: Secret Linen Store x Abigail Ahern)

Esteemed interior expert, Abigail Ahern, is rewriting all design rules when it comes to dark colors.

Recognized for her rich dark palette and exquisite furnishings, the designer has spent recent years injecting moody maximalist luxury into the interior world. She has paved the way in bringing dark hues into our modern homes, and her growing number of converts will never dare look at Scandi style again. 

In the discussion of her new dark fabric collection with Secret Linen, Abigail completely rewrote a timeless misconception while sharing a secret tip to making a room feel bigger. 

Abigail Ahern’s surprising colors that make a room look bigger, dark bedroom with brown paint and fabric

(Image credit: Secret Linen Store x Abigail Ahern)

'There is this misconception of which I’m quite passionate about putting people to the right with,’ Abigail began.

‘It’s that you can’t paint a small room in a dark color, or you can’t put dark bedding in a small room because it makes it look smaller. It actually doesn’t.’

Abigail continued: ‘The thing about painting a small room in a dark color is that you are distracted from the fact it is small. If a small room is pale, you can see where the corners of a room are.'

'However, when you paint the room a dark color, it fuzzes and blurs out, so you can’t quite see where the room stops. This means that the room feels subconsciously bigger than it already is.'

If your room is small or north-facing, you can certainly put dark colors in those spaces,' she re-emphasized.

Abigail Ahern’s surprising colors that will make a room look bigger, dark bedroom with brown paint and fabric

(Image credit: Secret Linen Store x Abigail Ahern)

Similarly, Abigail announced the one design tip that she would not have known if she did not work in the industry - the power of light and its ability to instantly alter the size of a space. 

‘Rather than thinking about lighting on a practical level, I think about lighting in the same way a movie director would - creating little pools of light,’ she shared.

Abigail Ahern’s surprising colors that will make a room look bigger, dark bedroom with brown paint and fabric

(Image credit: Secret Linen Store x Abigail Ahern)

‘Lighting gives rooms an atmosphere. Often, lighting is one of those quick tips and tricks that can turn a room around in a nano-second but is often neglected. I am so obsessed with lighting, it is unbelievable.’ 

Read more about Abigail: Room design ideas: Abigail Ahern shares her very best

The secret to a bigger room is its deep color; after all - It’s time we all go to the dark side. 

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 loves writing about contemporary styles and trends for Livingetc.