How to light up a dark room — 7 tips and tricks

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When you have a room that doesn’t have enough natural light or windows, it can often feel dark and dingy. Whether it’s a bedroom, living room, or home office, a dark space can also make the room feel small and less inviting.

But, you can learn how to light up a dark room with a few nifty tips and tricks. Whether it’s savvy lighting or styling solutions, there are plenty of creative ways to achieve it. Best of all, you don’t have to spend a fortune on a complete renovation, and it won’t take you long. So if you want to brighten up your lifeless space, here’s how to brighten up a dark room and make it instantly light and airy.

Also, you might want to know how to enlarge a small space and how to clean painted walls to remove stains for a spotless room.

1. Layer your lighting

Floor lamps in the living room

Floor lamps in the living room (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Multiple sources of ambient lighting can really open up a dark space, especially if you don’t have a lot of natural light. In addition to a ceiling light, add a stylish floor lamp and table lamps for additional lighting. It will also help create a more relaxing and comfortable ambiance. Multiple layers of lighting can make a real difference, but avoid using heavy fixtures like chandeliers or ornate pendant lights as they can overwhelm a dark room. If you want to be more creative, you can invest in the best smart, versatile and energy efficient light bulbs.

2. Mirrors near light sources

Large mirror in the bedroom

Large mirror in the bedroom (Image credit: Shutterstock)

It’s the oldest trick in the book, but mirrors can instantly brighten up a dark room and make a space seem larger. A general rule is to strategically place large mirrors near a light source or in front of a window to reflect and amplify natural lighting. If you can’t face a window, you can place table lamps or a floor lamp next to a mirror which can also have a similar effect. For best results, use ambient or warm lighting instead of cool white, so there is no overwhelming glare when reflected. If you don’t have a mirror, any reflective surface like stainless steel, glass, and metal accessories will do.

3. Paint the walls white

white living room

white living room (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Another common trick is to use white paint on your walls, baseboards, and ceiling to brighten up a dark room. White walls really open up a space, making it feel bigger, airier, and bouncing light around the room. Be sure to use crisp white rather than off-white tones, cream or beige paint. You can always add pops of color here and there with upholstery, wall paints and green plants so it doesn’t look too clinical and bland.

4. Transparent or glass tables

Coffee table and glass vase

Coffee table and glass vase (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Acrylic or clear glass tables are ideal for reflecting light in dark rooms. We usually tend to have heavy or large wooden tables which can dominate the space, making a room look darker. You can also place glass or reflective vases and accessories around the room to reflect natural light.

5. Streamline Furniture

modern living room

modern living room (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Similar to heavy tables, oversized furniture can make your room look darker than it is. Streamline your furniture by having lighter, thinner and more contemporary pieces. Also, if you choose a sofa and armchairs with open armrests and exposed legs, this will allow light to filter under the furniture, which will make the room appear brighter.

6. Parquet or carpet in light wood

Light wood parquet

Light wood parquet (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Choose light wood flooring if you can, or a lightly colored rug to brighten up a dark room and make it appear larger. However, if you cannot replace your flooring or need to know how to decorate a rental property without annoying its landlord, a lightly colored rug will do. Not only will it be a bright focal point for the room, but it will add softness and texture to your floors. When selecting your rug size, opt for the largest size to fill the room as much as possible, and colors such as white, ivory or other combinations of warm hues will be ideal.

7. Blinds or lightweight window treatments

Window blinds in the bedroom

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Thick curtains or window curtains will only drown out the light coming through and make the space look even darker. Minimize your window treatments with sheer curtains or light shades. Also, choose light tones like light gray or beige colors to brighten up the room.


If you want to learn more about setting up a smart home, check out our ultimate smart home guide for the best advice. You don’t even have to spend a fortune either with the best cheap smart home devices and the best smart speakers for entertainment.


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