True or False: Using color in a small room makes the room look even smaller.
This is the biggest misconception of small-space design, and it continues to prevent people from using color in small spaces. Color is one of the best ways to define a room, and a carefully chosen color can create a style way bigger than a room’s apparent size.
Here are a few tips for using color to create depth in small spaces.
Create a Focal Accent Wall
Some designers frown on the idea of painting one wall a different color than the rest, but doing so can work wonders in a small space. Don’t be afraid to use bold colors; sometimes painting one wall a richer, dark color can make it recede, which will make the space look larger.
Add Color to Unique Accents
Add a splash of color to unexpected items such as a radiator, the inside of a bookshelf or a
windowsill to create a unique sense of depth in your small room.
Choose an accent color and layer it in the room among different pieces, especially if you'd prefer to keep the wall and upholstery colors neutral. Used judiciously, even the brightest colors won't overwhelm quiet neutrals. In most situations, use the chosen color in accents all around the room, rather than concentrating it one place.
Connect Spaces With One Color Theme
Just as different wall colors can divide your apartment into different work areas, different shades of the same color can unite all the rooms.
Sharing a color between multiple rooms that can be viewed from a given point will add balance, for example, a living room or kitchen that opens into the dining room, or a bedroom with a small office attached. If you have a favorite color combination, don’t be afraid to join those as well.
If you have a foyer or hallway, paint them a darker shade than the living room…this will make the living room feel more spacious in comparison.
Spice It Up
There are several finishes and specialty painting techniques that can add a lot of character to your small space. One technique that gives a wall depth is layering on glazes of color. Separating the wall into blocks of color is another trick to adding visual depth.
Ceiling effects can also expand the appearance of the space. Draw the eye up with a wall of colorful stripes, or paint the ceiling a lighter color than the walls to make it seem airier. Another great option is to paint the ceiling a darker color and extend the same color down the wall about 14 inches.
Experiment With Color
Whatever painting technique you choose for making your small space appear larger, consider taking “baby-steps”. Experiment with the 2-ounce paint samples available at most home improvement retailers. That's enough paint to cover a 1’x2’ area, which should give you a good idea of what your chosen hue really looks like. Make sure to view it in natural and artificial light.
Now get to painting!