Dark and dreary rooms can make you fall out of love with your home. Whether you’re suffering from a dark living room or a dining room that’s not quite fit for purpose, we’ve got some quick and easy tips for brightening up your home that won’t break the bank.
Know Your Home
Before you start, spend a couple of days just observing how natural light and your home interact. South-facing rooms are likely to be bright most of the day, so try and make sure that these are the rooms where you spend most of your daylight hours. Naturally dark rooms will work well for less-used spaces and even bedrooms as they will allow you to get a restful nights’ sleep rather than being woken up as the sun rises.
Work with the light in each of the rooms and fit artificial lighting as necessary. A combination of lamps, dimmer switches and wall and ceiling lights will give you the ultimate control, and allow you to light your room depending on occasion or mood.
In the rooms which feel darker than they should, we’ve got a few handy tips for brightening things up a bit without breaking the bank.
Identify the Trouble-Makers
Before you can transform your home, you first need to identify what the problem is. Stand in the doorway of the room in question and take a close look at the space you are in.
We’d recommend starting your assessment at the windows. This is where the all-important natural light emanates from. If your dressings such as curtains or nets are too heavy for the size and style of windows in your home then not only will you be sacrificing the sunshine, but you could also be making the room feel much smaller than it actually is.
Replacing dark and heavy fabric curtains with lighter and brighter alternatives is an incredibly simple way to introduce more light. Co-ordinated tie-backs and simple blinds in light colours or reflective materials will allow plenty of daylight to filter through, whilst offering you privacy when needed.
Furniture and Décor Makes All the Difference
It’s not just the window dressings that could be preventing your room from feeling light and airy. You should also take a look at the kind of furniture in the room. If you have a small space large, dark, and heavy pieces of furniture will only serve to absorb any natural light.
It may sound obvious but if your walls are painted in dark shades or are lined with heavily patterned wallpapers then these will absorb any available light rather than reflecting it back in to the room. We’re not saying that your home should be totally magnolia but opting for lighter shades in smaller rooms will help to make them feel much bigger than they actually are.
Mirrors are an absolute must-have for making rooms feel more spacious and bright. An oversized mirror in a small or dark room will expose any sliver of light and radiate throughout the entire room. When placing a mirror, be mindful of what it is reflecting – in a dining room it may be placed to show off a beautiful light installation or artwork and in the lounge an unframed mirror will create the illusion of a much grander living space.
A Little Elbow Grease Goes a Long Way
We usually set aside the weekend for doing household chores but when was the last time that you gave the outside of your home a good scrub? You’ll be amazed at the amount of grime, dust and muck that can get stuck to your windows. Once a month give them a clean to allow the maximum light through.
A tiny squirt of washing up liquid (the less suds you have – the better!) in a big bucket of warm water is all you need to make those windows sparkle. Use a squeegee and work in a reverse “S” from top to bottom, cleaning the squeegee as you go. Using a rag and working in circles will just spread the dirt across the glass, and the static charge generated from the circular movements will just help to attract even more grime than before!
Time to Upgrade
If you have the budget, then it may be worth updating the windows in your home, particularly if they look dated. A modern silhouette will allow more light to filter through, and is an easy way to give your home an instant facelift! Stick to clear glazed panels where possible, as these will allow the most light in.
For living spaces French doors are a fantastic way of not only making your room brighter and more comfortable, but also adding value to your home. A set of oak French doors not only look fantastic, but will allow you to expand your living space outside in the balmy summer months. In the winter, you’ll be able to enjoy watching the rain and snow whilst you’re wrapped up and warm inside – what’s not to love?
Posted on: 01 May 2015