Décormag

How to Brighten a Dark Room

Design Guides

brighten dark space knock down walls

Lighting isn’t just integral to your home design. It’s an important part of staying healthy, and the amount of natural sunlight we receive directly impacts our wellness. So if there’s a space in your house that’s short on natural light, don’t leave it be. Our senior designers have these tips for brightening a dark room.

Paint The Walls

brighten dark space paint

If you’re trying to brighten your room, then the first step should be to repaint your walls. And repainting your walls doesn’t have to mean going for an all-white look. Light greys and blues in a semi-gloss finish are great options for brightening your space. Check out the difference that a fresh coat of paint made in this airy urban retreat

Low-Profile Furniture

brighten dark space low profile furniture

Most people don’t think that furniture can have an affect on brightening a space, but it absolutely can. In this Upper West Side family home, large, brown suede couches were blocking out a ton of potential light. So we swapped them out with lower-profile grey couches from Edward Ferrell + Lewis Mittman, to allow light to filter into the room.

Sheer Window Treatments

brighten dark space sheer curtains

We love thick, high-gauge window treatments in the winter. They help keep the cold out and are great for keeping you house warm. But when the weather gets nicer, consider sheer options. They’ll allow more light to filter in, and will give your space a light and airy feel. We installed sheer window treatments in this high-rise apartment to keep the room feeling light and breezy. 

Large Light Fixtures

brighten dark space light fixtures

If a part of your house doesn’t have a window, then consider different lighting options. Larger fixtures tend to work best for square and symmetrical spaces that are short on light. For this square, windowless foyer, we selected a bright gold wallpaper, which reflected a large, light-defusing fixture.

Track Lighting

brighten dark space track lighting

And for more narrow spaces like hallways, consider track lighting. It’s a great way to brighten up your space, and can also be an effective way to spotlight your art. Check out how we used track lighting in this Upper West Side family home

Knock Down a Wall

brighten dark space knock down walls

If you’re really in need of a brighter space, then consider knocking down one of your walls. It’s a drastic measure, but it’s definitely an effective one. It’ll give your space a more open floor plan, and will also significantly brighten your home. In this New Jersey home, we knocked down a couple of walls for a breezy, wide-open chef’s kitchen.

High-Sheen Fabrics

brighten dark space high sheen fabrics

One of the easiest ways to brighten your space is to pick out high-sheen fabrics and materials. To keep this windowless library from feeling like a cell, we installed a gold ceiling, and sourced red velvet chairs with a high sheen.

HAVING PROBLEMS WITH YOUR DIY? Email us! Our senior designers are here to offer free advice.