Home BlogCreative Ways to Brighten Naturally Dark Rooms

We hate to break it to you, but some homes and spaces are naturally unfriendly to light, so attaining the perfect balance in such homes in terms of lighting is nothing short of a herculean task. This is particularly evident in homes without large windows, where natural light is as rare as an eclipse and you need pendants or wall-mounted lights to find a proper lighting balance. But the good news is, there are creative methods you can adopt to counter the lack of sufficient light.  So if you read this article to the letter and follow the lighting tips therein, your space will lose its gloomy and lackluster nature like magic!

Light Up and Brighten Your Home with These Tips

1. Choose Furniture in Light Hues or Shades

While we like to choose furniture that is on par with our personal preference and what we feel blends with our decor, we should also prioritize lighting orientation and style. You will be surprised to know how much our choice of furniture impacts the level of lighting in our rooms; take, for instance, a large navy sofa is ill-suited for a small dimly-lit room, as the size and deep color make the room darker and smaller.

A compact sofa in a Subtle Grey tone

Instead, choose compact sofas in lighter shades like beige, white, and ivory. Lighter colors in addition to enhancing the lighting in a room create a more spacious and welcoming look. You should also avoid walnut-based furniture such as bed frames, consoles, and coffee tables. Rather, go with transparent or acrylic-based furniture.

2. Consider White Walls

This might sound like the most popular and overused lighting tip, but it works like magic (hence why every designer is quick to dish out this one advice).  When it comes to brightening a room, white does it best! White reflects light and causes it to bounce around the space, which lends more brightness to the overall room.

Melrose Kitchen Island Light in Matte Black in Farmhouse Kitchen

The color also has a way of making your room appear bigger than it is. However, not everyone might like the idea of maintaining an all-white space, so if you belong to this category, you can paint one side of the wall in another color for much-needed diversity. You can also add ornamental trims to the ceilings for well-balanced contrast.

3. Install Mirrors Near Light Fixtures and Sources

While using mirrors to amplify space and brighten an already-dark room is an age-long practice,  you can maximize this hack to the tee by placing your mirrors in strategic locations where light is most abundant.

Galvanized Hollywood Bowl by Steel Lighting Co. over vanity.

Consider installing mirrors next to light fixtures like floor lamps and table lamps. Also, a large-sized floor or wall mirror next to a window can serve to amplify natural lighting. If you are placing a mirror next to a light fixture, ensure that the lamp emits ambient lighting to avoid excessive brightness.

4. Use Large and Bright Area Rugs

Another fail-proof hack you can employ to brighten your space is to cover your floor with a large and lightly-hued rug.  When you do this, you will be rewarded with an appealing glow and lush texture; your floor will reflect much-needed brightness and your feet will enjoy the softness and lushness of the rugs.

This tip is most useful when your floor is dark-colored or has dark floorboards. Select rugs in ivory, white, yellow, and warm shades. It is important to choose large-sized rugs to amplify the size of your room.

5. Lighting should Target Walls or Ceilings

There’s a standard pattern to lighting a room, so you can’t just install light fixtures and focus them wherever you feel like. Rather than targeting narrow areas or using soft ambient lighting with barely-there luminosity, you should target the walls or ceiling. There are tons of wall and ceiling-mounted fixtures you can purchase for this purpose.

Carson Kitchen Island Light in Farmhouse

But if you are not sure where to start, you can check out the beautiful and practical collection of ceiling and wall-mounted light fixtures on our lighting shop page. When your walls or ceilings are bathed in light, every corner of the room benefits from a warm glow. Hence, you can easily achieve a cozy feel and a spacious look.

6. Use Minimal Wall Art

It is easy to get carried away by the aesthetic lure of wall art; you might want to cover your walls with every art imaginable, but this is a colossal lighting and design mistake. No matter the grandeur or size of your home, if it struggles to get in light, you should aim to keep the walls as bare as can be.

With enough bare walls, light is easily reflected. So steer clear of that grand yet large-sized wall art or your prized collection of frames, otherwise, your space will never get the light it deserves. If you must use wall art, stick to a light tapestry hanging, a wall mirror, or a subtle and compact wall art.

7. Embrace Ambient Light Sources

If your space isn’t all that dark, all you need is a touch of luminosity. In this case, work with ambient light sources like a group of large decorative candles, a string of fairy lights, and orb lights. Besides adding a shade of luminosity to your space, ambient light sources are also charming and therapeutic.

A string of Yellow bulbs for added charm and functionality

In addition, opt for lights with warm and yellow emissions for much-needed charm, comfort, and illumination. These light sources are also great at enhancing the aesthetic appeal of a space and can turn a particularly dull-looking space into an appealing haven.

8. Clean Your Windows Thoroughly

Cleaning your windows isn’t just a good sanitation tip; it also helps the lighting in your room. The logic here is quite simple; a dirty or smeared window limits visibility. It’s the same principle as wearing smudged glasses! So you might want to start deep-cleaning your windows religiously.

Get a good cleaning agent that is earmarked for glass and give those windows a proper wipe-down! The effect is immediate and pleasurable; there will be sufficient natural light to overshadow the dark corners in your room not to mention the aura of cleanliness.  That said, make it a habit to deep clean your windows regularly.

The Bottom Line

Ultimately, brightening a dark room isn’t an impossible undertaking. It is creative, fun, and immensely gratifying. It is more than adding more light fixtures to your space. It could be something as simple as installing a mirror or something as refreshing as cleaning your windows!