By using certain shades of paints in certain areas of a room you can alter the perception of the size of a room. For instance, it is possible to make small rooms appear larger than they are or long rooms wider. So, if you are like most and not blessed with every room in your house being the perfect size and shape, then perhaps these simple paint tricks will help.
Use white paint to make a small room seem larger
A classic approach beloved by interior designers is to use white paint to make a small room look larger. White surfaces are reflective allowing light entering the space to bounce around the room. By painting both the ceiling and walls white you can bring a sense of openness and airiness to the most cramped of areas.
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Light hues can also give a sense of space
If too much white is not to your taste, then other light and neutral tones will do a similar job in reflecting light and providing a sense of space to a room. Colours such as soft yellow, cool blue or light beige all fit into this category.
You can maximise the impact by complementing the paint work with soft furnishings, upholstery and rugs of similar hues. Well-placed mirrors and sympathetic lighting can also help.
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Use darker paints to make a large room seem smaller and cosier
Sometimes a room can be too big for its purpose. You might dream of a cosy intimate lounge but the room feels too open. Painting the room in darker colours will seemingly bring the walls (and ceiling if needed) into the room more. A matt finish as opposed to sheen finishes will also add to this. Another clever trick to try is changing the layout of the furniture to break up the large space into smaller ones by arranging the furniture into more intimate sections. For instance, bringing a book shelf out into the room to basically create a divider to make a reading area-come-study, or bring the sofas and chairs away from the edges of the room into a closer square to make a cosy gathering space.
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Ways to make a low ceiling look higher
If you have a low ceiling decorate it using a white paint, or a colour that is nice and light in comparison to the walls. This helps to make the ceiling appear brighter and therefore higher than it is. In fact, if you can, deliberately paint the walls slightly darker than you possibly intended so that there is a greater difference between the two. Also try using a satin, semi-gloss or gloss finish paint as the surface will reflect light and give the impression that the ceiling is taller than it actually is.
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Another technique for giving your low ceiling a lift is to extend the ceiling down the wall. This can be achieved by marking a line around the perimeter of the room four to six inches down from the ceiling and then filing this space with the same light colour you have used for your ceiling.
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Painting vertical stripes on your wall also gives the impression the walls are higher as it draws the eye upwards.
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Use darker colours on distant walls to shorten (and widen) a long room
If you have a long room that you want to appear shorter, paint the distant wall with a darker or warmer shade. This can create the effect of making the wall seem much closer. If you paint the longer, adjacent walls in lighter colours this will also add to the feeling that the room is wider than it actually is.
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Use darker side walls and a light far wall to lengthen a short room
This works by simply being the opposite of the above; by painting the side walls darker and the end wall lighter then the room will appear longer than it is.
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Have you had success with paint effects to optically change the persception of your room? We would love to see it – share it with us on social media
For a solid, flat and elegant finish that is easy to touch up when required, matte paint is ideal for creating a gentle, soothing finish. It helps to conceal flaws too, making it a good choice for older walls with "character".
Has slightly more lustre than a matte finish, low-sheen rather than shiny. This attractive finish resists stains better than matte paint, and is easier to maintain
Creates an attractive and highly durable high sheen finish, an ideal choice if you want to make a room look bigger. While it is the easiest to clean (just wipe with a damp cloth) Silk paint’s light reflecting properties do make it more difficult to touch up because any difference in sheen will be apparent. It will make imperfections in your walls more noticeable, so it is worth investing a bit of extra time on surface preparation to make your walls as smooth as possible.
Even our gloss paint is zero-VOC! An easy-to-apply, non-drip antibacterial gloss paint that provides a hardwearing, wipe-clean finish for interior and exterior wood and metal. (Please note, the gloss does not share the formaldehyde-absorbing properties of the emulsion paint, but there's still no safer gloss paint on the market!)