How Changing Wall Colors and Lighting Can Make Your Home Feel More Spacious


David Deem

Small rooms can feel cramped and uninviting. Incorporating the right paint colors and selecting appropriate light fixtures can create an optical illusion to make a tight space feel larger than it really is.

How to Choose the Right Color for Your Walls
Lighter colors, such as off-white and light shades of green and blue, can reflect more light than darker colors. That can help you capitalize on natural light and can make a small space seem more open. In a room that receives a large or moderate amount of natural light, painting the walls in a shade of white, light taupe, grey or pink can create an impression of space.

A dark paint color can be overwhelming in a large room, but it may work perfectly in a tighter space. Using a darker color, such as charcoal or black, on the walls can make a small room seem cozy. If you decide to use a dark paint color, balance it out by incorporating furniture and accessories with lighter hues.

How to Use Accent Colors to Make a Room Seem More Spacious
You may want to paint one accent wall in a different color than the rest of the space or use a lighter color for the trim and moldings than for the walls. Painting the walls and trim the same color is another way to make a small room seem more spacious. The lack of a visual difference from one area to another will make the ceiling seem higher. Painting the doors, trim and ceiling in a single color can also unify a space and make it feel larger and more open.

How to Choose the Right Light Fixtures
Don’t rely on only one source of light in a small room. That can cause the room to be bright in the center and darker in other areas. Instead, use multiple light fixtures and lamps to illuminate the space. You can incorporate a combination of overhead lights, wall fixtures and lamps to brighten the area and make it seem roomier.

If the room has a relatively high ceiling, take advantage of the vertical space by installing a light fixture that will hang down. That will draw people’s eyes upward and take their focus away from the room’s small footprint. Recessed lights, backlighting and light fixtures that draw attention to artwork and other focal points can brighten the entire space and make it feel larger and more open. 

Consult a Design Professional
Choosing the right paint and lighting for your home can be complicated. Many variables can come into play, including the size and layout of the space, the locations of windows, the amount of natural lighting, your personal preferences and how your family will use the room. If you need advice, get in touch with a local interior designer.



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