large beige theme living room

House renovations can be expensive endeavors. For instance, a mid-range kitchen remodel could set you back up to $75,000! That’s a huge sum of money by anybody’s standards.

But there’s good news.

You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to transform the rooms in your home. Sometimes, the most effective changes you can make are the simplest- and cheapest!

Turning a dark and gloomy space into something altogether brighter is the perfect example. Knowing how to lighten a dark room can deliver a whole host of benefits.

It’ll feel more spacious and airy; calmer, happier, and healthier. The décor will seem more attractive and you’ll be more productive at work too. Better still, the house will be more enticing to prospective buyers if you ever come to sell.

Would you like to boost the levels of light in your house? Let us help! Read on to discover our top tips for adding light to a room full of gloom.

Let There Be White

If you want a room to feel lighter, make it whiter. Make that your mantra running as you embark on this endeavor.

White, for obvious reasons, is an ideal color with which to paint and decorate. It reflects natural light and has a clean, expansive quality that’s an attribute to any room. By contrast, darker colors, such as navy blue or walnut, create a dim and brooding décor.

Be careful though.

Too much of anything is never good! Going overboard with white can back-fire. White walls, floors, furnishings, curtains/blinds, and bedding can make everything seem too sterile and clinical.

Counteract this with some bold flashes of color. Bright cushions, curtains, or carpets can complement an all-white decor and offset its starkness.

Brighten Walls With Artwork

Painting your walls white is a great starting point. However, you can take it a step further by hanging brightly-colored artwork as well.

Let’s face it, a blank white wall is far from inspiring! Light, sure. Bright, absolutely. But cheery, eye-catching, and inspiring?

That’s up for debate.

Framed color photos, quirky paintings, and vibrant images can change that. They’ll add character, attract the eye, and make everything brighter to boot.

You don’t even have to paint the walls white beforehand! Adorning the walls with lots of bright and happy images will have a very similar effect. There’ll be extra cheer in the air and a lighter atmosphere all-around.

Paint the Ceiling

Painting the ceiling white is another clever way to welcome more light into the room. In one fell swoop, you trick the eye into perceiving greater height.

Your space becomes taller and more open all-around. Better still, a white ceiling will help to reflect any light that’s shining onto it. Aim standing lights, spotlights, or sconces upwards and you’ll reap the rewards.

Pick a shade that’s as bright as can be! Unlike other areas or elements of the room, anything off-white will diminish the effect. Choosing the whitest white available will maximize the impact of painting your ceiling.

Install Lots of New Lights

The most effective way to lighten a room?

Install more light sources!

Where you have one primary light, consider adding a second, third and even a fourth. This is vital in dark rooms that don’t enjoy much natural sunlight. With nothing coming in from outside, it’s up to you to generate the light you want.

The type of light(s) you buy will have an impact too. Hanging fairy lights on the walls may look lovely and shed an ambient glow around the space. But, alone, it’s unlikely to lead to a well-lit room!

Opt for powerful lights alongside any softer ones. Place them around the room wherever it’s practical, and aim them at the walls or ceiling. This will help to disperse the light more effectively and illuminate the room better in consequence.

Lay Lighter Rugs on the Floor

The floors of your home play a key role here too. Why?

Because dark flooring has the same effect as dark walls. Rooms can feel smaller, gloomier, and more oppressive. Thankfully, you don’t have to rip up your dark carpets or remove those beautiful hardwood floors to lighten the space!

Laying a brightly-colored area rug can do the job just fine.

White, light-grey, ivory, or cream- the choice is yours. In any case, you’ll break up the dark flooring, open up the room, and establish a more spacious atmosphere.

Be Strategic With Mirrors

Okay, so there’s nothing revolutionary about using mirrors to enhance the rooms of a house. People have been using them forever and a day to create the illusion of having more space and light.

For good reason too:

They work wonders! Indeed, few tricks are as simple and effective for this particular purpose. One well-placed mirror can capitalize on any light that’s already there and reflect it back into the room.

The placement of the mirror is all-important though. To maximize the potential effect, I recommend putting it slap bang next to a light source. Be it a window or desk light, the mirror has the best chance of amplifying the light that’s available.

Change Old and Dark Furniture

The furniture in your room plays a major role in its overall ambiance.

Try to choose items that suit the light and airy atmosphere you’re trying to create. Think white sofas and transparent coffee tables! Both inclusions would lighten up the room, enhance its visual appeal, and cultivate a more spacious vibe.

Size matters too though. A giant navy-colored sofa in a small living room is the last thing you want! Everything would feel far more cramped and claustrophobic.

Don’t worry if you lack the luxury of replacing old, dark, and outdated furnishings though. There are plenty of steps you can take to modernize and lighten them, without throwing them out. For example, why not place a white, cream, or ivory-colored throw across the current sofa?

Combining that with a few new and brightly-colored cushions would make a mighty difference.

Stay Low and Minimal

Not got a lot of space inside your home?

Well, as noted above, large items of furniture are the enemy. They take up valuable floor space and make everything feel overcrowded. Worse still, they create huge shadows that make the room seem even darker.

Low-level furnishings are a better alternative. Whether it’s a bed, sofa, or coffee table, they’ll sit lower to the ground, taking up less vertical room in the process. The shadows they cast are far smaller and the atmosphere seems more open as a result.

Follow suit with the general layout.

Space out your furnishings and leave out anything that’s too large or wide. The minimalist aesthetic you’ll create lends itself to lighter, airier, and capacious spaces!

Wipe Down the Windows

Here’s another example of how simple steps can deliver incredible results.

There’s nothing like dirty windows to hinder your attempts at lightening up a room. Your efforts are stymied from the outset. Any changes you make inside the space will be less effective if the sunlight can’t get in.

Do yourself a favor and deep clean those panes of glass ASAP! You’ll see an instant effect. The light that was otherwise kept at bay will start streaming into the room.

Be Careful With Window Covers

Most rooms need something with which to cover the windows. Be it curtains, shutters, or Venetian blinds for your home, they all serve a vital purpose.

They provide valuable privacy that protects you from prying eyes and shade you from the sun whenever it’s too strong. They cool the space down in summer, assist with insulation in winter, and keep HVAC costs down in the process.

It’s important to pick these covers carefully when trying to maximize light though. The wrong selection can contribute to the dark décor in myriad ways. They may cover too much of the window, block out too much light, or be too fiddly to open with ease.

Change the Lampshades

Another quick change you can make involves your lampshades.

It’s a bit like the dirty window situation above.

All bulbs, whether LED or incandescent, have a far harder time dispersing light around the room if they’re covered by dark shades. Just like wearing sunglasses, the light is blocked from getting through. The result?

Your space stays far darker.

Swapping those shades for lighter alternatives would have the opposite effect. Of course, there’s nothing stopping you from removing the lampshades altogether too!

Now You Know How to Lighten a Dark Room

People spend huge sums of money on home renovations every year. Their intention? To create a happier, brighter, and more attractive place to call home.

Thankfully, you don’t have to break the bank to achieve that! Making your rooms both look and feel lighter could be all the change you need.

The tricky bit is knowing how to do it. I hope the tips above have helped in that regard! Keep them in mind whenever you’re wondering how to lighten a dark room inside your property.

Would you like to read more articles like this one? Take a look at more of my blog today!


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