The most obvious answer to brighten up a dark room is to repaint in a brighter colour. The best idea is to paint it white if it’s especially dark, since painting all the walls in a strong colour might be a little too much. White bounces and redirects the light around the room, often making it feel larger and more spacious. It’s definitely the first step to take if your walls are painted in a dark colour. If you’re unable to paint the walls then the other suggestions should provide alternatives to help in brightening up your room.
If you’re only relying on natural light via small windows or in a room that doesn’t receive much light then your best bet is to add extra lights inside. You could do this either via feature lights against the darkest walls, or aimed at furniture in the room. Otherwise a centre piece light mounted on the ceiling could be a great way of bouncing light in all of the corners. If there’s a fair amount of natural light already then you’ll want to make sure these lights aren’t overpowering, just enough to compliment the natural light.
If you’re unable to repaint, a great way to brighten the room is by adding light coloured drapes at the windows. There’s no need to go overboard in costs with these, something simple or even home made out of fabric will work wonders.
It’s fairly easy to overlook the floor when it comes to decorating your home, after all… how many people actively notice the floor oppose to your furniture or walls? You’d be surprised how much even a small rug changes a room. You don’t have to focus on outlandish colours to brighten the room, just choose hues that’ll compliment other colours around it. The only exception to this is if you have a particularly stunning rug that would work well as a centre piece since it’ll draw attention away from other areas of the room.
As well as being a common thing among most homes, mirrors are great in rooms where they’re not necessarily needed too. They’re often used as a decorative element to the room but they can also reflect light into areas that need it, as well as making the room appear more spacious.
When picking furniture, choose lighter coloured woods instead of darker ones. Darker woods can make the room feel heavier, but you can always brighten these up with lighter coloured cushions and accents on the furniture. Though if you really want to brighten a room, instead of a dark wooden chair you could opt for something more modern like a tub chair or wing chair. These chairs come in a variety of different styles and fabrics so you’re bound to find something to fit your tastes and colour themes.
Plants/flowers, plastic/fake/silk flowers as a compromise to looking after them.
If you’re into plants and flowers then it’s an easy decision to use them to brighten a room. While bolder coloured flowers will obviously create a dramatic effect, any plants or flowers will transform the room effectively. Plants have the ability to make a dark cold room feel cheerier and more inviting. If you’re unable to maintain and look after plants then you could always opt for the silk/plastic versions to still reap the benefits of adding greenery to your room.
Ed Sloane is the MD of Home Life Direct and TubChairs.com, online furniture retailer based in the UK. Please visit www.tubchairs.com for further information.