You’ll never believe how easy it is. 

By Tamara Kraus
Updated June 05, 2018

You’ve probably hung a mirror or two to enlarge your space, but we’re guessing you’ve never thought about using a coat of paint to do the trick. It turns out that paint can be used as an optical illusion to make you think your small mudroom or tiny apartment has more square footage than it really does.

So, what’s the big secret? Use two shades of different paint: one darker and one lighter, says Dee Schlotter, PPG senior color marketing manager. This works particularly well in transitional spaces like a narrow hallway, she says.

Basically these contrasting colors work together to reduce the tunnel effect that one color would create. Painting the end of a hallway a different color draws attention away from cramped hallway walls and gives the eye something interesting to focus on.

Before selecting your colors, consider existing flooring, fabrics, window treatments, or any other décor you have in the same area. Pick out an accent color in a pillow or other accessory in the space, and use that as inspiration for your paint palette. Go bold on the accent wall: Choose a green, grey, or even a deep fuchsia if you want to be daring.

To get the paint-inspiration gears turning, Schlotter suggests using these PPG accent colors at the end of a hallway: Parachute, a bright green or a greige if you want to still stay neutral. Who would’ve thought creating more space could be this easy?