When a room doesn’t get much natural light, it can be challenging to make your home feel bright and give it a vibrant look. However, with the right decorating choices it is possible to add a light, airy vibe to a dark room without taking on major renovation projects. Read on to see our top tricks and tips for brightening a dark room.
Choose neutral and light-catching paint colors to brighten a dark room. Start with a fresh coat of white paint on the ceiling and add ultra-light neutral hues or barely tinted pastel colors to the walls. The light colors create the illusion of open space, and the light bounces off the lighter colors in a way that makes the room pop with positive energy. You can also try the same method using light-colored or metallic wallpaper.
Ceiling and wall colors are easy to change with paint, but did you know you can also easily brighten a dark room through accent furniture? Avoid dark wood or heavy metal pieces. Instead, go for whites and light neutrals or use pops of bright colors – just use them sparingly as accents. When your room is mainly a light color, you can even use dark accents like artwork, pillows, and throw blankets to create a stunning contrast and make your light colors seem brighter.
If you have wall art displayed in a room that tends to be dark, consider swapping the artwork out with mirrors of similar sizes. Mirrors catch and reflect the light, and they create the illusion of a bigger space, too. Don’t want to give up a favorite painting? Consider displaying an arrangement of mirrors around it. The mirrors draw even more attention to the artwork while putting extra light in the dark space.
Sometimes painting the walls a lighter color isn’t an option, like if your walls are done in dark paneling that you love. In this situation, keep furniture light in color and design, avoiding overstuffed, heavy furniture. If you really love your overstuffed sofa, consider tossing a light-colored throw blanket or some bright throw pillows on the sofa to shift the focal point in the room a bit.
Big window treatments add a dramatic effect to a room. But when the room tends to be dark, heavy curtains can emphasize the lack of light by blocking natural sunlight. A pair of lace or sheer curtains that let light filter in are instant brighteners for a room. To maintain your privacy, consider adding light-colored mini blinds under thin curtains.
Following the reflective theme of mirrors, consider adding some metallic or shiny glass accessories to your room. Incorporate bright spots in your décor by choosing wall hangings, centerpieces, or sculptures to place on bookshelves. If you have a mantel, that’s a great place to put reflective objects, too, and adds the touch of brightness right at eye level.
If your flooring is dark, adding a large, light-colored area rug is an instant brightener. If you just want to add a splash of color and create the illusion of dividing a room, a bold-toned rug is a way to do that. Place rugs either partway under large pieces of furniture, or center the furniture on the rug to create the effect that appeals to you the most.
Choose light fixtures that combine light colors, accent colors, and design elements that speak to you. A well-placed lamp can brighten a dark corner or even the entire room. Then, consider trading in your old incandescent bulbs for brighter, more energy-efficient LED bulbs. This is a win-win because you get cleaner, brighter light and it saves you a bit of money on your energy bills at the same time.
When you brighten up a dark room, it changes the way you feel while you’re in it. Whether you’re reading, watching TV, or hanging out with family and friends, everything feels more positive and relaxing in a light room. Try out a few of these tips and have fun redecorating on your journey to a brighter space.