A well-lighted room is not only pleasing to the eyes but also helps promote well-being by improving your mood. Conversely, a dark room can make you feel tired, stressed, or irritable.
If certain parts of your home are not getting enough light, there are a number of simple solutions to help brighten them up.
- Use plenty of mirrorsOptimize the amount of light a room gets with plenty of reflective surfaces, particularly mirrors. As light bounces off the mirrors, the room gets twice the illumination from a single source. Hang a large mirror across a window, or smaller mirrors strategically placed around the room. For more creative options, try mirrored accessories, such as a dresser, coffee table or side table, or a mirrored panel door, or headboard.
- Check your fixturesImproving your lighting fixtures is the easiest and most obvious solution to brightening up a room. Choose light bulbs with higher lumens, or clean existing bulbs. LED lights bring more illumination with lower energy costs, and are perfect for recessed lighting. Dimmers can help you adjust the brightness, especially at night.
Strategic placement of light fixtures can also improve illumination. For example, lighting directed upward can brighten up the ceiling at night. Recessed lighting fixtures or LED rope or tape lighting can also make the ceiling look brighter without cluttering the room.
- Color the walls white or neutralWhite walls can automatically make a room look brighter, but avoid overdoing it. Without proper lighting or contrasts, a white room can look flat and uninspiring. Choose a more subtle, less harsh shade of white (yes, white paint comes in different shades) and avoid a glossy finish that produces glare. Have some contrasting colors around the room to create movement. Dark furniture can help emphasize the brightening effect of light-colored walls.
As an alternative to white, opt for neutral shades like beige or warm gray. Other colors, like blue or green, may also work, but stick to lighter hues. Paint the ceiling a lighter shade than the walls to allow light to reflect light around the room.
- Say no to heavy curtainsIf the room has a window or two, get as much natural light in as possible by using sheer curtains or lightweight shades. These can help create a soft glow while providing privacy. Other window treatments like lightly-tinted film can bring in natural light while blocking the view from the outside. Stay away from heavy drapes and dark prints.
- Choose metallic decor and acrylic furnitureMetals shine and reflect light, adding just a touch more illumination to a room. Acrylic furniture, on the other hand, gives off a light and easy visual effect, helping to make the room appear brighter.
- Minimize furniture and accessoriesToo many furniture pieces, accessories and art crowd a room and make it feel darker. The minimalist concept of “less is more” works very well in brightening up a dark room by making it feel spacious and uncluttered. Avoid chunky pieces, and choose light colored art and accessories with clean lines.