The level of natural light in your rooms can really affect your mood. Those blessed rays, filled with sunlight and vitamin D make you feel positive. So, its natural that bright rooms make us feel happier, more alive and vibrant.
Getting light into dark rooms is important; making the most of what natural light you have is what this post is all about.
Source: Pinterest – Add color to the ceiling
By adding color to the ceiling, the room above is left light.
What can you do about dark rooms without throwing down walls? Here are 11 ways to get more light into your dark rooms; your living room, kitchen or bedroom, how to decorate your dark rooms and choosing dark paint colors if you must.
Walk from room to room. Do a quick assessment of your natural light with fresh eyes; work out where your problems lie. Do you have a dark living room that needs attention, or do all your rooms need more natural light? Are dark wood floors in small spaces absorbing all your natural light or do you have small windows?
Let’s see what you can do to get more light into your dark rooms.
Source: Pinterest – Large hallway mirror trim
The more shiny surfaces you can add to your rooms, the lighter they will appear. That means chandeliers or brass lighting, gold door knobs or silver photo frames, brass candlesticks, mirrors or acrylic clear furniture.
The entry and hallway above has light walls and a large entry mirror to reflect every piece of available light. The bigger the mirror, the more light you capture in your room. Large wall mirrors are perfect. There are so many styles to choose: antique mirror, beveled mirror, sunburst or venetian mirrors.
They are perfect as dining room mirrors, living room, entryway or mantel mirrors. And the thicker the glass, the more reflective light your capture. I choose the three large mirrors below starting from $53 (at the time of writing this post) but there are hundreds of others to choose if they are not to your taste – just click here to discover more.
Use the filter to see those mirrors in your price range. Or make your own. You can make your own sunburst mirror here, but they tend to be smaller and won’t give you the effect you want. You can also age your mirror using glass. They look great but again, you won’t maximize the amount of light.
Tricks for dark rooms:
1. Use the same size mirrors directly opposite one another. The seemingly infinite set of reflections creates a sense of endless depth, making the room feel bigger and lighter.
2. Add a large mirror to the end of a short hallway to make it look longer.
3. To create the look of one larger window, for a corner window, place a mirror on the wall, as close to and the same size as the window. This will look like one larger window and bring in more light.
These decorative mirrors are larger. You can find them here.
Create a mirror effect with as many things as possible to amplify a reflective mirror effect in the whole room!
Source: House to Home
Brass lettering give light to a dark wall. These are inexpensive but look dramatic and stylish.
Of course anything shiny will work; wall sconces, frames, a street sign or glass tiles.
Window treatments often absorb your precious natural light. Removing heavy or dark curtains will instantly give your more light and transform your dark rooms.
Source: Design Of Furniture
Window curtains and window treatments can stop the amount of natural light in rooms. Ask yourself; do you need larger windows or more appropriate window treatments for your rooms?
For small windows, use sheer or light fabrics to let some light in. Darker colored fabrics absorb light. If privacy is an issue – shutters could be the answer. They control the amount of natural light into your room and protect your privacy.
Source: Amazon EuroVue Shutter 16″x20″ Wood Shutters
Using glass in your doors is a great way to get more natural light; externally and internally. Here are front doors with glass. There are lots of different styles. Use frosted or tinted glass for privacy.
Your choice will depend on the style of your home, budget and security preferences.
Inside your home, use clear glass, frosted glass or mirrored doors that separate areas, but let in light.
Source: Dream Book Design
There is a tutorial at Dream Book Design on how to hang a new door in an existing frame. Use a barn door or sliding door if space is an issue.
Use glass tabletops or acrylic chairs to reduce the amount of light absorbed by furniture. They can be used anywhere and look great.
Paint ideas for dark rooms are neutral colors; like mushroom, gray and white walls to improve light in dark rooms. Choose wall colors from a range of lighter paint colors to lighten your room; add warmth with rich neutrals such as espresso brown, mushroom gray, warm rust colors and camel tan. Add splashes color to your room by painting your ceiling or trim a different color; black trim, sky blue ceiling or warm floors.
Neutrals, whites and tan paint colors are versatile decorating color schemes. They can boost your home decor if you have dark wood floors, doors or heavy wood furniture.
What if you have a bedroom with little or no natural light? This video goes through some wall color options.
Don’t forget to make your floors lighter. You can do this with paint, rugs or tiles. It will instantly give your room a lift. The room below would look a lot darker without the light painted floorboards.
Source: Tooth Fairy Fashion Tale
Wood paneled ceilings or darkly painted ceilings absorb a lot of light. They also add style and drama. So, they are a keeper – but this is about getting more light .If you have dark ceilings, avoid having dark walls and dark wood floors too. You can probably get away with one, but not both if your ceilings are dark.
Paint your ceilings white or light colors. Add recessed lighting fixtures if you can. They add light to dark ceilings without destroying the great mood wood paneled ceilings or dark painted ceilings create. Add dimmer switches for control over our light source.
If you love dark kitchen cabinetry and dark wood floors in a small space, lighter, shiny finishes on your counter tops can help break up the solid blocks of color and make your kitchen feel lighter, larger and more open.
Glossy splashbacks, pendant lighting and shiny metal that reflect light can increase light, balancing your dark kitchen cabinetry.
Even if your kitchen window gives you good quality light during the day, the kitchen is used so many hours of the day that you should consider good quality additional task lighting.
Source: House to Home
Pendant lighting fixtures can add light and brighten dark corners. They look great over breakfast bars where light often feels a little low. If your kitchen or eating areas are on the dark side and need better task lighting, kitchen pendant lighting is the perfect remedy. Adding brass fixtures gives something shiny for light to reflect off – making your room feel lighter.
These days you can find an amazing selection of accent kitchen pendant lights. Make sure your kitchen window treatments are sheer to none.
If you love a dark bedroom, then this is for you. Dramatic dark bedrooms are wonderful to rest and sleep in. Dark walls, bedding, heavy dark wood floors and dark accents create a sort of womb effect which is wonderful to come home to after a long day.
Add light colored bedlinen, cushions and rugs to balance out your look.
The careful addition of soft lighting in strategic areas will help you keep the mood without having you walk in the dark. Lighting concealed in display built-in shelves such as “puck” or under cabinet lighting, pendant lights and side table lamps can help you adjust your lighting needs without destroying the mood.
Lighter finishes in your window treatments, mirrors and soft furnishings are great for solid dark walls and dark ceilings. Keep your curtains, light or sheer if possible.
Use shiny hardware where ever possible – brass doorknobs or furniture pulls, mirrors, lamps and lighting all with shiny finishes.
Dark walls in a dramatic bedroom can easily be offset with contrasted light colored throw pillows, sheeting and bedding in soft ecru, butter yellow or off white to add to the relaxing atmosphere. Balance out the large areas of dark space with equally large areas of lighter finishes and accessories.
You can stick with neutral and white accents against your dark walls or add pops of color to make your home decor really stand out.
Soft bed linen colors give a feeling of space and light. Add pops of color with your pillows, throws or other accents.
Source: Amazon – Lamont Home Diamante King Coverlet, White
If you have dark wood floors consider painting or stenciling them or use a light colored rug that covers most of the floor. The dark floor will create a border around the room, making it feel and look bigger.
Dark colors are rich, dramatic and a great resource if you want to add character to a featureless room. If you want to experiment with dark colors, first, consider the amount and source of natural light in your room. The more windows and doors in your room, the darker the wall color can be. Use this as your guide.
If your room has very little natural light, but you still want dark walls, use light paint colors on your ceiling, floors or base boards and trims to lighten your room.
Most closets are very dark small rooms. Most have no windows and poor, if any, lighting. Dark closets are difficult to use. You can’t find clothes, see how they really look and there is no point talking about makeup.
Source: Nicety Live Journal
Depending on the size of your closet, there are ways to add light to it using lighting fixtures such as pendant lights and recessed lighting. Add lots of mirrors, like the doors above, to reflect more light.
You can also use LED closet rod lighting like the one below.
Source: Apartment Therapy
These are high end products but you can find similar products that cost much less like this fluorescent light rod.
Here is another alternative for as little as $10 using LED closet lights but you may need more of them to do the job properly.
Source: Amazon – Battery Powered 4led Cabinet Closet Wardrobe Light Magnetic Base
This adds extra lighting to your dressing and hanging areas.
If you have an exterior wall to play with, you can add more light to a dark closet, add a window or clerestory (top of the wall) windows that allow light in without losing storage space or privacy.
In that case use a solar tube that brings light from your roof down into your closet. Because they don’t use electricity, they are energy efficient and for make up they give you the best light of all – natural light.
What do you use to add more light to your rooms? Is it more lamps, mirrors, adding windows or changing your paint color?Can you do something about dark window treatments or curtains, dark walls or closets or is your style or home decor or color scheme?The first thing to do is remove things that are absorbing too much light. Dark curtains, dark furniture and dark floors all absorb a lot of natural light – so that is the first place to start.
Let me know in the comments below.