Why A Dark Statement Wall Can Make a Small Room Seem Larger

Here’s a confession: I’ve always HATED statement walls. They remind me of a bad TLC episode circa 2007––one of those Trading Spaces shows where the room’s decor was so shoddy that it looked like it might not survive long past filming.

There are a few exceptions, namely wallpapered statement walls where perhaps the print is just too bold to cover more than a small area. But, beyond that instance, I didn’t think I’d ever incorporate a statement wall into my own home.


My thoughts start to change when I realized that our white apartment walls felt very…white. Don’t get me wrong, there are many spaces where the all-white look is gorgeous. Our decor, however, is a bit more eclectic, and white walls were lacking the warmth that I wanted our space to have.

Painting the whole room wasn’t an option––there was no way I’m going to paint all of that back white when we move out. Initially, I had actually planned on going the wallpaper route and getting a dark gray and gold speckled peel-off print, however, with the pattern repeat and the measurements of our wall, it didn’t make practical sense. So, I started to consider the previously dreaded statement wall. And, not just any statement wall, but a DARK statement wall.



At first mention, most people assume that dark walls are an absolute no-go in a small space, particularly a small, narrow space like ours. However, that’s not at all the case.

A dark statement wall, when paired with other light walls, can visually make that one wall recede into the background. Your eyes will read the three white walls as the barriers of the space and the dark wall becomes negative space that goes on into the ether. One exception: the wall that has floor to ceiling windows. The white on that wall causes it to read as an ever-reaching blank space––the perfect foil to the dark gray beside it.

If the wall in our living room were white, they would appear to be closer to you, which would make the room feel smaller. We see light colors as closer to us and dark colors as further away. Plus, with white walls, the items in front of it would stand out more and you’d experience both the wall and the TV in stark contrast.

The dark gray statement wall is like the black hole of the room, stretching visually into infinity, while, at the same time, giving the cozy and quirky style that I wanted.


dark statement wall - dark walls small room



    • hmbien
      February 15, 2019 / 8:18 am

      You’re smart not to have painted your rentals, haha! I’ve done it in almost every single apartment and it’s such a pain to repaint –– that’s why I figured this time that just one wall would be the perfect touch!

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