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How to Brighten a Dark Room

January 23, 2015
Amanda Curry
Read Time
2 minutes

Simple changes can make a huge impact in the look of your home. If you would like to brighten a dark room in your home to appear open and bigger, there are a few things you can do that are easy and cost efficient.

1. Reflective Surfaces

If your space is small, try adding reflective surfaces to your home décor. Trade your dark, heavy coffee table in for a glass one. These types of surfaces reflect light, making your room appear larger.

Another trick is to hang a mirror on the opposite side of a window, which will reflect light, making your room brighter and bigger. Choosing mirrors with light colored frames will add to the room’s airy feel.

2. Lighten Up With a Fresh Coat of Paint

A dark ceiling can make a small space appear even smaller. Freshen up your room by painting over a dark ceiling. Choose light and neutral colors to make your space feel even larger. Pastel shades – such as sky blue, mint green, or light purple, will also work for adding a soft feel to any room.
If your home has dark outdated paneling, you don’t need to rip out the paneling to completely re-do a room in your home. You can actually paint over the paneling, in a lighter color, to instantly transform your space. This is much easier than installing drywall.

Learn how to choose the right tools for your next paint job.

3. Draperies

Ditch heavy draperies for light and airy curtains. This easy fix will instantly make your room feel more open. Dark and heavy drapes can make a small space feel even smaller.

4. Lighting

The most obvious way to brighten a dark room is to manually add lighting. Using artificial lighting in rooms that lack natural light is important. Choosing the right type of light fixture and figuring out where you want to put it is very important. For example, a central overhead fixture, like a chandelier, works well for ambient lighting, but may not be great for sufficiently lighting a dark room. Recessed lighting will effectively distribute lighting across an entire room – making it ideal for windowless rooms.

5. Consider Skylights

Is there a dark, enclosed hallway that needs some more light? Or, perhaps, a small bathroom could use some more sunlight? Adding a skylight is a great way to add more sunlight when adding a window is not an option. You may think that this is an expensive project; however, some skylights can be installed right between rafters, making it relatively inexpensive.

6. Add Plants

Using greenery to decorate will help make up for a lack of natural light. Use pots with bold, vibrant colors like yellow, red, or cobalt blue to display flowers and plants. The bright colors will help brighten a room, especially when paired with neutral or light colored paint. Try using plants to decorate your coffee table or add flair to a bookshelf. If your room has absolutely no sun light, and you are worried about your plants dying, consider using fake plants made of silk. Silk plants are a low maintenance decorating option, and an ideal alternative to real greenery.

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