Creating illusions of space
A RULE of thumb is that lighter colours make rooms seem bigger whereas darker colours make them seem smaller. So, if you want to create an illusion of space in your dining room, creams and yellows will open it up.
And if you want your bedroom to appear as a warm, comfortable cave, an especially useful illusion if you have trouble sleeping at night, go wild with a deep red or dark blue wall or two.
A non-paint trick is to disguise and shrink large pieces of furniture by making them the same colour as the walls. So for a dark sofa against a light wall, use a light throw. If you have large cupboards, give them a coat of paint.
If you live in an older house with a ceiling that’s a little too high for comfort, painting it a shade or two darker than the walls will appear to bring it down.
The reverse is true too – painting your ceiling a little lighter than the walls will make it seem higher, lengthening your walls.
Should you choose to hire a professional painter, or if you are a dab hand with a brush yourself, you might want to consider “lifting” your ceiling by painting your walls with a colour that lightens as it works its way up the wall.
You can create a similar effect by putting up some mouldings.
Run these a foot or so from the ceiling and then paint the walls underneath the mouldings in slightly darker colours below the mouldings and use lighter shades above the mouldings and on the ceilings.
Painting your ceiling a little lighter than the walls will make it seem higher.