Decor Tip: The Perception of Space

Every time housing prices go up, many people stay in their homes longer (and storage units get even more popular!).  Such is the case here.  I talk to so many people who really would like to move to larger spaces for their growing families, but are forced to wait for the housing market to stabilize.  Local realtors tell me it will, but in the meantime here are some budget-friendly ways to use paint to make your spaces look and feel larger!

Tip 1: Utilize Color

Decorist recently published an article on the five paint colors most likely to give the feeling of larger rooms.  I admit, one was a total surprise!  Lace white I expected, and of course grey beige (or greige, as decorators call it).  I was thrilled to see both black and charcoal on the list - properly used, they can add some much depth to a space, making it appear larger.  The surprise? Ice blue.  While I didn't see what one coming, it makes loads of sense.  It's calming, blue is timeless anyway, and it has enough light to it to feel fresh.  PRO TIP: Don't neglect the ceiling!  Painting the ceiling the same color or within the same color family as the walls can blur the lines between wall and ceiling, making the space appear larger.

Tip 2: Create an Illusion

The graphic below is a great one for really showcasing how paint can alter the perception of a room.  And while many of us are trying to make our spaces feel larger, there are some cavernous rooms that benefit from feeling smaller and more cozy.  PRO TIP: One way to utilize this technique while using the same color paint is to play with matte and gloss instead of two different colors.  The effect will be more subtle, but it will still make a difference.

Tip 3: Designer Tricks

In smaller rooms, designers will often paint the baseboards the same color as the wall to make the walls appear taller, and they will also use the same paint on some of the smaller furniture pieces (like nightstands and sofa tables) to make them blend in.  Another trick is to paint your trim two or three shades lighter than the wall color; it creates the illusion that the walls are further away.  PRO TIP: This one is advanced, but the effect is fabulous! Extend the wall paint 3" onto the ceiling all the way around.  This gives the impression of a higher cove ceiling.  It really works!

BONUS TIP: A painter shared this one with me, and I'm so glad he did.  My tape lines always bled horribly.  He said to use the best quality painter's tape you can buy, then once it's pressed firmly on the wall paint over the seam with the same color the tape is covering,  THEN paint your other color as usual.  Any paint that bleeds under won't be seen, because it's the same color anyway.  I tried it, and it works beautifully!  Clever fellow. :)

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