How paint can transform a room - a few handy tips

July 13, 2015

Along with adding colour to a room, a carefully chosen colour of paint can change your sense of space and light in a room. Here are some handy tips to keep in mind when choosing paint colours.

  • The quality of light in a room affects the appearance of the paint colour. Don't rely on free paint swatches alone. Instead, use the contents of a sample can of paint to turn a large piece of light cardboard into a super-sized swatch of your own. Fix the swatch to the wall of the room you want to paint and observe how the colour responds to the light as it changes throughout the day. Also pay attention to how the colour looks under artificial light.
  • Dark colours absorb more light and more heat than pale colours, so if you're after a room with a cozy, intimate feel, opt for something darker. Paler tones, on the other hand, reflect light, which makes them a great choice for busy spaces such as living rooms.
  • To make a narrow room appear wider, paint one or both of the short walls a bright colour and use a more subdued colour on the other walls.
  • If a room lacks a focal point such as a fireplace or large window, manufacture a feature by painting one wall in a striking accent colour.
  • Paint colours tend to darken and intensify when applied across all four walls of a room. If you're attracted to a strong, bold paint colour, consider going a shade or two lighter. That way, when the whole room is painted, you'll end up with a colour very similar to the paint swatch that first caught your eye.
  • Warm colours advance towards the eye and trick it into thinking a surface is closer than it really is. As a result, a warm colour will make a sprawling room seem snug, while a cool colour will have the effect of expanding a tiny room.
  • Rooms that face south, south-east or south-west receive little or no sunshine during the day, making them gloomy. A coat of paint in a warm hue such as sunny yellow or caramel can make these rooms more inviting.
  • Conversely, a room that faces north and tends to be drenched in sunlight can be toned down with a cool colour such as a grey or lavender.
  • Be aware, though, that cooler colours have been shown to make people feel physically cooler. That's useful in the summer, but it's not so helpful during the chillier winter months.

The colour of paint that you choose for a room can affect the mood and sense of space in that room. If you keep these handy tips in mind when choosing your paint, you'll be able to make a wiser choice.

How paint can transform a room - a few handy tips
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