Not every room in our homes can be lucky enough to have windows that provide great daylight, and basement rooms often have no windows at all. It may seem like the best solution to make these rooms less dark is to add more lamps, but there are many other ways to brighten up a room!
First, for any windows your room may have, make sure that you leave your blinds or curtains open during the day when there is some daylight that can enter. If you need privacy, consider sheer curtains for the day hours so that you can still let some natural light into your room.
Color throughout the room is extremely important. Dark colors – on paint, furniture, accessories – can really suck the light out of a room. Using bright, light paint and furnishings will help reflect the light that is already in your room and can make it seem brighter without changing the lamps and light fixtures. It’s still o.k. to have a couple of dark items for contrast, but these should be mixed in with your bright, light colors. When painting, remember that a color may seem darker once it’s on all of the walls, so consider going one shade lighter than your favorite sample to get your desired color and keep it bright.
Just like bright colors help to reflect the light, mirrors help too! Placing a mirror on a wall that the window shines on will help reflect that light to other parts of the room. Consider a large mirror or a display of smaller mirrors, just like you would any other artwork in your room.
Clutter brings shadows! The more clutter you have around the room, the more shadows that will pop up from any light sources that do exist. By keeping your accessories and belongings on display to a minimum, you can cut down on some of these shadows, and keep the light! Plants bring some of that bright outdoor feeling to a room, and can be helpful as indoor accessories. There are plenty of low-maintenance varieties, so don’t worry if you don’t have a green thumb! I have snake plants with some bright greens and yellows in my living room, and they help a lot!
For those lights that you do have, consider getting light bulbs that emit a cool white or day light color, rather than a soft white color to make the room feel brighter without adding wattage. Compact fluorescent and LED light bulbs are available in a range of colors for all different types of fixtures. Just like we talked about with our paint colors and mirrors, lights that direct their luminosity upwards can reflect off of walls and ceilings so that a greater amount of the room benefits from the light they are giving off. Those table lamps are great for task lighting, but a taller floor lamp or sconce pointing upwards will help light a greater area around it.
By: Jeannine Altavilla