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3 clever painting hacks to make a small room look huge (no matter the color)

Getting the most out of every space in your house is what home renovation and interior decorating is all about. So, what do you do to make that small, cramped living room or bedroom look bigger? There are a lot of furnishing and decorating techniques out there that create the illusion of more space in a tiny room, but there are also some painting tips that make a room look larger. We’ll walk you through them.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Clever painting ideas for small rooms

Choose one paint color throughout the room

There are a lot of stylish painting ideas out there that employ the use of multiple colors. Whether it’s painting a single accent wall in a bold color or painting trim a contrasting hue, many of these painting design ideas are really meant for larger rooms. An accent wall, for example, creates a pleasant focal point in a wide open space.

When it comes to smaller rooms, though, painting the whole space in one solid color allows the eyes to scan the whole room and creates the illusion of a space that’s open and breathable. So, if your room is feeling small, it’s better to forgo the added design element and paint the walls, ceiling, and even the trim the same color.

Match with furniture and curtains

Taking the mono-color philosophy one step further, it’s a good idea to match your wall color to other items in the room. If you opt for curtains, for example, make them the same color as the wall so that the eye’s visual scan is uninterrupted upon entering the room. Similarly, larger furniture pieces, like couches and bookshelves, should also be a similar shade to the walls.

Choose the right sheen

There are a lot of options when it comes to paint sheen, ranging from high-gloss to matte finishes. Did you know that the higher the gloss is in the paint, the more it reflects light? Since light always makes a room look larger, you want to reflect as much as possible in your tiny room.

High-gloss sheens are also the most durable and cleanable paints out there, and are perfect for high-impact areas that see a lot of traffic dirt. However, while you can certainly choose paint with the highest gloss possible, keep in mind that that it isn’t the best at hiding imperfections in walls, like nicks, stains, and drywall flaws. If your walls aren’t pristine, it’s better to go with a semi-gloss or eggshell sheen, which still reflects light but covers those flaws a bit better.

small living room with minimal wall decor
Image used with permission by copyright holder

What colors make a room look bigger?

If you’re still deliberating on what color paint to go with, know that there are some colors that are the best options for making small rooms look larger. However, which color you choose is also impacted by the amount of natural light the small space gets.

Light colors

Light colors reflect light and create the appearance of space, so they are naturally better for cramped rooms that get some natural light. You’ve probably heard that a stark white color is the best option for opening up a small space and making it look bigger. While this is true, if you don’t like the sterile, simple look of white paint, other light colors are also great options, like:

  • Light blue
  • Cool gray
  • Blush pink
  • Beige

These colors do the same light-reflecting job as white paint but with a little more flair.

Dark colors

On the other side of the coin, light colors won’t do justice to a small room that gets no natural light. In these spaces, it’s actually more effective to choose a dark color, since it will give the room more depth and create a cozy, intimate feel, coupled with a bit of grandeur. Some great dark-colored options are:

  • Black
  • Charcoal
  • Dark gray
  • Navy

Working with a small room is a challenging decorating project. While you may agonize over the furnishings and decor you put into your tight space, at least you’ve got the walls covered now. You can make that tiny space feel spacious with these three clever painting tips.

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Veronica Sparks
Veronica Sparks is a writer from Milwaukee, Wisconsin who loves writing about gardening, home décor, and DIY life. She’s…
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