How to Use Color
to Make Your Small Space Feel Bigger
colors to make rooms look bigger
One of the most common misconceptions about small spaces and paint is the
all-white finish. Even though all-white is always an option, you shouldn’t fear color, regardless of the size of
the space. Besides, a carefully selected color pattern is much more exciting and visually appealing.
What’s more, in combination with intelligently placed furnishings, color tricks our spatial perception, and make us think the
room is bigger than it actually is. To learn how to use it to make your small space feel bigger, here are a couple
of great solutions that might inspire you to bring back some color into your home.
A simple way to expand a small space is to use clear intense colors. In small
space interior design, sharp colors help to highlight the precise lines of every single piece of furniture in the
room. Spaced apart from each other, the contrast between the furniture and the paint scheme creates clarity and
opens up the space. Choose sharp colors like blazing reds, energetic blues, yellows or greens if you opt for a
single tone, or a colorful tartan or bright chintzes for a colorful pattern.
Add an Accent
Painting a single wall in a completely different color is a great way to extend
the visual perspective of a room. An accent wall painted over with a deeper, darker color extends the line of
sight. With less furniture placed against the wall, it draws our vision towards it, creating an illusion of a
larger room. In case you opt for this option in your living room or kitchen, make sure you choose a wall you are
likely to view the most – the wall behind TV or fireplace, or behind the main work station in the
A two-tone color scheme can expand the perception of a room’s size by adding visual contrast. Lining
certain sides of the corner, where the ceiling and wall meet, with color can extend our concept of length of
that room. Alternatively, by lining the corner with color, where two walls meet, you extend height perception.
This subtle contrast can be put to great use when you want to enlarge a space, especially when the contrasting
color is combined with similar-colored furniture.
Spaciousness in a room can easily be achieved by including accent colors into the
overall color scheme. Big splashes of color add depth to a room, and an unexpected surprise to the eye. A brightly
painted inside of a shelf, an intensely colored radiator, or a hued windowsill all add excitement to the room. In
case you choose to paint these accentuating areas yourself, make sure to be precise, since the sharp lines give the
room the required depth. Use painter’s tape to determine the lines, and a quality acetone paint cleaner in case you make a mistake.
Unite the Space with Shades of
In case you have an open floor plan layout, but still feel the room is small,
connect the unique areas with different shades of the same color. A single base color toned differently divides the
spaces into individual functional areas, while we continue perceiving it as an endless space. Similarly, this can
also be achieved with furniture. A shade of color in one room, extends to the next via lampshades, accent pillows,
drapes, or area rugs, and, thus, creating an illusion of a continuous space.
Give Your Walls a Faux
By giving character to small spaces, stylish faux finishes add depth, false
appearance of texture and a sense of a much large space. Leaving the ceiling in a different color, or extending the
ceilings color to a chair rail, cabinet or bookshelf expands the height of the room. Additionally, the faux wall
coverings, like Venetian plaster, artisan or sandstone finishes, create a seemingly textured surface. In doing so,
the room seems to attract more light, and makes it feel more spacious and open.
All of these color schemes provide a great way to break away from the common
all-white backdrop. Make an assessment of the room you wish to paint, explore and experiment with different
solutions, and choose the one that works best for you. Remember, no matter how small your room is, there’s always
room for color in your home!
images courtesy of Creative Commons
Diana Smith is a full time mom of two beautiful girls and a passionate traveler. In
her free time she enjoys writing about home and family, pets and gardening.