Will Dark Wall Colors Make a Room Look Smaller?

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Dark colors absorb light, making whatever room they're used in look smaller. This can be an asset when you're painting a large room that you wish to make cozier. It can be difficult to pull off when you're painting a space that is small to begin with. Fortunately, there are tricks to help make a room that's been painted a dark shade look larger.

Balance the Dark

  • Light shades of paint reflect light, making a space seem larger than it actually is. If you've moved into a home with dark walls that can't be changed or simply like the "denlike" feel of dark wall colors, the room can work well if you balance those walls with light furniture. For instance, if you're bringing an entertainment center or armoire into the room, consider painting it a very light color. Every bold shade needs a more neutral shade to act as a counterbalance.

Use Ceiling and Floor Space

  • Ceilings and floors are two other tools for balancing dark colors on a wall. Paint your ceiling a very light shade to make it feel higher and use the lightest shade of wood, tile or carpeting on the floor. Each of these elements will neutralize the dark walls.

Keep It Simple

  • It's important to remember to keep furnishings to a minimum in a dark room. The wall color is dramatic to begin with and immediately catches the eye. Too many other items packed into the space will only make it feel smaller.

Light It Up

  • Keep the drapes pulled back and turn lamps on whenever possible. Because dark paint absorbs light, you'll need to provide plenty of extra. Doing so will not only make the room feel more spacious, but will give you a chance to enjoy the dramatic color on the walls.

Accessories

  • Introduce other light-reflecting shades through fabrics, drapes, art, throw pillows, flower arrangements and area rugs. By choosing furnishings carefully, you can create a space in which dark walls become an attractive backdrop.

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  • Photo Credit Martin Poole/Photodisc/Getty Images
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