Find out how to brighten a dark room and make it look brighter with these simple tips and tricks.
If you live in an older home, chances are there is at least one room in your home that is darker than you would like. Wondering if there are simple ways to make a dark room look brighter that don’t take a lot of remodeling effort on your part?
If you are looking for some way to brighten up that dark dungeon like room, here are a few tricks that you can try.
How to Make a Dark Room Brighter – 9 Simple Tips
#1. Make Full Use of Natural Light
One of the simplest and easiest ways to brighten a dark room is to take full advantage of any natural light that can enter the room. This may be easier in some homes than in others due to the number of windows in the home and the room itself and the size of the windows.
However, whether you have large or small windows the steps you can take to improve the natural light remains the same.
The first thing you want to do is check any trees near the windows of the room and ensure that there are no limbs blocking the light from coming in through the window. This may mean that you need to trim back some branches to allow the light stream into the windows.
The second thing you can do is to choose the right window treatments such as semi-sheer curtains to allow more light to filter in.
#2. Reflect the Natural Light From Your Window
You can also help to brighten a dark room by placing a mirror directly across from your window. This enables the light that enters the room to be reflected back into the room, providing light almost as though there is an additional window.
You can place one large mirror over a stand or a sofa, or choose to use a large piece of mirrored wall art that will reflect the light. (Here are simple tips for decorating with mirrors.)
#3. Paint Your Ceiling White
You can also help brighten a dark room by painting your ceiling white with high gloss paint. White paint will reflect light back down into the room. It also gives the room an overall feeling of lightness.
A dark painted ceiling will absorb light making the room appear even darker. If you don’t have wall trim around your ceiling you can continue the white ceiling paint down the wall a couple of inches to further lighten the room.
You may also want to read this article on the best paint colors for a windowless basement with no natural light.
#4. Keep the Walls of the Room Light
While you don’t have to paint the entire room white, keeping the walls light instead of using those rich dark colors will also brighten up the entire room. Choosing pale colors such as pale yellow, pale green, or a light blue will help to lighten up the room’s overall décor.
If you do decide to go with a white walled room, you can add a touch of color by painting the trim around the door and windows a bright color.
When painting your walls a light color, choose a flat or semi-gloss paint since a high gloss paint can result in glare rather than simply brightening the room.
#5. Use Parameter Lighting
You can also use a simple lighting trick to make that dark room brighter. Or you can replace that overhead light with soft parameter lighting placed strategically around the room.
You can find wall lamps and sconces that offer two or even four-way lighting that can wash the walls with light up and down, or both up and down and from side to side.
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#6. Limit the Amount of Furniture Placed in the Room
If possible limiting the amount of furniture in your room can actually make your room appear lighter and brighter. Not only do large pieces of furniture tend to make a room look smaller, but they also tend to block light.
So if you can limit the number of large pieces of furniture in your room the more light the room will appear to have.
#7. Keep Your Large Furniture as Light as Possible
You also want to keep your furniture as light colored as possible or find ways to lighten up that darker furniture. That doesn’t mean that you can’t have a floral sofa if that is what you like, it simply means that you should choose a sofa with a white or light background with those flowers on it rather than one with a dark background.
If you already have a dark sofa that you need to use, then try to lighten it up a bit with light throw pillows or placing a light throw over the back of the sofa.
If it is your bedroom that is dark and you have a dark bed, then try choosing a light quilt to help keep the furniture looking lighter.
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#8. Lighten Up Your End Tables and Coffee Tables
Keep your end tables, coffee tables and bookcase as light as possible. White works well to lighten and brighten a room or you go with a more modern look by choosing acrylic end tables and coffee table which will make the room look even lighter.
#9. Go With Gold or Silver Accents
The metallic shine of gold or silver automatically creates a lighter looking room. By choosing gold or silver looking lamps, and accents can help to make a dark room look lighter.
You can also use a stencil and paint a gold border along the edge of the ceiling or where the ceiling and wall meet in order to add a little pizazz and brighten the room.
In some cases, you may only need to use one or two of these tricks and tips to brighten up that dark room while in others you may need to use them all.
It is best if you start with a couple of simple tricks to lighten and brighten your room. If the room is still looking too dark then try using a couple of more tricks.
Do keep in mind, that while in most cases you should be able to brighten up a dark room you won’t always be able to achieve the brightness you would like so focus on the improvement and work with that.