How to Make a Dark Room Seem Brighter

Written by nicola gordon-thaxter | 13/05/2017
How to Make a Dark Room Seem Brighter
Place lamps liberally around the room to add light. (bedroom's light image by pppboy from

A dark room can be gloomy, foreboding and uninviting, not the atmosphere you want to create for guests. Rooms generally become dark when they are filled with dark-coloured, heavy furniture, and decorated in deep colours. You can brighten up a dark room and make it more inviting using a combination of methods, including changing the decor and using strategic lighting. Once you've redecorated and made clever use of accessories like mirrors, your room will be transformed into a welcoming and bright environment.

Arrange several lamps around the room, particularly in the darkest parts of the room. Ensure that each seat in the room has access to a lamp or can benefit fully from the light of the room's light bulb.

Paint the walls in a lighter colour. Pale colours reflect light, which brightens the room, while dark colours absorb it, creating a gloomy atmosphere. If possible adopt a monochromatic colour scheme using a pale colour which helps to brighten the room even more.

Put light-coloured furniture in the room. If you have a lot of dark wood furniture, paint it white or cream or simply replace it with lighter furniture.

Replace a dark wood floor with a lighter wood, or paint the floor a light colour, preferably white.

Place a mirror across from the natural light source in the room. This will reflect as much light as possible and lighten up the room.

Install sheer drapes to let as much light in as possible. Avoid bulky window dressings like blinds as they can't open completely and let in much light.

Remove any clutter you have in the room. Excess items can clog up a room and make it seem gloomy.

Things you need

  • Lamps
  • Light-coloured paint
  • Paint rollers and paintbrushes
  • Light-coloured furniture
  • Large, framed mirror
  • Sheer drapes

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