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Time To Paint: Colour for a Small House

We live in a small house. Since we added 300 square feet through our attic renovation, I can no longer say that it’s a tiny house, and these days, it feels like it’s quite a comfortable size, even with the addition of our little one and all the baby things that go along with her. But, it’s still not large in North American terms, so when choosing paint colours, I’m very careful that my choice doesn’t make my small house seem even smaller. Coupled with my difficulty in choosing paint colours, this can be tough.

Over the years, however, I’ve learned and absorbed a few tips and tricks to make sure that the walls help make a space feel open and comfortable, rather than closed in and claustrophobic.

Royalty free image from freeimages.com

Skip the accent wall, unless it has a purpose. Our last paint job included one wall that was a shade or two darker than the rest. It was the longest wall in the house, yes, but there was really no reason for an accent wall since it wasn’t meant to be a focal point. Now that it’s gone, the room feels a little more open and cohesive.

That said, this time around, I’ve chosen to paint the majority of the walls of our living space a shade lighter than the stair walls. Because our stairs, which we put so much work into, are a focal point, something we want to draw attention to, this makes far more sense. I also find that it draws attention to the fact that there is indeed more space in our house.

Use bright, light colours. This is by no means a hard and fast rule, but lighter, cool colours will reflect more light and will, therefore, make a room seem bigger. We have always kept the colours in our small spaces fairly bright, for this very reason.

Stick to one colour. This is a tip I haven’t actually made use of in my own home, but that I’ve read many times while searching for inspiration for paint colours. Of course, painting the walls all one colour – and skipping the accent wall – goes a long way to making a small room look larger, but if you also paint the ceiling and trim in different shades of the same colour, you can trick the eye into thinking the room is larger. It’s important to maintain the contrast in the room, but playing around with the standard white ceiling, white trim paint job may present some impressive results.

Really stick to one colour. In a space with low ceilings, it can help to paint the walls and the ceiling the exact same colour. By continuing the wall colour on the ceilings, the solid line, or boundary created by the corner is removed, making the space feel larger. We used this technique – sort of – in our attic by painting the dormer walls and peak white.

Maybe I’ve drawn this out too long, but this week I will finally reveal the paint job I’ve been talking about so much here. I hope I’ve succeeded in making out home feel just a little more spacious than it did, using some of these tips. You’ll be the judge of that! In the meantime, be sure to check out Benjamin Moore’s website for some paint inspiration!

Although this post has been generously sponsored by Benjamin Moore, the language are all my own, and in no way do they reflect Benjamin Moore.



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