Décor tricks that help brighten a dark room

What you need to know:

Do you have that room that looks dark and drab? Here are simple tricks to brighten it up

Living in a room that has insufficient lighting has a negative impact on one’s psychological and physical well-being while a bright room is said to improve one’s mood, productivity and creativity.

However, not all rooms need the same level of lighting, for instance a bedrooms require less light since darkness is said to enhance sleep. If other spaces such as the living room, dining room and kitchen are still dark even with lighting and physical features such as windows, doors or skylights, here are some décor tricks you can use to make them look brighter.

Work with paints

Paint is an amazing design tool that can totally change the appearance of a place. Choosing colours that can help in distributing light will give the room an illusion of being brighter.

“Therefore, use bright white in dark places. This will not only makes it look larger but also brighter. Nonetheless, you should not be stuck to white but also venture into light hues (colours with high light intensity) such as macadamia nut, marble white, off pink, pale pearl, and sand yellow. These colours also create a subtle glow and inviting mood that works well to balance the natural light that makes its way into the room,” Aloysius Nangosha, an interior designer says.

Use bright fabrics

Fabric can make or break the general aesthetics of a place.  “In the case of a dark room, using bright coloured fabric for your cushion covers or pillows so they pop,” Husnah Kibuuka, an interior designer says.

Play with artificial light

When light is insufficient in a room, complimenting natural light with artificial light greatly helps. This is not just about having one overhead lamp as that will create shadows, darkened areas we are looking to alleviate.

“Layer the lights so that those layers accentuate each other. Therefore, mixing accent, task, ambient lighting ensures the different uses of lighting are met. That way, the room will become more luminous,” Kibuuka advises.

Work with light flooring

Since light bounces off surfaces, ensure that the flooring material in rooms that require brightness is in a light in colour. Porcelain, glass or mosaic tiles are artistic work well with natural light from a sunny window or bright indoor lighting, to enhance the room’s overall appearance.  

Do away with heavy curtains

Curtains keep out light and the extent is predicated on the thickness of the curtain. With a dark room, there is no need to have thick window treatment.

“Swap these with nets so there is a bit of privacy yet as much light streams through as possible. For consistency, work with the colour of the accessories within that room to create more warmth that the darkness of the room would deprive you of,” Nangosha says.

Work cleverly with mirrors

Mirrors reflect light and are an amazing tool for creating an illusion of space. However, strategic placement is important because the goal is to reflect as much light into the room as possible.

 “Place the mirrors opposite or adjacent to the entryways so the light can get reflected better. You can also place them opposite artificial light sources such as sconces. Mirrors also work well in rooms without windows since they break the monotony of brick and mortar, hence removing  the claustrophobic atmosphere walls may create,” Kibuuka says.

You can also work with reflective furniture pieces such as glass coffee tables as these will also bounce light into the room. They, however, must also be placed where most light is received.

Add bright artwork

Just like fabric, bright art work can totally transform the space by adding vibrancy and visual interest. “A dark room does not have any point of interest because everything is dull. However, with bright art work, not only will the colours pop because they are bright but also cause interest to the eye,”Aloysius Nangosha, an interior designer says.


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