Geometry & Tone

While color is very powerful and adds atmosphere to a room , it is the way in which we use tone that affects the actual space of the finished room. The word tone describes the lightness or darkness of a color , and this is altered by the addition of black or white. The easiest way to translate color into tone is to imagine the room or item you are considering as it would be seen in a black and white photograph. If it was all of the same tonal value , the picture would appear completely flat. It is only the variation of tone that adds depth to the photograph.

As a general guide , dark colors advance while pale colors recede as they reflect more light , making a room appear larger. This is why so many modern propertieshave their rooms and ceilings in particular , painted white : in order to create the illusion of space and height.

Tone can be used to great effect in a narrow hallway or corridor . By applying a darker tone to the ceiling than the walls ( and in some cases on properties with very tall ceilings , by bringing the same tone down to the picture rail ), you considerably reduce the appearance of the ceiling height. By adding a floor covering which is also of deeper tone than the walls , you can create the effect of pushing back the walls , making the corridor appear very much wider.

Another common problem in modern properties is the long sitting room with its windows at one or either end on the narrow walls. By applying the theory of dark colors advancing , a substantial pair of curtains in atone deeper than the walls can successfully draw in the window walls. In this way , the proportions of the room are visually adjusted , making it appear squarer.

Many people enjoy the calm simplicity of a monochromatic color scheme : a room decorated only in tones of one color. The photo below , for example , is of a room decorated in a variety of blues such as lavender blue and green blue . But in addition , there are varying strengths of tone included , creating a finished scheme of great visual interest. Imagine this room with the door colored the same tone as the walls , and with the white woodwork and picture frame painted in a green blue. If this were the case , the room would look very flat and rather uninteresting

Follow these General Rules

  1. To make a room feel larger , decorate in light colors as light is then reflected.

  2. To bring the walls in and ceiling down , use warm colors.

  3. Dark and warm colors advance. A wall painted in dark color is drawn in.

  4. Cool colors recede. A wall painted in a cool color appears further away.

  5. A dark floor covering makes the floor seem smaller and draws the eye downwards.

  6. To lower a ceiling use a color which is slightly darker than the walls.

  7. To raise a ceiling use a color which is lighter than the walls.

  8. To lower a ceiling in a large room paint the top section of the walls to match.

  9. To widen a corridor use a very light color on the walls , ceiling and floor.

10. To shorten a corridor , paint the end wall in a dark or warm color.

11. To alter the proportions of a corridor , decorate the ceiling and floor in a darker color.