Asked on Jan 6, 2013

colors to make small living room look larger

Ramona DJeanette


my living room is 17 by 13 feet with 3 doors and a baywindow , 48 in. beadboard wainscotting. i like yellow , white and greens ...oh boy do i need help by the way the flooring is barn board ,a warm oak .
10 answers
  • Douglas Hunt
    on Jan 6, 2013

    You probably won't like this answer, Ramona, but I think anything that breaks up a space makes it seem smaller. In your case, I'll bet the wainscoting is the culprit. If you want to keep it, I would make the contrast between it and the other colors as small as possible.

  • It is not so much the color as it is the available light and where you place the contrast of color, texture and pattern. It is all an illusion and a decision about where you want your eye to be drawn. A focal point can be any place in the room. This may be an extreme example but shows how even a change to the floor can be the main attraction.

  • Ramona D
    on Jan 7, 2013

    would still like more ideas thanks

  • To make if feel larger, paint it all one color. You will still have the textured look of the wainscot. A light beige or white will give the most spacious illusion. However, I like color and a mint or light sage green sounds yummy!

  • Jan Britt Interiors
    on Jan 9, 2013

    I agree with the design information that Douglas, Kass and Lee Anne gave you.

  • We stick by Lee Anne's suggestion as she hit the nail on the head. If you want to make a room feel larger and your ceilings seem taller go all one color. You don't want to break up the room with different colors which makes the eye move around - it is all in reality a visual illusion. A light sage green is our top choice for color in a living room. You see it everywhere in the Pottery Barn, West Elm and Crate and Barrel catalogs. It is soft but can almost act like a neutral without the boring white or beige. Yellows can be too frilly and sometimes emphasize age of a home. We suggest to go play at the book store in the magazine section and buy some of the fabulous decorating mags and tear out pages that you like of living rooms and then narrow down your choices of color themes. Go to Lowe's and get some paint samples and try them out on the wall and view them in different lighting. Ask a friend that may be someone who you like her decorating style to help you out also with your decision. We would love to see pics and have fun with it!

    • Lynn
      on Dec 9, 2014

      @Virtually Staging Properties, Inc Do have any recommendations for light sage? Usually, the sage greens are all so dark.

    on Jan 9, 2013

    Light sage green is a beautiful color and ideal for a small living room. Also different artificial lighting such as wall sconces (which also save floor space) will add detail to the room instead of bright overhead lights. Ceilings and floors should be as bright and neutral as possible as these are often overlooked but are two of the main factors in making rooms seem smaller.

    • Lynn
      on Dec 9, 2014 My living room ceilingsng are only 8', so I am considering painting the ceiling the same color as the room - would that look okay or over-done? thanks.

  • Ramona D
    on Jan 10, 2013

    thank you so very much all of you the idea of sage green !!

  • Jeanette S
    on Jan 10, 2013

    In an earlier post, it was stated Benjamin Moore announced their 2013 color is Lemon Sorbet you may as well look at it and be the leader of the pack! If it is pleasing, use it (I too love soft yellows). I love white with yellow and I agree with Walls Street Studio that light makes a difference. Get some sample colors and see what works for you. Actually, we painted a wall all the same color then put up a chair rail and the bottom half looks about 3/4 of a shade darker, but is not! Paint can be funny. White at the bottom (one not on the stark white with a lot of blue tint in it but a mellow white) and yellow would be beautiful! I LOVE beadboard and would never get rid of it!

  • Ramona D
    on Jan 11, 2013

    jeanette we are of the same thought i truly love warm yellows and white...but then i,m an old gal heart is in to shabby chic , takes me back to when i was a kid,so will see what what lemon sorbet will look like ...thank you so very much

    • Lynn
      on Dec 9, 2014

      @Ramona D I too like yellow (I am old gal too), but I decided to add the yellow with my accouterments (pillows, throw, etc.). You have to go with what your heart speaks.

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