Q: Hi Dr Dulux, we need your help! We've just bought our first home – it's a top floor flat and we can't wait to make it our own. The only problem is that there are a lot of awkward spaces. There's a narrow hallway and one of the rooms has a pitched ceiling. How would you approach these oddly shaped spaces? Karen, London.
A: Don't worry – you're not alone in the awkward spaces stakes. Your decorating dilemmas are in fact, very common, so with this in mind, I've put together some solutions for my top three common tricky spaces.
1. The Narrow Hallway
Yes, the top spot goes to the narrow hall or corridor. Many narrow hallways appear smaller because they lack natural light, so how about using our Light + Space range to improve things here? Dulux Light & Space uses an ingenious light-reflective technology to create the illusion of space. By using a patented Lumitec formulation, the paint works with light reflective particles to reflect up to twice as much light back into your room.
You could also paint dedicated areas of the hallway to detract from the walls – for example, painting the wall or door at the end of the hallway in a contrasting colour will create a focus point and draw eyes away from the wall and down the path of the hallway. Alternatively, painting the floor or painting the doors leading off the hall in a darker shade than the walls around them will also help to navigate and distract from the size of the space.
Finally, for a quick fix, putting a mirror up is also a good solution here as this will bounce light around and open the space up.
2. The Pitched Ceiling
In at number two is the pitched ceiling. Painting the entire room the same colour will reduce the effect of the angles present and help to create a calmer, less busy atmosphere within the room. A lighter tone is probably your best bet in terms of colour – try Blueberry White from the Once range - you could then bring colour to the space with contrasting soft accessories and tonal furniture instead.
Alternatively, if your pitched ceiling meets a flat horizontal ceiling you could paint every wall one colour except the flat horizontal ceiling – this treatment works particularly well if the flat part of your ceiling is fairly wide in proportion to the rest of the room.
3. The L-Shaped Room
Problem-area number three is the L-shaped room – but it also provides a great opportunity to create a transitional space between two domestic domains. Create a focal point by painting one wall in a contrast colour – the Dulux Feature Wall range could work especially well here.
Or how about hanging a focal piece of artwork on the wall to draw attention to a particular part of the room – or painting one yourself? Check out our latest inspiring decorative paint techniques in the new edition of the Dulux Let's Colour Magazine.
If you want to bring the whole area together, try painting the entire room in a single colour – this will help the overall flow of your space. Using the same flooring throughout will also help to join the two spaces and make them appear as one.
For more decorating advice, check out Dr Dulux: Paint Finished Explained.