PAINTING MAKING LARGE ROOMS
Large rooms Making a small room feel spacious is a familiar decorative challenge. Less frequent, perhaps, but equally challenging is the task of making a large, high-ceilinged room feel warm, intimate, and friendly. In both of these situations, colour is a vital tool for producing the particular effect you want to achieve. Warm-toned surfaces in reds, oranges, and yellows give the illusion of appearing to advance toward the viewer, so they are an ideal choice when you want to make distant walls seem nearer and the room cosier. In contrast, cool blue and green tones give a feeling of movement away from the viewer, so they are better avoided in this situation. Deep, rich colours emphasize surfaces, making them appear to advance toward the viewer, and so are another good choice for large rooms. Conversely, pale tones are less conspicuous and have the effect of making surfaces blend into the background. This makes them more suitable for decorating small rooms. A large room can withstand - and even benefit from - strong, pure colours. In fact, decorating it in a variety of colours, tones, and textures is another way of making it appear intimate. All the vivid contrasts break up large expanses of space, creating interest and a feeling of warmth. It is a good idea to link these strong colours with their very pale equivalents - or neutral colours, such as tones of grey - to avoid garish results. • If you decorate a room in predominantly warm, dark tones, introduce furnishings in pale tones of the same warm colours for harmony and brightness. • Create two well-defined but linked areas in a large room by decorating one area in subtle warm tones and the other in similarly subtle cool tones. • Try painting just one wall of a large room in a dark tone to create an area of intimacy. • Experiment with lighting to create different areas of interest in a large space - recessed lights for soft background effects, spotlights for work surfaces, and display lights for focal poinrs. Creating zones In a very large, open-plan room, one way to achieve feeling of intimacy is to create several clearly marke zones. Each zone can be defined both by its colour scheme and by its furniture. For example, to break up an expansive living room, choose four complementary tones for each of, say, four areas- perhaps one for a dining corner, another for studvin: another by the windows for daytime work, and another for evening relaxation and socializing. Be sure to choose colours that are sufficiently different to provide the desired contrast, but not so far apart in the spectrum that they clash and compete for attention.