We all want to live in a home that looks good and feels good. No matter how busy we are, we try to find time to update the interiors, keep everything tidy, and even engage in regular air duct cleaning.
But while spacious rooms are relatively easy and a joy to decorate, designing a narrow room can be a challenge. You need to figure out the right scale of furniture and their placement so as not to make the room feel cramped.
Even if you’re limited by space (and sometimes natural light), there is a simple way to make a narrow room appear wider without knocking the walls down or stripping it bare – PAINT.
Paint can do so more than just change the color of a room. Certain shades can alter the perception of a room’s size and shape, and make it seem much larger than it actually is.
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White paint is a tried-and-tested trick used by interior designers to amplify the appearance of small spaces. White surfaces allow light to bounce around the room, making it feel less claustrophobic and more spacious.
If you don’t like a dominantly white room, other light and neutral colors like cool blue and light beige will create the same effect. Most importantly, avoid overdoing your accents with patterns and color. Keeping things simple can work wonders in amplifying the perception of space.
Light colors do a great job at making a room look larger and wider by reflecting light, but they’re not your only option. If you think white is too boring and pastels aren’t your thing, try dark colors.
Darker colors push the boundaries of the wall out and give the room a more spacious feel. On top of that, they tend to create a dramatic and intimate atmosphere.
The trick is to use the same paint color or a single hue throughout the space to give it a seamless look. The absence of contrasts will help create the illusion of a more expansive room.
Accent walls open up a room by creating an optical illusion that draws the eye to a specific point in the space.
There’s usually only one accent wall in a room. But for narrow and rectangular spaces, you may also use a variation of this design concept by using a darker shade on the two distant walls. This will shorten and widen the room.
Keep in mind, though, that creating an accent wall isn’t as straightforward as slapping a coat of paint. You’ll need some knowledge of color and dimension to successfully bolster the size of the room.
The color of the ceiling has a huge impact on the size of the room. The general rule is that your wall color and ceiling color should complement one another.
You can make a narrow room with a low ceiling feel less claustrophobic by painting the ceiling a light color that contrasts nicely with the walls. (You may even paint the walls a shade darker than you intended for even better contrast.) As a result, the ceiling will appear brighter and higher than it actually is.
Another option is to extend the ceiling down the wall. You can do this by painting four to six inches of the topmost perimeter of the wall the same light color as the ceiling.
A high contrast formula will make a narrow room seem wider and larger even if you prefer deep rich colors on the wall. One strategy used by experts is painting the walls a dark color and then off-setting it with light-colored furniture.
The dark-colored walls expand and blur the background, making the furniture more noticeable. The stark contrast between these two creates depth and inevitably makes the room feel more dynamic by taking the focus off the size of the room and onto the items in it.
You can achieve a wider-looking room by adding painted stripes on the walls. You can go bold with high-contrast stripes like black and white or be more subtle by using colors of the same hue. Either way, the final effect would be the same: the room will look wider.
Note, however, that this technique is usually reserved for the accent wall or, in the case of narrow spaces, the distant wall. You don’t want to overdo it with the stripes. Multiple striped walls in a single room will only make the space feel more cramped than it already is.
There you have it! Six easy and cost-effective ways to make a narrow room bigger and wider. And all you need is paint!
Let us know what technique worked best for you!
About the author
Rachel Watson is the Senior Content Editor of New AC Unit. Aside from heading the company’s content marketing strategies, she writes articles about how to stay fit and energy-efficient home living.