Whether you have beautiful, giant trees outside the windows of your home, or just not enough windows to let in natural light, don’t despair. There are ways to let the sun shine brightly into your home, or borrow sunlight from other rooms. Learn how to make a dark room look bright with these tips.
Not only does a light-filled, airy-feeling room seem larger than it is, it also provides natural light to stimulate the senses and provide a sense of warmth. If you have a room (or few) in your home that feels dark, it’s time to let the light in.
Read on for tricks and tips—from large home improvement projects to small design changes—you can try today to make a dark room look bright.
- Install tubular daylight devices
Tubular daylight devices can make a dramatic impact on spaces that are dark, cramped, or narrow. Tubular daylight devices are like mini, circular skylights, installed between the roof and the ceiling. They are made of reflective tubes or pipes, with a clear dome on top. At the bottom, they diffuse light or are glazed, giving the room a soft glow of natural light, instead of glaring direct sun.
Tubular daylight devices are great for narrow hallways, bathrooms that need more light while not compromising on privacy, and kitchens where adding windows just won’t work.
- Add glass doors
Replacing a solid door with a glass door can add a huge source of light to your entryway, while also adding some stylish and textural flair. Concerned about privacy? Glazing the door allows light to get in, while intruding eyes stay out. Etched or reeded glasses are other options for those seeking privacy.
Also consider swapping out solid interior doors for glass doors. You won’t lose the sound barrier a door provides, but you’ll gain a whole lot of natural light that can be shared from one room to its darker neighbor. Evaluate which rooms do get a lot of natural light, and see if perhaps French doors would work as a way to capture sunlight in the next room.
- Widen doors or remove walls
If it’s structurally feasible, consider widening doorways or removing walls to let light travel between rooms and provide a more open feel. Widen a doorway between a kitchen and a dining room, or a living room and a kitchen or dining space.
Opening up your floor plan by removing walls can make a pair or collection of dark rooms into one airier space. Doing so will allow you more interaction with family members, too. An open floor plan isn’t for everyone, however. Read more about the open-concept kitchen, and whether it fits your lifestyle.
- Decorative deception
If you’re trying to figure out how to make a dark room look bright, but want less-drastic changes, consider some smart ways your décor can help you achieve a more light-filled look.
- Hang a mirror, or few, to reflect light
- Use light and simple window dressings
- Don’t forget the floor: use light-toned wood and lighter-colored carpets
- Add recessed or pendant lighting
Adding lights might be the simplest way to turn a dark room bright, if you simply don’t have much or any natural light to work with. Read more about what’s popular in decorative lighting this year.
- Paint it
Choosing the right paint colors for your walls is tough enough. But choosing the right color for a dark room can seem like a herculean task. Choose an eggshell finish, which provides a bit of sheen without being high-gloss. Adding that touch of sheen to your paint can help reflect light.
Picking a shade of white can seem like a good choice to make a darker room feel bigger. But without a lot of natural light to play off white walls, white falls flat in a dark room.
Instead, consider a nice neutral to provide some depth and dimension to the room. Think grays, beiges, and light blues. These colors are light enough that they don’t overpower the room, while also allowing what light you get to move on the walls.
If you’re brave, and the room can pull it off, consider the opposite end of the color spectrum. Deep, moody colors can embrace shadows and make a room with little natural light feel cozy and inviting.
Colors to try:
- Smoky green: Sherwin-Williams: Inland SW 6452
- Crystal blue: Benjamin Moore: Crystal blue 2051-70
- Soft gray: Donald Kaufman Color: DKC-8
How to make a dark room look bright can be a real challenge. But hopefully, armed with these tips, you can evaluate your dark rooms and decide what kinds of changes you can make. Be it knocking down walls, or just changing up the room’s paint color, may there be lots of light in your future!
If you’re stumped on how to get more natural light into your dark rooms, contact us today. We’re happy to help you troubleshoot.