5 Paint Trends To Skip If You Want Your Home To Feel Bigger

There are a number of reasons why you may wish your home was bigger. Perhaps you're feeling claustrophobic, or maybe you think your ceilings look too low. If so, there are a few ways to make your home appear larger and they don't involve an expensive remodel. In fact, all they require are a few cans of paint. 

However, it's important to note that bigger is not always better. Before you make a decision about how you want to paint your walls, first consider the atmosphere you want to create. Do you really want it to appear more expansive, or would you rather have a cozier feel?

If you truly desire a larger-looking space, the following information will prove useful: Once you've completed your paint job, match your furniture to the walls. This will make your home feel less cluttered and therefore larger, per DenGarden. If you need further advice, below are five paint trends you should avoid, as they will make your rooms appear more compact, in addition to some alternative methods you could try. 

Accenting the ceiling

The first trend you should steer clear of is accenting the ceiling with a dark color or a bold pattern. As All American Painting Plus points out, while bright white will make the ceiling appear further away, dark or bold tones will make it look closer and therefore shorter. If you really want to add color to your ceiling, you could opt for a pastel tone such as blue or green.

DenGarden adds that you should also pay attention to the finish of your ceiling paint. They believe that a flat finish would make it look shorter while a gloss or semigloss would bounce off the light and make it appear taller. Only painting a portion of your ceiling, such as a circle around a light fixture, would create a shorter appearance. For the opposite effect, you could continue your ceiling color 4 to 6 inches down the walls.

Red House Design Build adds that your wall paint will have an effect on how the ceiling appears. For instance, if you paint the walls a dark color and keep the ceiling white, the eye will be drawn upward, which will make your room look taller. Conversely, a dark ceiling with light walls will feel more closed in.

Using deep tones ... sometimes

You've probably heard that light colors make a room feel larger while dark tones make it feel smaller. Because we've all heard this, many of us apply this information to every room in our home, which has resulted in lots of light-colored walls. However, you may be surprised to discover that this is actually a controversial belief.

AllBright explains it in this way: while light shades will always make a space feel more open, dark tones can either make a room feel larger or smaller, depending on how the viewer looks at it. Curbly adds that, in some instances, dark walls can appear further away, therefore making the space appear larger. Others may disagree and believe that dark tones always make walls appear closer. Therefore, you'll have to decide for yourself what you believe, but if you're trying to make a room feel larger, light colors are a safe bet. At the same time, if your room has limited natural light, dark tones may look better overall.

If you love dark hues, there are a few ways to still make your space feel larger. Michael Helwig Interiors recommends using light-colored furniture, matching the curtains to the walls, and painting the trim the same color as the walls while keeping the ceiling bright white.

Utilizing warm and bright shades

Unless your goal is only to make the room appear taller, you would be wise to stay away from any warm and bright shades such as deep red or hot pink. This is because, as DenGarden says, warm tones will make the walls appear closer together, while cool tones like blue, green, or gray could expand the space. 

However, that doesn't mean you should always use cool tones to make a space feel larger. Instead, only stay away from shades that are both warm and dark. For instance, you could use a pastel yellow or pink shade, as the light tone would counteract the warm undertones, per Kylie M. Interiors.

On the other hand, if your only goal is to make the ceiling taller, a bright color may actually be in your best interest, per Liven Design. To do this, paint the walls a vibrant tone but leave the ceiling white. This would draw attention to the ceiling and could even make the room look longer.

Painting everything the same dark color

A completely monochromatic space, unless it's all white or a light tone, will usually feel closed in. Nolan Painting says that this can create a cave-like appearance, and it's frequently used in libraries for a cozier feel.

As Explore Wall Decor points out, a dark color is always a bold move, so adding it to every wall and the ceiling could feel overwhelming. However, there's also controversy surrounding this idea, as some believe that this can actually make the room feel larger. The logic is that, if there's a smooth transition between the walls and the ceiling, the eye will naturally be drawn up, making the ceilings appear taller. However, this could also have the opposite effect by creating the look of a closed box.

When deciding whether or not this is the right decision for you, consider how much natural lighting your room gets. If there aren't many windows, this could make your space feel much smaller. Further, if you choose a medium tone, your design may not look right, as the best colors for this look are either very light or dark.

As PaintRite Pros reminds us, most agree that white is the ideal color to use on the ceiling, and deviating from this may be a mistake. As stated before, if you really love a dark tone, you could use it on the walls and keep the ceiling white.

Choosing a busy wallpaper

If you want to skip the paint altogether and go for a wallpaper design, you'll need to choose the right pattern, as some can make a room feel larger and others can make it look smaller. Crafts On Fire says that busy, small, or dark patterns generally make rooms feel smaller, while light colors in simple stripes, geometric shapes, or large florals could make them feel larger.

Where you place the wallpaper also has a huge effect on how the room feels. If you only limited the wallpaper to an accent wall, that wall could appear closer than it actually is, which would make the room feel more compact. At the same time, placing an extremely loud print on every wall could also cause the walls to feel closer together. Bloom in the Black recommends covering all the walls with a simple pattern to make the room appear bigger. Or, if you're really set on an accent wall, use a print that looks seamless with the rest of the walls, as it won't draw as much attention or feel overwhelming. They also say to avoid using colors and patterns that contrast, as this will make the room appear condensed.