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How To Use Color in Small Spaces

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While many shy away from using bold color in small spaces, there is no reason spatial restrictions should restrict the imagination.
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  Bright pops of color draw the eye to specific objects instead of pointing out spatial restrictions. The centerpiece of this Bratislava kitchen is the cabinetry surrounding the sink, a feat architect and resident Lukáš Kordík managed by altering the facing and pulls of an off-the-rack Ikea system. The laminate offers a good punch of blue, and in modernist fashion, Kordík forwent door handles in favor of cutouts. “I wanted the kitchen to be one simple block of color without any additional design,” he says.

    Bright pops of color draw the eye to specific objects instead of pointing out spatial restrictions. The centerpiece of this Bratislava kitchen is the cabinetry surrounding the sink, a feat architect and resident Lukáš Kordík managed by altering the facing and pulls of an off-the-rack Ikea system. The laminate offers a good punch of blue, and in modernist fashion, Kordík forwent door handles in favor of cutouts. “I wanted the kitchen to be one simple block of color without any additional design,” he says.

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  While black is a color many avoid in interiors, when combined with white, it can give a sense of depth to the smallest room. In this attic studio in Stockholm black and white work together successfully, complemented by a photograph of Rio de Janeiro taken by designer Jimmy Schonning. Photo by Per Magnus Persson.

    While black is a color many avoid in interiors, when combined with white, it can give a sense of depth to the smallest room. In this attic studio in Stockholm black and white work together successfully, complemented by a photograph of Rio de Janeiro taken by designer Jimmy Schonning. Photo by Per Magnus Persson.

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  Even darker colors can help create a compelling effect in small spaces. In this Berlin apartment, the kitchen cabinets benefit from a pop of rosy color, a custom hue. Designer Peter Fehretnz advises picking a variety of tones within a single colorway for paint and furnishings: "If you choose red, use a mix of reds—some should be more yellow, others more blue or more pink. Colors appear especially vibrant this way, and they won’t clash." Photo by Peter Fehrentz.  Photo by: Peter FehrentzCourtesy of: Peter Fehrentz

    Even darker colors can help create a compelling effect in small spaces. In this Berlin apartment, the kitchen cabinets benefit from a pop of rosy color, a custom hue. Designer Peter Fehretnz advises picking a variety of tones within a single colorway for paint and furnishings: "If you choose red, use a mix of reds—some should be more yellow, others more blue or more pink. Colors appear especially vibrant this way, and they won’t clash." Photo by Peter Fehrentz.

    Photo by: Peter Fehrentz

    Courtesy of: Peter Fehrentz

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  Furniture with emphasized linear elements helps prevent the appearance of clutter in small spaces. It's particularly effective when highlighted in playful colors like the blue bench storage rack in this London guesthouse. Photo by Ben Anders.  Photo by: Ben Anders

    Furniture with emphasized linear elements helps prevent the appearance of clutter in small spaces. It's particularly effective when highlighted in playful colors like the blue bench storage rack in this London guesthouse. Photo by Ben Anders.

    Photo by: Ben Anders

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  This diminutive New York apartment makes use of wood-panelling to create a comfortable, cabin-like effect. Photo by David Engelhardt.  Photo by: David Engelhardt

    This diminutive New York apartment makes use of wood-panelling to create a comfortable, cabin-like effect. Photo by David Engelhardt.

    Photo by: David Engelhardt

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  Playful elements such as colored tiles in the bathroom of this tiny Manhattan apartment give character to even the most cramped environment. 

    Playful elements such as colored tiles in the bathroom of this tiny Manhattan apartment give character to even the most cramped environment. 

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