Do Light Colors Make a Room Look Larger?

Question: My room is pretty small (I think it's 8x10', 8' ceiling), but I heard somewhere that painting the walls a light color would make it look bigger. Is it true?

Answer: For a light wall paint color to help make your room appear more spacious, everything else in the room (furniture, fabrics, drapes) would have to be light in color as well.

Because it's not just the high value of a color (lightness) that creates the illusion of more space. It's also the lack of high contrast in the decor that allows the eye to move around the room without interruption.

To learn more about how to visually change the dimensions of a room, see "Painting Rooms to Manipulate the Space".

Leave a Comment:

What about dark colors?
by: Wayne Carter

Interesting Q&A. Since lack of contrast adds to the illusion of space, I was wondering, would the converse also be true? In other words, if a room filled with mostly dark furniture, drapes and carpet, would a relatively dark wall paint color (such as dark grey or brown) also create an illusion that the room is bigger than it is? Thanks!

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