In a perfect world, every room in your house would have a south-facing window and an unlimited supply of natural light. Unfortunately, in this world, there is usually at least one room in every home that is dark, poorly lit and downright gloomy. Don’t be discouraged though, a few changes can brighten up your room and your home. By finding ways to increase access to natural light, and by adapting your room elements to complement and magnify this light, can make any room look brighter, bigger and more inviting.
Brighten Your Color Scheme
One of the easiest ways to brighten up a dark living room or bedroom is to change your color palette. Repainting a dull wall with soft white will instantly add a light element. Light-colored walls reflect more natural light, especially when you use paints with a pearl or gloss finish. To add color and complement your white backdrop, use bold or neon accents like throws, pillows or rugs. The darker the color of your accent, the smaller it needs to be- and be wary of incorporating too many different colors, as this can create visual clutter. Keep a light, neutral palette for your furniture as well.
Incorporate Glass And Mirrors
Decorating your living room with glass decor elements and mirrors will reflect natural light and make your room look larger. SFGate Home Guides recommends placing a large mirror opposite a window to reflect the outside. Using glass-top tables or glass decor such as picture frames and candle holders will also add a more subtle reflective element and attract light into the room.
Tear Down An Obtrusive Wall
Removing a wall that separates the kitchen or dining area is a great way to open up a cramped space and brighten a dark room, but it can be tricky. The blog Thrifty Decor Chick gives a step-by-step guide for tearing down an obtrusive wall. First, make sure the wall you want to remove is not a load-bearing wall. Partial walls are usually fine if they don’t have a large beam or several studs close together. You can use a stud finder to determine this. You should turn off all gas and electric connected to the wall before you start demolishing. As you go along, hammer in all the nails that are in studs to prevent a sharp hazard. Map out your studs and then remove the drywall first. Then cut any outlets and knock down the studs.
If your house lacks windows, especially in your bedroom or home office, adding larger, brighter additions will instantly transform your home. Installing new windows isn’t a DIY kind of job, but it is a great way to update your home. Your rooms will be brighter, and you will add value to your home if you want to sell in the future. Not only will your dark and gloomy rooms benefit from new windows, so will your entire home: according to Champion Home Exteriors, about 30 percent of your home’s energy loss (thus leading to high energy bills) is through your old windows. Installing ENERGY STAR® rated windows can drastically reduce your utility bills.
Sometimes, simply changing the light bulbs in the kitchen, living room or entryway can make a huge difference. You should choose a light bulb based on lumens, not wattage. CFL bulbs can give off the same, if not more, light as a regular incandescent bulb, but the wattage is considerably lower, which both conserves energy, and lasts much longer. If just changing the bulbs won’t do the trick, consider adding recessed lighting or tubular daylight devices. Recessed lighting will brighten up a dark ceiling without taking up much space. According to Houzz, tubular daylight devices are an easy substitute for inefficient (not to mention a pain to install) skylights. These reflective cylinders reflect natural light to a dim room without much of the heat transfer and leaking risks that skylights have. They produce a soft glow instead of glaring light—a great alternative to bulbs.