Lightening up a dark and dreary room will instantly make it more appealing. But if adding windows or making other structural changes isn’t an option, you don’t need to worry. There are plenty of easy ways to decorate a dark room and turn it into a lighter, brighter place you and your loved ones will want to spend time in.

  1. Paint it light and bright: Colors and values are nothing more than the light that reaches our eyes after bouncing off objects. The amazing thing about white is that it reflects most of the light that hits its surface, creating the illusion of light. Case in point: that glowing ball in the sky we call the moon. Paint colors that are saturated yet light in value create a similar effect, while lending their own distinctive personalities to a space.
  2. Strategically Place the Mirrors: While many know that mirrors can amplify a small space, it’s less-common knowledge that they can also brighten up a dark room. strategically placed mirror can really brighten a space; for instance putting large mirrors opposite windows to reflect more natural light into a dark room.” So much so that “it’s like adding another window to the space.
  3. Eliminate glare: Sometimes the problem isn’t the amount of light, but rather the quality. Overhead lights can brighten up a room, but the effect is harsh as high-noon sunlight. Instead, you want the diffuse, indirect light of early morning. Place lights near the walls, and place LED strips under cabinets to cover the wall in a soft glow. Be sure to include task lighting wherever it’s needed most, such as the home office or wherever you need to read and work.
  4. Paint the Woodwork: Some people are totally against painting woodwork, but the reality is that if you want to lighten a dark room, it’s a surefire way to do it. If you have an oak staircase, dated wood wainscoting or unattractive ceiling beams give them a coat of white paint. It will instantly lighten, freshen and modernize a room. Once you paint woodwork, it’s very difficult to restore it, so you need to be sure.
  5. Brighten the view outside: Maybe you’re too busy focusing on the indoors to see the forest for the trees. But all those trees and overgrown foundation shrubs can block natural light from reaching the house, so cut those bushes and trim those tree limbs. If necessary. Also, use plants with variegated or silver leaves in your landscape to reflect light indoors, and consider renovating your patio and paving it with something brighter.
  6. Clean windows: It ought to be obvious, but when was the last time you cleaned all your home’s windows, both inside and out? To avoid streaks on outdoor surfaces, don’t bother with the window cleaner and paper towels. Wash the windows with a sponge and mildly soapy water (dish soap will do), wipe dry with a squeegee, and finish them off with a soft chamois.

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