We know that interior designers employ clever visual tricks that can make a small room appear larger. But, you may be surprised by how many seem counterintuitive or even contrary to long-held beliefs about color choices for walls and ceilings. For example, many of us might assume that the best way to make a room feel “roomier” is to apply a consistent tone of white throughout. Yet, some designers say that such a decision can sometimes work against your objective. They find that white walls and ceilings can sharpen the eye’s focus on corners and edges or other linear intersections that create shadows, emphasizing a room’s distinct parameters or boundaries.

Sometimes a darker color does a better job at blending such visual distinctions – helping to smooth over the delineation between a window frame and a wall, for example. Of course, every room is different, so you want to avoid buying and applying the wrong shade for the wrong reason. Fortunately, software apps are now readily available, and can help you envision the effects of various tones and palettes before you invest your time and money on painting a whole room. Another trick employed by interior designers includes covering a seat or bed with a cozy-patterned blanket or multiple cushions to create a relaxing and inviting focal point.