How to Colors Make Room Look Bigger

How Colors Make Small Room Look a Bigger


Color theory is a science that many designers swear by red for a dining room to promote appetite, yellow for a kitchen to create a happy atmosphere, green for a sunroom to enhance the growing energy, and black on special occasions. But you may be surprised to find that colors not only have an effect on our moods but also on how big, small, cold, hot or inviting a room can appear.

Let’s first look at the biggest player in the room: the walls. Here are four colors that make a room look bigger, and there are definitely a few unexpected colors on this list!

1. White

How to Colors Make Room Look Bigger

The first is the most obvious one: white. If you have a tiny room filled with rich, saturated colors, the room will look smaller. Add a coat of white paint, and instantly, you have a room that appears bigger. There is a bit of science behind this trick: white is light-reflective, while the darker a color gets, the more light it absorbs. If you add a satin or gloss finish to your walls, it will further increase the amount of light reflected, which then further visually increases the space.

2. Pastel Colors

How to Colors Make Room Look Bigger

Not far removed from white, pastels are slightly darker hues that add a bit of color to a room without taking away too much of the light-reflecting benefit. Think buttery yellow, blush, pistachio and duck-egg blue for a trendy room. Use white trims for a bit of contrast and to prevent the room from looking washed out.

3. Gray

How to Colors Make Room Look Bigger

Gray is a mixture of black and white, so it then makes sense that it will retain the qualities of its parent colors. In that way, very pale gray has a wonderfully warming effect without surrendering its ability to reflect light. Gray also can create a bit of depth, which is why it is such a wonderful color to work within smaller interiors.

4. Black

How to Colors Make Room Look Bigger

And since white and gray is on the list, it then makes sense that black also to be! Because of the incredible depth created by a very dark color, black has the unlikely ability to increase a room’s size rather than making it appear smaller. Used sparingly on one or two accent walls, or above or below a dado rail, black paint in both a gloss or matte finish will make the walls disappear into the void, creating space in its stead.

But of course, it’s not only the walls in a room that make us feel claustrophobic. Dark floor finishes and bulky furniture in dark colors have the same effect. Here are a few pro tips on how to deal with that.

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