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Old 08-25-2006, 02:28 PM  
1909 Beach Mutt
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Default Low ceilings... what do I do with my wall color?

The first floor of our house has low ceilings (~6'10" depending on the room) and not too much natural light in the problem rooms. Previous owners have used strong colors and it's just not working. We have beautiful pine floors in 3 of the 4 rooms, the kitchen has light tile with white cabinetry and beadboard.

Mainly, we need to figure out new wall color for:
- the dining room, currently a dark green, which is small and only gets filtered, end of day light
- the entry way, which gets almost no light
- and, lastly, the living room which is morning/daytime light BUT...

The entry way and living room are connected on one wall, divided by the staircase on the opposite wall so it makes dividing the color up tricky between the two spaces. Currently it's around what BMoore calls Roasted Sesame Seed. The saturation of the color isn't bad but something makes it feel claustraphobic.

Ideas? I'm usually good with color so it's tremendously frustrating that this is stumping me.

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Old 08-25-2006, 03:53 PM  
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Darker colors seem to close a room in.
Have you considered a border or a crown moulding?
Sometimes a wainscoat in light colors and a narrow chair rail will make a room look taller.
Vertical stripe or patterned wall paper can also make a room look taller.

Generally speaking, lighter colors/pastels make a room look bigger, while darker colors (sometimes any colors at all) are best used in the biggest rooms in the house.

just my opinion, anyone else?

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Old 09-03-2006, 09:23 AM  
Daryl in Nanoose
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I would definetly stick to light colours but not white, its to cold. Light beigh or a nice soft yellow or both will put light in the room and will make the room look bigger. As Square Eye said stipes make a rom look taller but if you put to much of it in it will look busy. If you have Textured ceiling I suggest you get rid of them, you would be surprised how much a ceiling drops with texture. Again as Square Eye said Crowns will lift the ceiling to but make sure you paint them white like the ceiling(I assume there white, if not paint them).
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Old 09-03-2006, 10:48 PM  
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Hello BeachMutt and Welcome to the Forum:
It has been said that pale yellows make people hungry; sounds good for the dining room. The entrance foyer and Living room, I would consider a muted orange or almost pink, such as you would see in the sunrise and sunset, those colors are for tranquility.
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Old 09-08-2006, 04:54 PM  
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My experience has been a brite flat white on the ceiling. That helps diffuse the light throughout the room well. It also counters the effect of darker colors on the walls.

If you want really strong and dark colors, simply use one wall as an accent and leave the others lighter. I would recommend the accent wall be one across from a window. If you paint it dark and have bright sun coming in, the shadows are going to make it look like a black hole.

My current house was painted entirely with "designer" colors. These colors all have dark undertones that quite literally soak up light. The ceilings are all also painted "off-white". A third thing darkening our house is the fact that all of the hardwood flooring has been stained dark and dark wood trim throughout the house. I like wood and am reluctant to paint the trimwork, although I am seriously considering carpeting in some rooms.

I'm sure that if we were to even get ourselves busy and paint the ceilings bright white it would help lots.
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Old 09-10-2006, 02:33 PM  
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Default Hmmmm...

Why don't you just do the ceiling a SKY blue .....then it is as vast as the big sky above.

Maybe a few white puffy clouds.......ahhh....that outdoor feeling...

Be can always repaint!!!!
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Old 09-12-2006, 07:08 AM  
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I did a little eye-tricking at my Dad's place. I taped the perimeter of the room at the very top of the walls. I used painter's tape, and kept it just below the ceiling line, just enough to maintain a level tape line. His ceilings aren't exactly straight. I painted the walls below that line, and everything above (incl ceiling) were painted ceiling white. This fools the eyes, you can't quite tell where the ceiling begins, or how far from you it is. It helps loosen up the claustrophobic feel of short ceilings, and it definately helps when your ceiling meets wall junction is not perfect You can do the same for the floor moulding & wall area, tape just above (no more than 2/3 the moulding size or you'll get off balance) and paint away.
As for colors, I go for natural colors for their comforting effects. And like everyone is saying, lighter opens things up, darker cozies them in. If a room is used in the evenings, you don't want bright colors--and if it's a daytime room, you don't want dark colors sucking the light out.

Good Luck! Let us know how it goes!
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Old 09-14-2006, 04:44 PM  
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I like InspectorD's idea. Save the cost and hastle of skylights
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Old 02-01-2007, 02:07 PM  
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My ideas would be to do the dining room in a beige color and leave the ceiling white. Maybe take that same color or another similar and use it in the entry and living room that share the same wall. If the wall beneath the stairway is JUST below the stairway, you might try a bold color like a brick red there just to add interest and break up the space : ) If you do the ceiling lighter than the walls, it makes it appear higher. I've also read that cool colors open up a room, while warm colors make it more "cozy". We have the same problem currently with low ceilings and small rooms. I picked up a Color and Paint book published by Lowes and it's been very helpful!

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