By Anne Roselt

If you have a dark room or space where adding a window or skylight is not an option, then there are ways you can use colour and texture to bounce light around the room.

Brightening a dark room will make it more attractive and turn it from drab and uninviting into a space where everyone will be happy to spend time in.

Here are some tips on how to do it:

Make the most of the natural light

Make sure you are letting in as much of the natural light as possible and that nothing is blocking the light from coming in. For example, shrubs and trees outside the window or furniture and heavy window treatments inside the room.

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Paint the ceiling white



Painting a dark or wood ceiling white will immediately lighten a dark room, creating a feeling of height and space. This works especially well with wooden ceilings and beams, the room immediately looks and feels light, airy and contemporary.

Use light-reflecting colours on the walls

Scientifically white reflects light and black absorbs light. White and off white painted on the walls will bounce light around the room making it brighter. White can also look grey and drab in a dark room: in this case painting a soft yellow, or white with a yellow undertone as a wall colour will brighten up the space.

Keep dark colours to a single accent wall.

Lighten the window treatments

Heavy and ornate window treatments will create a heavy atmosphere and make a space feel darker than it is. Keep the colours and fabrics light and the windows free from too much covering when open, this will create a much brighter feel.

Lighten the furniture

Too much heavy furniture makes a room feel cramped and darker than it is. Go for lighter furniture with sleek contemporary lines that create a feeling of space.

Lighten the floor

Dark floors will make a room feel darker, paint the floors white or add some lighter rugs to bring brightness to the room

Quality lighting



Quality lighting includes balancing and integrating natural light with electrical sources. Position lighting so that it can bounce off walls and reflect around the room.

Select compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) that have a high a high lumen (light) output. They are available in cool and warm colour temperatures. The cooler blue coloured light is brighter than the warmer light.

Another good Choice are LEDs which have a compact size, are durable and have a long life. They can be used as a directional source and turn on instantly.

CFLs and LEDs are more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs and can yield energy savings of approximately 75%.

Texture and light

A smooth, high gloss object will appear to have a more intense colour than an object with a texture. This is because light reflects off shiny objects and is absorbed by heavily textured objects.

Add mirrors

Adding a large mirror, or group of mirrors, to a wall in a dark room will reflect light and make the room feel brighter. Ideally select a mirrors that have a light frame rather than something that looks chunky and heavy.

Read more: Home wall décor ideas: Decorating with mirrors

Artwork and accessories

Accessories and artwork finish off a space. Here you can add some colour to give the room some personality. Bright White is also a great choice for accessories and artwork if the room is dark. Layering shades of white in different textures creates interest in a room.

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Author: Private Property