Using Paint to Make Small Rooms Look Bigger

June 13, 2013

Small rooms are more common than you might think, even in today’s larger houses. And this is dismaying for a lot of homeowners who end up with what you might call a problem room. For instance, an undersized bedroom that seems too small to be called a guest room but too large to use as an auxiliary closet. A front foyer that feels oppressive instead of welcoming. A tiny sitting room in which no one ever stops to sit.

Luckily, even if you don’t have the luxury of actual space, you can create the feel of space with paint colors and furnishings chosen specifically to make a room or hall seem expansive and airy. It all starts with color. You can use interior paint to create the illusion of space and an atmosphere so welcoming that the size of a room is no barrier to people enjoying themselves within it.

When helping our interior painting clients choose colors, we often recommend hues that will enhance the look and feel of a space. For instance, we recommend thinking of the ceiling as the “fifth wall” – and painting with a light color or even a very bright white is a simple way to open up a room. White is actually the most versatile paint color when you’re using paint to make a small space seem bigger, but room after room of stark white walls and ceilings can be a less than appealing prospect (especially for homeowners with kids).

If you’re excited by the idea of some white, an accent wall is one way to capitalize on the space enhancing qualities of white paint without having to squash your personality. Choose one wall and paint it in your favorite light color, like icy blue, soft green, sunny yellow, or cream. Why should you stick to lighter shades? Less saturated shades are more reflective and maximize available light, making the room brighter… and brighter will always look bigger. When walls have molding and other trim, choose white or a shade lighter than the wall color as your accent color. The contrast between the molding and trim and the wall will make the walls appear to recede.


Using color to make small rooms look bigger doesn’t have to mean ignoring your creative side. A wide horizontal strip that runs the length of the room not only adds drama, but also makes walls look wider in a narrow room. On the other hand, classic vertical stripes can make a low ceiling seem taller. Another trick involves extending the wall color onto the ceiling for a foot to create a border – this effect can be used quite beautifully depending on how you treat the dividing line between wall and ceiling colors.

Using color thoughtfully means a small room never has to be an uninviting one! The right paint can open up almost any space.

At Jerry Enos Painting, you always receive a free, professional paint consultation that includes help choosing paint colors for your interior and exterior spaces. We understand that choosing paint colors isn’t always easy so our goal is to work with you to make sure you’re delighted with your palette. Call us for a free estimate at 978-546-6843 today to get started.

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