Make a dark room brighter

Interior design is a funny thing. The right décor can transform a room and make you feel inspired – the wrong decor can make a room feel dark, cramped and gloomy.

With the winter comes shorter days and longer nights, and it’s about this time of year many people look around their homes and notice just how dark everything is.

If you have a room that doesn’t get a lot of natural light, there’s a few simple tips and tricks to try…

A lick of paint

One of the simplest ways to brighten up a dark room is with paint. Rich, deep colours may be tempting but will cast a shadow over the room. Instead, consider going back to white – painting your ceiling and walls white will reflect light rather than absorb it and help make the whole room seem brighter (and bigger, too!).

And just because the walls or white doesn’t mean your room has to lack in colour or character – colourful trim, an accent wall and interesting pictures on the wall can all add life to your space.

Catch your reflection

Putting up a mirror is another easy trick to brighten a room up, because the reflective surfaces will help bounce light around the room. Place the mirror opposite a light-source – a window will work best, but a lamp will also do the job – to help with maximum light reflection. The result is a room that feels brighter and more spacious.

If you can’t put a mirror directly opposite the window, don’t worry. Positioning a mirror on an adjacent wall will work too; angle the mirror towards the window and make sure you can see the window in the mirror’s reflection.

Shine a light 

If you have all the lights on and the room still feels dark, it’s time to re-think your setup. Although overhead lights might seem like the most efficient way to light up your living room, sometimes it has the opposite effect and makes the room feel dark and dingy.

Instead, focus your efforts on perimeter lighting and place lamps around the edges of the room. Replace dark lamp shades with a lighter version and experiment with the type of bulb you use. “Daylight” bulbs mimic the temperature of direct sunlight, providing a vivid light that is a little cooler and bluer. In contrast “soft white” bulbs offer a more yellowish, warmer light. This comes down to a matter of preference, so find out which one works for you.

Finally, strategically position your lamps so they diffuse as much light as possible. For example, if you have a dark corner, point a light up towards the ceiling and walls. The light will bounce off and reflect back and brighten up the space.

Do you have any tips to brighten up a dark room? 

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Rachel - Silversurfers Assistant Editor

Hello there! I’m Rachel and I’m the Assistant Editor for Silversurfers. I work behind the scenes to bring interesting, informative and entertaining subject matter to the Silversurfers community. I hope you enjoy the features we have shared with you. Please feel free to comment below and share your thoughts with us, we love to hear from you!

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