"Holy Mother of God!
You're painting the walls that dark!
It will look like the Bat Cave in here!"
N.B. dark is personal; for some, if it's not white then it's dark.
|Jeffrey Bilhuber Design, William Waldron photography|
Anyone else besides me on the receiving end of this reaction? Paint Myth Number Two in action.
Reality: Assuming we have plenty of light, painting a saturated color makes the room look bigger, not small and dark.
Regardless of size, the only thing that will make a dark room lighter is more light, layers of light. As many layers as you can manage. Keep in mind that every room is dark once the sun goes down.
|Recessed light and light hanging from or close to the ceiling.|
Beautiful tailoring and detail on this corner sofa. The glass table reflects light.
|Normally I avoid furnishings that look like they could inflict bodily harm,|
but I like this sconce, a lot, which totally surprises me.
Miguel Double Sconce from Circa Lighting
|Floor lamps. |
|Table lamps, mirrors, reflective objects, candles.|
I "shopped" the client's home and rounded up these items.
The old mint condition Red Sox convertible is from the client's childhood, a game at Fenway.
Charlotte Moss' living room is a great example of layered light. Ms. Moss' room is steeped in tradition but these lighting concepts should be applied to any style.
|Charlotte Moss' living room via New York Social Diary|
1. ceiling spot lights highlight the art on either side of the fireplace
2. a picture light for the piece above the fireplace
3. mid-height sconces flank the fireplace and they're not just for looks
4. adjustable height floor lamps with swing arms make reading a pleasure
5. a table lamp on the console
And that's just one end of the room.
With the light review out of the way, the real question is how can a dark or saturated color make a room feel bigger? Some examples.
Great mix of classic, traditional and tasteful modern.
Painting the bookcase, crown and ceiling beams the same color does two thing:
it unifies the room, and draws the eye up to the painted ceiling.
Once the eye is up at ceiling height, the contrast between the yellow and blue makes us appreciate the height which gives the impression or illusion of larger space.
|Lindsey Coral Harper|
Here the trim paint contrasts with the wall color defining the space,
and the pass through draws the eye up giving the illusion of more height.
Using the same color for the trim and cabinets creates unification.
Looks like this end of the kitchen might not be much wider than 10'.
Does it look tiny to you? Not to me.
A high ceiling is a huge factor in the spacious feel of a room. What if we have regular height ceilings?
Warm and comfortable, not bat cave-ish at all.
This room might feel claustrophobic were it not for the contrasting white full-length curtains and white arm chairs.
A Northern clime can handle a big dose of hot color.
This is a small dining room.
Everything works towards taking the eye up and creating contrast. The full length curtains, the contrasting stem on the light fixture, and the artwork frames contrast with the wall and take the brown of the table and console up higher.
You probably already picked up on an underlying principle, contrast. Contrast gives the eye an anchor, or starting point if you will, to figure out the size of something. And it works both ways, whether your walls are white or the bat cave variety.
I'm not advocating that you paint your walls white or dark. We should paint with the colors that speak to us. And get some more lamps...
Thanks for reading,
Here's the link to Myth Number One.