How to Make a Dark Room Seem Brighter

Written by nicola gordon-thaxter
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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.

Skill level:

Things you need

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

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  1. 1

    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.

  2. 2

    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.

  3. 3

    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.

  4. 4

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

  5. 5

    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.

  6. 6

    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.

  7. 7

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

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