Handy tips to brighten dark rooms

You have been feeling for some time now that your home is dark, and consequently, gloomy. But, you have either been lazy or afraid to do something about it. Experts agree that gloomy rooms cause moods to swing towards depression. And of course, we don’t want that. So, what can you do about it? Well, there is plenty.

Lightening up a dark and dreary room will instantly make it more appealing. However, when we think of brightening up rooms, the first thought that comes to mind is adding windows. This may not be an option if you are renting a home, or if the addition of windows involves structural changes. But, you don’t need to worry. There are plenty of easy ways to decorate a dark room and turn it into a lighter, brighter place you and your loved ones will want to spend time in.

Paint the ceiling bright whiteRegardless of whether you are renting the place or you own a place, it is not impossible to paint the ceiling. Your landlord, in fact, may be quite happy to allow you to spend your money on this decor aspect. A white ceiling helps a room feel taller. However, make sure you use the right kind of white for this.

If you really want to brighten a dark room, make sure it’s the clearest, brightest, whitest white you can find. No cream, no ivory, and no versions of off-white. Clear and true is only the way to go.
Maximise light with mirrorsMirrors are perfect tools for brightening dark rooms. Whenever possible, place mirrors directly opposite windows to reflect as much natural light as possible. If this isn’t possible, don’t sweat it.

Mirrors placed at proper locations will always brighten a room — no matter where they’re placed. Over mantles, over sofas, on bookcases, or over side tables, mirrors are like little windows that open up spaces wherever they are.

Opt for sleek furniture

Overstuffed and heavily-carved furniture will pull your room down, making it feel darker and heavier than it really is. Try to stick with streamlined, lighter pieces that don’t have a lot of frills. This means opting for a contemporary theme rather than a classical one. If you really love the style of carved or heavy furniture, try to keep them to a minimum. Choose one or two pieces you really love and keep the rest light.

Lighten the lampshades

Lampshades are great for brightening a room, because they help diffuse light, and provide a nice decorative element. But if your room is dark, you have to be careful about what kind of shades you choose. Opaque shades are a strict no-no, even if they’re lightly coloured. Make sure you’ve got a light material (such as linen) that allows a good amount of light to filter through.

Avoid heavy light fixtures

Large, heavy fixtures can be a hindrance to creating a light and airy space. When choosing an overhead hanging fixture, make sure you opt for something visually light. Crystal chandeliers (as long as they’re not too ornate) can be wonderful, as the crystals (particularly if they’re faceted) will reflect the light from the bulbs.

Streamline window treatments

Curtains without a doubt are a part of any good decor. They are a must for any home, but heavy drapes and embellishments are not. To keep a room light, avoid heavy curtains and valances. One streamlined panel on either side of the window is probably the best and safest way to go (make sure they kiss the floor and don’t puddle or fall short, or else it will look awkward).

Put down a light area rug

Don’t ignore what’s underneath your feet. Flooring can set the tone for the whole room. A dark floor can make a room feel heavy, whereas a light floor can brighten it. The best way to take control is to put down a light rug. It doesn’t have to be a solid colour, but if you opt for a patterned rug, make sure the overall colour scheme is light and bright.

If you prefer a bare floor, consider painting it. It’s not the right option for everyone, but it can be a lot of fun! Of course, this is an option only if you own your home. If you are renting and don’t care for area rugs, all is not lost.

Consider buying a light shade of linoleum which is quite inexpensive and place it at the centre of your room.

Thus, with a little planning you can brighten a dark room and feel better about it.

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