While furniture does indeed run
in fashion trends, there is more to it than that when
utilizing light and dark furniture in your rooms. This is true
no matter what style or design you are employing in your room.
A Louie Phillipe bedroom group can look entirely different in
white, than it does in espresso. The furniture can be exactly
the same, but the results in the room dramatically different.
Note the light and dark groups in the
same room and how your perception of the room
While this is an extreme example (because using all-white
furniture can be a statement unto itself) the principal is
sound. If you have a smaller room, and want to make it seem
bigger, you can utilize lighter color furniture. Conversely,
if you want to make a bigger room feel cozier, put darker
furniture in it.
This is not
simply a property of aesthetics
, but a principal of
ergonomics and physics. It has to do with how the eye
perceives light and color. Lighter objects reflect external
light cast upon them, back to the eye. The brain is able to
see and distinguish more in the room. This gives the
impression of a greater size. On the other hand, darker
objects absorb the light cast upon them, causing the area to
appear smaller and more closed in.
See how on these two shots the marketer
has mirrored the light dark aspects of the two rooms
So if your goal is to make a large room feel more expansive,
dress it in lighter furniture. It is why you often see
advertising photos of apartments, frequently using modern
white furniture, bathed in bright light. Libraries, on the
other hand, which are generally enormous rooms, increase their
feeling of comfort by using darker furniture and spot
lighting. This gives a more inviting appearance to their
The same can be done in your home. It does not have to be a
dramatic difference. Combined with your lighting, you can use
honey finish, light maple, or rustic pine to make a room feel
bigger. Likewise, use cherry, espresso, or walnut to make the
room seem more intimate.
Deciding how you want to represent the room, while important,
is something you can choose on the fly, while looking at
furniture. Sometimes, the best ideas are formed subliminally,
on the spot. Just keep the concepts in the back of your mind.