Use Colour to Make your Small Condo Look Bigger

Transform Your Small Condo with Colour.

Colour can affect mood and space awareness so much, that even practitioners use colour therapy (aka chromotherapy) to treat certain disorders. Human beings respond to specific colours which cause subtle changes to biological function and general mood. Colour consultants understand how the correct choice of paint colour can transform any interior space. By painting a condo with smart colours you can make it feel like home right after you move in. With all these possibilities, how can paint colour change the look of your small condo and make it look much larger?

Starting with a Blank Canvas

If you’ve just moved into your new place, you may not be impressed with its current colour scheme. But it can nevertheless be your blank canvas, and you can completely ignore what you currently have and craft your own plan. Keep in mind that painting a small apartment is not terribly expensive and you can get great value from a professional paint job. A good way to create a budget for your makeover is by checking our blog: How much to paint my condo?

Certainly, you have many factors to consider when choosing paint colours. Remember, just because your condo is small does not mean you must choose the same colour scheme throughout. Be prepared to change direction completely when moving from room to room.

You may want to consider the style and existing colour of your furniture. Assuming that you do not have anything too garish that forces your hand, start by looking at the individual purpose of each room. A little colour inspiration will personalize your rooms and enhance their purpose within your living space.

Colour for The Bedroom

The bedroom should be the most relaxing and tranquil space in any home. Your choice of colour here will undoubtedly influence your sleep patterns and your mood when waking up in the morning. 

One of the favourites for a bedroom is Cabbage White from the Farrow & Ball collection. This subtle white apparently takes its name from a delicate white butterfly and has a hint of blue in it.

Soft colour for small bedroom
Subtle colour here is Cabbage White from Farrow & Ball

Sage green can also be very calming, and you may want to consider it in lighter tones for a small bedroom. If you are not a fan of green and sage tones, a light “greige” works well here. Greige as the name implies, is a beige with grey in it. This blend creates a richer colour and it works with both cool and warm colour schemes. 

A bedroom is a good space to try a process known as colour drenching. Drenching requires painting the entire room in one colour, including walls, ceilings and woodwork. This technique offers a contemporary look while also making rooms appear larger. You may use subtle variations from walls, to baseboards, doors and door frames. For a smaller space, a lighter tone is recommended.

The Kitchen

Whether you have a separate kitchen or an open plan layout, you can be more dramatic in your working space. Try bold, dark cabinet colours and contrast those with crisp whites or pastel shades on the walls. Remember, productivity is essential in the kitchen, so you will want to avoid anything that is too cold, like a standard bland grey.

Dark cabinets and kitchen
Strong colour here creates the feeling of space

However, take into account how your condo is configured. If the kitchen really is an integral part of the total living space, you may want to use the colour scheme of your living and dining area. This approach can certainly create the impression of more open space.

The Bathroom

In the bathroom, you should be looking for a relaxing and calming vibe. A light or “watery” blue would make sense, as it would give you a sophisticated feel, while creating the right level of intensity. White also works well, especially if the bathroom is small and you don’t have a lot of surfaces to paint. It’s okay to use the same paint on the ceiling, since paints made for bathrooms resist humidity and mildew.

Colour for the Primary Living Areas

In most small condos, the largest space by far is taken up by the combined living and dining room. This is typically an open plan and flows into the kitchen, but you’ll want to take extra time to figure out a colour scheme here. After all, if you want to make the space feel as large as possible, choose an appropriate colour scheme. In an open space design, consider how the kitchen fits into your decorating plans.

The overriding principle is quite clear. If you paint your room in colours from the darker side of the palette, you will make the space feel smaller, no matter how bright and airy it might be otherwise. Still, that does not mean that you have to paint everything in an off white, as you may end up with something that lacks style or personality.

You may be tempted to use several colours to create variety but In a smaller condo a simple approach works better. Why not paint the ceiling, doors and woodwork in the same white colour, while opting for something warmer to complement the walls.

So, what can you do to create the perception of extra space and avoid the builders white? Consider soft, pale greys or a blue/green combination like sage. We suggest October Mist CC-550, which is the Benjamin Moore Colour of the Year in 2022. From their website: “This gently shaded sage quietly anchors a space, while encouraging individual expression through colour”

2022 colour of the year is a sage
October Mist CC-550, Benjamin Moore Colour of the Year

Other Ways to Make Your Condo Look Bigger

Perhaps you’re dealing with a room that looks long and narrow rather than boxy. You may be stuck with an interior wall that partly separates the living space from the kitchen. In this situation, think about applying a slightly darker shade of paint to that wall. This can create an optical illusion of extra usable space.

If the ceiling is low, paint a narrow wall with a dark and dramatic colour. This technique “raises the ceiling” and creates a feeling of more space. In the same vein, painting a horizontal element like a bulkhead with a dark colour will make space appear wider than it is.

Choosing Your Approach for Decorating

As you can see, there are many different ways to use colour to make your new condo feel bigger. However, you may still want some help with colour selection and design to improve your living space. if so, get in touch with an interior designer or colour consultant for help.

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