HDB flat, jumbo flat, white walls
Design: Desmond Ong

Colours can change the perception we have of a space, so choose your colours wisely if the effect you want is clean and spacious, and not small and cramped.

The first rule of thumb is to use light colours, but you don’t have to stick to stark white. “White” comes in different tints; barley white, for example, has a slightly creamy tone, while orchid white has a touch of lavender.

In a compact room where you do not want to further “cut up” the space with different colours, you could use a warmer shade of white on the walls, and a cleaner white for the ceiling.

There are also some colour tricks you can use. For example, an ombre wall – where a darker colour tone at the bottom segues to a lighter one above – serves to draw the eye upwards. Just make sure the illusion continues by using the same light paint colour for the ceiling.

Paint company Dulux
 advises that a darker neutral
 can be used in a small space if the space is primarily used for relaxation. Just make sure that the trims, such as cornices and skirtings, are all painted in the same colour as well. Its Light
& Space range might be pricier than conventional paints, but it is formulated to reflect up to twice as much light to make your space look larger.