Light & Dark Colors – Interior Design Tip

What Happens when you use light or dark colors in a room?

Dark Colors look heavy and enclosing, light colors make the room look larger and lighter.

Most designers know this and use it automatically, but for those who are just starting out – this is a useful fact. Especially if you have small areas to work with.

One of the first things to remember when selecting colors is that cool colors recede and warm colors advance and that dark colors look heavy and enclosing, light colors make the room look larger and lighter, this will get you a simple way to rule out colors and concentrate on the colors that will work in the space.

Watch a quick video of Lee Brown presenting this Interior Design Tip from with a couple of examples. Learning design information over a long period of time with examples helps your design knowledge grow without even having to think about it. Make sure you subscribe to the WillowCollege Youtube channel, so you don’t miss any of our Interior Design Tips.

Dark colors make a room look smaller and more enclosed.

Dark Colors look heavy and enclosing. Dark floors walls and furniture in this image create an enclosed and heavy feeling, it’s not all bad and sometimes we do want to create that effect. It works well in cafes and restaurants where you want people to feel cozy and wrapped in the interior. It is also used in the home, great for studies, libraries, sometimes living rooms. Often warm dark colors are best used to create the sense of warmth as well as feeling wrapped and enclosed. Think of curling up in front of a fireplace, rich red walls, dark flooring, richly patterned wool floor rug, heavily upholstered dark armchair with a merino wool throw and to top it off, flames flickering in the fire.

The same goes for choosing furniture, if you have light walls and you choose dark furniture the room will appear smaller and more enclosed, even with the light walls. If you select lighter colored furniture then the space will still appear light and spacious as you eye doesn’t get distracted by the heavy colored furniture.

Light colors make a room appear larger and lighter.

Light colors make a room appear larger and lighter. Light walls and furniture make this dining room look large and spacious.

Whichever formula you choose to use for selecting your colors it pays to think first about the effect and emotion you want to achieve. Light, functional spaces often equals light colors like hallways, kitchens and bathrooms. Bedrooms more often go from a light to mid color as they are often smaller rooms and the look more enclosed when darker colors are used. Living rooms, family rooms, entrance ways – it all comes down to what you have in the rest of the house and what look you want to achieve, what emotion you want to evoke with the use of color, and what furniture you have and the amount of natural light and artificial light. It can be hard to get a dark moody room when two walls have floor to ceiling glazing. Find out more about colors, their meanings, and how they can affect our emotions here.

If you love color and want to learn how you can choose color like a professional then has an online color course for you, take a look today.

If you already know a lot about color and would like to make a career out of it then has a course for you too. Take a look at How to Become A Successful Color Consultant in 12 weeks today.

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