7 Ways to Brighten a Dark Room

Dark rooms are suitable only for places like a cinema or… well, an actual dark room. In any other case, especially in the house where you live, you might want to possibly darken the space at most, not to have a permanently dark room. It’s not only unpleasant and tiring for people but also simply unhealthy for their eyesight. Furthermore, according to the real estate market experts from Highest Cash Offer, it will also impact the situation significantly if you decide to sell.

Luckily, the lack of natural light in a room is not the end of the world. There are some ways that might help you brighten a dark room, even when you can’t add another window. Read on to find some of the various things that we recommend in such cases!

Multiple Sources of Light

If there’s little natural light in one of your rooms, you need to provide at least artificial light sources. And if you do it right, you can brighten the whole space to an enjoyable (and healthy) degree.

When it comes to the main overhead light fixture, you don’t want it to be too big, as it might overwhelm the room and provide a beam of light either too direct or scattered but faint. Instead, you should aim to distribute the light evenly.

Next, you need to think about task lighting, which is always essential but especially in a dark room. For example, in a bedroom, you will put lamps on bedside tables while in a living room – over a place where you read, a desk where you work, or a table. Think about how you use the room and place the lights accordingly.

Lampshades are fine, as they can help you diffuse the light, but they should be in light colors and made from light, slightly transparent materials (e.g., linen). You can even go for a crystal chandelier as long as it’s not too big.

The rule of thumb is to illuminate the space evenly and make sure never to strain your eyes.

Mirrors, Mirrors

A well-placed mirror can make the room feel more spacious as well as brighter. So, where should you put it to achieve this? Ideally, on a wall directly opposite a window. It is an excellent solution because it will reflect a natural light instead of providing an artificial one.

However, if you can’t put anything directly opposite a window, place mirrors wherever – the effect will be weaker but will work as well. Moreover, it’s not a bad idea to buy a coffee table or a regular one with a mirrored top.

White Ceiling and Light Floor

You can create an illusion of a brighter room by painting your ceiling bright white – but no other shade of white. Additionally, the whole room will feel taller and spacious. Dark colors can overwhelm the space, especially if you also have darker furniture or decorations.

The same goes for the floor, though it might be more difficult to change it than painting the ceiling. In this case, you can find a light area rug – it may even be patterned, but make sure it is light and bright.

And if you’re choosing the flooring for your next renovation project, light wood will brighten up any design ideas you might have.

Lighter and Brighter Windows Coverings

Window treatments are not something you can simply get rid of. It’s true that dark and heavy curtains will make your room feel dark, maybe even gloomy. If that’s the case, you should instead cover your windows with curtains in white or another bright color. If you don’t want your windows to be completely uncovered, ever, you need to opt for light, slightly transparent coverings (translucent shades or subtle net curtains) so that they don’t block the only source of natural light in the room.

Bright Decorations

Make a dark room less overwhelming and gloomy by strategically placing various decorations in bright, lively colors. Here, you can go wild – if your interiors are relatively calm but seem a little dark, start by adding a piece of artwork in vibrant colors, like yellow or fuchsia; if the room looks somewhat heavy, go for a bright but calmer piece.

When it comes to details, metallic surfaces reflect light almost as effectively as mirrors, so don’t be afraid to use metallic light fixtures or decorations.

Beware, though, as, with decorations, you can easily overdo and clutter your space, which will bring the opposite effect.


Greenery can also prove helpful in making your space feel brighter and lighter. A plant here and there will bring lively colors and, literally, life to your home.

Use neutral white pots or other vessels for your plants so that they don’t feel too bulky, and you can be sure they will brighten up even the darkest corner. However, be sure to choose plants that don’t need too much sun.

Consider the Outdoors

The answer might be simpler than you think, just not located in a room. Try looking out your window to see if there isn’t anything outside preventing the sunlight from coming in. Maybe all you have to do is trim the trees or bushes a little more than usual.

Moreover, remember not to plant any trees on the southern side of your house, as they will separate you from the sunlight in the winter (because of the abundant foliage) without providing much-needed shade in the summer (because of their height).

Final Thoughts

A dark room can not only strain your eyesight but also make you feel tired and sleepy, unable to focus, which might work for a bedroom but is not the best idea in a living room. Not all buildings can be designed so that they have enough natural light in all the rooms, but luckily, there are ways to brighten a dark room artificially.

Once you learn more about interior design, you can transform any space into anything you might want. Choose the right furniture and decorations, and place them appropriately around the area to make a dark room feel brighter. Add a little bright or white paint and enjoy a whole new look.

Remember that the most important thing is for you to feel comfortable. So, follow our tips but make sure the changes suit you.

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