Does your room feel too small, too large, or just not bright enough? Kimball Starr was featured on this televised series of “Creative Living” with Sheryl Borden. In this first video segment of 2, Kimball teaches and shows examples of how to trick the eye into making your interior spaces within your home look bigger, lighter, and better without having to remodel.
Check back tomorrow for Part 2!
Below is a transcript of the video:
– [Announcer] With your host Sheryl Borden.
– [Sheryl] Kimball, it’s so nice to have you here. I’m gonna pick your brain on everything I’ve always wanted to know working with an interior designer and do people come to you with unusual requests like “I have a small room but could you make it look twice as big?”
– [Kimball] Sometimes they do. I mean, I can do some miracles but I’m not a miracle worker!
– I see, so you have to work with what people have.
– That’s right.
– Okay, you have some examples that you’re going to show and if you’ll point out things that maybe would help us to reshape a room or how to live with what we have but maybe make it look better.
– Absolutely. So, when you want to reshape a room size, this is not doing major construction but design tricks to make it look like it’s a little bigger than it is. So we have three categories, we want to talk about color, which you can use to change a room size. Warm colors will come closer to you and cool colors will move away. And then patterns, which you can use in your flooring or walls, and then also reflective the surfaces. Reflective surfaces…
– Oh, like mirrors?
– Yes absolutely. Reflective surfaces, –things like glossy finishes — reflect light and make the space feel bigger.
– Oh okay, that’s good tips, good tricks, okay.
– Yes, so these are some examples illustrating that. Here I’ve used the dark blue color in this bay window to push the bay window out. It was a very narrow bay window so I wanted to make it feel deeper and then also if you notice, the planks are running crosswise, so that helps widen the room.
– Uh huh, I can see how that would do that.
– Yeah, so that’s a good example of the power of paint and pattern. And then here we have another bay window in a bedroom and the bay window you notice we have two colors. We have the dark chocolate and the butter scotch and the dark chocolate frames the bay window and then I actually did the bay window in butter scotch because the wall continues into the bay window and makes it feel like one big continuous space.
– Oh, instead of big chop, stop and start.
– Exactly. If I had done the bay window and that whole sitting area in the dark chocolate, it would’ve felt like an add-on to the room and it would not feel nearly as big as it as it does here.
– Oh, okay.
– And then another trick is, if you notice there’s the picture rail, this molding, the white line, so really it’s a way to guide your eye where it should be looking and that elongates the room. And so, a trick you can do to make your ceiling seem taller or lower is I put this molding here because I felt that the ceilings were a little too high for the room in proportion to how wide it was.
– Oh, too high, uh huh.
– So by bringing the molding down, it drops the ceiling height.
– Your eye comes down.
– Absolutely. And another trick is, if you want your ceiling to also feel lower, you could take the ceiling color and paint here so you actually create a band.
– Oh, bring the ceiling down, it would look like it was down lower.
– That’s right.
– Oh that’s a great idea!
– And you can do the opposite, where you could actually take the wall color and bring it up into the ceiling about 12 inches so you create a border around the ceiling and that will actually make your walls seem much higher. So lots of little fun tricks to do.
– Really and that’s just with paint?
– And that’s just with paint.
– I mean, how easy could that be, if you know what you’re doing.
– Well you know what, I would say paint’s the easiest way to make a change and it’s the simplest and the least expensive.
– Least expensive, right.
– So definitely experiment.
– Here’s an example of using a reflective surface. By using the mirror, it helps double your space, wherever the mirror covers it doubles that area and also by the long rectangular shape of the mirror it helps widen the dining the room because it was…
– Instead of it being turned vertical.
– Right. I mean, I could’ve done it vertical but that would’ve made it feel higher.
– Higher, uh huh.
– But it’s a lowered ceiling where it’s only a little area that the dining table could fit under, so I wanted to make it feel like it was a little bigger and more gracious.
– And I think we’ve all known about restaurants, we walk into a room and it just seems so huge but it’s really one walls of all mirrors.
– Yes, that’s right.
– So you realize how that can make that seem twice as big…
– Or dance studios or yoga studios.
– Yes, uh huh.
– It feels like this huge spacious room and it’s… you know, maybe…
– It’s really tiny.
– That’s right.
– That’s a good idea though.
– So you can definitely use that, you know.
– Reflective surfaces.
– Right, but don’t go crazy. Don’t do your whole house with mirrors.
– Right. [both laughing]
– So here is an example of a hallway where the base board trim has been painted the same color as the wall. So… instead of…
– Oh I see, I didn’t realize that was the base board. Now I can see that.
– Yeah, so there’s a good six-inch base right there. So the hallway is very short and narrow and by using the same color all the way up, it unifies the wall.
– Because you will have a brown or white or something along there and that would be… that would chop that up.
– That’s right, it’s very contrasty. It’s the same technique I like to say with fashion. So if you wear all black you’re gonna look really thin and it’s all the same color. If you wear purple pants, an orange top, a green hat — besides questioning my fashion sense — it also chops you up.
– I see, ideas.
– So it’s the same idea.
– Good point.
– And then there’s also doors in this hallway that I’ve also painted all the same color. So they’re all…
– Uh huh, so it’s monochromatic.
– The trim is blue, the doors are blue and then it just blends away.
– Uh huh, and the white thin [line] is sort of showcase as an accent.
– Yes absolutely.