Create the illusion of spaciousness-decorating tips for small rooms

10 decorating tips to make a small room appear larger.

1– Light colors make your room look bigger and brighter. Light  colored walls  reflect more light, making a space feel open and airy.

2–Create the illusion of height, by drawing the eye up., Use vertical lines that lead the eye from the floor up to the ceiling.. if the ceiling appears higher it gives the illusion of breathing space. To do this try; hanging your draperies high to the ceiling and then let them fall all the way to the floor. Or hang art work higher..

3-Move the furniture off the walls and towards the center of the room. Adding air space between the walls and seating areas creates the impression of depth and more room.

Re-decorating on a budget? Think paint!












Re-decorating a room can be exciting and fun. It can also be a little intimidating as well. Where’s a good place to to start? Money a little tight these days? Want some help? In a word -think paint! Read on….

Change the paint- change the room

New paint is the easiest and least expensive way to rejuvenate a tired looking room. Your choice of paint color sets the tone of the room & adds personality, so it is an important choice.  Here’s a few ideas ..

Accentuate the positive-mask the negative

Did you know that choosing the right  paint colors can showcase your home’s architectural style or, mask it? Paint color, if used correctly, can mask flaws, create the  illusion of taller, wider, cosier or bigger. The right paint colors can not only enhance certain positive elements in a room, but it can also detract from negative aspects by drawing attention away from them.

Optical illusions with paint

Used correctly, paint can create  optical illusions.  Suppose you have a huge cavernous  room that has a sterile cold feel. A good fix would be painting it a deep color. It will seem to draw in the walls a bit,  creating the illusion of a cozier room.
If you want to heighten a low ceiling, painting the ceiling a fresh coat of white will give the appearance of being a little higher than it actually is.  Art work with strong vertical lines helps to heighten as well.
Another problem may be that a vaulted ceiling is making your room feel  cold & formal. Cosey up that room by painting the ceiling a warmer color. Warmer colors will create the illusion of a lower ceiling.
Another way to create coziness in a room that I already have alluded to,  is to paint the room in a darker color. I know for many this is a frightening thought, but trust me on this one, it really can create more intimacy and coziness in a room if chosen carefully.
Using white or lighter tints to paint hallways can open them up.

Paint samples-not just chips

When choosing paint colors, don’t make your selection based solely on a  few paint chips. Save yourself the hard learned lesson, that many of us found out from experience.. A 2″ by 2″ paint chip cannot adequately convey the true sense of a color. It looks a lot different with the whole room painted in that color than it looked on that tiny chip! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve  had to repaint a whole room before I learned this. I’m a slow learner apparently, because I’ve made this same mistake repeatedly.Basic laws of nature: 1-Gravity always works [on earth anyway] and 2-Color is always more intense on the wall than it is on a tiny paint chip. When you find a chip you love, go a shade lighter.
Buy a pint size sample and paint a largish section of wall. Believe me, the cost of a small paint sample is a bargain, when compared to the cost of time and money to repaint an entire room. Light changes through out the day and that effects the way your paint color looks. Observe your painted section of wall for several days. Decide if that color is as appealing to you at 3:00 in the afternoon or 8:00 O’clock at night, as it was at 10:30 in the morning .Put samples of furnishings next to it, do you like how they work together? Paint a large enough section to get a real feel for that color. Are you still loving it a week later? Then go for it!

Create a unified house

Color can be used to tie all the rooms in a house together. By using a unifying color in various tints and shades through out the house you create harmony without it becoming boring. Paint an accent wall here or there,  hallways or trim with varying forms of the same color. Or use a central design element and choose colors from that. A piece of art work that you love is a nice place to start. [I would say that!].

Color and mood

Did you realize that studies have shown that color effects mood? Well, that is exactly what studies have shown!

BLUE- Blue rooms are calming & relaxing. Here’s a strange fact, blue walls in the areas where food is prepared or eaten can lessen appetite. Who knew? There’s a reason why the saying “I’m feeling blue” is used when you’re sad, these same studies inform us that blue can actually create feelings of sadness.
I’m trying to process this information, if I paint my dining room and kitchen blue-I may eat less & lose some weight, feel calmer & yet be sad? That’s a little confusing.

Red – Red is the opposite of blue. Red is passionate, incites action. Unlike our blue walls, red eating areas tend to create more of an appetite. You may want to re- think those red walls in the dining room, if you’re trying to lose weight.

Yellow –According to these studies, yellow causes excitability in people. Babies cry more often in yellow rooms, and people argue more in yellow rooms. Yet, we are told that it’s a cheerful color as well! Humn.

I’m not sure how helpful these “studies” are, but stand warned! I feel that science would be better occupied studying ways to find the fat gene and  to alter it, but that’s just me and I’m certainly no scientist.

Modern Interior Design- Contemporary Art

You may be redesigning a room, or perhaps you’ve just moved into a new place. Maybe you just feel the need for a face lift to up date your home to the year 2011. In any case, if you are in the process of decorating a room, you may ask yourself, “Why spend money on artwork? Can I afford it? Does artwork make that much of an impact on the design?”.

The addition of art work can pull a whole design scheme together . It’s the icing on the cake. It’s like having your shoes match your outfit. With out the art work, a room just doesn’t look finished . There are  lots of reasons why you should give some thought to finding the right piece of art. Here are a few more;

Your choice of art really does “make the room”.

It will inject your personality into the interior design.

Art work becomes the focal point for the whole room.

Choosing a fantastic piece of art work will give your home a unique individual touch.

It can be the inspiration for the room’s color palette, creating a unified pulled together look.

And guess what? It is a lot more affordable than you would think. Check out etsy, loads of talented artists with very affordable work. Fiber art too-still available at great prices.

In discussing contemporary art you may ask, “Is it just for modern design?”

Naturally modern art is most chosen for use with the sophisticated urban feel of contemporary design. The clean lines and neutral color palate benefit from the injection of bold color, the punctuation marks of the room, as it were.

The attention grabbing design and color of modern art can be used to good effect with Eclectic style as well.

It can also serve as a bridge in a room with a mixture of traditional and modern elements.

This post focuses in particular on the role contemporary art plays in a modern interior design theme.

Contemporary homes are characterized by their cool, muted color palettes, featuring a lot of whites, creams, and some darker shades of brown & taupe. This color scheme needn’t be boring: a piece of vibrant art work adds a splash of color to  white walls. Add small punches of color from pillows, rugs, throws. These ” punctuation marks” add interest to what could otherwise be a plain looking room.

The example below shows the impact of a pop of color in the neutral palette. It quite literally “makes” the room.

The pop of yellow add the punctuation to the neutral palette

Some additional points:
✓People who like modern design tend to spend  money on a few unique pieces rather than spending money on many smaller items.

✓A great design strategy is to choose a piece of art work that you love and build your decorating scheme around that art work. Choose colors that compliment it. Pull your room colors from the artwork itself.

✓A well placed piece of art work  in a prominent place, the center of a wall or over the fireplace, becomes the room’s focal point.

✓Surfaces in  modern interior design are clear and uncluttered. Compliment that look with few items sitting on nearby tables,  a few well chosen pieces of art in striking colors will have the most impact against the clean walls and smooth lines of the modern design.