Home Improvement

How to Make a Small Room Look Bigger With Paint and Colour

There are many ways to trick the eye and make a small room look bigger. One of the most commonly used ones, however, is by using paint and colour.

Let’s face it – painting a room is fun, as is shopping for furniture and decorations. You get to unleash your inner interior designer and create a space exactly how you imagined it. But, are there any painting techniques to make a room look bigger? What are the best paint colours to make a room look bigger? What about the furniture? And can you put up that painting you like without it clashing with the decor?

Don’t worry! We’ve got the answers to all your questions!

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So, if:

  • There’s a room in your home that is smaller than you’d like;
  • You’re wondering how to paint a room to make it look bigger;
  • You want to know what colours make a room look bigger,

Then read on! This is the article for you!

What colours make a room look bigger?

Generally, light colours can make a small room look bigger, brighter, and more inviting. Lighter shades reflect light, while dark colours absorb it, therefore making the space feel smaller. So, unsurprisingly, most people opt for lighter tones when choosing paint colours for their small rooms.

However, sometimes, dark, rich tones can add depth to a room and create a dramatic look. So, if this is the kind of effect you’re after, you can try a deep colour instead. Dark tones can work well in rooms with little natural light, too, as they won’t look as washed out. Keep in mind, though, that dark colours are not that easy to work with, so you may need the help and advice of an expert decorator.

When trying to choose between cool and warm tones, keep in mind which room in your house you’ll be painting. Cool colours can make a space feel fresh and relaxing, while warm shades add extra cosiness. Different colours are known to affect your mood in different ways, too, so keep that in mind before making your choice.

So, what are some of the most recommended colours that make a room look bigger?

Light colours

  • Stark white, off-white, antique white
  • Blush pink
  • Cool grey, pearl grey
  • Pale teal
  • Soft yellow
  • Sage
  • Sky blue

Dark colours

  • Soft black, charcoal black
  • Dark navy, peacock blue
  • Sea green
  • Dark grey, gunmetal grey
  • Earthy ochre
  • Dark teal
  • Coffee

How to make a room look bigger with paint

The right colours can easily trick the eye into thinking that a space is larger than it actually is. Along with furniture choice and arrangement, using colours that make a room look bigger on your walls, floors, and ceiling, can create the perfect illusion. Especially when they’re combined with some handy painting techniques. So, let’s get right to it.

Walls are key

Walls are one of the essential aspects when making a room look bigger with paint. They take up most of the space in the room, and the wrong colour or painting method can make it look cramped. So, here are some painting techniques to make a room look bigger.

  • Paint the trim and mouldings lighter.
    When you paint the trim and mouldings in a lighter colour than the rest of the walls, it makes them appear farther back, making the room look bigger in the process.
  • Consider an accent wall.
    Accent walls can give depth to a room and elongate it, so it’s a good choice for small spaces. Creating an accent wall in the same colour family, as the rest of the room, will give a harmonious look, while other matching bright or deep colours can add drama and contrast.
  • Use eggshell or satin paint.
    Satin and eggshell paint finishes add more light reflection to the room, and the more light there is bouncing around, the bigger and more open the room will look.

Mind you, how you paint is just as important as what colour you use. If you’ve never painted walls before, spare some time to learn how to paint a room professionally. This guide will help you achieve better results and avoid common amateur mistakes.

Painting tricks for a taller ceiling

If your ceiling isn’t as tall as you’d like it to be, there are a couple of painting techniques to make a room look bigger and your ceiling higher.

Painting the ceiling in a lighter colour than the walls will create an optical illusion, making it appear taller than it is.

If you’d like an even more substantial effect, paint the walls up to 10cm from the ceiling and leave the rest white or a lighter colour. This will make the room look taller.

Decorating small spaces

Using colours that make a room look bigger isn’t exclusive to paint and wall colour. You have to pay attention to what you place in the room, too. That’s right; we’re talking about furnishings and decor. So, let’s go over how to use furniture colours to make a room look bigger.

Furniture matters

The colour of your furniture can significantly affect how big (or small) your room looks. So, keep the following tips in mind when choosing furniture for small rooms.

  • Stick to one colour.
    When you pair light, neutral wall tones with furniture of the same or similar colour, it creates the illusion of an open space. This is because the eye can move around freely without any interruptions, therefore making a room look bigger.
  • Contrasting furniture for dark floors and walls.
    If your walls or floors are dark-coloured, lighter furniture is a must. If your whole room is not only painted dark, but is full of dark objects, too, it will look a lot smaller than it actually is. So, if you’ve decided on a dramatic look and against pale walls and floors, then opt for light coloured furniture to brighten up the room.
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Don’t forget the curtains

When it comes to decorating, you probably won’t give much thought to the curtains. But it’s essential to use colours that make a room look bigger everywhere you can, and that includes your window coverings.

When choosing curtains, opt for a shade that is the same or slightly darker than the colour of your walls. As with furniture, this will let the eye roam around naturally and create the feeling of an open space.

If you’d like to leave your windows uncovered, that’s even better! This will let natural light in and the view from the windows will make the room look open and more spacious. If you find curtains hanging dangerous, you can always opt for professional help.

What about artwork?

Art can be a great way to decorate and personalise a room. However, if not used right, it can make the place look cramped or overwhelming. So, when decorating small rooms with artwork, think about the colours that make a room look bigger and how the designs themselves will affect the space.

  • Less is more.
    When decorating small rooms, one large, statement piece of artwork works better than a gallery wall, full of many smaller ones. This goes back to the topic of decluttering, which we have covered in our main post on how to make a room look bigger. When you put up lots of decorative items, it can make the place look cramped, especially in small rooms.
  • Contrast is key.
    Think about the colours that make a room look bigger and utilise them as much as you can. If you’ve decided on a more dramatic decor and you’ve chosen dark-coloured walls, a large piece of artwork in a contrasting, light colour will work wonders in making your room look more spacious.
  • Pay attention to the designs.
    In smaller rooms, simple designs work best, as they don’t overwhelm and interrupt the eye. A plain, minimalistic design is perfect (if it suits the rest of your decor, of course).

Need help painting your room?

If deciding on the right colours or taking the time to paint your room seems too overwhelming, why not enlist the help of the professionals? We here, at Fantastic Services, offer you an expert painting and decorating service, complete with insured and experienced painters, fully provided equipment, and guaranteed spotless results. The tradesmen we work with will leave your home looking better than ever and will make sure no mess is left behind. So, what are you waiting for? Simply use our online booking form and choose a date and time that suits your schedule!

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  • The colours that make a room look bigger are light, neutral and pastel shades.
  • Deep, dark colours are suitable for accent walls and can add depth to a room.
  • Painting your ceiling in white or another darker colour than your walls can make the room look taller.
  • Keep your furniture and decorations the same or similar colour to your walls.
  • Light-coloured artwork works perfectly to brighten up dark walls.


Was this article helpful to you? Do you have any tricks of your own on how to paint a room to make it look bigger? Let us know down in the comments!

Image source: Shutterstock / Comaniciu Dan

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