The Paint Shade HGTV's Jenn Todryk Avoids In Cramped Spaces And Why

HGTV's Jenn Todryk is the host of "No Demo Reno," where she overhauls outdated spaces with the help of smart interior design tricks rather than costly construction projects. Because of that, she knows a thing or two about how to transform cramped spaces. While most people would itch to tear down a wall to create more square footage, Todryk believes you can achieve similar results with the right coat of paint. It's all about tricking the eye into seeing the room as less cramped and airier than it really is. And according to the HGTV host, the best way to do that is to use light paint. While all white may seem like the right option, as it's the lightest shade there is, Todryk doesn't recommend it.

Whether you have low ceilings or are dealing with a room that is smaller than you would like it to be, a fresh coat of paint can help open it up. "Dark paint colors — I love them, but it really does help to have lighter paint colors if you have low ceilings, especially," she told The Dallas Morning News. Low ceilings can make you feel like you're stuck in a cave, but a lighter paint color — not stark white, however — will help make it appear sunnier and, thus, less claustrophobic. 

Why Jenn Todryk recommends light paint

Jenn Todryk believes small, cramped spaces are better served with light-colored paint, but that doesn't mean you're stuck painting every room white. You still have choices; the main objective is just to infuse the cramped square footage with tons of light, and it's easier to do that with a lighter shade. "I don't mean paint it white. I feel like that trend's seen its day, and everything very white and sterile isn't what's popular anymore. But definitely a lighter tone of paint and something that can reflect the light very well," she told The Dallas Morning News.

Luckily, with three seasons of "No Demo Reno" under her belt, the HGTV star has curated quite the collection of airy paint colors she can recommend. Todryk usually gravitates toward whites, dark greens, blacks, and grays, but as anyone who has chosen paint colors before knows, it's hard narrowing down the perfect shade. That's why Todryk shared on her blog all the paint colors she used in her previous seasons. You can save time and money when choosing paint with Todryk's advice. Taking a peek at her selections, you can use anything from Egret White SW 7570 from Sherwin-Williams (a pastel white paint) to Halcyon Green SW 6213 from Sherwin-Williams (a muted green-gray) to achieve this look.

Caveats to keep in mind

Of course, there is an exception to every design rule. While using light paint colors helps to reflect more light in a space and make it appear airier, other HGTV stars recommend using dark paint to lean into the coziness of the small space. For example, Bobby Berk both champions using either white or super dark paint to make the room feel larger — the choice is yours. "While we have often heard that painting a small room dark will only make it appear smaller, that actually isn't always true. Painting a small room dark can sometimes even make the room appear larger and more dramatic," he explained on his website

However, there's a right way to implement dark paint colors in your home, or else it can become a cave. For example, Berk further explains that you should make the room monochromatic so that it feels more dramatic than cluttered. In addition, use a matte finish to hide wall imperfections and, thus, make the space feel bigger. To offset the moodiness, he recommends bringing in some metallic accents to brighten up the room. As you can see, going dark requires a little more forethought than going bright and airy, but it's still a choice if it fits your aesthetic better!