Color Rules for Small Spaces
Think outside the box when it comes to choosing colors for your apartment/condo/small room.
small_room1Most people think that an all-white apartment looks bigger. This is completely false.

Also a misconception is that less furniture has the same effect. An inviting space can be created when you place your furnishings carefully and pick a stylish color. Your rooms can look like they came right out of magazines.

There really are no rules for choosing colors for a small space. Having accent walls or just personalizing the space is a goal to turn your apartment into a unique living sanctuary. Below are some tricks of the trade.

Paint Sharp Colors
You can expand a space by choosing sharper colors as opposed to duller ones. Leave plenty of open space in between the colors so the eye can rest. This will create openness in the space.

Paint Unexpected Accents
Splashes of color can be made to an alcove, nook, entryway or the inside part of the window frame for excitement. Standard features such as a built-in bookshelf can be made more of a focal piece by painting the backside only your favorite color. Radiators can be turned from a trouble spot into a great feature by paint as well. Silver or a stainless paint will make it pop. Then try laying a piece of slate over it and make it into a fabulous focal point. Accent walls and features can create more spaciousness in a small space.

Paint a Focal Wall
focalwall1The jury is out on painting one wall in a room a different color. Some designers don’t like it; others swear by it. Darker colors make walls recede so this creates the illusion of a larger space.

Shades of Color Can Connect Spaces
When you’re using different colors to define work areas in your apartment, also think about how shade of the same color can connect the apartment as a whole. Picking one color and repeating it in your accent pieces such as a pillow or lampshade will create a cohesive space. Use leftover paint thinned with a bit of white to put on a mirror or a picture frame to echo the main shade.

Think Spicy in the Kitchen
Just as some designers say to look in your wardrobe and using the same thought processes to put together an ensemble, use the same in choosing colors, do the same in the kitchen. Look in your spice cabinet. Cayenne pepper, oregano and dried mustard spice up your foods, so why not use those to add boldness to your kitchen? Using your dishes or a favorite tablecloth can also be good inspirations.

Bold Bathrooms
Instead of those pretty pastels in your bathroom, think bold! If it’s just one accent wall or the whole thing, using bold colors can create more of an effect. The new metallic paints are really great choices for these rooms. Use your seashells and sea glass as accents and choose a green or blue metallic paint with a crisp white shelf mounted on the wall with your treasures. Solids are fine too. Do the unexpected!

Glam It Up
glam_room1 Small spaces lend themselves to using your imagination to add character. Most of them are generic and to get that “wow” factor, there are some terrific ideas you can use. First of all, to undo a “bowling alley” effect that occurs a lot of times from entering the space and then following into the living room, break that one wall into several areas. First, use a beautiful, bold faux finish or specialty technique on the whole wall. Use a wall coat rack and shelf to define the entry area. Use a large, decorative clock on the wall in the dining space. Try using a large plant to divide the dining area from the living area. You’ve created a uniformity with the wall technique but then made all of these areas their own “room”. This will expand the appearance of the space.

To-Go Color
Lots of landlords will not allow you to paint. So try adding color in different ways that you can take with you when you move. Paint is cheap and a little goes a long way. Dry brush an old wood table, paint a free-standing bookshelf or bring out the inner artist and paint a canvas. A color dominant abstract to coordinate with things you will have for a long time like your sofa is a great way to get personality and create a topic of conversation.

Stretch It With Color
Painting the ceiling a lighter color than the walls makes a room seem airier. It draws the eye up and seems like the outdoors. If you have tall walls, bringing that color down onto the walls will make the walls not seem as daunting. If you wish, put chair railing at the bottom of where you stop the paint line (usually 12-14”). If you have low ceilings, do the opposite. Create taller walls by painting stripes.

Always Have Black
One basic rule for the grounding of every room is to have at least one object that is black. This gives the other colors you’ve used in your room more significance. So to give your room more of a designer feel, use this trick.

Color Samples

fan_deck Consider these options before painting the whole room or apartment:

  • Many paint companies offer 2-ounce samples. This should give you a good idea of what your choice will look like. It will cover a 1’ X 2’ area. Make sure to look at it during all times of day. Morning like will vary from afternoon light which will vary from night time artificial light.
  • Use a color wheel or information on what colors will match the mood of the space.
  • You can mix colors or match colors. This will depend on your personality. Be sure to bring photos of your apartment with you so you can visualize the color better in the room.
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