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Enhancing Space Perception: Tips for Making Rooms Look Bigger and Smaller with Colour

At Ty & Mor we are experts in transforming spaces for the hospitality sector, retail industry, and domestic refurbishments, we understand the importance of visual perception in interior design. In this blog post, we'll explore how to create the illusion of larger or smaller rooms through strategic colour choices. We'll provide tips on using colour to enhance space perception, along with key questions you should consider when designing with this goal in mind.

Making Rooms Look Bigger with Colour:

1. Choose Light Colours: Light colours, such as soft neutrals and pastels, reflect more light and create a sense of openness. When applied to walls, ceilings, and floors, light colours can visually expand the boundaries of a room, making it feel larger and more spacious. This effect is due to the fact that light colours bounce light around the space, which helps to eliminate shadows and create a more uniform illumination. Light-coloured surfaces also have a receding effect, making walls seem farther away and thus increasing the perceived size of the room.

2. Opt for Monochromatic Schemes: Using varying shades of the same colour throughout the room creates visual continuity and eliminates contrast, making the space appear larger. Monochromatic colour schemes create a seamless flow and reduce visual distractions, making it difficult to distinguish where one surface ends and another begins, contributing to the perception of expansiveness. Utilising a monochromatic colour scheme, where various shades and tints of the same colour are used throughout the space, can also contribute to the perception of size.  Additionally, monochromatic schemes reduce visual clutter, which can help maintain a sense of openness and spaciousness.

3. Utilise Cool Tones: Cool colours like blues and greens recede visually, creating the illusion of depth and distance. Painting walls in cool hues can make them appear farther away, effectively enlarging the perceived size of the room.

Key Questions for Making Rooms Look Bigger:

1. What is the desired atmosphere of the room? Consider whether you want the space to feel bright and airy or cosy and intimate. Light colours and cool tones are ideal for creating a sense of spaciousness, while warm colors can make a room feel more intimate.

2. How much natural light does the room receive? Take into account the amount of natural light available in the space. Rooms with ample natural light are better suited for light-colored palettes, as they can maximise the brightness and openness of the room.

Making Rooms Look Smaller with Colour:

1. Embrace Darker Hues: Dark colours, such as deep blues, rich browns, and charcoal greys, absorb more light and create a sense of cosiness and intimacy. When used strategically, dark colours can make a space feel more enclosed and intimate, which can be desirable in certain settings, such as bedrooms or living areas. Dark colours tend to advance visually, meaning they appear closer, so when applied to walls, they can make the boundaries of a room feel closer together, resulting in a warm homely atmosphere.

2. Introduce Contrast: Using contrasting colours to define architectural features or focal points can visually divide a space and make it feel smaller. Consider painting trim, doors, or accent walls in a darker shade to create visual interest and depth.

3. Experiment with Warm Tones: Warm colours like reds, oranges, and yellows advance visually, making them ideal for creating a sense of closeness. Incorporating warm hues into the colour palette can make walls feel closer and cosier, effectively reducing the perceived size of the room.

Key Questions for Making Rooms Look Smaller:

1. What is the function of the room? Consider whether you want the space to feel intimate and cocoon-like or expansive and airy. Darker colours and warm tones are well-suited for creating a cosy atmosphere in areas like bedrooms or living rooms.

2. How will the colour scheme complement existing decor? Take into account the existing furnishings and decor in the room when selecting colours. Ensure that the colour palette enhances the overall aesthetic and contributes to the desired ambiance.

In conclusion, colour plays a crucial role in shaping the perceived size and atmosphere of a room. By strategically selecting colours and colour schemes, designers can create the illusion of larger or smaller spaces to suit the desired look and feel of the room. Whether aiming for spaciousness or cosiness, understanding the principles of colour perception is essential for achieving successful interior design outcomes. Contact us today to learn more about how we can transform your space with the power of colour.