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Exploring Womanhood > Heart of the Home > Homemaking > Home Decorating

Using Color Tricks in Home Décor
by Pamela Cole Harris

Just as a painter uses color to fool the eye and to create mood in fine art, so the designer can use color to fool the eye in home décor. Here are a few tips for the creative DIY designer (that's YOU!) dealing with problem spaces.

  1. Long or large room. Try painting a warm color on one wall in a predominately white room. The warm wall will appear to advance, making the room seem smaller or shorter.

  2. Short room. Paint one wall a cool color, while leaving the rest of the walls warm. The cool wall will appear to draw back, making the room seem longer.

  3. High ceilings. If you want a more intimate feel in a room with high ceilings, paint the ceiling a darker color. You can also lower it further by painting the top part of the wall (say, 12" or so) with the same ceiling color.

  4. Low ceilings. If you want to make the ceilings appear higher, paint the ceiling a light color and bring the wall color 6' or so onto the ceiling.

  5. Another trick for making the walls appear higher is to paint the baseboards the same color as the walls. This makes the room appear taller (just like in fashion!)

Get the picture? Warm = advancing. Cool = receding. Easy! Hmmmm... do you think that something cool would help my advancing weight? Ice cream is cool, right? That's it! I'm off to fool my eye into thinking I am slim! Tom and Jerry, here I come!

Copyright © 2004, Pamela Cole Harris
Home and Garden Makeover

Pamela Cole Harris is a writer with over 35 years experience (Gosh! Has it been that long?). Her expertise on decorating on a budget comes from her own experience (Is Early Graduate Student a style?). Visit her website, http://www.homeandgardenmakeover.com, for her unique view of home decorating and remodeling.


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