Home should be a place where you feel safe and free, but it can seem impossible to feel like that when you’re spending your days in a cramped space that causes claustrophobia rather than happiness. Believe it or not, moving into a bigger apartment is not your only option. You can make a room appear larger with nothing but a fresh coat of paint. Even though to appear larger is not the same as to be larger, the illusion of spaciousness can make your room more functional and easier to be in. Here are some suggestions that will prove our point.
Painting a small dark room white is the most frequently used designer trick in order to create an illusion of spaciousness. Dark colors have the tendency of absorbing the light and making a room feel smaller. White does exactly the opposite- it makes the room feel open and airy and maximizes the effect of natural light. However, white calls for caution, since it can appear dull and sterile. For optimal effect, choose off-white tones, such as Benjamin Moor’s China White or Honeymilk Valspar.
Grey Is the New White
For too long white has been considered as the only option for increasing the amount of light in a room, when grey is just as efficient in fulfilling this task. It has been unfairly accused as depressing and drab, but in fact, it is the perfect alternative for the mentioned off-white shades, especially ammonite grey. Cloud grey also does a rather decent job in making a space feel soft and airy, thus creating a clean backdrop often used in Scandinavian décor.
Unlike grey, warm neutrals (brown, red, orange and yellow undertones) are often used in small spaces, especially because they can make a room appear larger without compromising the cozy atmosphere characteristic for small spaces. Furthermore, they fit in perfectly in any design style and color palette, so you can introduce them without overhauling your entire home. Some of the best warm neutral shades you can find on the market are Alexandra Beige by Benjamin Moore and Old White by Farrow & Ball.
There’s nothing quite like a small room painted with pastel tones. These shades are feminine by nature, and they can brighten any space and add a few imaginary square inches to it. Mauve, peach, lavender and light pink (e.g. Pantone’s Rose Quartz) are lovely choices, especially if you pair them with subtle neutrals. Just remember to use acetone for brushes if you’re going to paint with two different colors in the same day, if you don’t want your beige to become pink.
Yellow can look amazing in small rooms and enhance the presence of natural light. However, don’t go with too dark or too bright shade, since it can overwhelm the space. Pale, creamy yellow, soft banana and subtle shade of lemon are the best choices. You can combine them with light lime green or sorbet orange to create more visual interest.
Lighter greens and blues that remind us of coastal scenes create a soothing atmosphere that can at the same time both enlarge and brighten your space. Sea foam green is especially effective, because it’s versatile and works very well with many other shades, like darker greens (e.g. rich forest green), white, pink, blue, etc.
The fact that all of the mentioned colors are brighter shouldn’t discourage you from using darker bold shades in small space. However, it is important to know how to use them. Dark colors will work best when used on an accent wall, furniture and accessories, or to accentuate an architectural feature such as fireplace or niche.