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Colour selections modify space

Warm and rich colours create an intense atmosphere, while glossy paints add an extra touch of dynamism.

When warm and rich colours are used, it is advisable to also allow for light and neutral colours to make the space seem less aggressive. Often a touch of black and white is enough to provide the necessary contrast between dark and light.

Colour selection has also a considerable effect on the size, shape and proportional dimensions of a space.

Warm colours appear to move towards the eye. As the most energetic, active and distinctive of all colours, red is often perceived as the most powerful one. For example, this “approaching” sensation of warm colours can be used to make a long, narrow room appear more symmetrical. Either or both end walls can be painted red to make the room appear slightly less elongated.

Horizontal stripes on an end wall make a narrow room appear wider, while vertical stripes make a low room look higher. A long corridor will seem shorter when the long horizontal surfaces are interrupted or divided into sections by light-hued areas or patterns of various colours. 

Light and cool colours make a room appear bigger. Cold colours, such as blue and turquoise, add distance and make the room look more spacious and soothing.

Bright, dark, and warm colours or large patterns make a room look smaller. A high room can be made to look lower by painting the ceiling in a dark shade and the walls in a light colour.

ABC of colour selection

Colour cards