10 Ways to Lighten a Dark Room without Painting

When you move into an apartment you don’t always have the luxury of painting. Paint can make a huge difference in a room. If you can’t paint you may feel lost at how to decorate your new home to meet your style and personal preference. If you find yourself feeling like you are living in a dark cave there are ways to lighten and brighten a room without changing the paint color. Here are a few tips on how to lighten a dark room without picking up a paintbrush.

Tips to Brighten a Dark Room in Your Home

  1. Add a Pale Color Area Rug – a large pale colored rug will draw guests’ eyes from the dark walls and into the overall space. In addition, materials with lighter hues will reflect more light around the room.
  2. Mirrors are a Dark Room’s Worst Enemy- I love adding mirrors to a room for many reasons. One reason is mirrors will reflect natural and artificial light throughout a room. The ideal placement of a mirror in a dark room is opposite of a window or perpendicular to a window. Placing a large mirror in one of these locations will maximize the amount of light projected into the room.

    Mirrors To Brighten A Room

    The mirror in this room is perpendicular to the window. Source: www.furniturepolished.com

  3. Add Lighting – A simple way you can make a dark room brighter is by adding lighting fixtures to the room. Ideally you will want to add lighting that casts light up and down. Wall sconces, floor and table lamps with shades that are open at the top and bottom are perfect to lighten a room. For renters, here is a link to wall sconces you can install without running cables behind the wall, Plug-In Wall Sconces.
  4. Add Some Bling – Adding reflective accessories is a great way to brighten up a room without paint. Metallic furnishings or items with a glossy finish reflect more light than accessories with matte or flat finishes. Plus metallics are a big interior design trend. Add some gold or silver into your decor to brighten your room and add style.
  5. White, White, White – Avoid dark finishes, pale grays and warms colors. White accents, such as white curtains, vases and furniture; contrast against dark paint colorswhich will help brighten your room. Dark furnishings absorb more light than white accessories, so reducing dark finishes is a key to brightening a dark room.

    White Finishes to Brighten a Room

    The white sofa and artwork help to brighten this room. Source: www.homedit.com

  6. Curtains – If you add curtains to your room hang them higher and wider than the window extending the curtain rods past the window frame. When your curtains are open the full window will be exposed maximizing the amount of natural light entering the room. If your room does not require full privacy consider using sheers so even when closed the light will still brighten the room.
  7. Pops of Bright Colors – To avoid going too sterile with all white furnishings, add some pops of bright colorsto break up the neutral background. Don’t be afraid of adding color, use primary or jewel tone colors.

    Pops of Color

    Source: www.simplydesigning.blogspot.com

  8. Light Woods – Light wood tones will also help you lighten a dark room. Natural maple or cherry are a great choice.
  9. Large Art Wall – Large artwork can be expensive but an effective way of lighten a room without changing paint color. If you don’t have the budget for large artwork consider adding a wide white matting around smaller art to give it a brighter impact on the space.
  10. Plants – Plants add life and color to a dark room. Plants are important in home decor for so many reasons, including bringing nature indoors and improving indoor air quality.

If you are renting or if you are not ready to paint over a dark paint color in your home, consider using some of these tips to lighten your home. There are always way to add personality and style to any room without painting or making major changes.

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Feature Image: deovolenti (creative commons)

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