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  • Writer's pictureKirstin Adolfson

How Paint Colors Change The Feeling of a Room

Color can alter our perception of a room’s size, shape, and can make a difference in whether we enjoy or feel uncomfortable in the room. Take a look at these tips for your next paint project.

Change the Size

If you have a large room that feels uncomfortable, paint the ceiling a darker color than the walls to make it appear lower, making the room feel cozier. If the room feels claustrophobic, paint the ceiling a lighter color to “raise” the ceiling for a more spacious feeling.

Enlarge a Room

You can enlarge a room with lighter colors, enabling your eyes to travel continuously. When you use different colors, your eye stops at the line where the color changes, causing the size of the room to become more apparent. With the same color, you don't see boundaries and space seem to continue.

Darker Colors

Darker colors make a room feel cozy. When walls are a deep color and the trim is white, the eye notices the borders of the space. If the room is small, this will accentuate the feeling of enclosure. However, if the trim is also painted a deeper color, the eye does not stop but continues around the room.

Change the Shape

For long, narrow spaces, paint the shorter end walls a shade or two darker so that they feel closer. As a result, the room appears to be more of a square shape. If you have large and bare walls, break up the space with molding; paint different colors above and below. Use a darker color on the bottom to ground the space.


Need help designing the home of your dreams? Call Adolfson Interior Design at (651) 468-6208 or email

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