#3 Best Interior Design Color Tricks To Use When Designing

Color is one of the most powerful elements in interior design, capable of transforming the mood, energy, and perception of a space. But to get it right you need to understand interior design color tricks.

Whether you’re aiming for a cozy and inviting ambiance or a bright and airy atmosphere, the strategic use of color can work wonders. 

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the best color tricks that interior designers swear by, empowering you to create visually stunning and emotionally resonant spaces like a pro.

bright and dark colors

#1. Bright vs. Dark

The contrast between bright and dark colors can dramatically alter the perceived size and depth of a room. Understanding how to leverage this contrast is a game-changer in interior design.


Bright colors, such as whites, pastels, and light neutrals, have the ability to make a space feel larger, more open, and more inviting. They reflect light, creating an airy and expansive atmosphere. Painting walls in bright hues can visually expand the boundaries of a room, making it appear more spacious than it actually is.

Expand and Make Brighter and Larger: To create the illusion of a larger, brighter space, consider painting the walls, ceiling, and trim in light, neutral colors like soft whites or pale grays. This seamless flow of light tones will make the boundaries of the room less defined, creating an airy and open feel.


On the other hand, dark colors like deep blues, greens, or charcoal grays can create a sense of closeness and intimacy. They absorb light, which can make a room feel cozier and more enclosed. While too much darkness can make a space feel cramped, strategically using dark hues can add depth, drama, and a touch of sophistication to your interior.

Closeness and Making it Feel Closer to the Observer: Conversely, if you want to create a cozy and intimate atmosphere, incorporate darker hues on the walls or use them as accent colors. Dark colors tend to visually advance, making them appear closer to the observer, which can make a room feel more enclosed and inviting.

#2. Warm vs. Cool

The temperature of colors can significantly influence the mood and energy of a space. Warm and cool tones evoke different emotional responses and can be used strategically to achieve the desired ambiance.

warm and cool colors


Warm colors like reds, oranges, and yellows are reminiscent of things like sunsets, fire, and warmth. They tend to attract attention and create a feeling of energy and vibrancy. When used judiciously, warm tones can make a space feel cozy and inviting. However, it’s essential to strike a balance, as too much warmth can make a room feel small and overwhelming.


Cool colors, such as blues, greens, and purples, remind us of natural elements like water, sky, and forests. They have a calming and relaxing effect, making them ideal for creating a serene and tranquil atmosphere. Cool tones tend to recede, visually expanding the space and creating a sense of openness.

Warm colors are best used in spaces where you want to create a lively and energetic vibe, such as living rooms or dining areas. Cool tones, on the other hand, are perfect for bedrooms, home offices, or any space where you desire a sense of peace and tranquility.

#3. Neutrals

nuetral colors

Neutral colors, like whites, beiges, and grays, are the foundation of any successful interior design scheme. However, it’s essential to understand the undertones when choosing neutrals, as they can significantly influence the overall look and feel of a space.

Warm Neutrals: Neutrals with warm undertones, such as creamy whites or taupe, create a cozy and inviting atmosphere. They pair beautifully with warm accent colors like reds, oranges, and yellows, creating a harmonious and cohesive look.

Cool Neutrals: Neutrals with cool undertones, like bluish-grays or true whites, lend a crisp and fresh feel to a space. They complement cool accent colors like blues, greens, and purples, resulting in a serene and calming environment.

Neutrals are versatile and timeless, making them ideal for larger surfaces like walls, floors, and furniture. They provide a clean canvas that allows you to experiment with pops of color through accent pieces, artwork, and textiles.

Color Visual Effects

1. Balance Effect: Painting the ceiling a lighter color can create the illusion of a higher ceiling, while using a darker hue can make it feel lower and more intimate.

2. Increase the Width: To make a room feel wider, paint the side walls a lighter color while keeping the back and ceiling darker. This trick can visually expand the space.

3. Narrow the Space: Conversely, painting the opposite walls a darker color while leaving the back wall and ceiling lighter can make a room feel narrower and more enclosed.

4. Shorten the Space: Using a dark tone on the back wall and lighter tones on the other surfaces can create the illusion of a shorter room.

5. Shorten the Walls: Painting the bottom portion of the walls a darker color can make them appear shorter, creating a cozy and grounded feel.

6. Expand the Space: Using a neutral or white color and matching it with the ceiling can visually expand the boundaries of a room, making it feel larger and more open.

7. Small and Cozy: For a small and cozy atmosphere, paint the ceiling white and the walls and floor in darker hues. This creates a warm and inviting cocoon-like effect.

3 Tips to Select Paint Colors Like a Pro

1. Consider the Colors You Like: Start by identifying the colors you’re naturally drawn to and enjoy being surrounded by. This will help ensure that your space reflects your personal style and makes you feel at home.

2. Choose Your Color Thinking of What You Have: Take inventory of the existing furniture, artwork, and decor pieces in your space. Select colors that will complement and harmonize with these existing elements, creating a cohesive and visually appealing environment.

3. 60-30-10 Rule: Follow the 60-30-10 rule for a balanced and visually appealing color scheme. Use your primary color (60%) for walls, large furniture, and rugs, a secondary color (30%) for accent chairs, an accent wall, or larger accents, and an accent color (10%) for smaller decor items like pillows, wall art, accessories, and table lamps.

Read also:3 Important Interior Design Steps To Design Spaces Like A Pro

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Final Thought on Interior Design Best Color Tricks

Mastering interior design color tricks is a transformative process that can elevate the beauty and functionality of any space. By understanding the power of bright and dark tones, warm and cool hues, and the strategic use of neutrals, you can create atmospheres that evoke specific moods and emotions. Embrace these color tricks, and let your creativity shine as you design spaces that truly resonate with your unique style and vision.

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