PAINTING AND ILLUSIONS AND SPACIOUSNESS
Illusion of spaciousness When you are not very experienced, the simplest way to ensure an uncluttered an restful effect in a small room is to limit t~ basic decor to white. Very pale colours make surfaces recede and seem less noticeable, thus creating the impression spaciousness. Conversely, dark colours emphasize surfaces, making them appea to advance toward you. Incorporating colour Although white is a good choice for smal rooms, if used in its pure form it can be stark and boring. By using just a hint of colour, you can begin to make more of a statement. For a start, walls can be paint! in one of an enormous range of almost- wh ites - from warm peach to soft, cool blue. Texture, too, can add interest and warmth to a predominantly white scheme If bright-toned colours are important t you, incorporate curtains, cushions, smal prints, or rugs as a way of introducing colours in occasional splashes. When the time comes for a new look, all you need to do is change the accessories. However, if you have a lot of furniture and accessories , it may be better to select plain fabrics and muted tones to avoid a cluttered feeling. But don't feel limited to white and the off-whites just because you are decorating a basic light-toned decor provides all in a small room. Why not start with a strong colour, such as yellow or violet? There is no basic problem here, as long as you bear one principle in mind - limit your colour scheme to different shades of a single colour. You can even incorporate dark-toned colours in a small room as long as you avoid creating too many colour contrasts or combining them with bright, richly coloured furnishings. If you include too many colours, a small room may end up looking cramped and cluttered. Illusion of height In a small room with a low ceiling, you can use colour to give an illusion of height and space. If the room has no decorative features, simply paint the ceiling white and the walls a single almost-white tone from skirting boards to ceiling. If the room has traditional mouldings, such as dado or picture rails and cornicing, you can "shade up" by painting each horizontal "band" of the wall a subtle tonal variation of white. As an example, start by painting the ceiling white, the cornice an almost-white tone, then the area above the dado rail with a touch more colour. Carry on like this down to the skirting board. The floor will be the deepest colour, but avoid very dark floor tones, as this will make the room look even smaller than it is. Left In a small room, colour-coordinated furnishings add interest to a plain, pale background. The mood can be changed quickly and without great cost simply by changing accessories, furnishings, cushions, and blinds. Rooms within rooms Many modern houses, as well as older- style, traditional houses, have deep alcoves, recesses, or even a box room, that can be modified to make a room within a room. If the area is reasonably large, then an en suite bathroom may be a possibility. If the space is smaller, however, it could be ideal as a walk-in closet. Natural light will probably be restricted, if not absent altogether, so you need to pay particular attention to the colours used and the way they are affected by different types of artificial lighting. In a small kitchen, built-in units, such as floor and eye-level cupboards and cabinets, make more effective use of the available space than freestanding furniture. Bottom Using bright-coloured [urnisbings and accessories is a good way of introducing visual interest when space is tight.