Space Illusions: Change the perception of the room

Posted on May 10 2017 - 12:38pm by Samantha Clark
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When decorating smaller spaces, considering where to start and how to choose the perfect colour can often be a little daunting.

Many of us are inclined to opt for a traditional white to give an illusion of space, but this can create a small, dull room lacking imaginative flair. Charlotte Cosby, head of creative at craftsmen in paint and paper, Farrow & Ball, has shared her top tips for decorating small rooms and bringing the walls within to life.

Farrow and Ball Space tips

For those who wish to be bolder with their colour choice, then strong colours often soften a room and are the perfect distraction from its size and shape

“Before painting your room it’s important to consider the amount of natural light and the direction the room faces, as this will have a significant impact on the appearance of each colour,” says Farrow & Ball’s Charlotte Cosby.

She adds: “We often think the only way to create light and space in a small room is to paint it crisp white, but try using an off-white for a softer, more interesting alternative. Warm, yellow toned neutrals such as White Tie or Matchstick are best for reflecting light.

“For those who wish to be bolder with their colour choice, then strong colours often soften a room and are the perfect distraction from its size and shape. Using our key colours for spring/summer Radicchio or Studio Green can help create an inviting retreat, while adding impact and depth to a room.”

Farrow and Ball Space tips

Cloakrooms and powder rooms offer the perfect opportunity to inject bold colour without committing to larger, more lived-in rooms in the home

“Using a single colour in a room is a clever way to create more space. With no point of reference and without contrasts, you’re less aware of where things stop and start. Try applying just one colour such as Vardo or Pitch Blue over the picture rail and up onto the ceiling to make the room feel higher and give an illusion of loftiness.

“If you’re hoping to use two colours in your room, consider choosing a darker shade for your woodwork to accent the scheme. By brushing a paler colour onto the largest wall space, you’ll create a brighter feel, while the darker trim gives you a very sophisticated, elegant look. We’ve found that when skirting boards are very dark, it makes everything above them look lighter and airier. Try Mahogany, Railings or Mouse’s Back for a contemporary touch.

“Painting your own dado is another brilliant way of creating a more spacious feel with just two colours. Try painting the bottom half of the wall with darker shades such as Railings or Blue Ground to really anchor the room. By brushing on a lighter paint such as Purbeck Stone or Ammonite above, you’ll find the paler colour of the wall will then flow into the ceiling to help delineate your small space.

Farrow and Ball Space Tips

Try painting the bottom half of the wall with darker shades such as Railings or Blue Ground to really anchor the room.

“It’s worth remembering that it can be just as effective to embrace the darkness of a small room by using strong colours such as Pelt or Brinjal to create a dramatic, intimate feel. Cloakrooms and powder rooms offer the perfect opportunity to inject bold colour without committing to larger, more lived-in rooms in the home.”

Renowned for its depth of colour and rich pigments, each of Farrow & Ball’s 132 paints respond extraordinarily to the changes of light throughout each day to create a uniquely beautiful look in spaces both large and small.

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