If you live in a small home or apartment, you probably already know how hard they can be to decorate. But even if you’re limited by space and natural light, paint colour can have a big impact on your space. Here are some tricks for making any room look bigger with paint. Personally, I always recommend Colourtrend Paints – they take their inspiration from the Irish landscape – guaranteeing that the colours will sit will in any setting, as they reflect the tones and shades we see in our everyday lives.
Paint your ceilings, skirting, architrave and doors the same colour throughout the home. And make them at least a shade lighter than your wall colour. Likewise, use the same paint colour throughout. It’s sometimes tempting to paint bathrooms or bedrooms a different colour from the rest of the house. However, using a single colour (or a range of closely related hues) gives your space a seamless look. This encourages your eye to flow smoothly as you move from room to room. I love to use Colourtrend Temperance on the walls and Colourtrend Arctic Blonde on the woodwork to keep the space warm and bright. It’s a fab neutral base to bring in other feature colours (in furniture, soft furnishings, lighting and accessories).
It’s true that using one colour on your walls makes rooms feel bigger. But that rule is made to be broken by an accent wall. Accent walls create an optical illusion, drawing the eye to a single focal point. There’s a variation on this theme, which you can use in rectangular rooms. Rather than painting just one wall a contrasting colour, paint the two long walls a darker shade rather than the two short ones. (Darker can mean a couple of shades darker than your wall colour, or go bold and dark like charcoal, black or navy.) By emphasising the room’s length, you can make it feel bigger. So for example; paint Temperance on the short walls, Oyster Bed on the longer walls and Arctic Blonde on all the woodwork. Or go fully dark with a bold neutral like Genesis.
How many of us have ever considered layering lighting to create a feeling of spaciousness in a room?
We need to spread the light around! Don’t rely on a single light source in the centre of the room. One ceiling light will only cast a pool of light on the middle of the floor. Instead, use multiple light sources around the room to open it up, such as floor lamps in corners and table lamps on sideboards. This will spread focus across the full area of the room (and will also give you more control over different moods in the room – yes, I’m talking about creating that sense of Hygge – I am the Hygge Expert after all!).
Continuing with the theme of spreading light around; try using wall lights in awkward recesses or corners. For example, lighting the spaces on either side of a chimney breast will make the room seem wider. Opt for flush ceiling lights to avoid taking valuable space out of the room and choose slimline floor lamps and compact table lamps for maximum effect. Backlighting not only eliminates darkness behind furniture but gives the sense of extra depth. That is beside the fact that it could look quite elegant. Strips for backlighting can be fixed behind TV screens, bed headboards, screens, or mirrors. You can pick up LED lighting strips in any good electrical shop!
Bodhi Boutique’s https://www.bodhiboutique.ie/product/cody-floor-lamp/ and https://www.bodhiboutique.ie/product/table-lamp-lantern-jurre-bronze/ are great compact options for lighting in a smaller room!
Mirrors are the oldest trick in the book when it comes to creating the illusion of space. The classic method is to place a large mirror opposite a window, but if you can’t (or don’t want to) rely on natural light, place mirrors opposite your wall lights for a similar effect. (Incidentally, one of the best mirror tricks is to place a floor-to-ceiling one behind a piece of furniture like a side table or cabinet. This will create an illusion of a whole other room opening up behind it.) We love the Circum Black Round Mirror from April and the Bear and the Alana Extra Large Leaning Mirror in Brushed Brass from MADE.com
The last thing you can do to make a small room feel bigger is to declutter – Lord knows we could all do with a little Marie Kondo in our lives! Taking on board these few tips should help your small space feel bigger, help to clear your mind and make you fall in love with your home again.
If you’re struggling to figure out how to lay out a room correctly, or choose the best paint colours for your home – get in touch with me through my website or social media.