by Talaia Whisenant
Although modern homes and new construction builds have rooms with at least one natural light source (yes, even closets!), some rooms are just dim and difficult to light. The room may be windowless, or in a dark wing of your home, or it may contain characteristics--like wood panel walls and ceilings--that make the room feel unbearably bleak. Luckily, there are techniques that can brighten a dim room and creative ways to bring more light into your space. Say goodbye to cave living!
See the light
If the rooms in your home aren’t flooded in natural light, and if your budget allows, installing new windows will help you “see the light”. Work with a designer who specializes in home remodeling to find the best areas in the room to install new windows. The designer may even suggest installing a skylight--an opening in the roof or ceiling that is fitted with glass to let daylight in. Enhancing your home with new windows and skylights are not only great for the space they will also add to the resale value of your property! If windows already exist in a dim room but not enough light is entering the light blocking source could be outdoors. Trees and bushes often block sunlight so make sure your bushes are trimmed and tree limbs are cut back. You may even decide to remove that big bulky tree blocking out all of the sunlight!
Often times, the intensity of the light bulbs in a room may not be strong enough, so simply changing them out can do wonders. Swap out low wattage bulbs for high wattage light bulbs. Try using LED bulbs, which will drastically improve the light in your space. Lighting accessories like table and floor lamps with light colored shades also help and add a bit of style to the decor of a dark room. Another option is to install light fixtures like sconces and recessed lighting for a soft and polished look in the room.
Who doesn’t love glass doors in a home? They not only brighten dim rooms, but are also classic and make your home stand. Glass doors are great both internally and externally, and are a way for rooms to share light. Change out light blocking solid doors for glass and French doors in dark bedrooms rooms, bathrooms, kitchens, hallways, and let the light pour in!
Opt for neutral paint colors in dim rooms by sticking with whites, beiges, tans, and light grays. These colors will brighten the room and make the space appear larger than it is. Paint your ceiling white which will reflect any natural and artificial light; you can also lighten dark floors with paint or refinish dark wood for lighter hues. If you’re not ready for drastic changes to your wood floors, covering them with light colored rugs will brighten a dim room.
Furniture and Accessories
Avoid dark, bulky furniture in dark rooms. Instead, opt for modern chairs and couches as well as metallic and glass table tops. Furniture and accessories with neutral tones or those with bright bold colors are perfect for dark spaces. Large mirrors are essential for reflecting and bouncing light in a room, especially when placed across from windows and glass doors. The reflected light catches and preserves most of the detailed characteristics of the original light. You can also brighten dim rooms with large paintings that are light in color, or use airy window treatments and textures.
Now let there be light!