Small Space : Colour tricks

Colors give structure to our whole environment. Just think about it. Without color, we would be in a sort of nothingness of nameless boredom. Nature, art and even each of us, human beings, are created by color. The sky, animals, painting, our hair, our eyes, ... the list is long.

In interior architecture, it has a strategic role.

I even see several of them:
- its psychological impact ;
- its ability to highlight elements ;
- its capacity to structure space ;
- its ability to create optical illusions.

The last 3 points are the one that I use most frequently in my projects, quite naturally. In my work, color is a tool to enhance the effect of volumes. If the choice of its shade is about personalization and decoration, its position will be determined by the architecture.

During this #TeenyTinyMonth, intended for small spaces, it seemed essential to draw attention on this sensitive point. When in some cultures, color is commonly present on walls, in France (and probably elsewhere), it is not very usual, even if magazines sell us the trend. A reticence (or should I say a very clear fear) subsists. This is all the more true in places with restricted dimensions where the well-known formula "white enlarges" reigns supreme.

So many privations are due to this command !

I will not question its common sense of course, but would like to emphasize that it is not the absolute and suitable answer in all circumstances. Yes the white "enlarges", due to the laws of optics that I can no longer quote, No, it shouln’t be used as the solution to all interior design problems.

Sometimes, I just like to make it simple by saying that a small room will remain a small room, even painted white. It also works with the effect on light: a dark room will remain a dark room, even painted white. When you think about it, the reality lies more in the fact that the black shrinks than in the fact that the white enlarges. Another one of these formulas with unfortunate shortcuts that induces in error.
So after such an observation, why not stop playing the pretenses and enjoy it for a little fun? Especially if this can, against all expectations, turn the problem in our favor.

In all circumstances, our best weapon remains optical illusion.

The use of white already uses this law but it is too often forgotten that its effect is limited by its uniformity. The most effective effect on our gaze remains the use of CONTRAST. Think about it just a few moments. Imagine yourself in a museum or gallery. Two fully white rooms, each with a small cube in the center. In one, the cube is white, in the other the cube is red. Where will you look when you enter each room? I do not risk much to bet you that in the first, your look will go looking for a work of art on the wall while, in the second, your gaze will land on this strange little red cube lost in the middle of the room. It also works by inverting the colors: in two pieces entirely red, it is the white cube that will attract your attention. And that does not matter how big the room is.

That's the one effect. This is what will save you from small rooms, frustrating by their size and boring to die. Create the effect that will deceive your gaze, whether in the room itself or in its connection to the next room. You risk absolutely nothing to play the right balance between white and colors, between light and dark, it’ll be quite the opposite actually. Highlight important elements with a touch of color. Lead your gaze where it suits you. If this can allow you to bring some of your personality and your fantasy, then you will be definitely released!

Some tips:

- the color behind your favorite piece of furniture and you will only see it
- color in a recess, this will give it even more depth,
- in a corridor or entrance, this will make the adjacent rooms "larger" by entering it
- on walls or ceiling, this will bring them closer to you (handy for rooms in length or too high)

As always, each place sets its own rules and everything lies in the right balance, from the wise choice of shades of color to their placement. But, even if it is in moderation, there is still a way to embellish your daily life, so better to try and enjoy!

Have a good weekend !

What about you? Do you force yourself to stay in the white monochrome? What color would you like to put on the wall but you do not dare? If you were advised to make dark walls at home, what would be your reactions?