How to Brighten a Dark Room

A common interior design challenge is figuring out how to brighten a dark kitchen, living room, or bedroom. This is especially true if your place doesn’t have many large windows to let in natural sunlight. Luckily, there are many ways to decorate your home and create ideal lighting conditions. From painting the ceiling to covering the floors, we gathered our favorite tips on how to brighten a dark room.

Hang a Mirror or Two

Use mirrors to their full potential by placing them near a light source. As light bounces off the reflective surface, your room will feel brighter and more spacious. You can hang mirrors across from windows to take advantage of natural lighting. Otherwise, positioning a mirror near a table lamp or floor lamp will achieve a similar effect.

Add Light Fixtures

When there is a lack of natural light, adding light fixtures like floor and table lamps may be the way to go. At the same time, how you aim the light also makes a difference. Focusing a narrow area of light on the floor won’t be very luminous. When you wash the walls or ceiling with light, you give every corner of the room a warm glow. This simple shift will make the room feel cozier and more spacious as well.

Embrace White Walls

If your ceiling or walls are in a dark color, it’s time to strap on your overalls, grab your paint roller, and open a gallon of white paint. Since white paint reflects light onto other surfaces, it makes the room appear brighter and bigger. Yet, if you consider white just too boring, consider adding ornamental trims to the ceilings for added texture, or painting an accent wall with a refreshing color.

Deep Clean Your Windows

Think of wearing glasses with smudges on them. In the same way, windows can become dirty and limit visibility. So, perhaps the answer to brightening up your dark room is a good window cleaning. While this sounds obvious and almost too simple, the less dirt and dust on your windows, the more sunshine there will be. 

Opt for Light-Colored Curtains

Luckily, there are plenty of window treatment options that will give you privacy while still letting light into the room. You can swap heavy drapes for lighter materials, such as linen. Another option is using Venetian blinds to help direct sunlight up toward the ceiling. Since dark curtains absorb light, opt for shades of beige or light gray.

Pick Minimalist Furniture

The furniture you choose should match your personal style and go well together. At the same time, think about how your sofa, chairs, tables, and more impact the light in your home. In particular, stuffing an already-dim room with oversized furniture will cast more shadows. When you compare a walnut coffee table with a translucent acrylic, you can see the difference. Picking minimalist furniture with smooth, sleek lines and lighter colors is the key.

Reduce the Number of Accessories

When too many objects are in a room, they crowd the space, making it feel dark and small. Take away some of the art and accessories while decorating. Plus, using baskets to store small items will organize your belongings and remove them from everyday view. By narrowing down your pieces, your space will have a bright, clean look.

Have a Bright Area Rug

Flooring is more difficult to replace than the wall color or furniture, which is why area rugs are a great idea. They add softness and texture, and large rugs help to expand the visual space. The rug doesn’t have to be a solid color; use this as another opportunity to show off your personality and aesthetic. When selecting a color, look for those in white, ivory, or yellow, or a combination of warm hues.

Reach Out to The Massey Team

The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties will help you discover the home of your dreams. As our experts know, sometimes all it takes is re-envisioning your current space. Other times, a new home is just what you need, which is easier to find with a knowledgeable real estate agent by your side. Call us today at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298, or get started by viewing our current listings!


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