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How to Make a West-Facing Room Brighter

West-facing rooms challenge decorators to make the best use of the light. These rooms tend to be darker than their east-facing counterparts due to the difference in the amount of sunlight they receive. However, several fool-the-eye tricks will help bring a little more light into your west-facing room. You'll change some aspects of the room and employ some items you likely already have in the room, but are not using to your best advantage. When combined, these simple tricks make a dark room brighter.

Paint the walls white or other light colours. Lighter colours don't suck the light out of the room and will reflect the light that already exists. Additionally, paint some of the out-of-the-way places in your home a lighter colour, too. These places include the shelves of your built-in bookcase or the room's recessed alcove.

Use mirrors and other reflective surfaces to reflect the light that's already in the room. A number of option exist for each room. In the living room, place a large mirror on the mantel with candles placed in front; the mirror reflects the room's light as well as the light from the candles. Put up a mirrored divider screen in a bedroom. Use reflective tiles in your kitchen.

Choose light-coloured furniture. Instead of a dark blue couch, select a light blue or a white couch and accent it with dark blue chairs. The latter choice allows you to express yourself through your decorating choices while still adding light to your west-facing room.

Forgo the carpeting in lieu of naturally light-coloured floors, or floors that you paint white or light colours. Carpeting sucks up the light in a way that bare floors don't. However, if you must have carpeting, choose light carpeting.

Hang curtains made of light fabric on the windows. Choose materials such as cotton or muslin. Additionally, keep the window areas as open as possible. Don't use heavy valances and curtains on the window. These will steal the light.

Use a variety of light fixtures. Avoid just relying on the room's main overhead light. Instead, go with directional or task lighting. Set up floor lamps in the darker corners.

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About the Author

Buffy Naillon has worked in the media industry since 1999, contributing to Germany's "Der Spiegel" magazine and various websites. She received a bachelor's degree in German from Boise State University. Naillon also attended New York University and participated in the foreign exchange program at Germany's Saarland University. She is completing her master's degree in educational technology at Boise State.