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How to Brighten Up a Dark Room?
If there’s a room in your house that’s a bit dim, there are many tricks you can use to brighten it up right away. Changing the lighting and color will make a dramatic difference, and choosing lighter furniture and decorations can also help a room feel spacious and bright. If you want to make a bigger investment, adding windows and replacing the flooring will change your room from a cave to a haven.
Paint the ceiling white. If the room’s ceiling is painted a dark color, or has dark wooden beams, it is probably casting a pall over the entire room. Buy a can or two of white paint and give the ceiling a fresh coat. The bright white will reflect light instead of absorbing it, and you’ll be amazed at what a difference it makes.
If you prefer to use color instead of plain white, try a pale yellow, mint or cream.
Even if you don’t paint the walls white, painting the ceiling white will still make a big difference.
Limit accent colors. You might be tempted to paint the room your favorite rich, deep color, but it’s best to save bright and bold colors for accent walls or trim. In a dark room, a deep color won’t look brilliant – it’ll just add to the dark feel of the space. If you absolutely must use dark blue, green, red or another rich color, choose one small wall to paint, and paint the rest in a much lighter color.
Make full use of natural light. If you’re working with a dark room, chances are you don’t have a lot of natural light coming in, but it’s important to make the most of what you have. If your windows are covered with dark shades or blinds, you’re blocking out your best chance for brightening up the room. Instead of keeping your blinds closed, try the following:
Choose airy, light-colored window coverings that don’t completely block out the light. For example, cream-colored linen or canvas curtains will provide privacy while still allowing the sunshine to filter into the room.
If you prefer blinds, look for cloth blinds in a light fabric that isn’t completely opaque. Avoid wooden or plastic blinds that block out all of the light.
Replace overhead lights with soft perimeter lights. Harsh overhead lighting can actually highlight the fact that a room is naturally dark. Instead of flooding the space with fluorescent lighting, choose your artificial lighting carefully so that it looks as natural and pleasant as possible.
Track lighting can really brighten a space without creating a harsh atmosphere.
Use plenty of strategically-placed floor lamps with light-colored shades to diffuse light all over the room.
Use diffused lighting. If you have a dark corner or a room where there’s no ceiling fixture, use multiple lights pointed towards the ceiling and walls. This reflected light provides a soft, overhead glow which minimizes harsh shadows.
Candles shouldn’t be overlooked as a pleasant source of extra light. When you want to create an especially bright, cheerful atmosphere, light some candles in addition to using artificial lighting.
Add custom lighting. If you frequently perform certain activities in the room, consider adding specific lights to help you work. Some lights mount under cabinets and over counters, and others may be useful on your sewing desk or piano.
Use brighter bulbs. Replace the your bulbs with higher light intensity bulbs such as compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) of a lower wattage but higher light output. Higher wattage does not mean a higher light level.
Go with dark and cozy as an alternative. If there’s just no getting around the fact that the room in question is dark, you could always nix the suggestions for brightening the room and go with the room’s natural feel. Paint it a deep color and use rich, heavy decorations to create the feel of an old-fashioned parlor. Colors like charcoal and slate blue are popular choices for rooms that are meant to have a stately feel.
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