A great pop of color is a wonderful refresh for any home, and can set the tone for the mood and feel of a room.
Since over 80% of our sensory experiences are visual, it’s important to stimulate ourselves through color, especially in the spaces where we spend the bulk of our time. But beyond the emotional benefits, strategically chosen pops of color can actually make your space appear taller, brighter, and much, much bigger.
Here are a few helpful hints on how to achieve the look you want with just a touch of paint…
Break the Rules
Go for what you love. Ultimately this is about you, and sometimes the best color choices are the ones that you just personally love. So even if it breaks every design rule, don’t be afraid to pick the colors you love most.
Bright is the New Light
If you’re still living with the misconception that white is the only color that will make small spaces feel bigger, think again. It’s no secret that lighter colors will do the job better than any others; they reflect natural and artificial light and make your space feel more spacious. But if whites, pastels and pale shades of grey aren’t your thing, try sharp, crisp colors like candy-apple reds, lime greens, neon yellows, and hot oranges on at least one wall in your space.
The bright, clear color will create design lines that elongate and widen your space, while also adding a visual pop. Even adding a few splashes of color inside bookshelves, over radiators, and inside the nooks and crannies of your home will add depth and excitement to a room.
Dark Colors make a Difference
One big exception to the “lighter and brighter” color rule is when you’re painting any narrow or cramped space. By using a darker color than its adjoining walls in a contiguous room, you’re making that room look bigger by comparison. For example, if you have a small foyer or kitchen pantry, as many prewar buildings often do, cloak it in a royal blue or purple while saving your lighter colors for the subsequent room. The contrast will work wonders.
If a whole space covered in dark paint is too much for you, start by painting its ceiling a darker color; it’ll make the tiny space appear wider and longer. In larger spaces, the opposite is true. If you’re opting for darker walls, make sure your ceiling is light and bright, you could even drop the lighter color down your walls about 18″ to create the impression of a taller room.
Don’t forget that color impacts more than the look of your room, it also affects your mood. Want to feel more zen? Cool, light greens help create relaxing, mood-lifting spaces. Looking for cozy? Rich reds bring the feeling of warmth. Yellows have been linked with feelings of happiness and joy, likewise, blues, grays, browns, and lavenders can help promote tranquility while also enlarging the feel of a space.
So as you design or refresh your living spaces, keep color as a viable option for helping achieve the look you want. A little can go a long way and it’s a quick, relatively inexpensive way to change things up, bring your personal style into your decor, and create your perfect home.