Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Color Splash in Small Spaces

I wonder how many hours I wasted in the paint aisle at the Home Improvement store debating color shades? Not just color, but actual shades. Is it too dark? Too light? Should I go with Buttercream yellow or Soft Caramel? Sigh. More often than not, I brought home stacks of paint chips to hold against my walls and ponder.

Color is very important in our homes. It sets the overall tone and gives the feeling of warmth and makes a space personal. In my humble opinion, color is more important in a small home because it can give the illusion of a large room, or make a visitor feel instantly overwhelmed and closed in.

Whatever your personal style, color is the key.

My little Jewel Box® is yellow. The entire home, with the exception of the bedrooms is yellow-a very very soft, pale yellow-so soft it is almost white. Even the ceilings are yellow. It is bright and cheery and calming. When the sun comes in through our big picture window the house is alive with light and warmth.

A small home can feel closed in and smaller just by the paint selection. Dark brown wood paneling in my great-grandmother's house made the living room feel small and I almost felt claustrophobic at family gatherings. But once we convinced her to give it a coat of white paint, the room was instantly larger and airy!

One of my favorite tricks to do with paint to make a room feel larger is to draw the eye upward! Painting the ceilings the same color as the walls or adding decorative trim visually makes the ceilings feel taller!

Just by adding a thin piece of trim, this homeowner made us feel that her ceilings were tall and the room instantly opened up to us.

Photo Courtesy of Better Homes & Gardens

In my master bedroom we painted the ceiling and the top third of the walls the same color, much like this beautiful room. We added a piece of trim around the bottom of the painted area and gave our ceilings a quick and easy lift!

Photo Courtesy of Better Homes & Gardens

The opposite was done in this lovely room. Adding the wainscoting and chair rail gave this warm living room added appeal!

Photo Courtesy of Better Homes & Gardens

Hanging curtains just under the ceiling, away from the actual window can also give the illusion of high ceilings and more space.

Photo Courtesy of Better Homes & Gardens

Choosing cool colors will instantly make a room look larger.

Photo Courtesy of Better Homes & Gardens

Hanging over-sized, colorful art is also a way to big style to a room.

Photo Courtesy of Better Homes & Gardens

Living in a small space doesn't mean we have to shy away from color! Your home should reflect your unique personality no matter what the size!



  1. Thanks for the illustrations of using color in small spaces. the rooms you show are all attractive. love the idea of living in a jewel box home.


  2. Thank you for this post. I thought I was the only one who brought the same samples home over and over again.

    I agree, color is so important. Thanks for the images

  3. And I thought I was the only one who brought the same sample home over and over again.