How to select paint colours to make a room feel larger

Selecting the right paint colour is tricky enough at the best of times, but when you’re dealing with a small space, it’s more critical than ever to get it right! To help, we’ve got Haymes Assistant Colour Manager, Erin Hearns, with us to share her expert advice on how to select paint colours to make a room feel larger and more luxurious.

Related article: How to select white paint: Tips on getting the right white paint
Related article: Colour and emotion: How to select colour for the mood you want to achieve

Haymes colour stylist Erin Hearns
Erin Hearns

“Not everyone has the luxury of space but you can create the illusion of space. It’s commonly known that light colours make a room feel larger,” says Erin.

“Pastels and neutral colours are perfect for a small space. Avoid strong bold colours, as they absorb the light and draw your eye towards them.

“Try painting skirting, architraves, doors and windows in a white or light colour to make a room expand and appear more spacious.”

Entry paint colours to make a room feel larger
This entry uses Haymes ‘white stone’ render coat texture. See the full tour.

Erin recommends sticking to a simple palette with a minimal number of colours on the walls and ceilings, and also avoiding feature walls in small rooms.

“A good trick if the space is very small, is to extend the paint colour from the walls to the ceiling.

If you want to play with colours that won’t darken your room, consider cool colours that will make the walls visually recede, like pastel blues, greens and greys.

The colours you use to accessorise the room are important too.

“Try using a monochromatic colour scheme for décor and accessories, which is gradients of the same colour, to create a harmonious and subtle look that’s great for small spaces.”

Living room bookshelf paint colours to make a room feel larger
Living room featuring Haymes ‘Greyology 2’ by @bellamumma, styling by @style_siren, photography by @mareehomer.photography

And finally, Erin reminds us to make the most of the natural light you have, as it’s the greatest way to open a space and make it appear bigger.

“North-facing rooms will have a lot more warmth and a brighter space, whereas south-facing rooms will have a cooler and darker look, so you may need more artificial lighting to open up the room.”

Will you be using these tip to select the right paint colours to make a room feel larger? We’d love to see before and after photos, tag us when you post them online with @stylecuratorau!

More building and reno tips

Haymes modesty white paint colours to make a room feel larger
Photography by @gemmalo, styling by @ruthwelsby

This article was first published in August 2014 and has been updated with new information and images.

4 COMMENTS

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