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17 September 2014
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Colour wheel

Tricks with colour

A few simple changes to the colour scheme in a room can make it appear more spacious or cosy.


There are plenty of tricks with colour that can be used to enhance the size of rooms in a house. Careful use of colour can offer a simple, but effective, way of making a home feel more cosy.

Follow these design rules to transform an existing living space into a dream home:

To make a room appear larger

  • Choose colours from the cool end of the colour wheel.
  • Paint all surfaces the same colour.
  • Keep flooring dark and walls light , the floor space will appear to expand.
  • A low ceiling will appear higher if painted a lighter shade than the walls or put some mouldings up and paint them a darker shade than the ceiling.
  • Use the deepest tone of colour near to the floor and the lightest shade on the ceiling. This will give the illusion of space. Try it the other way around to see how a room can be made to look smaller.
  • Large pieces of furniture will appear smaller if they are the same colour as the walls.
  • A small room doesn't have to be painted in light colours. Emphasise its cosiness by painting it a midnight blue or deep red.

To make a room appear cosier

  • Choose colours from the warm side of the colour wheel.
  • A sunny yellow will 'heat up' a room, but don't go overboard, complement it with a white ceiling and woodwork to keep it looking fresh.
  • A warmer shade used on the ceiling will bring the height of a room down and make it feel cosier.
  • When using bright colours such as orange and red, remember to maintain balance by keeping the floor and carpet neutral.

Other tricks

  • The far end of a long corridor will seem closer if painted in a darker shade.
  • In a long corridor-like room, paint the two, shorter end walls in a slightly darker shade to make the room appear squarer .


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