Friday Finds: Does White Make a Room Seem Larger?

Is White the Way to Go?

If you have a smaller room in your home and you want to make it appear more spacious, you might assume that white would do the trick. However, that’s not necessarily the case.

According to color expert Kate Smith, who gives wonderful paint advice in Minnesota, a small room that is painted white can end up looking dirty and dingy. Blame the lighting—in dim light, shadows can be created that make the room feel smaller and more closed in, the opposite of what you want. Color can actually help a room appear bigger.

One option is painting your small space a saturated color, which can give it a feeling of grandeur and drama. The corners disappear visually, allowing the room to feel more spacious.

If color intimidates you, you can also try the opposite and pick a neutral—other than white—that is warmer in tone. That gives the space a feeling of continuity, making the background disappear and the furnishings become the focus.

If you do decide to paint with a color, it’s important to look at your top choices in the different light that comes into the room before you paint it. Get samples from your Minnesota paint store and then observe patiently in different lighting throughout the day. See what the paint looks like in the morning light versus the afternoon light. Inspect the color and how it changes when it’s dark outside and your artificial lights are on.

It can be really fun to redecorate a room and choose a new paint color. You might be surprised by how one can of paint can make an entire room feel airier, bigger and more enjoyable.

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