Creative ways to increase natural light in dark rooms. Even if most of your home has good light, getting natural light into a dark room is difficult, which can cause a room to never be used.
You can always install windows throughout your home to try and increase the natural light, but that’s expensive and there are much easier ways to do it, if only by creating the illusion of more natural light.
You can amplify the light by using mirrors in a room to help diffuse any natural light that can enter on its own.
Additionally, you can strategically place mirrors in a hallway to reflect light into the entrance of a dark room.
Mirrors can do wonders when it comes to lighting a space, you just have to know how to use them.
Choose a door with a window
If you’re looking for a way to bring natural light into a room that doesn’t have windows, consider swapping out your current door for one with a window (or installing a storm door if your foyer needs some light).
For example, if your laundry room is dark and dingy, install a door with a frosted window and it will suddenly light up thanks to the addition of light from outside.
Consider light grays
Filling your home with light grays is a great way to give the illusion of more light. They’re especially good for people who prefer cooler shades or aren’t fans of the all-white look.
Just make sure to stick with the light grays because going dark will give you the opposite effect to what you are looking for.
Place furniture at a strategic angle
In the absence of adding a window, it is difficult for light to enter a dark room, so it is better to play with the light you do have.
To do this, orient the furniture towards the light so that it reflects on them and fills the room a little more.
This is especially useful if your furniture is light in color.
Lean towards light browns
Whether it’s the flooring, trim, or furniture, if you’re opting for wood, try choosing a light, warm color rather than a dark one like espresso.
Obviously, the darker the furniture, the darker the room, which will make the problem worse.
Add a light carpet
You may not be able to force more sunlight into a room, but you can illuminate it with a light-colored rug.
This is especially useful if you have darker floors that don’t help the lack of light.
By the way, make sure the ceiling in the room is white, too.
Between the carpet and the ceiling, the room will appear taller, which will help make it appear less dark.
Skip the blinds
Having windows without any treatment is not always an option for people, but if you are able to go without blinds in your dark room, go for it!
The open window will let in even more light and fill the room much more.
Don’t trust overhead lighting
In addition to trying to amplify the natural light you can get, you should also come up with some strategic artificial lighting solutions for dark rooms.
Don’t just rely on general ceiling lighting (such as a central lamp or ceiling fan light), but rather add some floor and table lamps that reflect light from the walls to brighten the space.
Make it your focal point
No matter how little natural light is in a room, it is best to make the natural light you do have a focal point.
Drawing attention to the light will make it seem more important and give it more of a presence.
Also, if you want to add an accent or gallery wall, make sure it’s in front of your natural light source because clutter can quickly darken a room.
Opt for light furniture
Selecting light furniture is a sneaky way to bring more light into a room, creating the illusion of luminosity with lighter fabrics and finishes by letting natural light bounce off them.
This keeps ventilation and openness in an otherwise claustrophobic room.
Invest in recessed lighting
If you don’t have a lot of space for lamps, you can light a dark room with overhead lighting, so long as it’s recessed.
Recessed lighting is typically installed throughout the room, which means there are multiple bulbs to illuminate, rather than light originating from one central location.
Adding recessed lighting is definitely an investment, so if it’s not possible and you’re still short on space, try placing several small table lamps in the room instead.
Think of the window frames
Are your window moldings dark or do they not exist? In either case, go for a wide, white edging. This will create the illusion of a larger window and you will be amazed at how bright the room looks with the help of this little project.
Choose the right accent colors
Your space doesn’t have to be completely light gray, white, and beige. You can add a few pops of color here and there, but just need to be mindful of the colors you choose.
As a general rule, you can use any color you like as long as it is the pastel version.
If pastel colors aren’t your thing and you want something bold, consider bright yellow or green.
Keep lighting fixtures minimal
This may sound counterintuitive, but to bring out the light in a room, you need to have a low-key lamp.
It should still give off a fair amount of light, but you don’t want the lamp itself to be the focal point of the room, as that will detract from the light it gives off.
Therefore, avoid chandeliers and low pendants and opt for recessed and semi-recessed lamps.
Limit colors to accents
If the idea of not having colors, or just pastel colors, drives you crazy, then definitely put some color in the room, because there is no point in putting all this effort into cheering it up if you are just going to hate it and never use it.
However, when you do, try to limit yourself to accent pieces such as cushions, picture frames, art, and other accents.
This will keep your larger furniture bright to help lighten the room but still give you that pop of color you crave.
Lighten your lampshades
There is a time and place for fun displays with colors and patterns, but a dark room is not one of them.
You want to make sure your lampshades are white (or as close to white as possible) so that light can pass through them.
In addition, the screen itself will give the illusion that there is more light (as will the window moldings).
If you want a space to appear claustrophobic, fill it with clutter.
Add in the absence of natural light and you have a very unwelcoming room. You can brighten a dark room by simply minimizing the amount of decor you have in it.
Keep the walls a little more bare and limit the amount of accent furniture you have to just the essentials.
By creating space, you are giving the room a more spacious (and brighter) look.
Opt for white curtains
Just as white shades are best for floor and table lamps, white shades are best for windows.
The reason is that they reflect light and can even make windows appear larger if hung properly.
If possible, hang the curtains higher than the top of the windows and make them extend more on each side (but still cover the wall space directly on either side of the window). This will make the windows appear taller and wider.
Keep your walls light
As with furniture, floors, ceilings, and basically everything else in the room, you want the walls to be as light as possible.
While a navy blue wall is lovely in a room with lots of natural light, it will make you feel like you are in a cave if you are in a dark room.
The lighter the walls, the better.
Getting more natural light in a darkened room isn’t exactly easy (without major construction at least), but it is possible with some strategic design and decorating skills.
The most important thing to remember is to create light through bright and airy colors in the room.
Otherwise, no matter how many mirrors are placed or how many floor lamps are put in, the room will still appear dark.