For many homeowners a conservatory acts as an extension to their home – adding extra space without the need to move or make significant structural changes. Of course, you are limited by the amount of land you have to build on, so if it’s light, airy space you are want, you may need to employ some tricks of the trade to create the impression you are after.
During our recent visit to Grand Designs Live, we bumped into interiors pro Marianne Shillingford, who just happens to be creative director at Dulux. An expert in interior illusions, we plugged Marianne for some tips on how to make any small space – including conservatories – seem larger and brighter. Her advice is particularly apt given that we are entering into the darker months of the year when we’d all like to eek out every ray of sunshine we can.
Marianne immediately recommended a particular type of paint called Light and Space, which is designed to reflect 40 per cent more light than a normal matte emulsion. It uses tiny light reflecting particles to maximise the amount of light in a room. Marianne explained: “If you have low energy lighting and you want to really beef that up in a small room the paint that we would recommend would be Light and Space.”
The designer’s next tip was to employ a little colour theory to blur the borders of the room and for that some blue sky thinking is in order:
“When you want to make a really small space seem bigger, you chose a colour that is called a receding colour and the most receding colour is blue. The way we process colour makes it harder to focus on, so if you paint blue into a room, the walls almost disappear, so it makes a small space seem really big. It also clears the mind as well. It’s a lovely cleansing colour, it reminds us of the open sky – we imagine the outside coming in.”
Of course, blue is often considered to be a cooler colour and if you want to also create a feeling of warmth, cool blue shades may be best avoided, though pale shades will create the illusion of space, according to Marriane: “In a small space you have to have paler colours simply because paler colours can be advancing – the darker the colour the closer it appears to you. Blue seems to get away from that. One of the colours that works really well and is going to be really big for 2013 is a really vivid smoky teal colour, a really smoky blue. Really gutsy blues are going to be big for 2013.”