9 Small Spaces With Color

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By Michele Koh Morollo / Published by Dwell
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From city apartments to vacation rentals and boutique hotels, a daring and creative use of colorful paint, textiles, and other materials can add loads of personality to a small space.

Most importantly, this can be done without interrupting any cherished square footage or taking away from the design of the actual space. Take a look at 9 examples of compact homes, vacation destinations, and rooms that employ a bold use of color.

Blue Container of Creativity

In the hands of Texas architect Jim Poteet, this blue steel shipping container becomes a guesthouse for visiting artists in San Antonia.

In the hands of Texas architect Jim Poteet, this blue steel shipping container becomes a guesthouse for visiting artists in San Antonia.

Works by Raw Color adorn the walls of the upstairs gallery room of Belgium architect and artist Veerle Wenes.

Works by Raw Color adorn the walls of the upstairs gallery room of Belgium architect and artist Veerle Wenes.

When remodeling this Art Deco-inspired apartment in Hong Kong, Lim+Lu combined muted pink, deep blue, and turquoise with ceramic tiles, black-and-white accents, and splashes of gold.

When remodeling this Art Deco-inspired apartment in Hong Kong, Lim+Lu combined muted pink, deep blue, and turquoise with ceramic tiles, black-and-white accents, and splashes of gold.

Inspired by the shimmering blue sea just outside its doorstep, The Ink in the village of Saint Agnes in Cornwall is a bold, bohemian-coastal holiday retreat with tie-dye wallpapers and plenty of blue everywhere.

Inspired by the shimmering blue sea just outside its doorstep, The Ink in the village of Saint Agnes in Cornwall is a bold, bohemian-coastal holiday retreat with tie-dye wallpapers and plenty of blue everywhere.

Husband-and-wife design team Robert and Cortney Novogratz mixed vintage and modern furnishings with plenty of color in the modest-sized living room of their eclectic Bellport, New York, beach house.

Husband-and-wife design team Robert and Cortney Novogratz mixed vintage and modern furnishings with plenty of color in the modest-sized living room of their eclectic Bellport, New York, beach house.

Just outside the Bethnal Green home of industrial designer Nina Tolstrup and her husband Jack Mama, is this wonderfully vibrant guesthouse they designed with red chairs made from castoffs as part of Tolstrup’s Re-Imagine series, and a small blue Pallet chair from Studiomama. 

Just outside the Bethnal Green home of industrial designer Nina Tolstrup and her husband Jack Mama, is this wonderfully vibrant guesthouse they designed with red chairs made from castoffs as part of Tolstrup’s Re-Imagine series, and a small blue Pallet chair from Studiomama. 

Hotel Hotel in Canberra, Australia, was designed by Sydney-based filmmaker Don Cameron, who used restored 20th-century furnishings and bespoke joinery made with reclaimed oak to create interesting guest rooms.

Hotel Hotel in Canberra, Australia, was designed by Sydney-based filmmaker Don Cameron, who used restored 20th-century furnishings and bespoke joinery made with reclaimed oak to create interesting guest rooms.

Designer Vicki Simon used clean, modern lines and strong colors to renovate this  vacation loft in a condo development near a ski resort in Lake Tahoe.

Designer Vicki Simon used clean, modern lines and strong colors to renovate this vacation loft in a condo development near a ski resort in Lake Tahoe.

A cozy kitchen-dinning area in the studio and home of an Antwerp artist couple with Eames chairs, a second-hand sofa, and mustard-yellow walls.

A cozy kitchen-dinning area in the studio and home of an Antwerp artist couple with Eames chairs, a second-hand sofa, and mustard-yellow walls.

Shop For Your Small Colorful Space

Bar Technicolor Pillow
Bar Technicolor Pillow
This pillow has been hand embroidered by artisans in Kashmir, India, using a traditional embroidery technique which is native to this region.  The purchase of this handcrafted pillow helps to support the artisans and preserve their craft.  We have used the finest wool yarns for the embroidery, which features a geometric pattern in multi colors.There is a cotton backing with an envelope closure on the reverse.  Size: 20”x20”
-Written by Leah Singh Inc | Leah Singh Inc
Preserved Moss Living Wall Garden
Preserved Moss Living Wall Garden
Add a lush touch of green to your home or office with this preserved moss wall garden. It combines mood and reindeer moss with dried green hanging amaranthus inside a wood frame. Choose either the simplicity of a white distressed wood frame or a more modern black wood frame to offset the cool tranquility of this living arrangement. Ideal for creating a mini oasis of beautiful serenity, moss walls are a modern interior décor trend with an ancient history. A thousand years ago, zen Buddhist monks of Japan cultivated moss on stones and walls and considered it an essential element: a symbol of harmony, age, and tradition that facilitated meditation.
-Written by AHA | AHA
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Sponsored by AHA
Francois Ghost Mirror by Kartell
Francois Ghost Mirror by Kartell
Using the most modern materials, the Kartell Francois Ghost Mirror brings to mind milled crystal frames of the past. Here, the frames are made of clear or colored transparent polycarbonate with seagull wing details. The available color palette borrows from that of Murano glass to create a striking effect of depth and richness. Designed by Philippe Starck.
-Written by Lumens | Lumens
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Sponsored by Lumens
Fuji Artist Cotton Blankets & Throws
Fuji Artist Cotton Blankets & Throws
Minimalism meets cotton. By Michele Rondelli x ZigZagZurich.
-Written by
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Self-Adhesive Wallpaper, Tropical Jungle
Self-Adhesive Wallpaper, Tropical Jungle
Go wild. Use the code - SUNNY20 - for 20% off your order through 4/23. Leave it to a couple of professional set designers to create the removable wallpaper of our dreams. Thankfully, their designs aren’t just meant for sets—we’re sticking the self-adhesive paper to everything: cabinet shelves, dressers, headboards. It’s even great for the bathroom—the paper doesn't react to moisture or steam. Choose from 5 obsession-worthy prints—that are all lead-free, phthalate-free and VOC-free—and 100% American-made.  Made in: USAMade of: Phthalate-free, VOC-free, and lead-free vinylSize: Each roll is 11 yards L x 11.5" W or 56.37 square feet. Includes (1) roll. Sourced from: Tempaper  Photography by Rocky Luten
-Written by Food52 | Food52
Charles Ghost Stool by Kartell
Charles Ghost Stool by Kartell
The Kartell Charles Ghost Stool features the rounded, slightly upturned legs characteristic of the classic high stools of the 1800s. Constructed from a single block of polycarbonate, Charles Ghost is indestructible and suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. Available in three heights and a variety of colors. Designed by Phillipe Starck.
-Written by
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Positano Apothecary Jars
Positano Apothecary Jars
The Positano collection is the epitome of design meets function. The collection of footed bowls and apothecary jars are a study in purity of form, clean lines and graceful curves.
-Written by AHA | AHA
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Park Ave Print
Park Ave Print
Remko Heemskerk has created this collection of vibrant prints celebrating NYC's diverse architecture.
-Written by AHA | AHA
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Masaya Momotombo Lounge Chair
Masaya Momotombo Lounge Chair
Handwoven midcentury modern style lounge chair seen here in our Momotombo palette. The "Momotombo" palette takes its name from a prominent volcano that punctuates the Nicaraguan horizon. This chair features a linear pattern with a solid Nanciton (tropical hardwood) frame. The handwoven seat and back is remarkably firm, comfortable, and sturdy. All of the wood used in our products is either reclaimed from hurricane damaged areas or sustainably harvested. This chair is a stylish yet casual statement piece, great for any room, and amazingly comfortable.  H:31" x W:24" x D:30"   Seat Height: 16"
-Written by Masaya & Co. | Masaya & Co.
Wooden Dolls by Vitra
Wooden Dolls by Vitra
Partly joyful, partly grim, completely charming. The Vitra Wooden Dolls by Alexander Girard are colorful decorative accessories/toys inspired by Girard's passion for the local popular art of Asia, South America and Eastern Europe. Each of the distinctive figures is made out of solid pinewood and hand-painted. Collect them all.
-Written by Lumens | Lumens
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Handmade Cactus Rug
Handmade Cactus Rug
Working in partnership with the artisans weavers of rugs, GUR invites artists to express themselves on this support with a very specific technique using the same materials with the authenticity of a traditional Portuguese rug but now much more fun. This specific cactus design was designed by artist Sarah Boris.  Cotton rug held in a traditional hand loom with raw rag. Embossed technique over layers of colors. Finish with basic sewing. Due to this product depend on raw recycled materials sometimes the color palette may slightly vary. 
-Written by AHA | AHA
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Sponsored by AHA