Downsizing your home? How to make your living space look larger with colour

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If your kids have flown the nest or you’re looking for a safer place to live, you’re probably considering downsizing. With all the appeals of downsizing — like saving money, reducing clutter and less maintenance —you may still be worried about your living spaces looking and feeling small. Luckily, there are tricks of the design trade that can make smaller rooms bigger.

Colour is a key part of making your room look bigger than it actually is. Along with special furniture arranging, creative lighting and the use of mirrors, the smart usage of colour can do wonders. So, how do you make a room look bigger with colour?

The most straightforward way to expand the visual space of your room is to paint it in a lighter colour. While dark shades tend to absorb light and make the room feel closed in, a light wall enhances natural light and makes spaces feel more open. Soft tones like off-whites, beiges, light blues and light greens fit the description and are softer and more welcoming than harsher pure whites and bright colours.

For a neutral yet welcoming look, try shades like Antique Petal, Moon Beam, Evening Mist and Frothy Milk, or brighten things up with light blues and greens like Ella’s Eyes, California Dreaming, Green Glass, Cactus Pete and West Coast Mist. Light, more neutral colours like these are also easy to work with when it comes to furniture and decor.

Interestingly enough, despite the rule that painting a room in dark colours makes it look smaller, painting one accent wall in a dark colour can actually be very effective in creating depth and making the room look bigger. Darker accent walls also add to the decorative appeal of a room without being overpowering.

When picking a feature wall colour you’ll want to start with a colour palette that suits your style  — don’t pick a deep orange accent wall if you don’t want your room to be centred around the colour. Colours like deep navy blues, rich greens, dark greys and charcoal black are perfect for making a statement and adding depth without drawing too much attention. Plascon’s moody Oceanos colour is a mix of greens and blues, while Monsoon Lagoon is a rich green so dark it carries the sophistication of black without sacrificing the beauty of the green. Alternatively, classic dark greys and charcoal blacks like Tribeca Corner and Graphite Aluminium are always perfect choices for modern and minimalistic accent walls.

One last helpful trick for making your rooms look bigger than they are is to paint your walls, ceilings and skirting board all in one light colour to make the room look seamlessly big. If you want to take it a step further you can even paint your ceilings and trims in a lighter colour!

Colour has the incredible ability to transform any room without having to change space or furniture. Even if you don’t have that much space it doesn’t mean you can’t create the illusion that you do. For more advice on what colours are best to use where, and why, please contact the Plascon Colour Consultancy via email: