Painting Guide: Choosing Colors that Make a Room Look More Spacious

Need a refresh? Dive into our expert advice on selecting the best colors to create the illusion of more space and discover how Presto Painting can help you achieve the room of your dreams. Whether you’re tackling a single room or an entire home, the right color choices can make all the difference. Let’s take the first step in transforming your living space together!

The Best Paint Colors to Make Small Rooms Appear Larger

So, what colors make a room look bigger?

Light colors are generally the best choice for making small rooms appear larger. Shades such as soft (not stark) whites, light grays, and pale blues reflect more light, creating an airy and open feel. These colors can make walls recede visually, giving the impression of a more expansive space.

Cool colors like light greens and blues can create a calming effect that opens up a room. These hues tend to recede, making walls feel farther away than they actually are. While neutral colors like beige, taupe, and soft pastels can also impact the appearance of the room. These colors are versatile and can be paired with various decor styles, providing a cohesive and open look. They reflect light well and create a soothing atmosphere that enhances the sense of space.

Presto Painting Tip: When aiming to make a room look larger, the finish of the paint can be just as important as the color itself. One of the most effective finishes for this purpose is a satin or eggshell finish. These finishes have a slight sheen that reflects light, which can help to create the illusion of more space. The reflective quality of satin and eggshell finishes can make walls appear smoother and more expansive, enhancing the overall brightness of the room.

How Do Light and Dark Colors Affect the Perception of Room Size?

The impact of light and dark colors on room perception is influenced by many factors including the room’s lighting and furnishings. Rooms with ample natural light can handle darker colors better without feeling too cramped. 

  • Light colors, such as whites, pastels, and soft neutrals, can make a room feel open and airy. This is because light colors reflect more light (LRV), which can brighten up a space and create the illusion of a larger area. When walls are painted in light hues, they tend to recede, making the room feel more expansive and less confined.
  • Dark colors, on the other hand, absorb light which adds depth and richness to a space and tends to make walls advance playing with your perception of the corners. We don’t tend to paint smaller interiors with limited lighting with deep tones to avoid making the room feel even more compact. That said, if you choose to go with a deeper tone, consider light-colored furniture and decor to help balance the space and prevent it from feeling too closed in.

To enhance the perception of a room with color you can opt for a monochromatic color scheme. By painting walls, trim, and ceilings in varying shades of the same color scheme, you can create a seamless look that visually expands the room. This minimizes visual breaks and helps the eye travel smoothly across the space, enhancing the feeling of openness.

Interior Paint Color Combinations Create the Illusion of More Space

Again, opting for a monochromatic color scheme can be very effective in smaller spaces. Using different shades of the same color can create a seamless look that avoids visual breaks, making the room appear larger! For example, pairing a light gray wall with slightly darker gray accents can elongate the space. 

Pairing a light wall color with a slightly darker but complementary trim can also make a room appear bigger. Sticking with our same soft gray example, the walls would be one color and then the slightly darker gray would be used for the trim to create subtle contrast without breaking up the space. This technique draws the eye upward and outward, giving the impression of a larger area! 

Some popular paint combinations to consider for walls, trim, and the 5th wall, the ceiling include: 

  • Light Blue and White
  • Pale Pink and Soft Beige
  • Light Cool Gray and Charcoal
  • Cream and Soft Yellow
  • Mint Green and White
  • Lavender and Light Gray
  • Peach and Sandy Tan
  • Soft Taupe and Ivory

Presto Painting Tip: Accent walls can significantly impact the perception of room size by creating a focal point that draws the eye. Lighter colors tend to make a room feel more open, while darker colors can add coziness. An accent wall at the far end of a room can create the illusion of depth, making the room appear longer. While an accent wall on a shorter side can make a narrow room feel wider. The right combination of paint colors can elongate the room and make it feel more expansive!

See a Total Transformation with Presto Painting 

Choosing the right paint colors can completely transform the look and feel of your space, making it appear more open and inviting. Whether you want to brighten spaces with soft, calming hues like cream and taupe or create a modern, airy feel with pure snow white, Presto Painting has the expertise to bring your vision to life.

Ready to see a total transformation in your home? Contact Presto Painting today and let our local team of professionals help you select the perfect color palette to make your rooms look their best. Don’t wait, Tampa neighbors — your dream home is just a call away!