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5 Ways to Brighten a Dark Room

In an ideal world, every room in our homes would have plenty of natural light to brighten up our spaces. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world, and almost every room has that one “dark space” that is difficult to brighten up. Sure, you can knock down walls and add windows, but there are other ways to add light without going through the hassle.

Unconventional Ceilings and Window Treatments

Painting the ceiling a lighter color than the rest of the room can create an optical illusion and make your space feel more open. Another option to consider is painting it with a high-gloss color. The gloss will reflect light and adds dimension to the room.

When there are no windows, the next best thing to do is add light. What about a chandelier, which usually adds reflective light to make a room feel drastically more luminous. As you consider how to choose your window treatments, think about the curtains or drapes you would like to see. Avoid dark curtains, and instead, opt for lighter colors like beige or a light gray.

How to Brighten a Dark Room with Color

If you happen to have a room that doesn’t have windows or perhaps has windows facing suboptimal directions, you need to pay attention to the colors in a room. Walls, furniture, and art can all contribute to the overall brightness. White or pale-colored walls can add a light feeling, as can light-colored furniture. An oversized dark couch is probably not the best choice in a small room that does not have much light. Ivory or beige are going to be better options as they don’t absorb the light.

5 Ways to Brighten a Dark Room | WPL Interior Design
Photo by Jay Greene Photography

Bright artwork or bright walls can also brighten your space if light isn’t making its way into an otherwise dark room. Bringing in bright colors like reds, yellows, and oranges are also excellent ways to brighten the space. Avoid dark colors in large quantities as they absorb the light instead of reflecting it.

Metallics and Mirrors Aplenty

Mirrors are always a great option because their reflective quality helps to brighten or open up spaces. Smaller mirrors can be strategically placed on a wall, while a larger mirror across from a window will reflect the most into a dark room. We also recommend adding in more metallics to your room; not only will they reflect existing light, but the added shimmer will elevate your sense of luxury.

Avoid wood tones in accessory pieces unless they’re lighter, like birch or bamboo, as these can also absorb light instead of reflecting. Mirrors with light frames, transparent acrylics, and metallic accents are a better choice.

Using Different Light Sources

In providing artificial lighting, you’ll want to think about your light sources and where they’re aimed. For example, aiming the lights at the ceiling or walls that are prepped to reflect light can add to a room’s overall luminosity.

5 Ways to Brighten a Dark Room | WPL Interior Design
Photo by Jay Greene Photography

Torchiere floor lamps are an excellent option to aim light at the ceiling, as are wall sconces. By placing light in every corner, you can create a warm and spacious atmosphere in an otherwise darker room. For a more subtle touch, fairy lights add a magical feel with just a bit of extra luminescence to a dark space. You may also try decorating with orb lights or large LED candles with a warm glow to create a comfortably illuminated room.

Don’t Forget the Floors

Large surfaces will either absorb or reflect light, so if your floors are darker, opt for a bright area rug. The extra texture on your floors adds interest and will also reflect the ambient light. If you have darker floors, opt for a light gray, white, or ivory shaded rug for the greatest amount of reflection.

If you’re in a position to replace your flooring, consider a lighter wooden color to brighten up your space. Choosing a lighter stain on natural wood is also excellent to keep scratches from being obvious in a high-traffic area. A floor with a matte finish is going to be better to encourage ambient light. Don’t go with a glossy finish because that will encourage a glare instead of the multi-directional reflection from a matte flooring.

Have Fun Brightening a Dark Room 

5 Ways to Brighten a Dark Room | WPL Interior Design
Photo by Jay Greene Photography

Don’t be afraid to be creative as you decorate a darker space. Remember, creating reflection is more than mirrors and white surfaces. Use these ideas to help you bring light to the darkness, but most importantly, have fun doing it! If you start to feel overwhelmed, WPL Interior Design is ready to find the perfect solution for you. Give us a call today at 215-592-9570 to see how we can turn those dark areas of your home into your favorite spaces.

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