How to Make a Room Lighter

Rooms on the north and east side of a home, or rooms that have only a small window or no window at all can appear to be very dark, even on a sunny day. If you spend a lot of time in this dark room, chances are the lack of light may be affecting your overall mood. There are a few techniques that you can use to help make a room look and feel lighter.

Paint the walls with a light colour in high gloss. Dark paint can instantly make a room feel not only small, but also dark and dismal. In addition, paint with a flat finish will not reflect any available light in the room and can add to the feeling of being in a dungeon. Select a light coloured paint in a high gloss or semigloss finish.

Switch out drapes with window sheers. Heavy drapes or curtains can block light, even when they are open, since part of the window will still be covered. Use translucent window sheers to allow as much light as possible into the room. The sheers will also help diffuse the light around the room. If privacy is an issue, install a shade inside the window that can be pulled up during the day.

Cover dark flooring with a light coloured rug. Whether you have dark wood floors or dark carpeting, this can add to making a room feel darker than it is. If you don't have the budget to replace the flooring with newer, lighter materials, simply cover it with a light coloured rug. Use as large a rug as possible.

Hang mirrors in the room. Mirrors will help reflect light and they have the added benefit of making the space feel larger than it is. Try hanging mirrors on opposing walls and across from windows so that they will be able to reflect even more light.

Place lamps in front of mirrors. If the room does not have windows, or if the room still feels dark, place lamps on tables in front of your mirrors. The mirrors will help reflect the light from the lamp to more of the room.

Use incandescent light bulbs or "natural sunlight" bulbs in your lamps. These bulbs are brighter and will cast more light away from the lamp. While they are more expensive, they do provide more light than the standard light bulb.

Things You'll Need

  • Paint
  • Window sheers
  • Lamps
  • Mirrors
  • Light coloured rug
  • Incandescent lighting
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About the Author

Kate McFarlin is a licensed insurance agent with extensive experience in covering topics related to marketing, small business, personal finance and home improvement. She began her career as a Web designer and also specializes in audio/video mixing and design.