Paint is powerful. When used strategically, interior painting can change the size and shape of a room. Arrangements of colors and texture change a person’s perspective of the room without literally altering the room’s dimensions. No need to knock down walls or add an addition — simply learn how paint affects room size and shape to make any room in your home look the way you want it to.
Ways Paint Affects Room Size and Shape
How to Make a Room Look Larger
Lighter Paint Colors
The most basic way to see how paint affects room size and shape is color choice. Lighter colors can make rooms look more spacious. For small rooms like hallways, bathrooms, or bedrooms, choose lighter colors like gray, white, beige, tan, or pastels.
Elongate the Room
Playing with where you paint can alter the appearance of the room’s size. If you want to make the space look longer and larger, paint the ceiling and far accent wall one color. This will elongate the space.
Another method is to use a chair rail and paint it a lighter color than the rest of the wall. The darker the paint above the chair rail, the more the room will look horizontally lengthened.
Widen the Room
If you want the room to look wider, use a chair rail. But instead of painting the chair rail a lighter color, opt for something darker. Keep the color above the chair rail light.
Raise the Ceilings
If your room has low ceilings but raising them isn’t an option, paint can help. If you paint the walls a darker shade, then paint the ceiling a lighter color, it can give the effect that the ceilings are taller.
Highlight an Area
The best way to draw attention to a particular area of the room is with paint. For example, if you want to highlight one wall, paint that wall a lighter color than the rest of the walls and ceiling. Eyes will naturally gravitate towards the lighter color and it will become the focal point of the room.
How to Make a Room Look Smaller
Darker Paint Colors
Darker colors will make any room look more closed-off and smaller. But remember that lighting also affects how darker paint colors look in a room. In larger rooms, feel free to experiment with darker colors and statement walls.
Shorten the Room
Making the far wall an accent wall and painting it a different color from the rest of the walls will make the room look shorter.
Narrow the Room
If you have a wide room that you want to look more narrow, paint the ceiling and far wall a lighter color. To create the narrowing effect, paint the other two adjacent walls a darker color. This helps to close off the room and make it look slimmer than it really is.
Lower the Ceilings
If you want to make the room look like the ceilings are lower than they actually are, use paint. Make the ceiling paint color darker than the walls.
Lastly, don’t forget about paint sheen. The type of sheen that will look best in your room varies depending on natural light, size of wall and foot traffic in that area. No matter the sheen, a professional application will ensure you don’t have roller marks or brush strokes in your wall areas.
Paint is a fun part of making a space your own — not just because it looks good, but because it can completely change the feel of a space. The right paint color and placement can turn a small, cramped room into one that feels spacious. It can also turn a large, cold room into one that feels cozy and inviting. Unleash your creativity to make the room exactly as you want it to be.
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