How to use paint to change the size of your room

How to use paint to change the size of your room

March 10, 2017

Paint can do more to transform a room than simply change the colour on the walls. People may be aware of how different colours and shades might change the feel of a room, however it can also be used to seemingly change the physical size of it!

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.

Here are a few tips on using paint to change the size of a room.

Use white paint to make a small room seem larger

Make a room appear 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.


White room

(Image source whowhatwear.com)

White room

(Image source homeohmy.com)


 

Light hues can also give a sense of space

Enlarge a room with paint

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. 


Light room

(Image source lushome.com)

Light room

(Image source lushome.com)


 

Use darker paints to make a large room seem smaller and cosier

Make a room seem smaller

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.


Dark room

(Image source mydomaine.com)

Dark room

(Image source housetohome.co.uk)


 

Ways to make a low ceiling look higher

Make a room seem 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.


Make a room seem taller

(Image source sheerluxe.com)

Make a room seem higher

(Image source angelinthenorth.com)


 

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.


Heighten a room
White ceiling

(Image source marieclairemaison.com)


 

Painting vertical stripes on your wall also gives the impression the walls are higher as it draws the eye upwards.


Vertical striped wall
Striped nursery

(Image source uk.lifestyle.yahoo.com)


 

Use darker colours on distant walls to shorten (and widen) a long room

Shorten a 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.


Shorten a room

(Image source roomedit.com)

Shorten a room

(Image source littlehouseoffour.com)


 

Use darker side walls and a light far wall to lengthen a short room

Lengthen a 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.


Lengthen a room

(Image source habitat.com)

Lengthen a room

(Image source wohnprojekt.blogspot.de)


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


Little Knights

Beautiful colours for beautiful homes




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