7 Smart Tricks to Brighten a Dark Room

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There are many instances when homeowners or apartment dwellers find themselves with a lack of light. The dilemma can be caused from having limited sources of natural light, a minimum number of electric sources or dark fabrication materials like walls and flooring. Well-lit spaces are proven to improve our overall well being and boost our moods. That’s why you found the perfect place to get inspiration on how to brighten your space no matter how big or small.

These are our 7 favorite decorating tricks which won’t require any major renovations. Thankfully, knocking down walls or installing windows are not the only options that you have. From bold accent colors, the placement of mirrors to the positioning of your lights and more there are a variety of options to consider.

1. Remove the Heavy Curtains

There are a variety of creative ways to hang window curtains, but the most important thing to consider to brighten up a room is to avoid using heavy curtains. Heavy curtains completely block natural light which is a big no-no. Avoid using dark colors in the shades of brown, black and dark green and opt for transparent shades that allow sunshine to reach as much of your space as possible.

Look for curtains labeled translucent or transparent. They provide just the right amount of privacy without turning your home into a dark cave. After hanging your curtains, try to clear your windowsill from any large items that block the sunlight such as big flower vases, picture frames or books.

2. You Can Never Hang Too Many Mirrors

There’s a mirror on the market for any and every location in your home. Whether you’re looking for a quaint mirror to enhance the space in your bathroom or a large mirror to add depth and the appearance of more light in the living room, installing mirrors is a guaranteed and simple way to brighten up your home.

Hang a large, open edge mirror across from the largest window in a room to disperse the sunlight throughout the space. Before installing the mirror make sure to move it around to different locations to find the perfect fit. Similar to placing a large mirror on the opposite side of a large window, you should install a mirror near large light sources such as floor standing lamps.

3. Light Up the Walls

Invest in a set of light sconces with shades that direct the light either downward or upward. This is a simple trick to light up the walls by casting as much light onto them as possible. Schedule an appointment with an electrician to organize ceiling lights closer to the walls or add new ones to cast light onto the walls.

Install LED strips underneath cabinets to get rid of the shadow effect. LED strip lights cast a subtle light beneath cabinets and give the impression of more counter space. Hang up a semi-flush light directly below the ceiling in dark laundry rooms or rooms with low ceilings to diffuse the light across the ceiling. Place table lamps on nightstands and tables to spread light across the walls.

4. Balance the White with Black

You might think that black has no place in your strategy to brighten up your space, but when this dark color is used properly it can have a huge contrasting effect that makes lighter colors pop even more. But we’re not talking about a gigantic black sofa or loveseat. Opt for thin, linear accents in the form of chairs, floating shelves and slim carpets that can be fixed near areas covered in white.

Position a skinny black floor lamp near a white wall to cast light on a sharp picture frame. Black slatted chairs on white tiles or flooring is the perfect combination to give the impression of more light. In addition to black, you can mix and match punches of blue against lighter colors for a luxe beach vibe.

5. Choose the Right Type of Lightbulbs

Arrange your lights in order of the function that they will provide to your home. The three functions of light are ambient, task and accent lighting. Ambient or general light works to illuminate the entire room while task lighting brightens up a work or reading area. Task lighting should be brighter than ambient lighting, focused on a specific area, and the purpose of accent lighting is to highlight objects or areas using wall or landscape lights.

Incandescent, compact fluorescent, LEDs and halogen lights are the most common bulbs used for homes. Regulations require light bulb manufacturers to specify certain criteria such as kelvins and lumens. Look for bright white and cool white lights that offer around 4100 kelvin to add more light and energy to kitchens, bathrooms and living rooms. Sconces are the perfect product to brighten up your space because they can be used to provide every type of light depending on where you place them and type of bulb you use.

6. Install Area Rugs

If you live in a home with dark laminate or wood floors, you should add area rugs to brighten up the rooms, especially in corridors without windows. Look for runner rugs in light tones to break up dark flooring. Pattern rugs which incorporate off white patterns add a perfect balance to dark floors that helps to lighten up rooms.

When you’re working with small or narrow spaces like corridors, try not to cover the entire floor with carpets and rugs. You might want to measure out the rug so that it covers just a portion of the surface. On the other hand, maybe a small surface rug is all you need to create a contrasting effect on top of a dark floor. A good example of this is to lay a small rug of contrasting color on your bathroom floor or home entryway.

7. Decorate with Metallics

Use metallics, shimmery surfaces, and mirror-like objects to transform dark areas into brighter spaces. You don’t need to hang a disco ball from the ceiling. Simply shop around for reflective materials like mirror art frames, metallic botanical vases or light sconces with accents of gold or silver.

The glare on reflective surfaces bounces off light, which is perfect to brighten the room with limited sunlight. Pair a mirrored or reflective coffee table with a white sofa or loveseats. Transparent coffee tables made of a glass a surface and metallic frame help spread light throughout living room spaces. To enhance the effect of metallic objects, place them near lights.


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