Ideas to brighten a dark room

The field of environmental psychology studies the ways in which the natural environment and our built environments shape us as individuals. They have concluded that our spaces can dramatically affect our mood. So if you have one, this post has ideas to help you brighten a dark room.

Dark rooms are gloomy and they make you feel dark and gloomy as a result. We know this. We know that the vibe or ambiance of a room can rub off on us.

So for a brighter mood, try brightening that dark room this weekend.

Here are a few tips to help you do it.

1. Change your window treatment

Let the sun in by retiring heavy drapes and window treatments. Opt for sheer curtains or even bare windows. Sheers look more modern and can make most windows, look divine. As you sit before your windows having a cup of java while watching your sheer curtains dancing with the breeze, you’ll thank me for this tip.

2. Go lighter on the paint

Because walls surround you and affect the mood of a room so much, opt for lighter paint on walls. The lighter-painted walls will make you feel surrounded by a lighter vibe as it brightens your dark room.

Personally, I find white walls the most soothing. Over the years, I’ve tried painting my walls with other colors, but within weeks I would end up switching back to white. When I do, I would immediately feel a monumental sense of relief. Now I know why. According to color psychology, white can be an intense and powerful color in interior design that can make a room appear bigger and more open. What do you know? I’ve always craved bigger and more open in my living spaces so it all makes complete sense to me.

3. Rearrange the furniture

Furniture placement plays a huge role in how your space feels. The placement of your sofa or other large furniture can open up your space by a lot. As can editing your rooms to remove furniture that you don’t use and love. Editing and rearranging your furniture can open up a space giving you more room to move around in. Placing your furniture to better take advantage of windows and architectural details can also dramatically affect how you feel in a space.

4. Change the legs on your furniture

One of the reasons Scandinavian and Mid-century styles are so enduring is that they make a room feel more spacious. A feature of these styles is that they are raised off the floor. Having legs on your furniture lets you see more floor space, which according to Feng Shui, also helps the energy in a room flow better. With a better flow, you feel lighter, right. Makes sense to me.

5. Add more lighting

Depending on your ceiling height and what direction your home faces, it may be poorly lit and hard to brighten superficially. Another issue is your light fixture. If yours have one or two bulbs only and they cast the light down, the room will not be very illuminated. In both cases, you want to consider changing out your light fixtures.

As a renter, you may be hesitant to put in the time and money or worry that the landlord won’t approve, but if you plan to live in a space for a year or more, it’s worth it all to let more light in by way of a new fixture. A different light fixture with multiple bulbs that spread light in a room, will immediately brighten your space.

Besides changing a ceiling fixture, you can add more light with lamps and mobile lighting. Think task lights, arching floor lamps, and lighting candles at night. These will bring in light from a few directions and sources.


Christine Angelica

Christine is a Mindfulness trainer and Emotional Health Coach living in Los Angeles. She's big on meditation, routines, systems and personalization.

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