While you may not realize it, if you have been feeling tired, cranky, stressed or just not in a great mood, look to your home and it’s sources of natural light. It’s a proven fact that humans respond, act and feel better in a home that has plenty of natural light but also has light inspired decor. Even for your darkest rooms there is a way to bring in lighter finishes to play off of the darker ones. Whether you are looking to add more physical daylight or you’re trying to choose finishes that will brighten up your space and mood, look at the 10 easy tips to bring more light into your dark interiors.
1. Walk through your home and assess the dark areas:
If you’ve been living in your home for a while, most likely you are used to its dark areas. Closets, living and family rooms that don’t bring in enough natural light, or possibly the current paint color scheme and dark furniture is making your interiors feel like a black hole. Before you can brighten your interiors, you will need to discover what factors are creating the dark feeling. Do you need better windows in your interiors or lighter colors on your walls or possibly less bulky and dark furniture in your spaces?
2. Mix and match rich color neutrals and white in your decor:
If your home needs some warmth, look to rich bodied neutrals such as espresso brown, camel tan, mushroom gray, and warm rust colors. The brown, white, tan families of colors are extremely versatile and look great when placed next to dark wood floors, doors, and heavy wood furniture.
3. Open up a dark ceiling with recessed lighting fixtures
For many homes dark painted ceilings or even wood paneled ceiling applications are common. While the darker ceilings create a dramatic mood within the room, they can also leave the room feeling like a cave. Recessed lighting fixtures or commonly referred to as “can lights” can brighten up the ceiling without being obtrusive to the eye. Consider installing a dimmer switch to have versatile lighting control.
4. Combine lighter finishes amongst your dark kitchen cabinetry
If you love the look of rich and dark-colored kitchen cabinetry and dark flooring consider using lighter finish countertops or mix and match lighter cabinetry alongside your dark ones. You will be surprised how your kitchen is more enjoyable to work in when it has plenty of light and feels open. If you are in the process of choosing finishes for a kitchen remodel, consider these ideas to keep your kitchen light and airy.
5. Choose accent kitchen pendant lighting that performs double-duty
If your kitchen is only dark in certain areas, consider pendant lighting fixtures that will brighten up a dark corner or above a breakfast bar beautifully. Choose an accent pendant light that wows the rest of the kitchen. Lighting manufacturers have a plethora of designer glass, stainless steel, mosaic tile and even artisan blown glass pendant lights to choose from!
6. Bringing light to your dramatic dark bedroom
There is something to be said for a dark and sophisticated bedroom! When the walls, bedding, flooring and accessories are all dark it can create a heavenly den to cozy up to after a long workday. If you like the dramatic appeal, consider adding soft lighting in strategic areas to still keep the mood but to aid in seeing and appreciating your bedroom. Look to creative lighting in display built-in shelves such as “puck” or under cabinet lighting and accent fixtures such as pendants and table lamps with soft glowing lamp shades to do just the trick!
7. Striking a balance between dark and light in your bedroom
Your bedroom is one of the few places in your home that is truly yours and you don’t have to please your guests, the only important person is you! Therefore, strike a balance in your design style. If you have dark walls, why not create a contrast with light bedding in soft ecru, butter yellow, or varying shades of off white sheets, throw pillows, and bedroom decor to give your bedroom a balanced and relaxing atmosphere.
8. Choosing the right darker colors for your next painting project
Do you have a room that you can’t wait to paint, by leery as to what dark colors to choose? Don’t shy away from dark colors! They are a wonderful way to bring dramatic aesthetics to your space and they add personality. First look to your space for natural light sources. The more windows, and doors your walls have, the darker the wall color can be. If you have very small windows or only a few, opt for lighter shades of the darker hue to make the room feel brighter and larger.
9. Brightening your dark wardrobe closets
One of the darkest rooms in your home is the closet where you store your clothes. Whether your closet lies on the interior of your bedroom and doesn’t have windows or because it was an afterthought by the housing developer there are beautiful solutions to fix this problem. Either way there are ways to bring light to this dark room. Lighting fixtures such as pendant lights and recessed lighting can bring extra illumination to dressing areas as well as hanging regions. Look to add mirrors where you can to reflect the light you do have.
10. Bring in natural light into your closets
Instead of thinking that you are stuck with a dark closet, consider adding a window or clerestory (top of the wall) windows that allow light in without losing valuable wall storage space. If your closet is on the interior of your home and doesn’t have an exterior wall, look to a solar tube that bring light from your roof down into your closet. These are energy efficient because they don’t use electricity and they illuminate your closet with natural glowing light.
Freshome readers tell us your tricks for brightening your darkest rooms.