So you probably asked yourself what I meant when I said that half of Interior Design is optical illusions. You see, all your life, your eyes have been tricking your mind and you probably never noticed it. I know it’s sad, but it’s true. Allow me to explain how …take two rooms in the current space you’re in, visualize one that you love spending your time in and one that you really dislike being in, be it in your house or your work place. Done that already? Good. You most probably picked a bigger room and a smaller room or even equal rooms but find that they portray different emotional connections. Fascinated yet? Probably yes. This is why; the elements and principles of design are subconsciously the building blocks used to create these perceptions and consequently, spaces that are works of art. When played out wrongly, they create the uncomfortable feel within your space.



Through sight, or visual applications, a room can be visually enlarged, heightened, narrowed, broadened, deepened or lowered. Colour, scale and proportion, clutter, pattern, lighting, design and architectural details, texture, interior elements placement, mirrors, shapes, fabric print, finishing materials can correct your interior space because they can have a major impact on the size, proportion and mood of your space.

It is possible to correct your space without having to redesign or destroy old walls and making new ones, thanks to optical illusions that change the visual perception of your interior space. This might sound a bit technical, but guys…you need this in your lives.

Let’s take colour for instance, dark colours in small rooms make the room seem confining and have the effect where a person feels like the room is closing in on them. Take the same small room and apply light colours to it and the room appears to retreat, creating a bright and airy feel most definitely opening up ones mind to possibilities that make you feel comfortable in the same small space. Following?image3

Strong colour that comes forward on a short wall (by length) to meet the eye, decreases the depth but increases the width of the room. Strong colour on long walls (by length) gives a long, thin corridor effect; dark colours on the ceiling or the floor bring the space down, making the room appear shorter. Still following?

Lines, shapes and patterns on the other hand also create illusions differently. When put on the floor, diagonal lines increase the feeling of width whereas vertical lines accentuate the length and depth. On walls, they draw the eyes upwards increasing the feeling of height .Horizontal lines bring the height down increasing the feeling of width.

Design decisions and tricks are just a matter of perception. The choice that you make when deciding how your space will look, how you want to feel in it, how you want your guests to feel in it leaves a documented effect on your emotions and perceptions.

You’ll most probably thank me when you get home today and discover that what was standing between you and becoming a billionaire was that wall colour you chose…think about it: )



  1. Reply
    Daisy Andati

    Learning the effects of colours didnt they had such a heavy impact… Taking notes… @ MaryAnn you are doing great work.

  2. Reply

    Fourth paragraph from the bottom…strong colours and effect on walls.I swear i had no idea at all :)…I used to think we just paint colours we want to see on walls(lol).That was an awesome lesson @MaryAnn.

  3. Reply
    Marylyn Musyimi

    Awesome reads! as i sing gloss paint reflects, matte absorbs..and off to buy a mirror for my not so brightly lit spare room. I look forward to more…

  4. Reply
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