9 Designer Tricks for Brightening Up a Dark Room

October 14, 2019

9 Designer Tricks for Brightening Up a Dark Room

A dark and gloomy room never fails to dim the mood. Aside from making the space feel smaller, it will also dampen your mood. On the other hand, a well-lit space can help alleviate stress while lifting your spirits.


If the thought of a major bust to your bank account is stopping you from making the right changes, then you need to know that you can lighten up a dark room without the use of natural light or budget-busting major renovations. Just because a room might not have the capacity to let in the sunshine, that doesn’t mean you can’t lighten the space in other ways.


You can actually brighten a dark room with a few tried-and-true decorating tricks. Here are some industry favourites that will show you how to transform your space:


Use colours to maximise space


Brightening a Dark Room


Did you know that there’s a specific colour palette that is known for “reflecting” light, thus making a space feel bigger? Yes, and it comprises light hues such as white, pastels, sandy neutrals, etc.


White is not only a great colour choice to make your rooms feel bigger and brighter, but it also makes for an amazing backdrop for furniture and accessories of virtually any other hue. As for pastels, you need to decide whether you’ll opt for feminine blush or lavender as compared to powder blue, yellow, or mint green.


Neutrals, on the other hand, need to be chosen with a bit of sense. A dash of sandy brown can be used to brighten up the room while also being paired with striped blues for a coastal theme or solid darker browns for a contemporary look.


Go for a high-gloss ceiling


If you’re looking for a way to brighten a dark room with no natural light, consider using a high-gloss paint colour on the ceiling. 


A ceiling is the best place to do this because the gloss will reflect light well and while adding a new element to the room. Once again, your colour choice matters a lot here. Pick something light, breezy, and cheerful. White is a timeless option. Note that if you opt for darker colours, your ceiling might end up looking overbearing even with the gloss finish.


Brightening a Dark Room


Light wooden flooring for the win

Light wood flooring is the perfect choice for brightening up a room - especially when it’s paired with light-hued walls. If the room will be subjected to a great deal of heavy foot traffic, you should also consider using a light stain. This will help mask scratches. Oak, beech and light ash are all great stain choices.


Wood floors are easy to keep clean, and if cared for correctly, won’t warp or become damaged over time. They’re also quite beautiful and add dimension to any room in the home. However, if you’re looking for cheaper options, then vinyl and laminate are good ones. 


Pro tip: Be diligent in cleaning your floors to keep them in tip-top condition. Each flooring type will come with its own set of care instructions, so make note of them before using any type of cleaning product.

Brightening a Dark Room

The right area rug formation

Brightening a Dark Room


Area rugs are always a gorgeous accessory to brighten up rooms, but did you know that the right size and layout can make it feel bigger as well? The trick here is to select one single oversized rug rather than several smaller ones. A good way to ensure that you get the right size is to take the dimensions of the room and pick a rug size that offsets at least 30-50cm along the edges of the wall. 


Pro tip: Make sure that the rug is lighter and brighter in hue so that it doesn’t subdue your space’s ambiance.


Hanging mirrors 

Brightening a Dark Room


Mirrors are an excellent way to ramp up your decor, but they’re also used to create an illusion of space. This is one of the best designer tricks for brightening up a dark room. You simply have to be very strategic with your mirror placement.


If you have a small window that lets in a moderate amount of natural light, then you can hang your wall mirrors around it at an angle that will help reflect the light thoroughly across the entire room. You can even use multiple mirrors across the room so that the light can bounce off of them to brighten up the room even more.


Pro tip: Hanging an oversized mirror across the largest window in your room can improve the light reflection exponentially.


Bring the outside in


Brightening a Dark Room


Blurring the boundaries between your indoor and outdoor spaces can also brighten up the dark room. Try to make your window the focal point of such a setting and landscape the outside in a way that will feel refreshing and healing, even when you’re experiencing it from the inside.


Alternately, you can literally bring the outside in by decorating with plants inside your room. A lush statement planter can make an immediate focal point, but if you want multiple ones, then try featuring a medium-sized planter on your coffee table or hanging some indoor vines above your window or your bookcase. They’ll certainly add an extra oomph to your spaces.


Pro tip: Arrange your furniture layout so that everything is pointed towards the window if you’re opting for the first recommendation. In case of the second recommendation, it’s ideal that you seamlessly integrate the planters within the room itself.


Use bright wall art


Brightening a Dark Room


Nothing can brighten up a room better than some statement wall art. You just need to pick out colours that are bold, bright, and charming. You can either put up a single oversized artwork on your statement wall or you can curate a personalised gallery wall - either way, you’ll end up adding a lot of personality to your space.


Add a pop of colour with cushions

Brightening a Dark Room


If you feel like your room is dull as well as dark, then you can always use decor and accessories to your advantage - especially cushions. They’re an innocuous way to seamlessly incorporate some colour in your interior designs. Just choose some contrasting colours and patterns, then arrange them on your couch in an eye-catching formation. You’ll see how your entire ambiance gets an immediate uplift!


Opt for light coloured furniture


Brightening a Dark Room


Your furniture has a big impact on the overall outlook of the ambiance. The best way to brighten up a dark room is by selecting pieces that are light - especially the bigger ones. For example, a statement sofa or wall-to-ceiling cabinetry in light, neutral shades would definitely make a dark room feel breezier.


So, these are the 9 ways you can brighten up your dark room. We hope this guide helps you make your space feel more beautiful, charismatic, and certainly lighter than before.


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