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Will Dark Floors Make a Room Look Smaller?

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Many people assume that with a small room , you have limited options for decoration. You don’t want to get furniture that is too big that’ll look out of place and you don’t want the overall decor to be too dark, otherwise you are afraid that you could turn your little room into a cave.

Will Dark Floors Make a Room Look Smaller?

So, is it true that dark floors make a room look smaller?

Dark floors will not automatically make your room look smaller. While overloading a small space with dark colors will absorb light and make the space feel even smaller, dark floors can actually help to open a space up, if done correctly. 

Everyone who is decorating a new home or renovating a space has put ample thought into the color scheme of the space and what kind of furniture they want in the space. A lot of times, choosing a dark theme for your floors or walls is assumed to make the space look smaller.

In this article we will talk about how to use dark floors to actually open your space and create a really beautiful little room. 

Do Dark Colors Actually Make a Room Seem Smaller?

Despite the constant assumption that this is true, there is actually psychological evidence suggesting the opposite:

Studies on human color perception of distance have consistently found that people perceive bright objects to be nearer than the same object in dark colors. 
Studies on human perception of distance have consistently found that people perceive bright objects to be nearer than the same object in dark colors.

While this has to do with walls and not floors, it is still a rather important point when wondering about the importance of tone in a small space. 

The reason that light colors are perceived to make a space feel bigger is because lighter colors reflect light, making the space feel more airy. On the contrary, dark colors absorb light which can make a space feel smaller.

Though this is a common perception, it is important to note that as light changes throughout the day, so do dark colors. At different points in the day these colors look very different and can actually help make the space look bigger.

Though light in a room does help make the space comfortable and feel airy, the size of a room is not determined by light but by the edges of a room. If you think of it in this way, then there is a great opportunity to utilize dark floors in a small room.

Brighten up the edges of a room

If you use a dark wood for your small room, it is important to try to brighten up the edges of a room. You could do this by painting the walls a lighter color or even just painting a light trim between the floor and the wall. This expands the edges of a room, making it appear to be much larger.

Will Dark Floors Make a Room Look Smaller? - use light wall colors to.makenit larger

In a small room, the color of the wall and trim is much more important than the color of the floors. 

Decorating a Room with Dark Floors 

When painting the trim of your wall in a shade of white or a different light color, will help make it seem as though the walls are further away than they are in reality.

So Can we use furniture to mach our floors?

Furniture and Decor

Light walls will help you to make your room seem bigger and more open so you can have furniture that compliments the wood of your choice. This could mean matching the wood on the furniture but perhaps using lighter cushions or other decorations. The dark wood v light decor is so classic and will make your space feel open and classy.

Wide windows

Another feature that opens up any room is a wide window. Though you obviously can’t add a window to a room already being worked on, you may have a space with a huge window that would look great with dark wood floors. 

Best types of Dark Floors

Hopefully I have convinced you to move forward with your inclination for dark wood flooring in your small space! That is great, but there are still some decisions to make.

There are so many different dark wood floor materials, which to choose?


Mahogany is a go to when thinking about a classy dark floors. Though it comes with a higher price tag, it is well worth it if you are able to afford it. It is extremely durable and lasts for a lifetime. It comes with a more rustic and classic look that goes great with modern interior.

Managing floors - dark hardwood floors

Mahogany is one of the most sturdy and hardest woods for flooring. Though not as strong as mahogany, oak is a great wood to use for your hardwood floors.


Oak has a lighter color, more grayish tones, which may be a happy medium if you are hesitant to dive into a dark floor. If you are looking for a more rustic, sort of vintage feeling, then red oak is perfect for you.

Red oak is known for its warm tones, which will make any room feel more welcoming. It does not only look classic because it is rustic and warm, but also because of its price.

It is one of the more affordable woods so using this on your floors could be a great option if you have a lot of area to cover. 


There are so many different dark woods that would work great for your dark floors we can’t even cover them all. Hopefully this article provided you with a bit of insight and you are ready to tackle your new project.

Just remember, dark flooring will not automatically make a room feel smaller, in fact it could make it seem bigger if you follow the guidelines I advised. 

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