LESLIE: Alright, Katrina in Virginia has a home improvement emergency she needs to know. Right now she’s at the airport. Katrina, what’s going on with this small room and how can we help make it look bigger? What’s happening?
KATRINA: We just bought a 1940s older home and it has several small rooms. We put in chair railing and crown moulding. And I’m – I want the rooms to look bigger. So I’m wondering about painting. Should everything be white or – because I’m a white person; lots of antiques. I like white walls. But I thought, well, maybe put some dark color or a little darker color below the chair railings to make it look larger. Help me out.
LESLIE: Well, I think the chair railing and the moulding are a great effort to make the room seem taller. That’s going to definitely make it feel like you’ve got a lot of ceiling height in there because you’re adding all these elements that make it grow up. I think with color, especially since you’re kind of shy of color, if you put the color to the upper portion of the wainscoting it’s going to draw your eye upward and again make that sense that it’s growing taller as well.
You can do a lot with mirrors. You can do a lot with furniture placement. If you keep the furniture all in scale to one another and to the space it can also make the room feel a lot larger. I say don’t be afraid of color. And if you’re too scared of using it in a ton of places, use it just below the wainscoting. And also, if you go crazy overboard with the color and put the same color on the ceiling and the walls, instead of making it feel enclosed in it can actually make it feel a lot larger.
TOM: And Katrina, here’s one other little trick of the trade with color that you can do. You can use paint to create the – what is, in effect, sort of a coffered ceiling. If you measure down from the ceiling onto the walls about anywhere from eight to 12 inches and tape that off and then bring the ceiling color down just that first eight to 12 inches so now when you’re standing in the room the ceiling color actually sort of tapers down the wall a bit and then the color starts below that, that gives the effect of the ceiling being a lot higher than it actually is.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm. But in that case you would want the crown moulding to start 10 or 12 inches down the wall.
TOM: And use a piece of moulding to create the seam.
KATRINA: Oh, OK. Alright, the crown’s already up and it’s about, oh, probably six inches below the ceiling.
TOM: Well, in that case you can use the same color and start with the crown and go right up across the ceiling. I think that will give you a lot of height.
KATRINA: OK. Alright. OK. Excellent.
TOM: Katrina, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.