Not everyone has the luxury of having big windows that let in lots of sunlight. Many apartments and houses have at least one room that is continually dark. A dark room can cause accidents, eye-strain, and even a sour disposition.
If you’d like to add more light to your room – without taking a sledgehammer to your walls, try a few of these room-brightening tricks. A brighter room will lead to a brighter mood!
Paint your walls a light color, and use eggshell or semi-gloss paint. Dark, matte finishes actually soak up the light, making the room seem darker – even when you put the lights on, but lighter, glossier paints will reflect the light back into the room.
Keep your ceiling white. It’s amazing the difference that a white ceiling makes on a room. Just like dark walls, a darkly-painted ceiling will absorb a lot of the available light.
Add more lamps. Yes, this seems obvious. But many homeowners rely solely on overhead lights to illuminate the room. Light needs to come from various levels – low, middle, and high. Create different moods using dimmers Combining uplights on the floor and lamps on tables around the room. Floor lamps with overhead lighting will create a brighter, more comfortable room.
Hang large mirrors. Large mirrors can act like windows, reflecting the light back into the room.
Choose reflective surfaces. Just like walls, other large surfaces can absorb or reflect your light. Opt for glossy countertops, add glass panes to your hanging artwork, and place mirrored trays on top of dark tables.
Pick lighter color upholstery or transparent furniture. We usually choose our sofas, chairs and tables based on our personal style and what we think goes best together. That said, always consider how your furniture decisions impact the lighting level of your home. A small, dim room? A large, gray or navy sofa is probably not the best idea! A stylish, compact sofa in a lighter color like white, beige, or ivory will make your room look and feel a lot bigger and more spacious. More importantly, avoid walnut wood tables, large bed frames or TV stands. Instead, consider something like a transparent acrylic cocktail table.
Opt for light beige/gray draperies. Simplify your window design. You can choose either blackout liner for bedroom or light color sheers perhaps with a pattern. Keep the design simple!
Light level in the room is very important for your physical and mental health. So make sure your home is getting all the light that it can get! As you can see, learning how to brighten your dark room can be a challenge, but also fun and creative – you’re not just limited to adding mirrors and white paint to every surface! If you give any of these a try, I would love to see your photos and hear about your results.
Arlene is an experienced, award-winning designer and sculptress offering a wide range of interior design services in the Main Line, Philadelphia and Chester County areas including kitchens, baths, condos, and downsizing help.