The Best Ways to Brighten a Dark Room

Lighten Up a Dark Room

Do you have a room that doesn’t let a lot of natural light in? Or the room just feels too small and dark? There are ways to lighten up a dark room without adding more windows or going through a lot of work to make it brighter. You can play with colors, furniture, lamps and other great accessories to completely transform a space and make it feel brighter.

Use Lots of White

Lighten Up a Dark Room

Utilizing white in a dark space is a great way to brighten a dark room because the non-hue doesn’t absorb any color. White sends light bouncing indirectly back to other surfaces. Start by painting your walls and ceilings white. If you feel like adding more white to a space, consider art, frames, furniture, curtains and bedding.

Add Blue Hues

Lighten Up a Dark Room

Natural light is cool compared to yellow-toned incandescent bulbs so adding blue will make a room feel brighter and feels like the natural light of the sky. Cool blue is also a neutral enough hue that you can work with it in any space and add accent colors.

Strategically Place Lighting

Be strategic with how you place lighting around your house. Indirect lighting aimed upward, like a floor lamp, can make up for a lack of light on the ceiling. You can add a few closer lights to the walls to cast light down onto the walls, which can highlight things like cabinetry. Undercabinet lighting adds a nice glow to your kitchen and balances out bulky cabinets, while table lamps work well on furniture to cast light across the wall. A lamp shade like a classic drum shade works well because they have openings at the top and bottom.

Update Your Lightbulbs

Edison Bulbs: In Store Only

You can update your lightbulbs to a brighter output to lighten up a dark room. Choose a cooler “daylight” color like a true white bulb for a fresh look, rather than a yellow-tone bulb that tends to make a room look warmer.

Use Black Hues

While this may sound counterproductive, adding black or charcoal hues can give some contrast that makes any light areas in that space pop a lot more. Opt for sleek, thin designs or patterns so it doesn’t outweigh the lighter hues in the room.

Go Bold

Add a bold accent wall and choose daring hues to lighten up a dark room and give it a new energy. The room will feel brighter and an accent wall will make it feel brand new.

Hang Mirrors

Sunlight bounces off reflective surfaces so mirrors can help lighten up a dark room by bouncing the light around the room. Hang a mirror directly across from the largest window in the room to maximize the amount of light the mirror has to work with.

Add Metallics

Lighten Up a Dark Room

Working with metallics can lighten up a dark room so choose shimmery gold or silver accessories like a metallic mirror, light fixture or wall art. These accessories reflect light and make a space feel more luxurious.

Get Rid of Dark Curtains

Not all your curtains have to go, but dark, heavy curtains will only make a room feel darker and smaller. Swap them out for translucent shades that allow sunlight to come in. If you absolutely must have dark curtains, try pulling them back and keeping them at the sides of the windows to let light in the room.

Add Area Rugs

Darker flooring like hardwood or laminate are beautiful but they can take a lot of light out of a space. Add area rugs in a lighter tone to brighten a dark room and break up the dark flooring. You’ll love the look of both the rich flooring with the airy rugs that give contrast.

Choose Light Wood Flooring

Brighten a Dark Room

While this option isn’t quick or as budget-friendly, adding light wood flooring can brighten up a dark room and make it look completely different. If you’re going for a complete overhaul, this option will make the room feel bigger and brighter.

Opt for Light Woods

Brighten a Dark Room

Pale woods will also lighten up your space, so choose blond woods for your furniture, cabinets and trim to make a dark room feel brighter. You can also add plants to complement the light wood and give the room the feeling of natural light.

Keep Furniture Light

Overstuffed, intricate furniture will make any room feel darker and heavier than it is. Choose lighter, airy pieces that are clean and simple. Mid-Century Modern and Contemporary styles have a lot of great pieces to choose from that will make a room feel much lighter and brighter.

Play around with what works best for your space to make it feel lighter. While it can be really appealing to brighten a dark room, just remember that some shadows are okay in your home. Highlights and lowlights are more appealing to look at and it just shows that your space has depth.

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