Over the years, I have heard many clients say that they do not want to paint a space a dark color because they are afraid it will make it feel smaller. This fear is especially powerful for small rooms.
Yet, a dark color can actually make a room look larger. It seems counter-intuitive, I know, but Interior Design Mantra #6, seen at the right on this blog, is true: "Light colors advance, dark colors recede."
Think about it. It is the reason theaters hang black fabric around the perimeter of stage sets and in wings... it masks the entrances and backstage areas. Black makes those areas disappear. The dark color does not permit the eye to read any definition, any spatial markers, any dimensions. As far as an observer knows, that space could be 30 feet deep...there's no way to know.
With this idea, small spaces are actually ideal candidates for black or dark colors on the walls... there is simply much less visual information for the brain to process the shape of the room.
Powder rooms seem to benefit the most from this optical illusion.
Butler pantries and narrow hallways are also logical places to employ this color trick...it makes these spaces seem not only larger but more elegant and intriguing.
But larger rooms look fantastic in darker colors as well...
The home of London designer Abigail Ahern is a spectacular example of the power of dark colors in every room...
If you'd like to add some dark drama to your home, give me a call!