With the approach of spring, you’re probably ready to throw open the curtains and let the sunshine in. But how do you brighten up rooms that don’t get a lot of light? Here are some helpful tips.
Don’t underestimate the power of colors
Using lighter colors can create the illusion of spaciousness. For rugs, cushions, upholstery and walls, go with pastels. Be sure to select lighter woods, as filling a room with cherry is a surefire way to make it feel darker.
Make sure you select lamps and fixtures that provide as much light as possible. Installing a ceiling fixture is an excellent way to brighten up a room, as the light will fill more of the space when it shines from above. As an alternative, select lamps that direct the light towards the ceiling.
Spruce up with sparkle
Choosing decorative accents with reflective qualities is another way to make the most of the light in the room. So think cushions with sequins or pottery with shimmery paint to spruce up your space.
You probably know that mirrors can make a room look larger. They can also make a space brighter, since they reflect light. Hanging a mirror with an elegant frame can add a classy flair to your space.
Splurge on slipcovers
If you don’t want to spend the money on a new sofa, all you need is an updated slipcover. Since the couch is often the largest piece of furniture in a room, switching to a lighter color can have a dramatic effect.
Make windows work for you
Even if your windows don’t let in a lot of light, still use them to your advantage. Be sure to keep them clean and don’t choose heavy drapes or window treatments. Instead, go with sheer curtains or blinds in light colors–and of course, open them during the day!
Keep it simple
Having too many decorations—or accent pieces that fight one another—can make a room feel smaller and darker. Add a few choice pieces for a bit of color, but don’t overdo it. Try limiting your decorations to different tones of the same color, for example, various shades of purple.
Go for green
Plants have a soothing effect that can counter the cramped feeling of being in a dark room. And the pop of color will add some brightness.
Some of the items you routinely toss into the recycling bin can be made into creative home decorations. Here are a few examples.
Don’t ditch that empty pickle or jam jar. Instead, use them to hold either candles, flowers, potpourri, spices or bath beads—you name it.
It’s tempting to toss your mail onto the first flat surface you find when you walk in the door. But you can turn old shoe boxes into attractive inboxes and outboxes by covering them with fabric.
You don’t have to throw them out! Teacups are great for storing small items like hair bands and bobby pins. Just turn the chipped side towards the wall and no one will notice!