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How to trick the eyes with the magic of home improvement

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Posted: Thursday, June 5, 2014 10:00 pm | Updated: 1:33 am, Sat Oct 4, 2014.

(BPT) - From disappearing acts to mind games and sensory illusions, the art of magic is all about making your audience believe what they are seeing, taking a seemingly impossible task and making it possible. This timeless art can inspire you to perform some magic of your own using simple home improvement tips to fool the eyes and transform small, drab spaces into ones that will surely astound and amaze.

Seeing is believing

Paint color is an easy and inexpensive way to create an optical illusion. When used properly, certain paint colors can actually make a room look larger. Take white, for instance. Using very light colors or whites, like Ultra White from Dutch Boy, can help reflect natural or artificial light, making the walls seem to disappear and creating a space that looks bigger. Picking the perfect neutral can give the illusion that your walls are receding. This subtle DIY secret keeps eyes focused on the colors and patterns of the furnishings and accessories in the room, rather than on the size of the room itself.

Embracing your dark side

Most people believe dark colors shouldn’t or can’t be used in small spaces, but that’s not the case. If you use the color on everything - the moldings, cabinets and walls - the unified, seamless look makes the room appear larger. Paint the room with a dark color, like Dutch Boy’s Mosaic Tiles or Chanson Bleu in a semi-gloss finish, and light will bounce off the shiny surface, creating the appearance of a brighter, larger room. Conversely, if you have a room that is overwhelmingly large, the opposite principals can be applied to make it look smaller. Use dark colors, but this time in a flat finish, to minimize the appearance of the room.

An alternative way to trick the eye with paint - and add a level of sophistication and luxury to your home - is by using a faux finishing technique, replicating the appearance of materials such as brushed suede, granite or old world plaster.

A disappearing act

Another way to keep costs and clutter down is by making trim and other decor items vanish. Instead of over-furnishing, accessorize with multi-purpose pieces like a decorative storage chest that can double as a coffee table or a set of nesting tables that can be easily stored when not in use.

Place large furniture against the walls to open up the space. Paint pieces like armoires and shelving units the same color as the walls and hang matching draperies to help them blend. The room instantly feels larger.

Opt for furniture with open arms and exposed legs to keep your eyes flowing through the room. Introduce glass or glass alternative tables, which are almost invisible. Mirrors are also a great, inexpensive way to open up a space, giving the illusion of depth. But don’t overdo it with accessories - keep it simple and clean.

With just a little bit of practice and a few home improvement tricks up your sleeve, you too can be an interior illusionist. Your friends and family will be left wondering how you did it.

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