Finding the right solution is challenging when a room more closely resembles a dark, gloomy dungeon than a light, airy oasis. Rooms lacking natural light from large windows don’t have to lack adequate illumination, though. There are several creative ways to brighten even the darkest rooms, and you don’t have to spend a fortune or hire a contractor to install additional windows to do it. The first step is determining how bright you want to make the room. While bright lights are essential in bathrooms and kitchens, you may want to consider softer, cozier lighting for your bedroom or living room, for example. Whether you need to brighten things up a little or a lot, keep reading to learn how to add more light to a room.
Illuminate Your Space with Candles
Candles are a lovely way to add a warm glow to any room, and they’re a perfect choice when you want a little more light but don’t want to make a space overly bright. Once illuminated, they create a welcoming and soothing atmosphere that encourages relaxation. To enjoy your candles for as long as possible while maximizing safety, invest in a wick trimmer and keep your wicks trimmed to ¼ inch.
In addition to illuminating your home, candles provide a lovely fragrance experience. Our sense of smell is closely connected to our memories, and certain fragrances are well-known for their mood-lifting capabilities. If you’re living far from where you grew up and would like to experience the familiar scents of home, state candles can mentally transport you there. And if you’re adding candles to your bedroom to create a cozy retreat, consider candles containing relaxing fragrances like lavender and jasmine.
Place Mirrors to Reflect Light
Using mirrors is an easy way to make a room feel larger and brighter. However, you need to place them strategically to enjoy their full potential. When arranging (or re-arranging) a room, put mirrors near light sources. Giant floor and wall mirrors placed near windows amplify natural lighting while providing an attractive focal point. Situating smaller mirrors near floor lamps, table lamps or candles also works. When implementing this technique, avoid placing mirrors near exceptionally bright lights. Bright lights may be a bit too bright when reflected. Windows and lamps that emit soft, warm light work best.
Give Your Windows a Good Cleaning
Cleaning your windows is an obvious solution for adding more light to a room, but it’s often overlooked. Like smudged glasses, dirty windows let in less light and limit visibility. If it’s been a while since the last time you deep cleaned your windows — both inside and out — give it a try. Use a high-quality glass cleaner and wipe thoroughly to remove dirt, smudges and streaks.
Your screens might need some TLC too. Give them a good scrub or, if possible, remove them entirely. If you don’t open the windows regularly, removing the screens is often an excellent means of letting in more light. Deep clean your windows and screens (if you’re still using them) every year to make sure they’re letting in as much light as possible.
Lighten Up Your Furniture
Your furniture choices have a more significant impact on the lighting in your home than you may realize. It’s hard to make a room brighter when it’s filled with dark, oversized furniture. A bulky black sofa isn’t the best choice for a small, dimly lit space. Instead, consider pieces that are lighter in color and take up less space. You might be surprised at just how much this change brightens up the room.
Transparent pieces are great too. Swap your wood coffee and side tables for transparent ones made from acrylic. They are super stylish, and they’ll make the room feel bigger in addition to brightening it up.
Embrace White Paint
Instead of thinking of plain, white walls as boring or generic, look at them as a great way of brightening up a room. Black and dark colors absorb light, while white bounces it around the room. When the light reflects on other walls and surfaces, it makes the room feel brighter and larger than it is. Always use eggshell or satin paint — never flat. Flat paint does not reflect light well, even if it’s white.
If you still feel like white is too dull, consider putting up decorative trim to add some texture. Alternatively, paint just one wall with a soft, refreshing hue to add a pop of color. You can also add color to the room with accessories.
Aim Lights Strategically
Don’t position lamps and other light fixtures so they are only focusing a beam of light in one area. Instead, point them at the ceiling or walls. Doing so bathes the entire room with light rather than illuminating just one spot. It creates a warm, elegant glow that will instantly make the space feel brighter and more inviting.
Install Additional Lights
Sometimes, installing additional lights is the only effective way of brightening up a space. If you are illuminating a room with a single overhead light fixture or a lamp in the corner, you’ll need to add some additional fixtures. Wall sconces and floor and table lamps are excellent options. If you’re looking to add a bit of ambient light, consider stringing fairy lights along your ceiling or investing in lighted decor. Strive to add light throughout the room to avoid dark, shadowy areas. There are several options, and you don’t need to spend a lot of money to add a little extra light.
Finding ways to illuminate dimly lit spaces can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. Even if you are working with a limited budget, it just takes some creative thinking and design sense. Try the suggestions above, and you will instantly notice a difference. And, as a bonus, brightening up the room will likely make it feel bigger too.