5 Ways to Brighten Up a Dark Room
We as human beings love light – we enjoy the sunshine outdoors and indoors. A sunlit room is any home's crown jewel, but what to do if your apartment or house is not blessed with a Southern view or big windows? Fortunately, there are design tips and tricks that can help you turn a dark room into a decently bright-looking room. Let’s dig in!
Wall color matter
When decorating a dark room to look brighter you want to look for light colors. Starting with the wall color. If possible, paint the walls white or beige, or any other light color. Definitely keep the ceilings white as well.
Bright colors reflect light better and your room will look much more sunlit and cozier. Think of a sunny day in winter, when the white snow is reflecting the light so intensively that in an all-white environment, for example, on the top of the mountain, you need to squint even with sunglasses on. Of course, we are not going for a room that is so bright you need to squint – white walls indoors won’t have the same effect, the light source is too small for that. But they will significantly brighten up your room.
Even though white walls are amazing for a dark room, sometimes the heart just longs for a beautiful wallpaper. When choosing wallpaper for a room you want to lighten up, minimalism is the keyword. Consider quiet prints and, you guessed it, light colors.
To experiment with the look, try peel-and-stick wallpaper. It is easy to apply and remove and you can change it up as often as you like with very little hassle.
Since working with peel-and-stick wallpaper is easy, you can try different things – even adding a pop of color if the all-white look doesn’t appeal to you. Just don’t go overboard – use the colorful wallpaper on one wall, preferably the narrowest one, or apply it only on half or 1/3 of the wall. If possible consider adding the colorfully patterned wallpaper on the darkest wall. That way the better lit walls, that are painted in a light color, can still bring enough light into the room.
Mirrors can do miracles
Mirrors are like extra windows you can move around. It is perfect if you can set them up directly opposite windows. That way they will reflect the most light possible and give the room a much brighter overall feel.
However, if that is not possible still consider using mirrors as decor elements. Even if they are not placed directly opposite windows, they will reflect light and make the room feel bright and sunny.
The bigger the mirrors are the more light they will reflect, and the brighter the room will be. So if you are feeling brave, consider a full-length mirror or even two! But you can easily add some small or medium ones as well. They will still reflect the light and brighten up the room.
When decorating a room we usually think about our personal style preferences. However, if you have other goals, for example, making the room look brighter, you also need to take into consideration what decor and furniture will help you achieve this goal. You need to merge your style and the needs of the room.
Light colors are still one of the main things to look for. Also, think about the look of the furniture – it should feel lightweight, with lots of room to breathe. For example, choose furniture that stands on legs over furniture that stands directly on the floor.
Minimalism-inspired furniture is also a good choice. It usually has clean lines and few details and that helps a room not look stuffed. If you fill your room with a lot of things and objects, there are fewer places where the light can bounce off and a room immediately looks much dimmer than it could be.
Glass and acrylic furniture is a fantastic choice for a dark room. Go for a glass or acrylic coffee table, or acrylic chairs. Use glass shelving, instead of wood. Look for transparent elements in any furniture.
What’s on your floor?
As with walls, light colors are desired for the floor as well. Changing the flooring is much trickier than painting walls, but thankfully there are some things you can do without calling the carpenter.
One option – paint the floor. If the flooring is suitable for painting, just choose a light color and go for it! Even white on the floor would look great.
If you are not excited about painting the floor, get a light-colored carpet. You can choose a room-sized carpet or just a rug. Either way, make sure it aligns with your room theme and other decors and is bright enough to reflect light and give the room a cozy feel.
Don’t be limited to that one small window in your dark room as the only light source. It might be the main one, but you can use other light fixtures to add more light. For example, hang fairy lights on the darkest wall. You can keep them switched on during the day, and they will make the room feel much brighter and cozier.
If you are a person who likes candles, you can also use them to brighten up the room. Just make sure you don’t leave them unattended! Or choose electric or battery-powered candles. That can also be a good alternative for an ambient, inconspicuous light source.
And, of course, just a regular lamp is also a good way how to bring in more light in a dark room. It can be a floor lamp or desk lamp, or wall lamp. Place it in the darkest corner in the room and it will help to balance out the light.
The window – maximizing the light
We all love curtains. They make a room feel more pleasant and give you more privacy, as well as be a decor element. However, when decorating a window in a dark room, you need to think carefully about what you choose.
You already know this – opt for light-colored curtains. It applies to night curtains as well as day curtains. Talking about day curtains, definitely choose ones that are very seethrough or if possible avoid them at all. A lot more light will come in if the window is not covered.
However, night curtains are useful when daylight is over, so you can surely use those. A tip here is to have a wider curtain rod than the window, so during the day, night curtains don’t have to cover the edges of the window. You can also use a curtain holder to keep them away from the window.
And don’t forget to clean your windows regularly. Squeaky clean glass will let through more light than a dirty one. It is that simple!
Before you start decorating, think logically – maybe you can turn the darkest room in your apartment or house into a bedroom? That is a room where we go to sleep and wind down, and don’t really care is it that bright. Even then, of course, you might want to decore it to look brighter. However, it won’t be a necessity since you will mostly spend time there after dark anyway.
So there you have it! Decorating tips and tricks on how to make a dim room just a bit brighter. If you take just one thing from this article, may it be this one – choose light colors! Only with this one tip, you will have significant results.