Interior Design: Creating Illusion of Size with Colour Schemes
In a narrow room, where one exists, leave the picture rail and bring the ceiling right down to it. Concentrate colour on the lower part of the walls; this will bring the eye down to the colour level and give an impression of width.
Paint the long walls in cool, receding colours and the short walls in a warm colour. Cool colours, like blue and green, make the walls appear further apart. The room will appear to be wider and shallower.
Flooring can also add to this illusion. Patterned carpet, lino, tiles or woodblock flooring should be laid with the lines running across the width of the room. Alternatively, a carpet with a diagonal pattern or carpet tiles arranged in this way will also make the room appear wider.
Another widening trick is to paint the ceiling in a colour that tones with the flooring and paint the walls white. The eye is drawn to the walls which gives an immediate impression of width.
One problem may be that the room needs an illusion of height. The eye needs to be drawn upwards; one way of doing this is to use vertical striped wallpaper. A plain floor covering in a matching or toning colour should then be used.
As cool colours recede and give an impression of depth and space, they can be used to make a wide room look narrower. The long walls should have a warm-coloured finish, while the shorter walls should be painted in a receding colour.
The floor covering should be laid with the pattern running from the front to the back of the room, emphasising any lines on the walls.
A large floor that appears too spacious can be stained or painted. Highlight the centre with a bright rug or carpet. The carpet becomes the focal point and the surrounding area merges into the background.
Conversely, fitted carpet gives an illusion of space. This illusion can be carried further by painting the skirting board in a colour that matches the carpet. In a small house, it may be possible to use the same-colour carpet throughout one floor. Qualities may vary, dependent upon the usage required in differing rooms, but when doors are open one will get the impression of an endless vista.
If this is not possible, carpet or floor-covering colours should be linked. Think of the visual assault of ill-matching carpets meeting in a hall or landing. Any linking hall or landing carpet should attempt to continue the adjacent colours.
Carpets are an expensive item and should be chosen to blend with schemes of décor and make a positive contribution to the overall effect.
Many people want to create an impression of space in their homes. Much can be done with colour, pattern and texture but actual physical proportions, furniture and soft furnishings play an important part in the overall effect.
In other areas, modular furniture can be used, leaving floor space free. Wall units and shelves can be made of light material, so that they do not dominate the wall area. For example, glass shelves mounted on light brackets merge into the background. Picture rails can be removed, low radiators or skirting radiators can be used.
Often, two small rooms can usefully be combined into one living area. Instead of two cluttered boxes, one can have two functional areas, linked by flooring and décor colouring.
Dark walls need not necessarily make areas look small if they are combined with plenty of white on the ceiling and floor and in the furnishings.
Mirrors can be used to give an added dimension and feeling of spaciousness. A mirror backing a recessed alcove reflects light and gives a sense of space.
To widen a narrow hallway use mirrors or mirror tiles on one side. Use wall to wall carpeting and extend the colour of the carpet by 50mm or so up the wall.
Hallways, can afford to be decorated in bright colours. They need to be welcoming entrances, well lit and inviting.