Welcome to part three of the series on small space living, today we are going to talk about opening up your space with paint color!!
When it comes to setting the mood in a room, opening up your space with paint color and texture can be huge. Even though experts claim dark colors don’t necessarily make a room look smaller, I think it can visually make us feel like it’s either cozier or more expansive, especially when mixed with furniture placement. Lighter paint has a greater light reflective value (LRV) than darker paint and the sheen and tint also have a big impact on LRV . According to Sherwin-Williams when selecting paint for it’s LRV:
“Lighter tinted paints have higher light reflectance values than darker ones. So, for a recessed nook off a main room, painting the walls in a lighter tint of the color used in the main room would lighten up the area while still maintaining a sense of flow and coordination.
Another paint characteristic that affects color and light is gloss level. The higher the gloss level, the higher the light reflectance – more light will bounce off a surface painted with a high gloss paint than one with a matte sheen. As a rule, higher gloss paints tend to enrich and brighten color.”
While this isn’t a problem if you find a color you love and you’re in your home for good. It could be a problem if you are going to try to list your home for sale and want to make it appear as big and bright as possible.
Here are a few examples of the same room with a dark color and a light color. One of the benefits of being a home decor/lifestyle blogger is that with 8 years of a frequently changing home, there are actually documented examples of moving from dark to light as the styles change.
In fact, here is the listing picture from our home in 2000. The dining area is 17 x 11. Not huge, but not teeny either.
We painted it a deep red. It had a very cozy, cave like feel to it, furniture placement is almost the same.
The next color was a deep mustard. It still felt cozy, but closed in, and not much was going on in the walls either.
This next color believe it or not was a lighter yellow, but it still had an all day darkness about it.
That is actually the same yellow on top, but we just added the board and batten with the white. The Board and batten gave it a nice cottage feel and added texture to the walls.
Both pictures were taken during the day in natural light. Isn’t the difference crazy? How much more open and expansive it is? Much of the furniture is even the same and in the same place.
Finally, we repainted the top color. But it still feels light and bright. Color is everything with how a space appears. Also by adding the bold print curtains it makes the windows pop.
There is also nothing wrong with dark colors if that’s what you like, but if you are looking for something to look more expansive, such as when you are selling a home, it will show much better with lighter colors, and can seem just as cozy.
Adding texture to your space with soft goods such as curtains and pillows can have a huge impact as well and completely change the mood and feel.
Here are two pictures taken from the same angle, same couch.
No rug and the white drapes with a simple pattern makes the area appear cleaner and less fussy.
Drapes that are more heavily patterned and a colorful rug, make the same space feel cozier.
All of these things can play into the feel of your room and how much space it seems to have.
Even in a kitchen -the difference between light and dark cabinets.
Can open up a space and make it seem even more welcoming. Many people have the misconception that white can be too sterile, but it really depends on what you have in the room that determines how cozy and welcoming it is (and that’s where texture comes in!).
Color can do everything to set the mood in your space. If you find your not happy with a space in your home, maybe it’s time for a color change!
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