To create more light and space in dark areas ...
... Try using a darker tone on your woodwork (ie, skirting boards, doors, window and door frames).
By putting a paler colour on the largest area you create a feeling of more light, while the darker trim gives you a very sophisticated, elegant look.
If the thought of darker woodwork feels unnatural to you, remember how often you see mahogany or pine skirtings and doors – you just have to translate that thought into paint.
Farrow & Ball colour combinations:
* Lime White (1) and Bone (15);
* Slipper Satin (2004) and Light Gray (17);
* Or Dimity (2008) and Joa’s White (226).
If you are brave enough, try very dark colour on your skirtings: Mahogany (36), Railings (31) or Mouse's Back (40) create a very contemporary feel.
Changing the shape of a room
If you have a long, thin room, try painting the two narrower walls a slightly darker tone than the two long walls.
Because the darker colour will advance towards you and the lighter colour will recede away from you, the room will feel more square.
This technique is especially effective if you have a long, narrow hall – it can be made to feel less ‘tunnel like’ by painting the end wall a stronger colour.
Farrow & Ball neutral combinations:
* Off White (3) with Old White (4);
* Joa’s White (226) with Archive (227);
* Or Matchstick (2013) with String (8).
Patterns will also have an effect, depending on the colours both of the background and the overall cover of the printed pattern.
The best way to make a room appear larger is to use a light blue background colour with a small-scale pattern, especially a small-cover floral pattern such as a toile.
Try Uppark (BP553), the English toile design from Farrow & Ball’s Papers 5 Collection, printed in white on a blue background.
Larger patterns in the same colourway will close in on a room, as will patterns printed in colours as opposed to a neutral white.