Decorating Small Spaces with Paint

Decorating small spaces to keep them from looking boring, blah or blasphemously inartistic is one of the interior design jobs that calls for paint. Why pour a busload of money into a renovation project to make your difficult small space look a little more lively when all it takes is a bucket of paint or two and some creativity and imagination?

The first step in using paint to decorate a small space is to realize that you will very likely need two different buckets of paint. Small spaces tend to come alive as the result of a paint job only if you provide a little of what the French call élan. For instance, if you’ve got a small space with irregular walls of different sizes and shapes, get a stencil of some sort and paint in a vibrant color the stenciled shape onto a base coat. One of the great things about decorating small spaces is that you can go a little wild. Try to find a stencil shape that is offbeat, left of center or just plain weird. Paint the base coat white and stencil in black globs to simulate the look of a milk cow. Or get smaller-sized stencils shaped like leaves and paint them so that they look like they are falling from a tree. If you’ve a mind and some artistic talent, you can even paint the tree onto the wall of your small space that has been giving you trouble.

Another easy way to use paint to provide what the Spanish term estilo is the use of stripes. Vertical stripes can make a small space that is kind of claustrophobic seem a bit taller. Horizontal stripes can make a squat smallspace seem wider. All it takes to paint some straight strips onto the wall is some masking tape and paint. But, after all, you want your small space to have that stylistic flourish that is currently lacking, right? So rather than just painting vertical stripes, paint Greek style columns with the ornate decorative effects that the Ancient Greeks like to call entablature. Columnar entablature includes the cornice, frieze or a plain capital, which is the term for the thicker horizontal topping of a column. Adding entablature to your stripes really will make a small space more exciting decoratively speaking.

Small spaces can also be transformed with paint without even bothering with painting the entire room. A small decorative addition to one corner can be all that is necessary to make the space visually interesting. This little addition could be something a requiring a bit more artistry like a beanstalk disappearing into the ceiling in a child’s room or it could be as simple as randomly spaced squares of a brightly vivid and contrasting color. The point is that you can take a small room and give it a facelift on a dime with little more than the addition of paint.