Let’s face it. Sitting in a dark room really puts a damper on your day. Sunshine charges us with Vitamin D and optimism. The amount of ambient light in the room can have a dramatic effect on how you see things — both figurative and literally. Here are 6 ways to lighten up the dimmest interior.
1. Choose Airy Window Treatments
The type of window treatment you choose can greatly alter the mood of your interior space. Assuming that your room has windows, you want to avoid using heavy drapes or curtains that shut out light. Instead, you can consider neutral-colored and lightweight blinds, semi-sheer shades or roller shades to liven up the room with a touch of energy and light.
2. Add a Skylight or TDD
Installing a skylight can dramatically open up a room, flooding it with warm natural light. You will be able to bathe in the warmth of the sun during the day and soak in the silvery starlight during the night. If a skylight is not exactly suitable for your home, you can use Tubular Daylighting Devices (TDDs) as a creative alternative.
3. Repaint the Room
It’s amazing what you can do with a dab of paint. Light, neutral colors can open up the room and reflect light. When choosing the right color for your room, Interior Designer Edith Gregson shares that “flat, matte or satin finishes will soak up light, while semi-gloss, high-gloss and lacquer finishes tend to reflect light, which make a darker room feel brighter and lighter.” On the other hand, if you happen to have a low ceiling and want to breathe a generous atmosphere into the room, painting the walls and moldings with the same color will definitely add the impression of height and depth.
4. Add a Mirror or Three
Mirrors can be an affordable and effective way to brighten a dark room. Floor-to-ceiling mirror tiles, for example, can make an especially big impact in a small room with its ambient illumination. Table mirrors, wall mirrors or standing mirrors can also work well if you position them to reflect from the brightest source of light in the room. Additionally, placing two mirrors opposite of each other can also make the room appear larger, while increasing the complexion of the space.
5. Be Creative with Lamps and Lights
Hanging pendant lamps can add warmth to a seemingly small and dark space. Apartment Therapy suggests hanging lamps at different heights to create a layered light effect. Generally, choosing lamps of different sizes and textures will give the room a more interesting visual presentation. You may also experiment with wall, floor and table lamps to create an attractive interplay of light.
6. Play with Recessed Lighting
Sometimes, it’s not how much light you use, but how you use it. Homeowners can experiment with recessed lighting fixtures, known as “can lights,” to lighten up the dark, overarching ceiling. By installing a dimmer switch, you can use these fixtures to set a romantic mood or make a bold statement. For homeowners with bright light bulbs already installed the house, you can redirect your lamp toward the walls and ceilings to create a soft, warm glow and reduce the harsh shadows.
Bio: Paul Kazlov is a “green” home remodeling enthusiast and an industry pioneer in innovation in home renovation. Paul writes for the Global Home Improvement blog and strives to educate people about “green” products such as metal roofing and solar. Learn more about Paul’s work here: www.globalhomeinc.com. Follow him on Twitter: @PaulKazlov.