7 Amazing Tips to Lighten Up a Dark Room

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Islington House, Neil Dusheiko Architects Neil Dusheiko Architects Modern dining room
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Buying your first home is an exciting and scary process. There are so many things to consider. When you finally have the financing in place, it is time to search for your dream house. This is a big purchase and requires careful consideration. It is so easy to be overwhelmed. When you have finally made the plunge and your home becomes a reality, you may discover problems with the house, including dark corners or rooms. There may be many reasons why we have a room in our homes that never gets enough light. This may be because of a small window, or that the window in the space does not get sufficient light. Whatever the reason, the lack of light is causing the space to appear gloomy and depressing. There are ways to either increase the amount of light entering the space, or to make better use of limited light that is already in the space. Some of these techniques require a considerable amount of renovations and other can be made very simply and cheaply. homify has looked at the options and has come up with the best options for increasing the light in a dark room.

Light Colours

If you are not in a situation where you are able to make alterations to your house, then a less intrusive option may be required. One simple way to brighten a dark room is to make the most of the available light. This can be done by allowing the light to reflect off as many surfaces as possible. Do this with light colours. In a dark room be sure to decorate the area with light coloured furniture and fittings. Consider a white couch in a dark living space, paint walls a bright and reflective white to make the space appear brighter by bouncing the light of these surfaces. In a dark kitchen be sure to install light coloured cabinets and flooring.

Roof Window

Skylight above dining space Neil Dusheiko Architects Modern dining room
Neil Dusheiko Architects

Skylight above dining space

Neil Dusheiko Architects

One of the main reasons that a room may be dark is because of a small window, or a window that has a limited amount of light. This can be the case where the window is in close proximity to other building or large trees. It may not be possible to make alterations such as cutting down trees to allow more light to enter the room. In these circumstances an alternative light source is required. One such source is the roof window or sky light. A skylight is literally a window in the roof. This allows a large amount of light into the room, without the risk of blockage from nearby buildings or trees. This is a great option for townhouses and small unit. This roof light is a wonderful example, it transforms this once dark space into a vibrant light room. It was designed by Neil Dusheiko Architects.


Fireplace Wall Alcove Mirrors Rupert Bevan Ltd Living roomFireplaces & accessories
Rupert Bevan Ltd

Fireplace Wall Alcove Mirrors

Rupert Bevan Ltd

One of the best and simplest ways of increasing the brightness in a room is to allow the available light to reflect around the room. One clever way of doing this is by using mirrors. Mirrors are used much the same way as light colours to reflect the available light around the room, in order for it to appear brighter. The advantage of mirrors is that they will reflect more light than light coloured furniture, fittings and paintwork. A carefully placed mirror can also make a space appear larger, which will in turn make it seem brighter and more inviting. Try placing a mirror opposite a small window to increase the impact of the window. This design was by Rupert Bevan Ltd.

Open Spaces

Another clever and simple way of increasing the light in a dark room is to open up the space. To open up a space simply remove the clutter and things in the room to allow an open space area. This will make the room appear brighter, even though no extra light had been added to the room. Try reducing clutter by putting small items away in drawers and cabinets, hide cords and cables behind furniture and reducing the amount of books to a small shelf to allow more open space.


Adding more lighting is the most obvious way of increasing the brightness in a dark room. Lighting can brighten a room in many ways. Use a variety of lights to brighten a dark room; table lamps will work well to illuminate a side table or bookcase, floor lamps placed in a back corner can illuminate a large area, ceiling lights provide an all over general light for the space and recessed lights can be used to illuminate a specific part of the room, such as a painting or a shelf. Consider also using lights with other items such as mirrors to multiplying the amount of light produced. This is a very simple but clever technique.

Big Windows

One of the best ways to bring lightness and brightness to a dark room is to increase the natural light by creating big windows. Large windows can bring a great deal of natural light and brightness into a dark space. If you have a small window in the room, consider investigating the possibility of converting it into a larger window. Extra light can also be introduced into a room by adding more windows. Consider adding more windows to the upper part of existing walls, to allow added brightness, whilst also allowing the functionality in the room. Consider also converting a conventional door into larger French doors to bring a freshness and brightness to the space.

Smooth Surfaces

Another simple way to increase the brightness in a space is by making full use of the available light. This can be done by using smooth surfaces to reflect the existing light in the space. Smooth and light surfaces work well in reflecting the majority of light that hits them. Consider installing light and smooth reflective cabinets and work surfaces into dark kitchens. A dark bathroom can be easily brightened and lightened with smooth reflective white tiles. A dark entry hall can also be improved by installing a glossy white floor tiles.

It is not unusual to have one room in a home that is darker and gloomier than the rest. This space can become a bit sad and depressing, although it doesn’t need to be. There are many tricks and techniques you can use to convert this space from a dark and sad space into a bright and spacious area; install a roof window, use light colours when decorating, use mirrors to reflect available light, create open spaces, use lights, install larger windows and design with smooth surfaces to reflect the exiting light. These are just a few of the simple and more complex ways to brighten a dark room. For more inspiration see Make Your Dark Room Look Bright.

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