9 Colors That’ll Make Any Room Feel Larger

9-colors-that'll-make-any-room-feel-largerHere in the Bay Area, people get used to living on a smaller scale. Apartments and homes can require ingenuity in order to make them feel spacious. Fortunately, there are “tricks of the design trade” that can make a smaller room appear more spacious. This is typically done with color and furnishing size.

9 Color Choices and Tips To Make a Small Room Feel More Spacious

Today, we’re going to focus on color and how the colors you select can make a room feel larger and more spacious than it actually is. Here are 9 ideas to try in your small rooms.

  1. All white. We’ll start with this one, though it’s often the only choice people think about. White is bright and open, which is one reason why it makes a room feel larger. There is another reason though; an all white room is monochromatic, and monochromatic palettes can make a room seem bigger because they blend the edges and keep it from looking compartmentalized.
  2. Opt cool over warm. If you are thinking about adding color, especially if it’s a darker color, opt for cool shades over warm ones. Warm tones jump out at you. So, if you have warm red, orange or yellow walls, the walls will seem “closer”. Cooler colors, like green, blue and violet will have more of a receding feeling, which opens a room up a bit.
  3. Stiffkey Blue. Want to be a little more daring? Farrow & Ball’s Stiffkey Blue is a rich blue color that will take you far from the idea of all white or all neutral palate. Ideal for a living room or bedroom, it creates a soothing ambiance.
  4. Appalachian Brown. This one might surprise you given the fast-held belief that small rooms should always be painted light colors. Benjamin Moore’s Appalachian Brown is a rich, dark hue but it still manages to make the room feel bigger because the color is so saturated, blending a room’s dimensions. Consider using a high-gloss finish for light play and movement, and paint moulding/trim in the same shade with a slightly different finish. Don’t paint them white or it will chop it up and make the room smaller again.
  5. Cut in a white ceiling. If you have a particularly small room and you choose to put color on the walls, cut in a white ceiling which will help to raise it a bit and give a sense of extra space.
  6. Horizon. Benjamin Moore’s Horizon reminds us of a beach sky when the sun is hidden by the clouds. It will work with any of your furnishings and accents. The muted gray looks almost white until you put it on the walls where the softest blue peeks out.
  7. Select smaller furnishings. You don’t have to go miniature here, but smaller (always comfortable, though!) furnishings will be more proportioned to the room, making it feel larger. Consider a love seat and svelte arm chair rather than a sectional or oversized sofa.
  8. Curry Yellow. We mentioned yellow as a warm color, and typically it is. However, you can also find cooler shades that will make your room appear larger while still feeling much warmer than the all-white option. Porter Paint’s Fresh Curry is a good yellow option.
  9. Shades of Spring. This is a two-for-one tip. Look out your windows and take palette cues from there. Using a shade from the outdoors will connect your interior with the exterior, making it seem larger. Benjamin Moore’s Shades of Spring is a lovely green to consider.

Schedule an appointment with Kristina Wolf Design if your small spaces are giving you trouble. I’m happy to create the design solutions that will open them right up.

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Kristina Wolf Design, Inc., Interior Decorators & Designers, Berkeley, CA