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How to make a dark room feel brighter?
Smart use of colour and material can really change the look and feel of a space. Making a dark room feel lighter and brighter is a common challenge. Ideally, knocking down a wall or adding a window would be a solution, but that’s not always an option and thankfully there are a lot of other small changes that have a big impact. I’ve listed a few tips and tricks to add a lighter feel without too much hassle. A small bathroom, a windowless pantry, a north-facing office, … these ideas will bring the light in in every situation!
Smart colour choices
An all-white room would be the best solution to brighten up a darker space. The walls will reflect the light back onto all surfaces and will make the room look much bigger than it is. Still, all white everything can also be very boring very easily. Want to spice things up? Go for slightly off-white shades, opting for cooler shades of blue and green or light, sunny hues like pale orange and yellow. You can also pick just one wall, the ceiling, or the door and window frames to highlight with a bolder colour choice. Another option is to divide the walls in two, keeping the upper part light while adding a colour or wallpaper to the bottom part.
The same goes for your furniture: keep things light and fresh for an airy feel! A white sofa might seem risky, but fabrics nowadays are very easy to maintain. Instead of a massive wooden cabinet, why not opt for floating shelves or a light metal frame? Transparent also works wonders: a table in glass or acrylic is as functional as any other, but see-through effect is a lot easier on the eye in a small room.
Add a mirror
Reflection = good. Whether it’s a statement mirror, shiny accessories or even high-gloss wall paint, a decent dose of reflection really helps to make your room feel bigger and brighter. Place your mirror right in front of a window or other light source for optimal effect.
Pick a rug
Try to keep your flooring as light as possible too. Pale wood, light grey concrete, a cast floor, … will all help to keep a calm, serene atmosphere. To cover up a dark floor, you can also easily add a big rug in a lighter shade. Double win, as this also makes the mood much more cosy.
Plants, art and accessories
Keeping an area open and bright does not equal a minimal look! Feel free to add as much accessories and personal items as you please, but keep in mind that less is sometimes more. And what goes for walls and furniture, also applies to accessories: keep it light! Shades of white, beige, yellow, … will keep things calm on the eye. One big statement piece of art on the wall will give a more airy feel than an art wall filled with different posters and prints. And while plants might seem to take up a lot of space, they also add life and dynamics to a room.